To help you teach your child the piano, here are some resources that I use and can recommend
A step by step online course to master the subtle challenges of teaching your own children the piano
How to Teach Your Child The Piano Like A Pro – Online Course
The best Resource your child needs is YOU!
This is my own course where I will help you with all you need to know about teaching your own child the piano.
The idea of teaching your own child (or grandchild) the piano is a pretty big ask, especially if you don’t know where to start. When I first started teaching my own children it had been a long time since my first lesson at the piano and it was pretty daunting. We want to get this right and not put our children off learning!
Physical Piano Teaching Resources
Some products change over time so I will endeavor to keep them updated according to availability. Shipping to your country may be different than to mine so you may find links that work for you that haven’t for me here in New Zealand. All of these links are to products on Amazon. As an affiliate I get a small percentage if you purchase a product through these links. Most of them are products I have purchased and used myself. If they are helpful to you that’s great, and thanks for supporting me through using them.
Casio Privia 360Bk
Although Amazon don’t currently send this keyboard to NZ, you may find it has no problem sending it to your country. Check the side bar on link when you open it.
This is my best suggestion for an affordable, medium range, full size 88 keys electronic piano keyboard. I use it in my office/small studio. Being a big Roland fan, I initially was dubious with this instrument but quickly became impressed with it. There are a number of things I really like about it.
- The default general piano sound is crisp and clean. It doesn’t have the muddy muffled sound quality you sometime get and I was really pleased with the quality of the bass sound for the price. But if that is not a sound to your taste, there are 15 other piano sounds to choose from and another 13 that add other effects like string sounds.
- As a full size, 88 keys piano, it is a great option to take to an event or school where there is no piano available and serves well in all styles needed – from classical to rock.
- I also like the way the sound speakers face me as I play so there is sufficient fold back, but they are also loud enough to work well in a classroom accompanying 60 children singing. The children can hear it fine without me needing to bring along extra amplification.
- The midi to USB facility has been really helpful when I’ve needed to record a midi file, save to USB, then edit the file on the computer.
- It has a touch pad screen which is very easy to follow even for a non technical person like me.
- It is portable. And if I can carry it, anyone can.
- As you’d expect, it has a head phone jack for when somebody needs to practice without disturbing others.
Roland FP 30
The Roland is a step up from the Casio in terms of quality and is a little more pricey, but still quite reasonable. My son is a jazz pianist and has one of these. He really likes the sound and feel of it. Here is his take on it:
- Best action for the price on the market, so if you want to plug into other sounds you already have great action.
- On board sounds are good through the inbuilt speakers, but also sound great in headphones.
- Simple looking – not lots of buttons on the keyboard, so it looks nice for gigs.
- Can do all the extra things without heaps of buttons cluttering up the look.
Yamaha 61 Keys Keyboard E363 Bundle
This Yamaha keyboard is the most affordable, current, touch sensitive keyboard I know of. It has 61 keys, which I would recommend as a minimum requirement for a piano beginner.
For the price, it has a nice piano sound with the whole range of instrument sounds and other features that you will enjoy exploring. It is also very light and easy to move around.
Extras include a stand to put the keyboard on. This is good, so that you can adjust the height for the best position for good posture. Headphones are useful for when you don’t want to disturb others around you. I do not know what the “Survival Kit” part is in this bundle. I am only familiar with the keyboard.
Cherub Sustain Pedal WTB-005
It is essential to have a good pedal, one that is not going to slide around as you use it. A simple but sturdy little pedal is this Pedal Cherub. It is not expensive and I use it for my portable use. (If you are purchasing the PSRE353 series, it does not come with a pedal.)
Amazon 2 color Abacus
This Abacus, with 2 clear colors, is helpful when doing correct repetitions of a selection of music you want to learn to play consistently correct. Use the gold color for correct repetitions and the blue for the “not yet correct” repetitions. If you get 5 blue beads across before completing 3 gold ones it may be that the music selection is too long, difficult or played fast. Try adjusting the selection and try again so that you achieve correct renditions of the selection in a short, efficient amount of time. The sense of achievement is much more satisfying. This is just one way to use the abacus in music practice.
Musical Book Marks
These are shiny gold metal – just the instruments, they come slotted in on the card.
I use these simple, affordable, but nicely made book marks as lucky dip prizes for my students. A lucky dip prize is a selection of small gifts I keep in a special bag for particular goals that have been reached. The pupil knows ahead of time that they are working towards a lucky dip prize. They dip their hand in the bag without looking to choose something.
John Thompson Teaching Little Fingers to Play
This is a little classic that has also stood the test of time. It has been upgraded with new color pictures. It is excellent for pupils who are quick to pick up new principles as it works pretty quickly through the material. The only down side is that finger numbers are used far too much. I tend to white these out down to the bare essentials so that pupils are reading the notes, not just following the finger numbers.
John Thompson Red Book 1,2,3 and 4
Again, these books are classics – even though “modern” was not so recent. I’m a little biased as this is the one that was most used in my day. The music is always quite delightful but the pace of learning may be too fast paced for today’s learners. You may find you need to white out the finger numbers on some of the pieces. I have often dipped into various pieces from these books to supplement what my pupils are learning at various levels.
Suzuki Piano School Vol 1
Suzuki Piano School Vol 1
This book is the first volume in a very classically based course. At the beginning there are some known tunes such as Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, London Bridge and Mary had a little Lamb. These and other folk melodies are preludes to a range of pieces in a classical style written by Suzuki.
The Suzuki method is heavily focused on the importance of the parent learning the music with the child and you can see the value of this in the resulting parent/child relationship. The early pieces in the book are usually taught by ear to quite young children and their parent. The Twinkle variations work better for violin than piano for little hands, but as the child learns them by ear and they know the familiar tune it still works well as a starting point. Training as a Suzuki teacher is essential to understanding how the material is used best.
Hal Leonard Piano Lessons Book 2
If I am using Hal Leonard books I prefer to start with book 2 as book 1 has very little in the way of actually reading music for quite some time. I prefer a pupil to be reading music in the first few lessons in some way.
Generally though, I have enjoyed teaching pupils from these books and I think there is a good range of musical styles covered fairly early on. I also like the encouragement to play along with the CD. There is also the opportunity to learn to improvise with the tutor playing an excellent vamp to play along with. The duet parts are well written and enjoyable for both tutor and pupil.
Bastien Piano Basics Level 1
Bastien have been most prolific with a whole range of tutor books to suit anyone. There is a good focus on chord understanding for the most part and it is good to see the popular chord names for the chords along with the classical roman numerals used in classical music theory. Overall though I find the music for today’s beginners a little too trite.
My biggest concern is that with the focus on understanding chords there is not enough in the way of melody lines in the bass part for the left hand. However, if you want to learn a chord based book with the melody in the treble, this is a helpful start.
Piano Town Primer Level 1 lessons
I used Piano Town extensively when I directed a government music school. It worked perfectly for the group lessons and limited time I had for each lesson.
The pieces are short, easy to learn without being entirely predictable. The system is well grounded leading to a good understanding of chords but not neglecting the use of melody for the left hand.
It is helpful for leading pupils on to exam work and doesn’t have a detrimental use of positions (such that a pupil becomes too dependent on them) if handled carefully. I also liked the way it worked through various keys with music to establish the use of them. Transposing is introduced in the second book of the series in a very successful way.
Piano Time 1
Although beautifully presented with gorgeous illustrations I find this course too difficult for young children. Ideal perhaps for a keen, older beginner at around age 10. The music material is lovely and to use it you need to be sure your pupil is very conscientious at practicing. Then it is fine.
This is more recently produced and has a lot of wonderful material with great ideas. The illustrations work well because they connect to a wide age range from young to older children.
The duets are well crafted and sound lovely when both parts are playing. I do think the pupil parts for those with duets pieces don’t always stand well enough on their own however.
I also think that there is sometimes too much information on the page. If a child has any dyslexia there really is not enough space around the music they are reading. The pages all look quite busy.
But generally, it teaches a broad range of musical styles and useful suggestions for nice piano technique.