March 14, 2024

Piano Music for Beginners: Best Songs To Start With

The piano stands as an emblem of elegance, emotion, and eloquence. For a beginner, learning piano can seem daunting --- whether through piano lessons or learning by yourself. But as with any skill, the right starting point can make a world of difference.

Choosing songs that resonate with the heart and enhance understanding is essential. This article aims to guide new piano enthusiasts through songs that can fast-track their understanding and proficiency, making their learning journey both enjoyable and enriching.

What Simple Melodies Are Good for Beginners?

When starting a new instrument, don't be afraid to start below where you'd expect. Start with something super simple to become comfortable with the piano.

"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"

Every child and adult alike is familiar with this timeless nursery rhyme. It's not just its familiarity that makes it a perfect starting point, but also its musical structure. "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" is primarily played on white keys. This allows beginners to get acquainted with the most accessible keys on the piano, understanding their layout and sound.

The song introduces learners to fundamental finger placements and movements. As the melody flows, so does the movement from one key to the next, enabling learners to develop hand-eye coordination and finger agility.

"Happy Birthday"

Few songs are as universally recognized and loved as "Happy Birthday." Every time a piano learner plays this song, there's a sense of accomplishment because of its widespread recognition.

Knowing a song everyone recognizes can be a huge confidence booster. When a beginner plays "Happy Birthday" and sees heads nodding and mouths humming along, it provides positive reinforcement.

The song's pacing allows learners to grasp basic rhythm structures. It emphasizes the importance of holding certain notes longer than others, introducing the learner to varied note durations.

What Classical Pieces Are Good for Beginners?

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Classical piano pieces, both complex parts and easy piano parts, can be a great way to explore different genres and eras in music.

Beethoven's "Fur Elise"

There's something intrinsically magical about Beethoven's compositions. "Fur Elise," with its soothing yet spirited melody, is a favorite among many and a wonderful entry into the realm of classical music for beginners.

This piece provides a gentle introduction to classical music nuances. The melody, while simple, has layers that can be explored as the learner progresses.

The song also provides an opportunity to practice varied finger placements, helping learners improve their hand flexibility.

Bach's Simple Compositions

Bach, a master of baroque music, crafted compositions that are both complex and accessible. For beginners playing piano, some of his simpler pieces offer a glimpse into the world of structured musical elegance. Even in his simpler compositions, Bach introduces learners to scales, runs, and trills. This helps beginners understand the foundational structures of many classical pieces. "Prelude in C Major", for example, is widely touted as one of the most straightforward, beginner-friendly Bach compositions.

With Bach, reading piano sheet music becomes essential. This practice familiarizes learners with music notes and piano chords, enhancing their ability to interpret and play other compositions.

Mozart's Beginner-Friendly Pieces

Mozart, another titan in the classical world, created melodious and profound compositions. Some of his beginner-friendly pieces act as stepping stones into more advanced classical music territories.

Mozart's compositions, like "Symphony No. 40," often involve broken chords or arpeggios, which can elevate a piece's sound. For beginners, this is a chance to familiarize themselves with playing notes of a chord in succession rather than simultaneously --- even for more complex compositions, playing them slowly can be a valuable opportunity for beginners.

With Mozart, learners begin to understand the dynamics of soft and loud, slow and fast, ensuring that their playing is emotionally resonant.

Incorporating these classical pieces into a beginner's repertoire elevates their skill set and instills an appreciation for the rich tapestry of classical music that has shaped the world of music as we know it.

What Popular Songs Are Good for Beginners?

There's something about playing a popular song you've grown up with or recently listened to with your friends.

"Lean on Me" by Bill Withers

Bill Withers' timeless hit, "Lean on Me," is both soulful and educational for budding piano players.

The song's repeating chords allow learners to practice transitioning between chords smoothly. This understanding of chord progressions is essential for playing many contemporary songs.

"Lean on Me" is rich in harmonies, giving learners a chance to understand how different notes can come together to create a more resonant sound. This skill is especially valuable when playing songs with depth and layers.


A modern classic, "Hallelujah," whether it's Leonard Cohen's original or the numerous covers, has a haunting and uplifting melody. The song offers variations in rhythms, challenging learners to adapt and change their pace. This is instrumental in enhancing their rhythmic abilities.

The gentle crescendos and the subtle diminuendos of the song allow beginners to experiment with dynamics, understanding the power of playing both softly and loudly for emotional impact.

What Are Some Easy Piano Songs for Hand Coordination?

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While the piano is a great instrument with endless possibilities, you need some real coordination between the left hand, right hand, and feet to play well.

"Jingle Bells"

One of the most recognizable holiday tunes, "Jingle Bells," is festive, fun, and perfect for beginners.

"Jingle Bells" requires using both hands in harmony. The left often provides a rhythmic base, while the right plays the familiar melody, teaching hand independence yet coordination.

As one hand plays the rhythm and the other focuses on melody, learners get to grasp the concept of hand independence, a critical skill as they advance in their piano journey.

Nursery Rhymes

With their simple tunes, nursery rhymes are unexpectedly beneficial for new piano learners.

Many nursery rhymes allow the left hand to maintain a steady rhythm, helping learners understand the left hand's role in most compositions. With the left hand holding down the rhythm, the right hand gets to play with melodies. This distinction between the two hands' roles is vital for playing more complex pieces later.

What Are Some Advanced Beginner Tunes?

Are you feeling comfortable with these musical choices? Consider driving into specific keys or styles to better understand certain forms of music as a whole.

Songs in C Major

The C Major scale is often the first scale introduced to piano learners, primarily because it involves only the white keys.

By playing songs in this key, learners understand the relationships between the notes in the most commonly used scale in music. Exploring songs in C Major allows learners to practice the scale and delve into the chords formed from it, building a robust foundation for exploring other keys.

Simple Songs Featuring Arpeggios

Playing arpeggios requires finger dexterity, helping learners enhance their agility. Through simple songs that feature arpeggios, learners understand how chords can be "broken" to create a ripple-like effect, adding depth to their playing.

Diving into these songs advances a learner's technical skills and deepens their understanding and appreciation of music's diverse world. By the time they master these pieces, they'd be well on their way to becoming a proficient piano player.

For example, the C Major chord is made up of the notes C, E, and G. Playing the C, E, and G notes separately is an example of an arpeggio --- and the more you practice this, the more you build up your finger agility and piano skills.

The Rich Tapestry of Musical Styles

As an instrument, piano is the canvas for a universe of musical styles, from the haunting sonatas of the classical age to the rhythmic beats of modern pop. Each song and style you learn doesn't just add a new tune under your fingers; it immerses you into a unique cultural or historical narrative, broadening your musical horizons.

Exploring different genres and styles allows you to connect with a wider audience. The joy of playing a childhood nursery rhyme can be just as profound as mastering a complex Chopin nocturne. Different tunes resonate with different people, and by having a varied repertoire, you can share the magic of music more broadly.

In the end, music is a universal language in all its diverse glory. By embracing multiple styles and genres on the piano, you grow as a musician and a storyteller, weaving tales from across the world, one note at a time.

So, as you embark on your piano journey, let curiosity guide you and the resources from Rocksmith+ assist you, and never confine yourself to just one chapter of the vast musical anthology.


The 6 Secrets of a Confident Mindset for Musicians and Performers | LinkedIn

The Surprisingly Rich History of the Classical Music and Piano | Hollywood Piano

Introduction to Chords |

A Brief History of Classical Music | Fort Collins Symphony


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