We hope you enjoy this list of our recommended piano methods and books! Some of the links in this list are affiliate links, which allow us to earn a commission when you use them to make a purchase. This helps us continue to create fun music learning experiences for everyone to enjoy.
Explore an array of piano books for kids with us!
Are you looking for some good piano books to enhance your child’s music learning? Here at Hoffman Academy we have some favorite piano books that our teachers like to use and that we’re excited to share with you. Read on to find out more about Hoffman Academy’s recommended piano books for kids.
Can you learn piano from a book?
Most piano books aren’t designed for someone with no piano experience to pick up the book and start learning how to play the piano. However, if you are already learning piano, a piano book is a great way to learn new songs.
There are basically two kinds of piano books:
Method books (lesson books) are designed to be used by piano teachers and students working together. They usually feature pieces of music interspersed with information about how to play the piano, music theory worksheets, sight reading exercises, and other activities to help the student learn. Some of our favorite piano method books include Faber & Faber, American Popular Piano, and of course the Hoffman Method!
Repertoire books (sheet music books) are a collection of musical pieces, usually all arranged at the same playing level. Most of the time, these books don’t have additional educational materials in them. All you’ll find is sheet music. These books are meant to be used by music teachers and students to supplement method books, or just for musicians to have a fun collection of pieces they’d like to learn. These collections often have a particular theme, like “Classical Pieces for Young Pianists,” or “Great Movie Themes for Piano.” This way you can choose a book of music you like and have lots of options for new pieces to explore.
Are piano books worth it?
These days it’s easy to find, purchase, and download any single piece of music you want to learn. Using websites like sheetmusicdirect.com can put millions of songs at your fingertips. So, if that’s true, why would you want to purchase a sheet music book?
Depending on what you want to do, a sheet music book does have some advantages. For one thing, cost per piece of music will probably be lower when you purchase a sheet music book. So long as the book has several songs in it that you’re interested in learning, that could save you money as opposed to purchasing each song separately from an online sheet music provider.
Sheet music books come printed and bound, saving you the trouble of printing out downloaded sheet music and also keeping track of loose sheets that might get out of order or misplaced.
With a sheet music book, especially one with a theme that interests you, you’ll get not only pieces you may already be familiar with, but additional pieces for you to explore.
Some sheet music arrangers are better than others, and when you purchase sheet music for individual pieces online it can be hard to tell what the quality of the arrangement will be. Getting a sheet music book created by an arranger you know and trust will ensure that every piece will be enjoyable to play.
What is the best piano method for kids?
Each piano method will have its strengths and weaknesses, but at Hoffman Academy we have a few favorites. Our core teaching method is, of course, the Hoffman Method, which is a complete piano curriculum that creates well-rounded, independent musicians who love making music. Not just a method book, the Hoffman Method includes a series of video lessons comprising over one hundred hours of instruction that are free for anyone to watch online. These video lessons allow students to learn piano independently by observing the example of expert teachers.
Another piano method we like to use at Hoffman Academy is the Faber & Faber method. These method books are thorough and well-paced, and each level comes with options of additional sheet music books that can be purchased to give students more fun songs to learn.
The American Popular Piano method has also been a favorite of Hoffman Academy students for years. It features so many fun, modern styles, from pop to blues to jazz to latin. Christopher Norton is a fantastic composer and pianist. His pieces are artistic, musically rich, and highly rewarding for students to learn.
What are the best piano books for kids to learn with?
Ready for some new tunes? These piano books are a great way to encourage independent music exploration.
Hoffman Academy’s Recommended Piano Music Books by Level:
Early Elementary (Hoffman Academy Units 1-4)
American Popular Piano – Repertoire – Prep Level
A wide variety of moods and themes keeps these pieces interesting, and “Direction Questions” help students notice patterns and details.
PreTime Piano – Classics – Primer Level – Beginning Reading
This collection of classic themes includes “Ode to Joy” and Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” which is as fun to say as it is to play.
Elementary (Hoffman Academy Units 5-8)
Mr. Hoffman’s Popular Hits for Piano
Learn 17 favorite popular tunes with Mr. Hoffman! There are short video lessons online to get you started on each song, plus a demo track and a backing track for you to play along with.
Meanwhile, Back in the Jungle
For the adventurer in your household, this book is full of pentascale-based pieces about jungle animals.
Meanwhile, Back In The Enchanted Forest
Inspired by fairytales, songs like “Timothy Troll Frightens the Fireflies” and “Unicorns Play in a Sunny Glen” will delight young learners.
Meanwhile Back At the Castle
Knights and jesters and dragons, oh my! Princes and princesses alike will enjoy these imaginative pieces and illustrations.
PlayTime Piano Classics: Level 1
Get into the classics with these famous themes, including Brahms’ “Lullaby,” Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty Waltz,” and Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals.”
Early Intermediate (Hoffman Academy Units 9-14)
Picture This! Book 1
Beautiful melodies inspired by lovely photographs that will get students moving all over the piano and even using the damper pedal. “Shimmering Waters” is a favorite at the Portland Academy!
ShowTime Piano Classics: Level 2A
Did you know that “Frere Jacques” was part of a symphony by Mahler? Now you do – and you can play it on the piano, along with other Classical favorites like Vivaldi’s “Spring” and Pachelbel’s “Canon.”
Keith Snell – Baroque & Classical – Level 1
You’ll love this collection of other Classical piano pieces, many of which are old dances like the Minuet and the Quadrille.
Intermediate (Hoffman Academy Units 15+)
Just for Fun, Book 1
A collection of 17 piano solos in a wide variety of styles and moods, specially written to inspire, motivate, and entertain. The book begins with pieces like “Scotch Dance” that are good for early intermediate level, while later songs like “Spooks from Mars” will keep more advanced students on their toes!
American Popular Piano – Repertoire: Level Three – Repertoire
Christopher Norton is one of the most prolific composers of student pieces out there, and this book proves it! Solos range from the dreamy “Drifting Away” to the jazzy “Spider Blues,” while duets like “Celtic Caper” and “The Jamaican Market” take students on a musical journey around the world.
Got a fan of “Star Wars” or “Harry Potter?” How about classics like the “Superman” theme or songs from “The Wizard of Oz?” Then this series is for you! This 3-book collection of popular and cinematic songs, all arranged by master arranger Dan Coates, are a perfect blend of familiar pieces and reading practice.
We hope you enjoy exploring these piano methods and piano books for kids!