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Beginner Piano Books for All Types of Learners

By Claire Robertson
Beginner Piano Books for All Types of Learners

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Discover beginner piano books for all ages, including adults and children

Piano books unlock a world of repertoire for pianists! Once a pianist can read musical notation, piano books offer a great resource to keep learning exciting new music. We have compiled a comprehensive list of the best beginner piano books for students of all ages. Our teacher-tested recommendations of beginner piano music books present the young (and the young-at-heart) with the musical practice they need to progress. From classical piano books, to sight reading trainer collections, our picks below have something for beginners of all ages. 

Ready to learn to read sheet music with our beginner piano books? Try Hoffman Academy Premium today to gain access to our 2000+ piece musical library! 

Are piano books worth it?

Beginner piano books offer pianists an advantage because the repertoire selection encourages the development of musical skills. Often compiled for a particular skill level, piano books help beginner piano players progress through songs that are appropriate for their level. Purchasing piano books puts a collection of music to learn and practice right at your fingertips. Piano books for beginners often contain pieces that focus on particular scales and drills, like pentascales or certain key signatures, which can build upon skills a student is already practicing. 

Of course, you can “make your own” piano book by purchasing sheet music piece-by-piece from SheetMusicDirect, printing it, and then collecting it in a binder. This is a great way to augment your musical library with pop songs that may be licensed due to copyright. Check out all the Hoffman Academy arrangements on SheetMusicDirect that you can put together with our video tutorials! You can also visit our online Store to check out  our other quality “play-tested” arrangements and search our store by difficulty level, scale, skill, and more.

Before you DIY your own beginner piano books, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Double check that you are buying an arrangement at a level you can play – “Easy” often corresponds to Hoffman Academy’s Elementary level. Also, it often costs more to purchase sheet music pieces one-by-one than it does to buy a collection in a piano book. 

Can I learn piano with only books?

While one can learn piano with only books, we believe that having a visual and audio example helps solidify the learning process. At Hoffman Academy, our complete library of over 300 video piano tutorials pair with our method books – no in-person instruction required! The digital Hoffman Method Books offer a comprehensive piano education. Each book contains repertoire pieces to learn and perform on the piano, along with key resources such as scales and finger power exercises.

What should a piano beginner learn first?

In order to play music from a piano book, beginner pianists should learn to read sheet music. Learning to read sheet music opens up a world of new pieces and trains a musical skill called sight reading. Sight reading is also great for cognition – after all, reading sheet music and learning a new language use the same parts of the brain! To help beginners on their piano journey, we offer a free Ultimate Piano Learning Essentials Packet, which is a cheat sheet with the grand staff guide, note names, and piano keys learning resources. For an in-depth discussion further unlocking tips and tricks to read music, check out our article How to Read Music.

Hoffman Academy also created a series of books that train sight reading. These collections of sheet music drill the skills beginner pianists need to explore new piano books. Curated by expert teachers and corresponding to video tutorials, these sight reading books will help beginners master playing new sheet music right the first time! Sight Reading Trainer Book 1 is for Early Elementary students, Sight Reading Trainer Book 2 is for Elementary students, and Sight Reading Trainer Book 3 is for Intermediate students (for more on our piano levels, check out this article).

What is the best piano book for a beginner 8 year old?

The Hoffman Method Book also provides young pianists with a whole-music education. Our method is based on the way the brain learns language, so young pianists learn to read music and play by ear. Since pianists play songs on day one, the Hoffman Method teaches through experience before explanation. When paired with our video tutorials, our method builds confidence and fun! 

Start your young pianist off with the joy of learning music by playing pop songs they already love in Mr. Hoffman’s Popular Hits for Piano. This beginner piano book pairs perfectly with our online video tutorials. Students will learn 17 favorite pop songs using short video lessons online to get started on each song. The book includes demo tracks and backing tracks for practicing. 

These additional books from Hoffman Academy correspond with our curriculum to give students fun and musical pieces to play! 

In-person students at the Hoffman Academy enjoy supplementing their studies with pieces by Christopher Norton, like Christopher Norton’s Connections – Level 2. Written in a playful variety of styles, this collection of pieces from Christopher Norton’s offer young pianists lyrical and exciting pieces. Some pieces include challenging rhythms and require additional coordination. For further recommendations, check out our post on The 14 Best Piano Books for Kids

What’s the best piano book for adult beginners?

The best piano book for adult beginners contains songs that inspire you, theory and technique practice, and a sequence that lets you review and practice at home. The Hoffman Method Books offer all-of-the above. 

Other adult piano method books include Faber and Alfred’s. The Faber method for adults – Adult Piano Adventures provides an option with theory and technique pages – companion books are sold separately. Designed for use with an instructor, Alfred’s Adult All-in-One Course includes lesson, theory, and technique pages. 

For beginner adult pianists starting on their piano journey, try pairing your adult method book with Hoffman Academy’s Around the World: Folk Melodies for Piano, Early Elementary Level, which is suitable for the most beginner students. Any age pianists in Units 5-8 could check out Repertoire Album, Elementary Level and  Around the World: Folk Melodies for Piano, Elementary Level

These next two easy piano recommendations bring you from screen to score! Check out the Pirates of the Caribbean Easy Piano Solo Collection. These arrangements of Hans Zimmer give beginner pianists of any age the thrill of sailing the high seas. Another Easy Piano recommendation is the Vince Guaraldi Collection. Many pianists love “Linus and Lucy” – and this collection offers easy jazz arrangements from the world of Charlie Brown. 

These next two options offer advanced beginner adult pianists delightful “New Classical” piano works. A beautiful collection for an advanced beginner or intermediate adult pianist, Yann Tiersen – Piano Works contains elegant songs that transport you from the piano bench to the streets of Paris. Yann Tiersen’s whimsical works tend towards minimalism and were featured in the movie “Amelie.” 

Similarly, The Best of Yiruma collects lyrical and graceful pieces for the piano. During the COVID-19 pandemic, pianists of all ages played his pieces “River Flows in You” and “Spring Waltz.” Both of these piano books provide opportunities for experimenting with rubato and phrasing for an advanced beginner or intermediate pianist at any age. 

We hope our recommendations for the best beginner piano books for adults and children help you find the right book for your next piano piece!  Ready to learn to read sheet music with our piano books? Try Hoffman Academy Premium today to gain access to our 2000+ piece musical library! 

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