Not sure where to begin your piano journey? These posts outline what you need to know to get started: setting goals, picking a piano/keyboard, and finding a teacher or other learning path.
How to Read Sheet Music Course (Free!). This free course gives you the tools to approach and read any piece of sheet music in traditional staff notation. Additionally, I go over some of the logic of what music notation is and share some of the other kinds of notation, so you can quickly learn any kind of notation or create your own. This course also comes with pdf downloads of helpful illustrations and access to the course’s learning community and discussion board.
Josh Wright’s ProPractice Course on Teachable. Josh is one of my favorite teachers on the internet; his attention to detail and ability to convey specific, technical information through video is impressive. This series helped me improve my technique and get rid of tendinitis. He covers everything from beginning all the way through advanced technique and repertoire, so it’s a truly comprehensive course for learning piano. You can view free samples of ProPractice on his Youtube channel here. Included in the course is entrance into a Facebook group of everyone in the “lifetime access” group, which is a great resource for feedback and discussion on all things piano. That’s been my favorite part of joining this course.
Want to learn more? Check out my review here.
PianoTV’s Technique Series on Youtube. Allysia is an energetic and fun teacher whose Youtube channel is a great resource, especially for those who are just getting into piano. She covers everything from piano technique, to theory, and even a little history in a way that makes it feel more like a game than sitting down and studying. She also discusses ABRSM and RCM and how to prepare for those exams.
Cedarville Music on Youtube. Steinway artist, Dr. John Mortensen runs this Youtube channel on all things piano. He doesn’t have any intro courses, but he does cover a lot of fundamental-to-advanced piano techniques and does an excellent job explaining each of these. He’s got a fun but professional personality, and I would honestly love to have had him as an instructor in university. Dr. Mortensen also covers a variety of styles and topics I haven’t seen much elsewhere, like Irish music and Classical improvisation. Definitely check out his channel!
Piano Patterns: Fingerings for Scales, Chords, and Arpeggios. This collection of basic musical patterns provides fingerings for even the lesser-used scales: pentatonic, whole tone, and blues. Learning how to pick fingerings is one of the least-taught elements of piano technique, so Piano Patterns can help you get started.
This book is included as part of the upcoming course: The Pianist’s Guide to Fingering.
The Selection: How to Pick Piano Repertoire to Increase Momentum and Avoid Frustration. This post covers the basics of picking the right amount of repertoire to learn at once and at the right level. It shows you how to determine what level pianist you are and how to find repertoire (both public domain and pop) for your level.
The Practice Joy Music Practice Journal. This free pdf guide will help you set repertoire goals and organize your practice sessions in a way that inspires joy. Crafting positive experiences in our practice sessions makes us want to practice even more.
In addition to traditional journal pages and the “practice joy” pages, you also get a guide to practicing joy, inspired from the post 7 Steps to Practice Joy While Practicing an Instrument.
Finding Piano Repertoire for Specific Levels
IMSLP’s Piano Pieces by Level Page. You probably already know that IMSLP boasts the largest, free, public domain sheet music library, but they also have this handy list of piano repertoire sorted into 11 different levels. There’s a search function and an easy drop down, so you can find a lot of free, historical music to sightread or perform. I encourage you to find some non-white, non-male composers!
Henle’s Levels of Difficulty. If you’re trying to decide if a piece is above your level, search for it on Henle’s website. They use a number system to rank pieces by difficulty. Many times they also note what ABRSM and RCM grades they are as well, so this is an excellent resource to help you pick repertoire.
Sheet Music Plus’s Levels of Difficulty. Sheet Music Plus is home to sheet music for any style and any instrument. Composers and arrangers have the option of publishing their works on the platform, which gives you access to a wider variety of sheet music than most other websites. Additionally, they rate their music by difficulty, so you can browse for your favorite tunes, knowing you’ll find something you’ll be able to play!
These posts are to help you figure out what you need to be successful at learning piano. Learn how to pick an instrument; decide whether to use a traditional teacher, an online course, books, or an app; and figure out what mindset you need to accomplish your desires and goals.