Top piano books for teaching and learning piano (for teachers & students)

begin piano books

Piano Books: Suggested reading for Piano & Keyboard Students. These books have been proven to be successful for teaching and for learning piano. Find the best selection of piano method books, piano sheet music & songbooks, theory books, recital books, and more, to help you better your skills. You will need these books in your library if you want to excel at playing the piano.

Piano is among the most popular musical instruments in the world, and there are a lot of people who want to learn to play the piano. Here we will list down the bestselling piano books, for various categories of students and skill levels.

Why Do You Need Piano Books?

  • We all have been trained to read books and learn from books, so students, irrespective of their ages will always be attract towards books.
  • Its easy to carry around and you can easily go to some specific page in the book that interests you. If you don’t have access to a full time teacher, you can still continue with your learning using books.
  • Most piano lesson books are nowadays accompanied by CDs so that you can listen to the exercises, which makes them even more useful.
  • Despite the availability of several piano learning software, piano instruction books have their own charm and makes sense if you wish to learn certain topics in detail.
  • There are lots of books that are able to get the point across, which is what most piano students are really after.

Piano Books are not just for beginners
While there are several good piano books that are aimed at beginners (to learn the piano), intermediate/advanced players can find some excellent piano books focused on specific topics (playing in specific style, runs/ riffs, chord substitutions, composing, and more).

And here we have listed some great books, that you will actually use (and keep on referring for a long time).
These will actually get used (by piano students and piano teachers) and you can trust these inside and out.

Issues with Piano Books

Some of the piano books try to rush into the matter much quickly, even before the basic concepts are cleared.

The worst culprits are the adult learning books, which will introduce complex concepts (rhythmic patterns, songs,etc), even before the adult learner is confident with the simpler concepts. This results in frustration because things appear much more difficult.

The books that we talk about here begin at a complete beginner level, and then they work through the more difficult things. But since they build progressively, it’s definitely doable.

Its important to buy piano music books, after checking their content, and what segment of users it targets – Is it for kids, adult beginners, intermediate players, focuses on specific techniques, and so on.

Best Piano Books: Get Started Right Away

The best piano music books for beginners, as well as for intermediate players who want to advance their skills. I know you have already spent a lot on the instrument and now you need to shell out money on books as well.

Piano Music Books But that is how new things are learnt (may be sports is an exception, though not completely). If you are a beginner then you have lots of options, just visit any music store and pick up a beginner piano book; it should keep you busy for a few months.

But as you progress, you will need books which will help you in your areas of improvement or may be you will need piano music books that have pieces based on the style that you like.

In either case, it is better to do some homework before you buy or else you may be disappointed with the contents later.

Piano Books for Beginners

Beginner Piano Books are usually for the absolute beginners. They will start right from the basics, introduce to simple chords and will teach you to play simple songs.

Teaching Little Fingers to Play: A Book for the Earliest Beginner by John Thompson – This is a wonderful first piano book for kids. The songs are arranged in the perfect order of difficulty and each song teaches something new to the student.

Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course by Willard A. Palmer – This is a great “beginner piano book” irrespective of whether you are an adult or not! You can also look at the other Piano books in the ‘Alfred’ series of books.

Piano for Dummies by Blake Neely – Gives you a good overview on Piano/Keyboards. It is suited more for adults than for kids. Written in a humorous way but does not contain lots of exercise/songs!

More piano books for beginners:
Alfreds basic piano course lesson series
Alfreds basic piano course theory series
Hal Leonard Student Piano Library (Book 1)
Ultimate beginner series (Alfred)
Faber music piano adventures
Piano for Dummies

Books for Intermediate to Advanced Players

How to Play Piano Despite Years of Lessons by Ward Cannel & Fred Marx – A truly entertaining approach to learning how to play the piano, it breaks down music theory into visual concepts which are fun and easy to grasp.

The Piano Handbook: A Complete Guide for Mastering Piano by Carl Humphries – Another great book for advanced players! It contains information on all aspects of piano – history, brands, theory, styles, etc. It also gives you hundreds of songs to play.

Dan Coates Complete / Advanced Piano Solos by Dan Coates – Most satisfying Piano music book for advanced players. The songs are challenging and contain some beautiful arrangements.

Advanced Piano Solos Christmas Encyclopedia – Very good collection of solo piano Christmas music! This book is more for intermediate level players (difficulty wise) than for very advanced players.

Style based Books

Once you have gained some mastery over the Piano, you would also want to have a look at style based books to improve your playing further. These are some of the books which you could go through. Of course, at this stage it should be comparatively easy for you to decide if a particular book suits you or not.

The Library of Piano Classics
The Pop Piano Book – by Mark Harrison
The Jazz Piano Book – by Mark Levine

More Books

Naked on the Bench: My Adventures in Pianoland
This is a great read for those in the entertainment business, or even if you just like a great read! Robin Spielberg plays the piano, writes music, and acts, and now she writes great books too!

Waltz of the Asparagus People: The Further Adventures of Piano Girl
Life is full of funny moments, but it also has its wrenching times, and the author shares some of those. Her reflections are humorous and human and her words paint unforgettable images and stories. A new laugh out loud book by the Piano Girl! If you read her first book, you already know you need this one. If you haven’t, you should read them both. Caution, known to cause uncontrollable laughter!

Piano Lessons: A Memoir
Its not a ‘learn to play piano’ book! The author, Goldsworthy provides a well-balanced perspective on music and music competitions. Its well written and compelling to read for anyone interested in music and particularly if you ever aspired to be a concert pianist. The book looks at her experiences as she went from beginner to concert pianist. Although many things came relatively easy to her (she breezed through academics), she quickly learned there is a lot more to playing piano at the top levels than merely being able to play the notes.

Piano Method Books

Method books cover a bit of everything, starting from the basics. These are all-in-one books that cover everything – basics, theory, technique, songs, and more. A piano method book takes you through various concepts step-by-step, and also provides you with music/songs for variety.

Popular piano Method books include those from Alfred’s, Bastien, John W. Schaum, John Thompson, Piano Adventures, Suzuki Piano School.

Top piano method books (few have been listed under ‘Adult piano books’):

Faber piano method books
Clark Method (The Music Tree)
Suzuki Piano school


Piano methodbooks on on Sheetmusicplus


Piano Books for Kids

Piano Books for kids will differ from those for adults in the following:

  • Kids piano books will be more colorful (in terms of look and feel)
  • Kids books will have more nursery rhymes whereas adult piano books will have popular songs
  • Adult piano books usually have more coverage of topics

Top children’s piano books:

Teaching little fingers to play (for small kids)
Music for Little Mozarts
John Thompson’s easiest piano course Part 1
My first keyboard – Learn to play: Kids

Adult Piano Books

In the case of adults, most of the time, the desire to learn to play the piano is all of a sudden. They will just stumble across a piano or see someone playing the piano, and it will get them interested.

They need books that will over the basics in a clear and easy to understand way, and will have some popular songs, laid down in a simple manner.

Adult Piano Books contain chapters on reading notes, playing basic melodies, and allows you to move on further to more intricate pieces.

Top piano books for adults:

Adult all-in-one course: Lesson-Theory-Technic: Level 1 (Alfreds)
Alfred’s basic adult piano course: Lesson book, level one
Adult piano adventures all-in-one piano course book 1
Alfreds self-teaching adult piano course
Bastien piano for adults, 1 book
Adult piano adventures All-in-one

Piano Music Books

Piano music books are great if you want to build your repertoire of songs. You can choose piano music books for particular genre, music composer, or from 70s, 80s and so on.

You can use piano music books to learn new songs, to learn songs of particular composers, genres, time-periods, and so on. Most of these songbooks and sheet music are arranged for the piano and voice with guitar chord frames.

Find artist folios, fake books, composer collections, Broadway vocal selections, EKM (Easy Electronic Keyboard Music), organ publications, and more.

Choose from a huge catalogue of music books for piano.

Big book of Beginners piano classics
The library of piano classics
The Disney collection (Easy piano series)
A first book of Christmas songs for the beginning pianist.


Christmas songs for piano on Sheetmusicplus


Also read: Popular Piano Music Books

Piano Sheet Music Books

These usually cover songs based on some theme or genre, and are great for practicing and for reading music.

Alfred Piano Books

Alfred Music Publishing is the world’s largest educational music publisher and a leading name in the world of piano education.

Alfred’s range of Piano Books include method books, music theory books, piano library, teachers resources, adult piano courses, and more.

Also read: Alfreds piano methods

Bastien Piano Books

Another leading name in piano education is Bastien.

You will find a range of piano books, beginner books, adult books, that cover music theory, performance and playing techniques.

Also read: Bastien Piano Methods.

Final Thoughts

Music is a popular topic and there’s a huge assortment of books that is dedicated to music education, including several on learning to play the piano. Some of these books are excellent and will help you develop your skills further. In fact, there are several beginner books that come with an accompanying CD/DVD that gives you an idea of how the various exercises and songs are ideally supposed to sound, which makes it much easier to learn. Such courses put it all together, so in addition to reading a book, you can also hear the instructions and see those demonstrations on your own TV or computer screen.

Doesn’t matter if you’re already taking lessons in a music school or self-studying using some piano software, these piano books are great resources to further sharpen your skills and to hone your talent. So do check them out.

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