Most piano teachers have experienced that moment of being with an excited child at the piano for the first time.
Perhaps it’s your own child. Perhaps you’ve overheard a child playing something by ear and come to join them. Perhaps they are just showing an eagerness to explore by “mucking around” on the keys.
Whether it’s a formal first lesson or just a moment in time at an event or family gathering, you want this moment to be fun, exciting and magical.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a few things up your sleeve and some easy piano songs that you can work through with the child, that doesn’t involve a method book and learning Middle C.
I call these moments “quick wins”.
They are activities that, in a really short space of time, will fill your child with joy and light a fire in them for more music-making fun.
One of the best quick wins is to quickly teach the child a familiar tune by rote. It’s quick, relatively easy and has an instant and lasting impact.
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Here’s a breakdown of the 5 easy piano songs that I have chosen for today’s post.
These are songs you can teach any beginner piano student.
We have notated four of these songs for today’s free download. You can find that at the end of this post.
Although it might sound boring and simple, for a student who has never played an instrument before, it can be fantastic.
It’s not hard to play and it can be one you and your students work out together by ear too!
An absolute favourite among beginner and new piano students!
This is a crowd pleaser and one that is sure to put a smile on your students’ faces.
It’s totally recognisable and will help build confidence in those new beginner piano students.
Another easy one to teach any student by rote, and it has some black notes and interesting rhythms too.
It’s again instantly recognisable to most children and the idea of this activity is to get your new students to see the magic of piano, this one will certainly help.
I think every student should be able to play this, and I love getting students to actually learn this by ear.
This is a great activity and I would encourage all teachers to get their students to try and learn well-known tunes like this with their ear.
Plus, what a great party trick for your beginner students to be able to play happy birthday at home or with their friends!
The final one is this famous nursery rhyme. It follows a very simple scale in C and you can work out this one by ear too.
The idea of today’s blog post is to provide you with some easy piano songs that any student can play.
If you’re not sure what to do in your first piano lesson with a new student, this is a great way to get a brand new beginner piano student exploring some keys and playing recognisable tunes.
We have transcribed the melody of four of the five songs mentioned in today’s post. Unfortunately, we can’t show The Simpsons due to copyright, but what a great excuse to learn it by ear!
What famous tunes would you add to this list? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Tim Topham has one mission in life: to stem the tide of children quitting music lessons by helping teachers maximise student engagement through creativity, technology and innovation. Tim hosts the popular Creative Piano Teaching Podcast, blogs regularly at timtopham.com and speaks at local and international conferences on topics such as pedagogy, business, marketing and entrepreneurship. Tim has been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher Magazine, Californian Music Teacher and EPTA Piano Professional. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.