Most people start to learn the piano when they are quite young. They will have no idea of what lies before them in terms of dedication and practice to be able to play well. Some will pick it up quicker than others. But for some, it will be a struggle.
So what should be the 10 First & Easiest Songs You Should Learn on Piano? Let’s find out…
I Wanna Play a Tune
That is usually the first target, and often something said very early into their keyboard life. They want to be able to play something. Sometimes the very first time, they sit down in front of the keys. But we all know it isn’t that easy.
For a starter at whatever age, the most important thing is to enjoy it. That is number one. If they enjoy it, they will have fun practicing. That results in them getting better.
But there will be bad times along the way. That is when they might need to fall back on being able to play something, whatever it is. Therefore the aim is to get them playing something they can relate to. Even sing along with. But certainly something they recognize.
Bach, Mozart, Beethoven – I don’t think so…
The first question they are likely to ask is who? That comes later when they might appreciate who and what they are. Classical composers did not write simple pieces. And when I see Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” as a suggestion for a complete beginner, it is worth a smile. Telling kids, it’s the “karaoke version” because there are no words isn’t going to cut it.
Much better to keep it simple. Very simple. And to let them play things they will recognize. So you won’t find any of the great Classical composers here. That comes a bit later. There is, though, at least one great contemporary composer included.
I have tried to give it some variety. Some fun, some film, nursery rhymes, celebration music, and others they can learn for themselves and their family. Oh, and there won’t be any Jerry Lee Lewis either, that will also come a bit further down the road. So, let’s take a look…
1 – Chopsticks
This is where the basics begin. It’s one of the easiest songs to play on piano. It just takes two fingers and can be played at whatever tempo is suitable for the player. What is interesting about this little tune is that once the players have mastered it, then there are some interesting variations.
As it is so basic, it is a great way to learn harmony lines, even at an early stage. This can show the pupil how different notes will vary the sound. It also allows the teacher to introduce extra fingers on both hands as the student progresses. A great song for new piano players to learn and then play around with.
2 – Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Everyone knows this, and it should be included early in the learning process. It is not a modern ‘Disney’ tune as some think. It is a French tune from the 1700s coupled with British lyrics written 50 years after.
This is one of the best songs beginner piano players can learn and sing along to. Being so familiar with the tune it will make the learning process much easier. Don’t worry that some are going to say, “but this is a little kids song.” Yes, it is, but there are starter piano players at every age. In terms of the piano, that is what the pupil is.
This is a great little tune that allows the player to learn it quite quickly. And feel they have accomplished something. That is an important thing.
3 – Happy Birthday To You
Another tune that everybody will know. I have included this for two reasons. Firstly because it means learning some better left-hand shapes. But secondly, because how good is the new player going to feel when they play it at a family gathering for the first time.
It is not about self-importance; it is about self-confidence and self-appreciation. For a young player, a few months into their piano life to play for the family with everyone singing along. How encouraging to the player is that? A great tune to learn early on and one that will start to improve their skills.
4 – Jingle bells
A song many people sing at Christmas even though it isn’t strictly a Christmas song. No matter. Sleighs, snow, what else do you need? This is included for two reasons again.
Firstly, because it is a song that can be played with all the family or friends singing along. But also because it has a set tempo with a left hand that is quite basic and simple. Being so repetitive allows the player to begin to value the importance of playing with two hands.
5 – Silent Night
While on the subject of Christmas celebrations. This is a good example of an easy-to-learn tune that most people will know. Again another song that you may find family or friends want to sing along with the player.
I have included this piece because, firstly, it’s a very easy to learn piano song with only white keys. But secondly, it is very much a Legato piece. This could entail the use of the sustain pedal on the piano for the first time if they can reach it.
It is a song full of emotion and needs to be played carefully. Good for a new player to learn different forms of expression using the instrument. It uses a ¾ timing.
6 – Away in a Manger
A last look at a simple Christmas song and again one that most will know. It is an easy song to play with only eight notes played by the right hand. But it is also a tune that allows the player to make it sound very effective and pleasing to the ear. Another song in 3/4 time.
7 – Edelweiss
Let’s move into the world of film with a song written by a great composer, Richard Rodgers. Contrary to some opinions, this song does not date back into Austrian folklore and history. Although, the Edelweiss flower itself is common to Austria and other Alpine locations.
It was written especially for the Sound of Music. A beautiful song that is nicely constructed and quite easy to play. It is in ¾ time.
8 – Amazing Grace
Going back in time, this was a religious song with words written by a British poet in 1772. It, of course, has become popular in modern idioms as well. Especially the version from Aretha Franklin. As a piece, it is also written in ¾ time but with much ceremonial to the way it is played.
The melody is subtle and gentle and complements the chord patterns played by the left hand. The chords have more than two notes, but they are well spaced and give the students time to position their fingers. In that respect, a good song to learn to encourage accurate work with the left hand.
9 – It’s A Small World
This is from the Disney ride in their theme parks. A simple little song about peace and friendship to all. A good piece to learn for a player who is improving, it has work to do with both left and right hand.
But it also allows the student to pick their own tempo. They can start slowly and then speed up as they get better. A great little song to sing along to.
10 – Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Let’s finish up 10 First & Easiest Songs You Should Learn on Piano with a bit of fun. While it is fun and is a song where the player can involve others, it has a serious side. The fun is that it jogs along at a nice pace and encourages people to join in with the animal noises.
The serious side is that the tempo will be a test for the progressing player. There is a strong left hand and a melody line to play. But there are also chord breaks and emphases at the end of each verse.
Need More Help or Advice about Learning Music?
We have experts who can point you in the right direction. Check out our detailed guides on 6 Easiest Musical Instruments for Adults to Learn, Tips for Memorizing Music, Exercises and Tips For Better Finger Dexterity, 8 Best Guitar Games to Help You Learn Guitar, and How to Play Drums for helpful hints and tips.
Also, have a look at our in-depth articles on 10 Easy Songs to Learn on Bass, 10 Easy Songs to Learn on the Electric Guitar for Beginners, Odd Time Signatures, and What is Considered a String Instrument for more useful information.
And don’t miss our comprehensive Piano For All Review, our Melissa & Doug Learn-to-Play Classic Grand Piano Review, our Best Acoustic Guitars For Beginners review, our Digital Pianos For Beginners, and our Best Beginner Electric Guitar Packages for more great items you can buy in 2021.
10 First & Easiest Songs You Should Learn on Piano – Final Thoughts
This is all subjective, of course. Another teacher will prefer to do things in other ways. That is a good thing. It would be very boring if every teacher taught everything the same way.
If you have a toddler who is too young but is still showing interest in the piano? Then try this:
Maybe they are a teenager, or at high school, then this will be a good option:
Or maybe you are finally going to get round to doing it after all these years. This is going to help:
These days there is so much help and information around to help you in your musical journey.
Have fun. And let the music play.