The Best Ways to Teach Kids how to Play Piano at Home
We all know that piano lessons can often be very expensive, so we thought why not try to find out what fun stuff is out there to help you teach your kids piano on the cheap. So here is our best effort to find all the best piano stuff for teaching kids to play the piano in the comfort of your own home!
Best Learn to Play Piano Software for Kids
There is a great selection of software around to teach kids how to play piano, but what is the best one to get? We checked out a few different software packages for teaching kids to play the piano. They were:
- Children’s Music Journey by Adventus
- Keyboard Tots at Pianomother.com
- Piano is Fun.com
- Piano Suite Premier
- Piano Academy Wizard
- The Soft Way to Mozart by SoftMozart
From the above list of software based on reviews, user comments, awards and articles we narrowed it down to two choices Children’s Music Journey and Piano Wizard Academy. Since most people agree that no one system/program method works best for every student we are choosing two ‘best piano software’ options to check out and our reasons for each choice.
- Choice number #1- Children’s Music Journey (ages 4-10) This software describes itself as the #1 Learn-to-play piano lesson software for kids. It has won a ton of awards from parenting, educational software and elementary music organizations. The seven-year curriculum includes 20+ levels for beginner to advanced intermediate piano students. The Lesson Plans include detailed lesson objectives, activity sheets, quizzes and assessments plus hundreds of helpful tips from experienced educators. Cost: They offer a few different options for purchase you can get Volume 1 & Keyboard $169.99 or buy the volumes separately for $69.99 or use their MusIQHomeSchool and get unlimited full feature access for $10.95/month. Reason for this choice: The number of accolades from the various organizations is a huge factor in our choice but the main reason is the cost. The option for a monthly subscription and free 7 day trial options also make is very worthwhile choice for families who are trying to their keep costs down while still introducing the piano to their kids.
- Choice number #2- Piano Wizard Academy is a little different than some of the other software out there because it is a game. This is what it website says about it “When you play the game, you are having fun, unknowingly practicing, and subliminally learning to read music too. The game’s patented sound and color learning cues transform tedious and repetitive practice sessions into an exciting and rewarding video game experience for people of all ages and musical abilities. The initial goal of Piano Wizard is not to teach the technical aspects of music, but to engender a familiarity with music, how it is structured and played, and to develop the enthusiasm for learning to play the piano keyboard.” People seem to really like this software it has great reviews to back it up. Cost $599 For Family Pack Complete that includes USB Keyboard with USB cable or Family Software Plus pack that does not include the keyboard for $499. Both packages offer a 30 day money back guarantee Reason for this choice: The reason we included Piano Wizard as a choice basically because of the great reviews and more specifically because it was chosen as 2012 Top Ten Reviews number one pick for the best piano playing software. This is what they said about this software “Don’t let the price of the complete Academy package deter you. A year of private piano instruction will cost you much more and won’t include a keyboard, games, or the lesson books. The lesson books provide detailed instructions for both students and parent/teachers on how to use each lesson for the maximum benefit of the budding pianist.”
Best Piano Books for Kids
There are lots of books around that are useful for teaching kids piano, the type of book that we are looking for is one that will be helpful for an adult with little or no musical experience who is teaching a kid to play the piano. The books that we have researched for this purpose are:
- Alfred’s Basic Piano Library: Prep Course Lesson Level A – These very popular books are often used by piano teachers with their students. The lessons in the book build upon music theory not only teaching children how to play but teaching them the theories behind the music.
- Music for Little Mozarts: Music Workbook One and Alfred Music for Little Mozarts – Music Lesson Book 1 by Christine Barden is another very popular selection for piano teachers to use with students.
- My First Piano Adventure, Lesson Book A with CD (ages 5-6) and My First Piano Adventure, Writing Book A are a couple of books written by Nancy and Randall Faber. My First Piano Adventure books are designed to begin use around age five, and are used by many piano teachers for their students. When you complete My First Piano Adventure you can move on to Piano Adventures.
- John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course – Part 1 - and Teaching Little Fingers to Play: A Book for the Earliest Beginner (John Thompsons Modern Course for The Piano) by John Thompson are great beginning piano programs designed to be used with a child as young as four to five years old. These books combine a rote memory and note approach to playing the piano and they have nicely illustrated pages that are appealing to young children.
- Piano-K, Play the Self-teaching Piano Game for Kids. Level 1. Level 1 self-teaching game-book for children which does not require any previous music skills and the only one that integrates colors and figures into the score, and their matching stickers on the keyboard.
For our purposes the choice for the best book to help teach kids piano where the neither the parent nor the child have any musical training is Piano-K, Play the Self-teaching Piano Game for Kids. Level 1.
Free Online Piano Lesson for Kids
Here are a few free alternatives to help your kids learn piano if you aren’t up for spending any money:
- Little Composers develops and publishes free online music lessons for kids so that parents can introduce their children to music, composition and improvisation.
- Zebra Keys for ages 13+ offer over 50 free online piano lessons.
- Children’s Music Workshop have a simple free keyboard lesson.
- Free Piano Lessons for Kids have some really good online video lessons for kids.
Best Apps that Help Kids Learn Piano
- Pluto Learns Piano has some pretty great awards/accolades behind it. On the site Best App Ever it was voted Best Music Teaching App in 2011. In a review on iphoneappreview the review says “Pluto Learns Piano HD is interesting, well made and a lot of fun. It’s not going to teach children about note values or reading time signatures, but it does familiarize them with the piano and many classic songs.”
- KinderBach: Simply Discover Piano for kids 3-7 has a method of teaching very young children to actually play piano, read notes, learn intervals rhythm, & music patterns. FunEducationalApps said of this app in a review “Overall, Classroom KinderBach: School Version is a top musical app offering a complete program for kids to learn and enjoy how to play piano and core music principles. It uses a friendly interface with fun and engaging videos, practice using your own keyboard/piano or mini on screen keyboard.”
A few Other Resources to Learn Piano to Keep in Mind:
- Simply Music Piano is a comprehensive piano learning program that includes over 60 digital lessons
- Piano for Preschoolers is a system that teaches children to read real music notes and play the piano for ages 3-8.
- Piano for Kids at Home offers a few free lessons to try out and then you can become a member of the site for $10 a month and if you become a member you access to more games, pictures, stories, and other fun stuff to help maintain interest in the instruction.
- Piano Wizard Academy
- Common Sense Media