For years I tried to motivate my students and children to learn piano by forging through the antiquated method books. It seemed like an upward battle trying to get my students to practice because they should want to learn piano, right?
Only in the last few years has it become clear that if I had an arsenal of ‘cool pieces’ they wanted to learn they would become excited about the learning process. I have since found many pieces that have become my ‘student saver’ pieces. Instead of falling off the wagon and quitting piano, my students have become inspired and can’t wait to get to the piano!
Knowing the right song we can learn as a student or assign as a teacher is one of the secrets of piano motivation. From lesson 1 it is important that we have pieces that draw us to the piano and keep the journey exciting.
When a student is starting piano, I have a few pieces I teach by rote that students love. Peter Peter is a favorite I start teaching at their first lesson:
Within the first month or so I love to teach Classical Showdown. My 6 year old Nathan became passionate about piano because of this song:
While you are there, I would suggest subscribing to the channel, ‘The Pianist’. The founders of Piano Marvel have done a great job simplifying the most popular piano songs that students love to learn. They add 1 or 2 new songs every week that you and your students can learn.
Here is a fantastic resource of pieces that are fun and cool, but are simple and quick to learn for any student at any level: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1UirOZBYar7owymNc9PGmORH-wzXiAGV4CqIFvqtBXQY/edit#gid=0
Whether a student is wanting to learn Beauty and the Beast, Perfect by Ed Sheeran, Fur Elise by Beethoven, or Bohemian Rhapsody, it is nice to have a resource like Piano Marvel that has different levels of difficulty for all of your favorite songs you want to learn. The app also breaks up a piece into bite size pieces to make cool pieces possible for the beginning and intermediate pianist.
You can create a free account and login to the library at PianoMarvel.com and can print many of these awesome songs for free on that site.
Make sure you take a few SASR Sight Reading Tests while you are there so you can advance to the level where you can play any song you would like to learn!