Things Instructors Should Include in a First Piano Lesson | Piano Marvel

Things Instructors Should Include in a First Piano Lesson


Thinking of your first day as a piano instructor can feel incredibly intimidating. Here are things instructors should include in a first piano lesson.

Despite the fact that you have a love for piano and a passion for sharing it, educating others can be quite intimidating. What's more, no matter how many students you have instructed in your journey, a new student can pose an interesting challenge. As an instructor, you must learn how to adapt to and accommodate each of your students. Here are things instructors should include in a first piano lesson.

Before the First Lesson

The first lesson with any student can be a jumble of nerves and anxiety for everyone. While exciting, you never know what to expect. You may receive a student who has never touched a piano, or you might have a student who has some experience. It is important to know where students are at in their understanding of playing the piano, as this will set the stage for how to proceed in the first lesson with them. 

Ask Questions

Before meeting with a student, you might consider reaching out and asking some questions about what experience he or she has with playing the piano. For example, you may want to ask about how many years of piano playing the student has or what he or she is familiar with. Keep in mind that there are many different approaches to teaching, so it is also a good idea to ask each student about the teaching styles and dynamics of previous instructors. A piano player's previous instructor creates the foundation on which your teachings will stand. Asking your new students about previous teaching styles can also help you to adapt in a way that is best for them. 

Utilize Experience

Some may feel that taking on a student who is completely new to the piano is much easier because you have a blank slate to work with. However, this mindset shouldn't discourage one from taking on students with experience. It also doesn’t mean you should discount what students with prior experience have learned. 

While it may be easier for you to teach a student with no prior piano-playing experience, it can actually be much more challenging for your student if you discredit their knowledge and previous instructors. You want to make sure your student loves and continues to love the beautiful art of piano playing. As such, ensure you utilize their experience and start at the level they are at. 

The Piano Marvel Method

We have established that it is important to work with your students no matter their level, but how is this done effectively? It can become confusing and overwhelming juggling a multitude of students, all at different levels—and that is where we can help. 

At Piano Marvel, we are as passionate about piano playing as you are, which is why we made our app to help students and instructors alike. Our piano lessons app for iPads exists to help assist you in instructing your students, no matter their level. When you use the Piano Marvel method, it will provide your students with several tools that can help them excel and boost their experience, progressing consistently at a comfortable pace. Our software is designed to benefit any student of any level.

Blank Slate

The beginning of learning to play the piano is quite a crucial time, when students learn essential building blocks they will utilize for the rest of their piano-playing life. As a result, you are now responsible for guiding these budding piano players along their journey—and feeling nervousness is completely normal! So, if you find that your student is completely new to piano playing, then there are some things you should include in their first piano lesson.


One of the first things you should do is introduce yourself to your new student. Don't dive right into teaching just yet, but rather, dedicate the initial part of the lesson to getting to know each other. A proper introduction goes a long way in establishing a comfortable student-teacher dynamic. 

You will also get to know the student’s personality better as you converse, which is incredibly useful in creating your lesson plan. Make sure to include a variety of icebreakers and questions, as this will also ease your student’s anxieties. 

The Basics

Once you have your introduction down, you can get right into showing your student the basics of piano playing. The basics of the piano can cover a wide range of things, but for your first meeting, try to keep it as simple as possible so as not to overwhelm your budding pianist. 

Proper Form

Have your student sit at the piano and acclimate to what it feels like to be at the helm of this incredible instrument. There's a sense of excitement and power sitting at a piano as though it is waiting to come alive. 

You should also teach them proper posture, pedaling, and correct piano fingering during this time. It is important that your students feel comfortable at a piano, as they will spend many hours practicing there.

Musical Alphabet

As you teach piano fingering, you might also consider introducing them to the musical alphabet and finger-number system. Learning the musical alphabet and finger-number system can be quite challenging, so you might want to utilize some educational tools to assist them. You can write the numbers on their fingers in washable marker, or you might want to put clear tape on the keys and mark them if your students are visual learners. 

Home Base

During this part of the lesson, it will be quite easy to incorporate an introduction to the most foundational and basic note on the piano, Middle C. As you know, Middle C will be their home base for the foreseeable future, so your students should become familiar with it as soon as possible.

Play Something

As the lesson comes to a close, your student is likely itching to move his or her fingers and make a melody come to life. You want to continually foster your students’ excitement, as it beckons them to new grounds. You may want to consider introducing a simple piece to your students that is easy to play. The familiar tune, "Peter, Peter", for example, is one such piece, which can also be found in Piano Marvel's vast library of music. It is in the Method section in Level 1-C, Exercises 1-8. This is a fantastic way to teach them many musical concepts that could become confusing without the help of a good melody. 

To help you find music to start with, our app has thousands of pieces available for your students to dive right into playing. The best part is that they can continue their studies and learn new songs with our app in between their lessons with you. When you use our app, your students always have an opportunity to excel no matter where or when. You will find yourself amazed at how much your pupils can learn with the help of the Piano Marvel method.


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