How to Teach Piano to a 5-Year-Old and The Best Beginning Piano Books

Recently, a friend asked me: Is it too young to teach a child piano? My friend is also a piano instructor and was asked to teach this age group.

This post will show you how to teach piano to a 5-year-old using the techniques I’ve tried. I’ll also share some of my favorite resources and beginner books for piano for five year-olds.

Teaching a child piano can be difficult, whether you are a parent trying to teach your child or a teacher teaching young students. However, don’t give up! Your child’s development will be significantly aided by music.


Each child is unique, but most children learn to play the piano between the age of five and nine. These are the years when a child absorbs new information like a sponge.

I’ve taught many 5-year-old children, the youngest being 4. My experience shows that five years old is the best age to teach a child how to play an instrument. I’ll explain why in this article.


Each student learns differently and is unique. As a teacher, differentiation is a critical skill that I have learned to achieve success.

A variety of benefits can be gained from learning to play the piano children. Early learning of instruments can help children develop better memory, listening skills, and fine motor skills.

It can be challenging to teach a child a new instrument.

Is “MY” 5-year-old child ready to learn piano?

These characteristics will help determine your child’s readiness to learn an instrument.

  • Manual dexterity
  • Hand size
  • A genuine interest in learning

Children younger than five years old may be unable to use the piano’s manual dexterity. To learn the piano, a child must be able to move each finger individually to press the keys.

Hand size can also impact a child’s ability to play. Your child should have enough space in their hands to reach the keys with all fingers.

Your child may only be interested in learning how to play the piano if they are interested. Many five-year-olds are eager to learn.


Your child should be familiar with the keys and learn basic concepts during their first lesson. The following are some of the most critical areas that are usually covered in the first lesson:

  • Use age-appropriate vocabulary
  • Left and right
  • The finger-numbering system
  • Groupings of black keys
  • The musical alphabet
  • Finger position


If you don’t know your student, get to know them. Keep in mind that you’re speaking to a young child. Use words they can understand. Introduce more complicated musical words gradually, one at a time.


Is the child able to tell right from left? Start with this if they don’t. Now, sit on your right side and tell them that the right hand is the one closest to you. You can teach right and left to your child in many different ways, but learning piano will help you remember.


Begin by teaching your child the numbers of the piano. These numbers are in sheet music, indicating which finger should be used for each note.

Each hand has a range of numbers from one to five. The thumb is number 1, while the pinky is number 5. (See the image.


After counting to five with each hand, you can introduce the black key groups. This requires pattern recognition, just like the math lessons your child will likely learn in school. Children love patterns! Ask your child to point out the groups of three and two black keys.


Next, introduce the musical alphabet. It consists of seven letters (A-G).

You can purchase essential piano labels, but limit your use to the first few lessons. The child must be able to recognize the keys without them, so it is best to avoid them.


These basic concepts will allow your child to begin working on finger placement and learning their first song.

This little piece can be used if the child is familiar with C, D, and E. Look at how easily Mary had a little Lamb to play when the finger placement is correct. You can download the PDF version of this little song here.


Choose a book suitable for young children. Children love pictures and colors. Below is a list of recommended books for pianos.

You can also use other visual aids or resources to enhance the lessons.

Children love games and playtime. Include plenty of play time in your lesson. This can be done in many ways. Below are some resources that are useful on Amazon.

Print them out – you can make colorful posters and laminated sheets to aid your lesson. Think of other musical facts the child might know to help you remember.



Click here to view my free worksheets for practicing reading notation and finding keys on the keyboard. The second worksheet’s finding notes color codes correspond to the ones used by Prodigies in their Chromanotes piano Stick-Ons.

I recommend Prodigies music/piano courses to kids. They are educational, fun, and motivational for children learning any instrument. Even a 30-day trial is possible before you commit.


Yes, you can! You should! Take it one step at a time.

Translating what you’re learning into a more straightforward language will be necessary. Break down music terminology and use words children understand.

For children this age, colorful books and books with tunes they can sing along to are best. A simple book is what they need to get started. Having their book will encourage them to continue learning.


A piano book is a great way to teach your child how to play the piano. A piano book for children provides a comprehensive guide for teaching basic concepts such as the musical alphabet and critical groups.

These are some of the best beginner piano books for children aged 5.

WP230 Piano for the Young Beginner Primer A – Beginner Lessons for Children

Bastien Piano Basics includes the Primer Series. Bastien Piano books were first published over a century ago. They are still the most widely used books on piano for beginners.

The Primer A book includes many lessons and explains how to read sheet music. Children can learn the first songs with very little guidance.

These books have been used for years by piano teachers to teach children the basics. The first thing your child learns is the number of fingers, then how to position their fingers and read staff notes.

All the songs are simple and marked with numbers and notes. Once your child has completed the lessons, they can go on to the next book. This complete system will help them master the piano.

Beginning Piano Lessons for Children

This book features over a dozen of the most popular songs and provides simple arrangements for children that they can master.

This book is for children aged 5-11 years old. However, children must already be familiar with finger placement and notes.

These lessons are intended to teach children songs quickly. They start with the right hand, then add the left thumb, and finally, both hands.

The large, easy-to-read sheet music is an excellent resource for children. It has all the notes and fingers marked. The book also offers access to online videos covering the same lessons.

Alfred Basic Music Library Course Pack Level 1A

This set of four books includes everything you need to introduce the keyboard or piano to your child.

The first book covers basic piano topography. It focuses on simple rhythms and prepares children for more advanced concepts.

The theory book also includes quizzes and games to reinforce concepts from the first book.

After completing the series, your child should be able to play the most popular classic piano songs, such as Mary Had a Little Lamb.

Teaching Little Fingers To Play: A Book For the Beginner

This book is one of the most popular beginner piano books for children aged five years and older. It offers a simple structure that every child can understand.

Most songs in the book can be played with one hand, while the melodies are simple enough to be remembered.

Every page presents a new concept or melody to practice and learn. No matter your age, the pictures are bright and easy to follow.

You will also find stickers to label the keys and piano.

Piano Book for Kids 5 & Up – Beginner Level

This colorful book has been beautifully illustrated by Professor Damon Ferrante, especially for children aged five and over.

This book contains lesson basics, diagrams, and the first pieces.

Click the image to visit Amazon, where you can view the book ‘inside.’


Prodigies piano lesson. The colorful sheet music is a hit with kids, and the video lessons are designed for them. Music courses are fun and teach basic music principles in a way that sparks interest.

flowkey is another excellent online interactive learning platform. Their motto is “learn piano by listening to the songs you love,” which is precisely what this app does. You can try the app for free, or if you’re the proud owner of a Yamaha, you get three months free.


Even though lessons are short, teaching piano to a 5-year-old requires a lot of planning. Start with the basics.

Lessons should be kept short, at most twenty- or thirty-minute sessions. It is essential to teach them little and often. They will learn more if you keep their attention.

Flashcards can be used in conjunction with other methods. Flashcards can be used to introduce songs. Bright, colorful cards can make it a lot more fun.

Remember, having fun with learning is the best way to teach children! When the activity becomes boring or repetitive, children lose interest. Keep lessons brief and fun. You can instruct your child in music appreciation and learning with the right approach.


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