The 5 Best Beginner Piano Books for Adults

  1. Looking for the best method book to learn the piano? This article covers the best beginner piano books for adults and provides quick links for purchase online.
Best Beginner Piano Books for Adults Cover Image.

Adults and children learn the piano differently. Adults want to know “why” they are learning what they are learning, whereas kids are content as long as things are fun and easy. As an adult, it’s best to choose a piano book that is created specifically for adults.

The following books can be worked on alone or with the help of a piano teacher. For piano book suggestions for kids specifically, see The 5 Best Piano Books for Beginners (Kids).

Nancy Faber: Adult Piano Adventures All-in-One Piano Course Book 1

Buy Online (approx. USD 15.00)

Faber is a piano teacher’s favourite when it comes to piano method books. This all-in-one adult piano course provides the adult beginner with a step-by-step understanding of how to learn the piano, starting with how to read music, and progressing toward playing complete pieces with the hands together.

How it works:

This book is structured with music theory lessons that are followed by songs that allow you to put the theory into practice. The first section of the book teaches you how to read music notation in the treble and bass clef. After, it covers how to identify chords (3 notes or more played at the same time) and how they fit into the overall harmony of a piece.

Songs covered in this book

It features an interesting mix of songs that range from classical pieces (Eine Kleine Nachtmusik) to popular songs (The Lion Sleeps Tonight), to Ragtime (the Entertainer) and more.

Each piece is adapted to the beginner level, making it easy to learn, while still being recognizable and enjoyable to play.

Who is this book for?

This is one of the best beginner piano books for adults young and old. It can be worked on alone or with the help of a teacher. No other book is required to go along with it, and covers all the important aspects of learning to play the piano, from theory to technique, to repertoire.

Includes a follow-up book that allows you to progress from a complete beginner to the intermediate level.

Nancy Faber: Adult Piano Adventures All-in-One Lesson Book 2

Looking for a piano keyboard?

Read our article on cost-effective piano keyboards for beginners.

Alfred: Adult All-In-One Course: Lesson-Theory-Technic: Level 1

Buy Online (approx. USD 27.99)

Alfred is also a leading creator of basic piano method books.

How it works:

Similar to the Nancy Faber book, this all-in-one complete piano course helps the adult student cover everything from understanding rhythm, to reading music, to technique and finger strengthening drills, to music theory and repertoire.

The song selection is varied and includes Alouette, Amazing Grace, Au Claire de la Lune, Auld Lang Syne, The Entertainer, A Friend Like You, Greensleeves, Happy Birthday to You, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, Jingle Bells, Joy to the World, London Bridge, Ode to Joy and much more.

Includes 3 follow-up books:

Alfred’s Basic Adult All-in-One Course, Book 2

Alfred’s Basic Adult All-in-One Course, Book 3

Book 1, 2, and 3 Together

Pattern Play: Inspiring Creativity at the Piano

Buy Online (approx. USD 22.00)

There is no one correct way to learn the piano. This book focuses on improvisation and teaches the student to get into a flow state at the piano. If you are interested in learning how to use the piano as a tool for self-expression, then this book might be for you.

How it works

The book includes a variety of patterns that each have their corresponding melody. Each pattern and melody is played as a duet. The melody presents a series of notes that should be used to improvise with and that work well when played against the pattern. They are not set in stone, but should rather be used for creativity and exploration.

  • This book is designed for 2 people. For ex, a teacher and a student or 2 friends.
  • It’s important that one of the 2 people understands how to read music.

How to improvise

Improvisation is about experimentation and feeling. It can be very simple.  You do not have to play anything fast or complicated. The notes that are provided to improvise with (melody) are designed to sound good with the pattern, so almost anything you play will sound great.

I’ve used this book with my students as way to help them feel while playing music, rather than think, and I’ve had great results with it. It is one of the best beginner piano books for adults when it comes to improvisation.

This series includes a variety of follow-up books.

Pattern Play 2: Inspiring Creativity at the Piano

Pattern Play 3: Inspiring Creativity at the Piano

First 50 Songs by the Beatles You Should Play on the Piano

Buy Online (approx.$22.00)

The Beatles have written some of the most beautiful popular music in history.

How it Works

The first 50 songs by the Beatles by Hal Leonard provides sheet music adapted for beginners for popular piano Beatles songs, such as: Penny Lane, All You Need is Love, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Yesterday, and much more.

  • the songs are adapted to the keys of C, G or F (few or no black notes).
  • Play the arrangements as written, or simply play the chords (The chord symbols are written above the music staff). You can sing the lyrics yourself or accompanied by a friend or teacher.
  • *Disclaimer: you need to already know how to read music or play chords with this book.

Mikrokosmos Volume 1 (Pink): Piano Solo

Buy Online (Approx. $11.99)

This piano lesson book features the work of the famed composer Bela Bartock and progressively teaches the adult beginner how to sight read music.

How it works

Mikrokosmos focuses on how to read music. It is not an all-in-one book, so if you are a beginner, it is not recommended to work on this book without the help of a piano teacher who can put things into context.

That being said, the material starts off easy, and guides the beginner student who has never touched a piano to understand how to read music. Each piece is written to be played hands together, which allows you to immediately learn how to read in the Treble and Bass clef simultaneously.

The advantage of this book

The pieces in this book are modal and do not sound childlike. Although it can be used with children, the song selection is appealing to adults. Stylistically Mikrokosmos reflects the folk music influence on Bartok’s life. The rhythms and harmonies sound modern even though they were written a long time ago.

Follow-up Books

There are 153 pieces in this series and broken into 6 volumes.

Mikrokosmos Volume 2

Mikrokosmos Volume 3

The Best Beginner Piano Books for Adults

This article was written with the help of Priam David, an experienced piano teacher who teaches piano lessons in Montreal, Qc.


Musiprof is a Canadian Music organization that connects piano teachers to students in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

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