Which Adult Piano Method?

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In my article Teaching Adults to Play the Piano I explained how adults learn differently to children. It follows that we need a range of resources more suited to adult needs.

In this post, I will now present my shortlist of the best adult method books, with full reviews of my Ten Top Choices


One of the most exciting developments over the course of my piano career has been the huge increase in adults taking up lessons. I have lost count of the number of adult beginners I’ve had the pleasure of teaching over the last three decades; at present I teach more than 30, ranging from beginners of all ages to more advanced returners.

Whatever the reason for starting lessons, the last thing most adult beginners want is to be presented with  Jimmy Timpson’s First Piano Lessons for Tiny Tots, or a minor variation with the word “adult” cannily stamped on the front cover. Happily, there are many suitable choices.

As discussed in my post The Problem with Method Books, there will never be a one-stop perfect solution to suit all beginners, and the teaching professional needs to be acquainted with a range of alternatives, matching material to each student’s interests and needs.

I hope that you enjoy the following round-up, and find yourself excited by the wonderful range these books offer.


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How to Practise Music

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Andrew Eales

Andrew Eales is the author of HOW TO PRACTISE MUSIC, published worldwide by Hal Leonard. He is a widely respected piano educator and published composer based on Milton Keynes UK.

2 thoughts on “Which Adult Piano Method?”

  1. Thank you Andrew for this article. I am a new “qualified” piano teacher, having had many careers before, and I am struggling finding a piano method book for Children /teens that I like. I have spent a fortune on method books reading superbe reviews (Supersonics, Wunderkeys)… not that they are bad or anything but I was expecting a balance between easy beginners composers repertoire and the author’s own repertoire. I am pretty drawn to the Foundation Pianist (and further books) and Pianoworks for the older beginners and adults Unforunately the Foundation Pianist starts at post Grade 1. Would you have a suggestion for Pre-Grade 1 children method (6 to 10) that is not too childish in it’s approach and uses lots of classical (all genres) repertoire? I have the Adults and accelerated approach of the Piano Adventures but for some reason was not drawn to My First Piano Adventures as I thought it would be too childish. Would it still be a better option?

    1. As a fan of the Foundation Pianist, you might well warm to Karen Marshall & Heather Hammond’s Get Set! Piano tutor books. The main alternative I have used over the years is Pauline Hall’s Piano Time 1 (and Piano Time Pieces 1, but not the subsequent books because those take a student up to Grade 1 nicely).

      I hope this helps – and best wishes with your teaching! You’ll hopefully also find other materials and articles on Pianodao to support your journey, and I’m happy to help in any way. Andrew

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