Some of the most beautiful things about music are the fond memories that a familiar piece brings to mind. It’s like a warm feeling that settles within our hearts when a piece of music speaks to our emotions. There is no argument that music is a universal language understood even by new-borns who have yet to learn human speech. Before developing an interest in an instrument, it is usually the repertoire of that particular instrument that captures our attention first. In order to spark the interest of a child when it comes to learning any instrument, it is important that they enjoy listening to the music that they will play. While a huge part of classical music repertoire for the piano may seem rather complex and intimidating for young learners, there are some pieces that have stood the test of time in being well-loved tunes adored by children and adults alike. Below is a list of 10 pieces that children will look forward to playing when learning to play the piano!
1. Beethoven – Ode to Joy
The majestic melody line originates from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. In the Symphony, it is sung with words from an ode by German playwright and poet Friedrich Schiller. This simplified piano arrangement is played by many beginners during their piano lessons. It is perhaps even a familiar tune first introduced in a music lesson at school!
2. Beethoven – Fur Elise
One question that many piano players will get at some point in time is this: “Oh! So can you play Fur Elise?”. It is arguably the one piece that is most heavily associated with piano learning and playing. It would be no surprise if someone with no interest or background in classical music was able to hum the catchy melody of the starting line. Most learners would come across this piece pretty early on in their piano journey, as it is featured in Piano Pieces for Children, a popular score book for young piano learners.
3. J.S. Bach – Minuet in G Major
This light but lively piece never fails to remind one of the wonderful times of childhood, spreading innocence through each melodic line. Its clear-cut notes and steady rhythm make it a great piece for young learners to enjoy while grasping the basics.
4. Edvard Grieg – Morning Mood (Peer Gynt Suite)
Adapted from a symphonic piece with enlightening flute and oboe lines that depict the rising of a sun, this romantic piece by Edvard Grieg sounds just as fantastical played on the piano. It can be found in Faber’s Piano Adventures Book 3A, another favourite score book for young learners.
5. Brahms – Lullaby
As the title gives away itself, this is the tune familiar to all children and adults! The simple but soothing melody with its laid back pace is indeed the universal ‘lullaby’ that puts all minds to rest. It sounds especially delicate on the piano, making it a great piece to play for piano lessons.
6. Pachelbel – Canon in D
A popular favourite commonly heard in wedding halls, this well-known classic is a staple within the string orchestra repertoire. It is however also a piece that most piano learners would have a try at playing at least once. Since it is not originally part of the repertoire for piano, there is a wide selection of arrangements available, spread across various levels of difficulties, making it a highly possible piece to perform even for early learners.
7. J.S. Bach – Prelude No. 1 in C Major
This is one of Bach’s most representative compositions. It is part of the Well-Tempered Clavier, a series of Preludes and Fugues written for piano learners which cover all 24 major and minor keys. The simple yet soothing arpeggiated chords in this piece continue to inspire many musicians today.
8. Muzio Clementi – Sonatina in C Major Op. 36 No. 1 (1st Movement)
Sonatas or Sonatinas (especially their first movements), a form of classical music that students are often exposed to, are great for training the coordination of both hands. It also strengthens a student’s sense of rhythm so as to keep a steady pulse for running notes on various scales. This particular Sonatina by Clementi, which can be found in the Piano Pieces for Children score book, has a light-hearted melodic line and energetic bass line, making it a delightful piece not only to listen to but also to play.
9. Thomas Haynes Bayly – Long Long Ago
With a repeated rising and falling note pattern arranged in a melody that is sure to be an earworm for a long time, this popular childhood tune exudes a certain joyfulness while being really comfortable to play on the piano keys. Also a piece found in Faber’s Piano Adventures Book 3A for piano lessons, you can sometimes hear it being played by students on the pianos near the entrances of our centres!
10. Henry Bishop – Home Sweet Home
A heartwarming piece that instantly transports you into an armchair before the fireplace. The soothing rhythm and peaceful harmonies are certainly embodiments of a cosy home in the form of music, and a great joy for any young pianist to play.
While classical pieces are beneficial for honing the basic techniques to further one’s study at the piano, there are some pretty accessible songs for young learners. At Aureus Academy, Singapore’s leading music school for children, we love for our students to enjoy their musical learning journey rather than to perceive playing music as a chore. This means that we are happy to encourage our students to learn pieces from Disney cartoons, Broadway hits and pop tunes!
Aureus Academy has highly educated and experienced teachers who are well adept at creating engaging, individually-tailored piano lessons for children. These customised curriculums are aimed towards making learning the piano a fun and rewarding experience that will keep your child coming back for more! Find out how your child can learn to play their favourite songs on the piano with Aureus Academy today!