How To Teach Piano Lessons At Home With Free Piano Lesson Plans

First I need to start this post with a disclaimer. Piano lessons from a paid teacher are very valuable! The following are suggestions for doing piano lessons at home if you are willing to take it seriously. I’d also suggest only attempting to teach your children piano if you have a good understanding of music and play the piano yourself. There is more to it than just opening the piano book to the right page! However, doing lessons ourselves at home saves me at least $45 a week! The going rate is at least $15 per lesson and I have 3 girls that want to learn to play the piano! If it ever stopped working to do the lessons at home, I would definitely pay for the lessons because they are very important to us, which keeps me motivated to make our at-home lessons work.

We take at-home piano lessons really seriously and we are loving it! I taught piano lessons for 2 years for other children, and though I loved those kids, teaching my own kids is a lot more fun for me! It is great one-on-one time with my girls and we start and end each lesson with a hug. Here are my tips on how I’ve made at-home piano lessons work for us, including MY PERSONAL LESSON PLAN PRINTABLES:

  • Set a regular weekly schedule and put it on the calendar. Take this time as seriously as you would if you had an appointment with a separate teacher. That means don’t schedule play dates and dentist appointments during piano lesson time. I set aside approximately 30 minutes per lesson, though I don’t use a timer during lesson to try to stick to a time limit.
  • Give each student respect and block distractions. When one of my children is having a lesson, the other kids know they are not supposed to bother us. I also keep my phone off and just focus on my little pupil.
     
  • Use a small notebook for each child to write down practice expectations and individualized notes for each child. My kids pull out their notebooks when they practice to remember what they are supposed to do.
  • For young children, use stickers to reward for every single page completed well. This is not only happy for a little student, but it breaks up the pace of the lesson to be more child friendly. The result is an overall longer attention span and happier lesson.
     
  • Plan a goal and a celebration! When everyone finishes their current level of books, we are going to have a piano recital and party. I’ll have the girls dress up fancy like a real recital and then we will Skype in grandparents. We will have treats and an after-party. My girls already talk about our piano party we will have!
  • Remind students to practice during the week. I’m all about teaching children accountability, but my kids are still a little young to remember everything on their own. I remind the girls each day to practice their piano before they have free-play after school. Children will not progress without practice. When I was teaching, I was most frustrated when kids wouldn’t practice week after week and lessons got to a stand-still … and then some parents wonder why they are paying all this money for lessons and their kids don’t seem to be learning. Practice is a crucial! Practice, practice, practice!!
     
Now, for what you’ve all been waiting for, my free LESSON PLANS!! These are the ones I’ve done for my children so far. Pin this post and check back next year, and I’ll update with our new lesson plans as we go. The Alfred lesson books are my absolute favorite. They are the same books I used when I was learning to play the piano and I think they are still the best! I’m trying out Piano Adventures pre-reading books, which have been fun for my 5 year old. Ideally 7 years old is a great age to start piano lessons. I only started my 5 year old because she was absolutely sure she should have piano lessons like her sisters.
  • Alfred Prep Course Leval A Lesson Plans
  • Piano Adventures Course, Pre-Reading 
  • It took me a long time to collaborate all of the different books, so please respect that these PDF files are only for personal, non-commercial use and should not be distributed by anyone for any reason unless my permission is specifically granted for each individual case. (copyright 2012 by Mary Johanson of MaryOrganizes.com)

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Comments

  1. I know some folks out there might say to themselves, “Oh I don’t have the patience to teach my kids piano.” As someone who has taught piano privately, I used to think the same thing in teaching my own kids. I wondered why it should be any different, though. I was so nice and patient with my young and restless pupils, why not my own progeny!? But I found a trick that worked for us. My other students called me Ms. Holly, and so I told my son Ms. Holly would be his teacher. He looked at me a little funny, but once I, his mom, left the room, dropping him off for his lesson, then came back around the corner as “Ms. Holly” he got this little grin on his face. He played along with the game really well, and looks forward to his lessons with Ms. Holly and time with his silly mom.

  2. Thank you for sharing this information! I have already started with my 6 year old and I think your tips and resources will be very helpful! I have already found that setting aside the time is the most difficult part!

  3. My 15 month old adores our piano. I was stunned when she began fingering the keys and pretending to read the music books the FIRST time I showed it to her. Since then she wants piano time every day.

    I did not play the piano a single time for her prior to setting her in front of it. Any advice on helping to nurture her interest until she is old enough for lessons?

    I’ve pointed out certain keys and done a few scales for her. She seems very focused on repeating them. But mostly I just let her pretend to play.

    Thank you in advance for your thoughts. I appreciate the at home lessons since we might use them early on.

    • That’s great that your daughter shows such an interest! Play her a lot of beautiful piano CDs, let her fiddle with the keys on real pianos at every opportunity. Play is the best way for little ones to learn, the piano can become a cherished part of her life <3 I did it that way with my kids and now my oldest, age four, is learning to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star not because I picked it to teach to him but because he loves piano music and wants to learn that song specifically. Let your child be your guide.

  4. We just started doing piano lessons at home, too. I love your idea to start with a hug, and to skype in grandparents for the recital. Thanks for the encouragement! :)

  5. Just curious where you buy your books. I googled and looks like Amazon, but just wondering where you like to get yours (if there’s somewhere that is cheaper than other places). Thanks!!

  6. Congrats on being able to inspire your own kids! Not an easy thing to do. I am a teacher and used Alfred forever till I found PA. I am sure you will love it even more. The variety of musical genres keeps em coming back for more! @ Camille — Prima Music is a great source for just about every method.

  7. Thanks for the article on teaching your own children. I found when I taught piano I didn’t have time to teach my own children. So now I only teach my own children. To help me stay accountable and motivated I have a Music Monday feature on my blog!

  8. I’ve been doing lessons for my children (4 of 5 take lessons from me now) since my oldest was 6, so for 4-5 years now. I totally agree on set times-we have Wednesday afternoons set aside, and new this year we do a group piano lesson/games on pack meeting night-once every other month. (I’m in charge of those right now). We have set aside practice time-each night while two children are showering, the other 2 practice piano (1 at a time of course), then they switch. associating it with another regular nightly routine has helped some remember on their own.

  9. My nieces and nephews have been using the FreePianoLessons4Kids.com online videos to get started on the piano, and they have loved it. I took lessons as a kid (and hated them), but when I started going through the videos, I found it to be a great refresher course for me. I highly recommend them, especially as a “getting started” tool, if you want to gauge their interest before actually seeking out a paid piano teacher.

  10. Aren’t those the faber books?

  11. Mary Logan says:

    Hi, I looked into these books and for the Piano Adventure Course, I’m not clear on which book you’ve used for these lessons. Is it the My First or Primer? Thanks!

  12. So excited to hear about other moms who are teaching their own children and loving it! I started my oldest in January and it’s been so great. I’ve blogged about it, too; mostly I’ve been figuring out how to change between teacher and parent for during-the-week practice. It wasn’t super easy at first, but now we’re getting the hang of it. I love to order from Prima Music as well and prefer Faber Piano Adventures for myself. Can’t wait to read more!

  13. I had trouble keeping myself accountable, so I made arrangements with a piano teacher to alternate weeks. It cut my piano bill in half, and kept me accountable. It also helped to have someone other than me say, “You need to count out loud!” And students really DO need to count out loud. After 25 years of teaching, I think most students don’t like to count because it is extremely difficult unless they begin at the very beginning to count!

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I’d encourage anyone who has not taught to visit with a “veteran” teacher about some of those little things that are easily taught at the beginning but may not seem crucial , but affect a beautiful tone later.

  14. Thank you, thank you! Pinning this for later!

  15. Thanks so much for this! We just got a piano from a sweet family last week and my kids are so excited to learn. I’m pretty sure dad will be teaching the lessons as he was a music major for a few years (before changing)…I think I’ll have to sign up for some lessons as well. Thanks!!

  16. I’ve been teaching my kids piano. When they start kindergarten I start their lessons. My oldest is now 13. I’m starting my 5th this year. While I don’t feel they progress as fast as they could if they were with a paid teacher, it is an excellent bonding experience for all of us. I’m so glad I went ahead to teach my own, instead of sending them to someone else. Oh, and we’re definitely working on the ability to progress more efficiently! Thank you for this blog. It’s reassuring to see others taking this on as well. I look forward to studying your resources more closely.

  17. Thank you for making this easy for me. I know the basics of piano and am learning more everyday. I taught my daughter when she was little until she got to my level. Now she is about to start taking lessons outside the home. My son just turned 7 and I’m ready to start teaching him. Having these lessons all planned out will be a huge help! Thanks again!

  18. Lezlie-Anne says:

    So you do Alfred Prep OR Piano adventures, not together, correct?? Piano adventures is for younger learners??

    • Yes, I wanted a pre-reading book to just “play” with my younger kids at the piano. Piano Adventures has been great for that. I’ve been using Alfred past that.

  19. Jennifer korman says:

    Gonna give it a shot. We just don’t have money for lessons right now.

  20. Hi Mary,

    I enjoy reading this article and I am sure that many individuals will benefit after reading.

    A number of adults especially mothers have shown interest in learning to play the piano and most of them would often say, “I would like my child to do piano lessons too.” Sometimes they start out well for the first month but are unable to keep up because of their busy schedule. So I suggest that they should try and learn the piano at their own convenient time and pace. I even told them that while they are learning to play the piano they should also teach their child in the process.

    Many parents have said that they are enjoying their at home experience and having fun while teaching their child to play the piano. Of course, I have directed them to a number of books and online resources.

    Now, the plan you have outlined is great and I am sure that a number of my “at home piano student” if I can say so, will do well with a guide like this. Thanks for sharing.
    All the best :)
    Carlinton

  21. Leona Bachelder says:

    I am also teaching my son and daughter the piano! I am just curious though, how many songs or pages do you do with your kids in one lesson?

    • If you look at the printable, I get through as many pages as in each row of the printable. If everything doesn’t absorb, we just repeat.

  22. Your printable “curriculum” just saved me a ton of grief! I am starting a piano studio, using the next-up line of Alfred books. Reviewing your outline helped me to sit down and write up my own. I started out completely confused on how all the books worked together, and ended up with a page-by-page 39 week lesson plan. Thank you thank you thank you!

  23. Very helpful. Thank you!

  24. yeah, the classes aren’t cheap :(.
    Thanks for the useful information & looking forward to read more :)
    Regards
    Michael

  25. jennifer says:

    This is a true blessing for people (like us) who cannot afford lessons for our children. We will be starting as soon as we can purchase a keyboard. Are there any keyboards out there that you recommend? Thank you…can’t wait to start!

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