Each piano student has their own preferences and favorite songs. Most piano teachers know, though, that some pieces are almost guaranteed hits. Maybe they are recognizable pieces that students are excited about playing, songs with a unique challenge or feature, or pieces that just sound irresistibly great. These pieces come in handy when you a student seems frustrated or lacking in enthusiasm, or when you want to reward hard-working kids with a fun assignment.
You may already have a number of these go-to favorites, but here are a few more pieces of free, easy sheet music that piano students love. You can instantly enhance your piano sheet music collection by downloading this free music in pdf format and printing. If you want to check out how the arrangement sounds, each one has an audio version you can listen to first. Students may also find this feature helpful, especially if they are not familiar with the song.
Happy Birthday for Piano Solo by Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill. Any young piano student will enjoy contributing to birthday celebrations by playing this song.
Farmer in the Dell Boogie for Piano Duet. This is a perfect first duet with a fun twist on a traditional tune. Kids always love the full sound that four hands instead of two creates.
Morning for Piano Solo by Edvard Grieg. From cartoons to commercials, this piece has become the quintessential waking up music. Kids enjoy playing a classical piece they’ve heard before, and the piece really does convey the freshness and hope of a new day.
Banana Boat Song for Piano Solo | Jamaican. Kids are drawn to music that conveys a distinctive sense of place, and this lively tropical favorite does just that.
Overture to William Tell for Piano Solo by Gioachino Antonio Rossini. This is one of those pieces that makes young students feel like serious pianists. It also has a contagious energy that even students who don’t recognize the piece appreciate.
Goodbye, Old Paint for Piano Solo | Cowboy Song. I am one of many adults who may recall playing this piece for their first piano recital. This is another piece that connects kids to a different time and place with its plodding drawl and cowboy lyrics.
Michael Finnegan for Piano Solo | Irish. It’s fun, it’s catchy, and it’s a little silly– all reasons why this Irish tune continues to delight.
Spinning Song for Piano Solo by Albert Ellmenreich. A song about spinning doesn’t sound exciting, but its steady beat, running eighth notes, and dramatic rises and falls easily make this the most interesting song about obsolete household chores around.
Maple Leaf Rag for Piano Solo by Scott Joplin. An easy introduction to Ragtime music, this piece will open the doors to a unique style that kids love to pay. (For more Ragtime favorites, try this post.)
March of the Toreadors from Carmen for Piano Solo by Georges Bizet. This big, dramatic, operatic piece captures kids’ imaginations on its own, and having them listen to an orchestral arrangement makes the piece even more exciting.
America the Beautiful for Piano Solo by Samuel A. Ward. For American students, this patriotic classic is a must. Kids like playing songs they know and that they or others can sing along to, and if they don’t yet know these lyrics, this is the time for them to learn.
Erie Canal for Intermediate/Level 3 Piano Solo. Most kids don’t have much experience with mules or canals, but that doesn’t prevent this traditional song from being surprisingly appealing. As a bonus, it also serves as a history lesson while introducing us to a memorable mule named Sal.
Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho for Piano Solo | Spiritual. This piece captures the distincive sound of the American Spiritual, with its unique, dark harmonies and narrative lyrics.
Twelve Days of Christmas for Piano Solo | Traditional. Kids relish the opportunity to celebrate holidays with their developing musical skills, so almost any Christmas song is bound to be popular. This Christmas countdown song is especially fun, and all of the repetition encourages lots of practice.
Water Music (Theme) for Piano Solo by George Frideric Handel. This is one of the older pieces on the list, but it’s another song that makes kids feel like a proper classical musician.
While there’s no guarantee every student will love a given piece, there are some special songs that tend to become favorites, and these are just a few.
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