Learning to play piano can certainly be exciting. You start getting a sense of rhythm and learning the different notes. But lots of people start learning piano mostly to be able to play songs. And in most cases, you can start playing some piano songs for beginners almost as soon as you start learning! In this list, we’ll take you through some beginner piano songs, from pop songs to classics.
Easy Piano Songs
For many beginners, playing songs is one of the best parts of learning piano. As you work on the songs below, make sure you’re keeping your practice sessions short, frequent, and focused. So sit down at your piano or keyboard and get ready to play!
1. “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”
“Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” just might be the easiest of all beginner piano songs. Most people end up learning it early on, and it’s exceptionally easy to commit to muscle memory.
There’s no real verses or chorus, so once you get the hang of it, this simple melody just repeats over and over. If you’ve learned (or are learning) to play guitar, you might have already learned “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” (As a side note, don’t confuse this one with “When You Wish Upon a Star,” the song from Pinocchio that just might be the easiest Disney song to play on the piano. Check it out in this easy tutorial! – below left)
Chances are good that this easy song has a melody you can hear in your head. You can find the sheet music on this page. And if you want to start learning to read music early in your musical journey, it’s best to start with easy piano songs like this one.
That said, make sure that you are careful to maintain good technique and keep your fingers in the right position. Learning to play correctly from the start is always easier than correcting bad habits later!
Similarly, having at least some level of guidance as you play your first notes will make your learning of music a lot smoother. This extra-clear video tutorial (above – right) will take you through the song!
2. “Just The Way You Are”
Looking for some easy pop songs that still sound impressive? This Bruno Mars song lets you get a break from the nursery rhyme songs that many beginners start with. But keep in mind that even though this one counts as an easy piano song, it’s a little more challenging than super-easy songs — it asks you to play with your right hand and left hand at the same time. So if you’re brand new to piano, you might want to master some of the songs where all notes can be played on one hand first.
That said, if you’re ready to start playing this song, it’s a tough yet rewarding challenge! There are two different right-hand positions you will need to switch between. One has your right thumb in a higher position on the keyboard.
As is the case with just about every somewhat complex piano song, “Just the Way You Are” also asks you to use your left hand to harmonize. If you’re new to playing with both hands, don’t be afraid to master the part for one hand first before learning the part for the other hand. This is how plenty of beginners start to get comfortable playing with both hands.
If you’d like a guide through this song, this video tutorial (above – left) can help. And if you haven’t heard this catchy hit before, you can check out the music video for the song here (above right).
3. “Jingle Bells”
Even if it isn’t close to the holidays, the repetitive sound of “Jingle Bells” will certainly add some merry energy to your practice sessions!
Jingle Bells is also a great piano song for learning to play with two hands. It’s a bit easier than “Just the Way You Are,” and it’s a good one to learn if you like to play music while others sing along.
Since the piano follows the vocal melody, it’s a good song to sing along to yourself as well. You have a couple of options here. If you want, you can play the melody and harmony while also singing the melody. Alternatively, you can use the method used in a lot of popular songs — you play the harmony on the keys while singing the melody.
Learning to play and sing at the same time can be a challenge for beginners and more experienced players alike. If you’re hoping to learn to play and sing at the same time with “Jingle Bells” or another song, this video can help you start to do that.
If you’re eager to learn this song before the holidays, click over to this YouTube video tutorial!
This Leonard Cohen song is an instantly-recognizable classic that has been covered countless times. You might not think of it when you imagine piano songs for beginners, but it fills an important place. While you might want to start with songs that only ask you to play with your right hand at first, many piano teachers maintain that it is very important to start playing with your right hand and left hand at the same time. “Hallelujah” lets you do that.
You might want to learn the verses and chorus separately. Because it’s a little more complex than your average beginner piano song, “Hallelujah” can be useful for teaching yourself ways to learn and master more difficult pieces of music. For instance, the beginning of the song can sound complicated enough to scare off beginner players. But when you look more closely, you’ll see that these are effectively broken-up chords!
Although it’s always a good idea to be intentional in the ways you go about learning a new piece, a well-done tutorial can go a long way toward helping you grasp the rhythm and feel of a piece early on. For a comprehensive tutorial taking you through this stunning classic, check out this video!
5. “Happy Birthday”
No list of piano songs for beginners is complete without this one! “Happy Birthday” is a fun song to learn, and you almost certainly know the melody already.
Like Jingle Bells, it’s a good song to play if you want to learn to sing, as all the notes you’ll need to play on piano follow the vocals. Click over to this page for the sheet music.
This video tutorial will take you through the song, and it’s slowed down to be extra beginner-friendly!
Practicing a song like this one can be a great way for you to start working on developing your own musical style. Try experimenting with tempo, accenting different notes, etc. Learning to play a piece as written is certainly important, but developing your own style is crucial, too. This is especially important you intend to write your own music or want to get into improvisation.
6. “Fur Elise”
Here’s another piece of classical music that’s practically a rite of passage for beginners to play. And especially if you want to focus on classical music as a pianist, Fur Elise is a memorable introduction.
But even if you don’t have a special interest in classical music, Fur Elise is a beautiful song to learn if you’re just beginning to focus on playing with two hands.
Though this song is one of the most famous pieces of classical music today, Fur Elise (actually named Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor) wasn’t all that well-received in the beginning. It was written by Beethoven in 1810, but it wasn’t actually published until 1867 after he had died. The piece’s nickname, “Fur Elise,” was a dedication he supposedly wrote on the sheet music itself.
It’s not possible to say with certainty who Elise was, but one of the more prominent theories is that Beethoven dedicated it to Therese Malfatti, a singer, and performer who had once been his student. There’s some speculation that the manuscript was actually labeled “Fur Therese,” but that a transcriber misread Beethoven’s handwriting and thought it said “Fur Elise.”
Regardless of the origin, though, this is a great piece of music for any pianist to learn. For a simplified walkthrough of this easy yet beautiful piece, check out this video lesson.
It’s a popular song for beginners and experienced musicians alike to play. Many people tend to gravitate toward the lyrics, which encourage listeners to imagine a peaceful world with a prevailing spirit of unity.
If you want to learn a simplified rendition of the song in the key of C, check out this straightforward tutorial!
8. “What A Wonderful World”
Most people are familiar with this Sam Cooke hit. But in case you aren’t, you can hear it here. This version is the one performed by Louis Armstrong. Armstrong was known best for his incredible skill on the trumpet. But this song in particular is a great fit on any list of piano songs for beginners.
As you can see in this easy video tutorial, “What a Wonderful World” also offers a great intro to using a black note or note played on a black key. Incorporating these keys can be a little tough for your fingers to get used to, but you’ll get the hang of it soon!
9. “The Entertainer”
This Scott Joplin piece is a great piano song for anyone to learn, even if you don’t know much about ragtime! It’s a bit more up-tempo than many of the easy piano songs on the list, so it’s probably more suitable for a slightly more advanced beginner. But when you’re looking for a piece of music that will pose more of a challenge, it’s a great one to learn!
Though “The Entertainer” is an old song, it still has a prominent place in popular culture. It was officially copyrighted in 1902. It gained some popularity, but it didn’t really burst into the mainstream until the 1970s. That’s when it was used as the theme music for The Sting, a 1973 film that won multiple Oscars. It continues to be featured on prominent TV shows to this day.
This video has an interesting way of illustrating how to play the song. If you do well with game-like tutorials, it’s a great one to check out!
10. “Hot Cross Buns”
This is a very easy piano song if you’re just beginning to play melodies. And if you’ve ever flipped through a music book for kids just beginning to play a given instrument, chances are good that you’ll see “Hot Cross Buns” on one of the first pages!
While it’s not as exciting as a pop song, it’s a great song to learn if you want to begin playing with your right hand and left hand at the same time. Your left hand plays the rhythm while your right hand plays the melody, but both melody and rhythm are incredibly simple.
If you want to learn this super-easy classic, this video both shows it to you and offers the free sheet music!
Want to Learn More?
Whether you’re just finding C major on your keyboard, learning your basic chords, or starting to coordinate your right and left hand, taking an online piano course can really help you level up your playing. These courses can help you develop a great practice routine, master difficult piano pieces, and more.
Plus, taking an online piano course is almost always much more affordable than seeing a piano teacher. And in some cases, you can send practice videos to an instructor who will watch and offer individualized critique on your playing!
Easy piano songs can certainly be fun to play. But if you’re like many beginners, you might be eager to move on to more complex and difficult songs. But put in the work playing these songs and doing exercises, and it won’t be long until you sound great on even the toughest of piano pieces!