Piano Practice Guide for Early Beginners


Piano lessons are not successful unless students learn how to practice on their own. Each lesson, I usually write down a list of songs and technical exercises for my students to be practicing. For each song, I found myself writing down similar objectives. Instead of rewriting the list each week, I decided to create a practice guide. Here’s what I have assembled for my students, who are just starting to learn how to read music:


Practice Guide for the Piano


Before you start practicing, make sure you are at a good distance from the piano. Sit up tall and place your feet flat on the floor or on a stool. Number your fingers (remember, thumbs up number 1). Place your hands on your knees to help you form a good hand shape. You are ready to begin!


Practice ONE measure at a time. Play with one hand first. Once you go through the list below, practice with the other hand.


  • Name the notes in the music before you start playing on the piano (A B C D E F G)

  • Find your hand placement on the piano: Name the first note in the music. Which hand plays that note? Which finger plays that key on the piano? Repeat for the other hand.

  • Play and name the notes 3 to 5 times.

  • Play and count the rhythm 3 to 5 times.


Practice the entire song with both hands SLOWLY. After you are done, ask yourself the questions below. If you answered with “No” or “Maybe”, play it again until you can say, “Yes” to each question.


  • Did you play the correct notes?

  • Did you count aloud (or in your mind) throughout the piece?

  • Did you play with a steady beat?

  • Did you play with curved fingers and with a ball-shaped hand?


Practice musicianship hands together.


  • Try to play the song with a warm, round tone.

  • What are the dynamics? Practice them (Forte is played heavy. Piano is played light. Mezzo Forte is in between Forte and Piano).

  • Try to sing the lyrics of the song as you play.

  • Can you play the song without the music?


Download this practice guide here:

Piano Practice Guide for Level 1a


About Expressive Keys

Teaching piano and synthesizer allows me the opportunity to inspire students to pursue the art of music. My passion is to train musicians in classical, modern and worship music. View all posts by Expressive Keys

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