Where should I start?
Since the videos are all free, you can sample some lessons and see where you feel you fit, or you can use this page to help you pinpoint a good starting point.
- Brand new beginner: Unit 1
- A little bit of experience, but a long time ago: Unit 3
- Ready for chord style / lead sheets: Unit 5
- Time for RCM Level 1 Etudes and Technique: Unit 8
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I’m still not sure where to start.
That’s ok! Answer a few questions and we’ll see if we can find the right starting point for you. Or, find video overviews of the units, by scrolling below.
I am a brand new beginner – I need to learn my finger numbers and piano key names!
I need to start with the very basics.
I already know the piano key names and my finger numbers.
More options, please.
Online learning is opening horizons!
The trouble with the internet is that it can be a very disorganized place with lots of misinformation. And while it’s impossible to replicate the tremendous value of a live teacher, I’m doing the best I can to present information and instruction in bite-sized, progressive, organized lessons. The free videos form an organized progression of lessons that will take you where you want to go.
I know my finger numbers and piano key names.
You’re ready for Year 1!
Year 1 Comprehensive Beginner Piano Lessons is a multi-unit series of lessons designed to teach you to play piano while gradually learning to read music.
As an adult beginner there is a lot to learn. Some of it is information and a lot of it is skill-based.
The Year 1 Curriculum has 96 free video lessons organized into 6 units of study. You can start with the first unit, or jump in where the lessons meet your experience.
I’ve never played piano before and want to ease in slowly!…
If you’ve never played the piano before, you might want to take Unit Zero first. Most people can comfortably skip it since all of the material in this unit is presented in Year 1, but it’s a very simple intro, if you’d like to ease in.
After you’ve learned your piano key names and finger numbers (the first 2 lessons of Unit Zero) you’ll be all set for UNIT 1.
If you feel like you need more time to let this settle, then you can work through all 12 of the Pre-Staff Beginner lessons.
Pre-Beginner Enrolment Page
I have some experience, which unit of Year 1 should I start in?
Units 1-3: Intro to Piano and Reading Music
My goal with this series is to take it slow for the first 3 units to get your fingers comfortable. These lessons combine exercises for dexterity, music theory, note reading, and of course music to play! We’ll even experiment with creating our own improvisations.
In Unit 1 you’ll begin learning:
- Proper piano playing technique
- The basics of reading piano music –
- including simple rhythm and
- how to read your first music notes in treble and bass clef,
- Music theory
- And, you’ll get your fingers ready for developing more coordination!
You will not feel overwhelmed while working on this unit. It is ideal for new beginners to piano playing!
Unit 2: You’ll learn short pieces of music and develop your dexterity while advancing your ability to play and read piano music with ease.
You will learn:
- Musical symbols
- Finger gyms in 3 different keys
- Tips for making sight reading easier
- A first try at playing hands together.
- Fun songs!
And you will increase your sight reading skills while getting a taste of playing piano with both hands at the same time!
The free video lessons in Unit 3 take you out of ‘piano beginner’ mode and momve you along into ‘piano novice!’
You will learn:
- Time signatures and pickup notes
- The rest of the notes on the grand staff
- Tricks for better sight reading – reading intervallically
- Moving to different hand placements mid-piece
- Staccato and legato touch
- Playing at the octave.
The level of coordination required for this unit does not progress much, this gives your hands a chance to catch up with your mind! This is important for adult beginners, since coordination takes time to develop. Don’t skimp on this level! It’s a good one to review later if you need to increase your dexterity.
I used to play, but it’s been a looonnngg time! …
Unit 3: Securing Note Reading (see above) – go to Unit 3
Unit 4: Playing Hands Together
Once we hit Unit 4, things start to pick up, and we will be playing hands together with increasing complexity.
If you’re looking to recall your notes and do a quick reading checkup, you do some note review and then come back and try Unit 4:
- Note Reading Crash Course (slower paced review, or an introduction to the grand staff for people who have prior instrumental training, but not necessarily piano.)
- Note Speller For Piano (fast review of all notes on bass and treble lines and spaces.)
I can read treble clef and want to learn to play chord harmony with my left hand…
Unit 5: Chord Style Piano
Unit 5 focuses on chord-style piano and lead sheets. In this unit the left hand takes a break from playing from the music and instead gets to follow a chord chart or lead sheet and have some fun playing chords while the right hand plays the melody. The content from this unit continues in Unit 6 – Piano Chording 2
If Chord Style / Lead Sheet arrangements are your preference, Unit 7, Piano Chording II, follows this unit.
I am ready for some piano classics! Bring it on!…
Unit 6, moves into Classical Piano music. In this unit you’ll learn arrangements of some very familiar classical pieces, including Fur Elise, Moonlight Sonata, and the Pachelbel Canon to name a few. This unit is pretty challenging! So, there’s a chance I might create a unit 6A, or some other simpler classical units to help some of you take more time getting comfortable before giving these ones a go! I’ll need to know how it feels first, though, so please pass on your feedback!
I am ready for Graded Piano studies. Bring it on!…
For those who are ready to work on Graded Piano Repertoire. Have a look at Year 2, where we begin with Grade 1 Techincal Exercises, Etudes and Baroque Style Music.
Year 2 – Grade 1 Piano (based on RCM levels)
And the Ebooks?
The videos are free, but the course materials are available for a small fee (around $1 per lesson.) But, there is no obligation to purchase the materials in order to use or learn from the free video lessons!
You can choose to purchase the printable materials when they will enhance your learning experience.
If you want to give the lessons a try without making a big investment, you can purchase a 1-unit ebook for a nominal cost.
Or, if the lessons are perfect for you, you can save and purchase a bundled multi-unit ebook and work through unit-after-unit at your own rate!
Year 1 Overview:
All of the Video Lessons are free. Just click on the unit title (above the photo or below the contents list) to go to the course page for that unit and get started watching right now!
1-1 The Staff
1-2 Treble Clef Landmarks
1-3 Rhythm Lesson 1
1-4 Finger Gym #1
1-5 Bass Clef Landmarks
1-6 Treble G Neighbors F and A
1-7 Two Practice Pieces
1-8 Finger Gym #2
1-9 Bass F Neighbors E and G
1-10 Sight Reading
1-11 Two Practice Pieces
1-12 Finger Gym #3
1-13 Time and Measures
1-14 Practice Piece
1-15 Ear Training Up/Down
1-16 Finger Gym #4
Unit 1 EBook:
Buy the eBook
Go to Unit 1 Course and Free Videos.
|Unit 2: |
2-1 Treble Clef D and E
2-2 Playing loud and soft
2-3 Sight Reading/Rhythm Echo
2-4 Finger Gym #5 HT!
2-5 Bass Clef A and B
2-6 Moving by Skips
2-7 Hands Together
2-8 Contrary Motion
2-9 Landmarks: Mirror C's
2-10 C's in Space
2-11 Ode to Joy
2-12 C Major Pentascale
2-13 Bass Clef D and Treble B
2-15 Ear Training - which melody?
2-16 Finger Gym
Unit 2 EBook:
Buy the eBook
Go to Unit 2 Course and Free Videos.
|Unit 3: |
3-1Dotted Half Note
3-2 Intervallic Thinking
3-3 Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
3-6 Melody Patterns
3-7 Mezzo forte
3-13 Sight Reading
Unit 3 EBook:
Buy the eBook
Go to Unit 3 Course and Free Videos.
|Unit 4: |
4-1 Eighth notes
4-2 Grand Staff Notes
4-3 Primary Chords in C Major
4-4 D Major
4-6 Transposing I
4-7 Interval Review
4-8 Transposing II
4-9 Amazing Grace
4-10 Chord Inversions
4-11 Happy Birthday
4-12 Chord Drill
4-13 Andantino by Kohler
4-14 Melody Writing
4-15 Building Major Scales
4-16 Playing Major Scales
Unit 4 EBook:
Buy the eBook
Go to Unit 4 Course and Free Videos.
|Unit 5: |
5-1 All the Major Chords
5-2 Lead Sheets: Alphabet Song
5-3 All the Minor Chords
5-4 Major/Minor - Blow Man Down
5-5 Diatonic Chords in C
5-6 Danny Boy
5-7 Oom Pa Pa - Morning Broken
5-8 [1-5-8 Pattern] Skye Boat Song
5-9 Minor:All the Pretty Horses
5-10 Chord Progressions
5-11 Pachelbel Canon in D
5-13 Inversions - Early 1 Morning
5-14 Music Box Pattern
5-15 Intros - Happy Birthday
5-16 Chord Strumming - Hallelujah
Unit 5 EBook:
Buy the eBook
Go to Unit 5 Course and Free Videos.
|Unit 6: |
6-1 Key Signatures
6-2 Brahms Lullaby
6-3 Dotted Quarter Note
6-4 Key of B Flat Major
6-5 From the New World
6-6 Ledger Lines
6-7 Key of A Minor
6-8 March Slav
6-10 Key of E Minor
6-11 Moonlight Sonata
6-12 Sixteenth Notes
6-13 Key of D Major
6-14 Pachelbel Canon
6-15 Three Eight Time
6-16 Fur Elise
Unit 6 EBook:
Buy the eBook
Go to Unit 6 Course and Free Videos.
Using PianoVideoLessons.com to learn to play piano:
This video was recorded Live on YouTube and gives a description of how you might learn to play piano online using PianoVideoLessons.com.