5 Things a New Piano Student Needs

By Shannon Gurnee
In Music
May 11, 2020

Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing about 5 things a new piano student needs in partnership with Musician Authority.

piano student and teacher

Growing up, music always played an important role in my life. Whether it was listening to music on my record player, cassette player, or stereo in my room, I constantly had it playing. Music went on to play an important role in high school, when I performed in both Show Choir and sang in our church’s choir. Music made me feel happy and hopeful – like I could take on the world.

For a long time, I not only sang, but wanted to learn to play the piano as well. I remember my dad and stepmom giving me a mini keyboard that I could play songs on when I was a little girl. The keyboard even had different settings where I could learn to play songs with its light up keys guiding me. My mom and stepdad later on bought a real piano and had piano movers do the heavy lifting to place it in the house so that my grandma tried to teach me to play. I practiced a lot and got to the point where I was able to play some songs by ear (just the individual notes) and a few chords here and there. I learned the place of the different notes with “Every Good Boys Does Fine” (which apparently is different now?) and had a goal to play Canon D like a professional. Well, unfortunately, I never quite got there.

However, in my 30’s I decided to pick it up again and got piano lessons. Unfortunately, with work and running my own business, it left me little time to learn the piano. It is however, definitely something I would love to start up again in my 40’s – provided I get extra time to do so at some point in my life – ha ha! With everything going on in the world right now, learning to play the piano (or any instrument) is a great thing to do and can have many benefits. So, what do you need to get started?

sheet music on piano

5 Things a New Piano Student Needs

Piano (or Digital Piano)

When we were living in a smaller home, we didn’t have a whole lot of room. Instead of buying a piano, we bought a digital piano. It is definitely different than a regular piano, but if you are limited on space (and money), it is definitely a great option to go with. We chose the Alesis Recital Pro and love it! In fact, we still play on it from time to time. This digital piano features a premium hammer-action keyboard with adjustable touch response, so it feels almost like an acoustic instrument. Its 12 onboard voices can be split or layered to add spice to your performance, and they sound great through integrated 20-watt speakers. The Recital Pro’s keyboard can be divided into two zones with the same pitch and voice, making it ideal for lessons. Learning rhythm and timing is a breeze, thanks to a built-in metronome, and Record Mode enables you to record and play back your performance. You also get onboard effects, a sustain pedal input, and a headphone output for private practice. You may also need piano tuning services from time to time to keep the piano in perfect tune or pitch.

Piano Stand

If you are purchasing a digital piano or keyboard, you will want to make sure you also get a stand. This will allow you to position the digital piano so that you can use a bench to play the piano rather than playing it on your lap or on a table. This is definitely a closer feeling to that of playing an actual piano.

digital piano

Piano Bench

To go with our piano, we purchased a Piano Bench, but ideally I would like to get one in the future that has storage in the chair. Amazon has a lot of good options, including a Black Ebony Wood Leather Piano Bench Padded Double Duet Keyboard with Seat Storage. When shopping for one, I wanted to choose a bench that looked both comfortable and matched the color of the piano.


If you have the ability to practice in privacy with your digital piano, I would recommend you get a pair of headphones. This is beneficial for you (and everyone else in your house). Be sure to choose a pair that fit comfortable on or in your ears. Having a long chord that connects your headphones to your piano is also a good idea!

Transparent Plastic Removable Piano and Keyboard Note Stickers

When I was taking private music lessons, these were actually suggested to me by my Piano teacher to help teach me the keys on the piano. They are nice because they are easy to put on and remove. Brand new features: Keysies® are now made from double coated polyester, meaning that the print is now encapsulated within the stickers themselves. This means that you can have the luxury of the notes at your fingertips, where a pianists eye is naturally drawn, without the print wearing off… ever!. We have also improved the adhesive, and we have rounded the corners of the stickers off to avoid any peeling. Keysies® now also come with a little wooden stick, to help you apply your Keysies!

Music Books

When you’re learning to use the piano, it’s important to have a variety of music books on hand to practice with, as well as an instructional music book that can help you when your teacher isn’t there to help. For the music books, I would suggest purchasing “Beginner” music books when you’re learning to play the piano. The piano books I found included Hal Leonard My First Classical Song Book For Easy Piano and 150 More Of The Most Beautiful Songs Ever (Easy Piano).  For the instructional music, I suggest Adult All-In-One Course: Lesson-Theory-Technic: Level 1. I purchased all of these books on Amazon. You can also find music online that you can download and print.

Now that you have some of the basics to get started as a musician, you’re on your way to learning to play the piano. Have some fun with it!

Do you play the piano? What other items would you recommend to get started?


About Has 2166 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

25 Responses to “5 Things a New Piano Student Needs”

  1. Paolo says:

    I have never heard of digital piano before, this is cool. I tried to learn playing the piano a few years back by watching youtube tutorials. I learned to play the scientist by coldplay lol

  2. Heather says:

    My daughter started piano lessons almost a year ago. Her teacher provided a list very similar to this one.

  3. A great resource for anyone who is looking to start piano lessons for themselves or their child.

  4. What a lovely post to help first time piano buyers. I would definitely say that the plastic removable note stickers will come in very handy as with the headphones.

  5. I so want to learn to play the piano 🙂 I am bookmarking this as I am going to get one when we move and these are wonderful tips 🙂

  6. Steven Morrissette says:

    That was really helpful article as I was thinking to make my youngest son take piano lessons thanks for the info.

  7. Matt Taylor says:

    My mom had a few of my siblings take piano lessons growing up, but I never did. Now I wish I had! We had books, and an upright 100 year old piano and of course a piano bench. My brother even taped on piano notes above the keys!

  8. Ankur says:

    A very nice concise post for debutants . I never learnt to play any musical instrument but perhaps later in life piano sounds like a good idea. These are wonderful pointers and will save your post to revisit later when I actually begin to learn!! ☺️

  9. Ivana Mearns says:

    What a fascinating topic to read about. I played a piano when I was a child but don’t really remember much. I am sure that piano teacher will find these tips very helpful.

  10. Thislittlemom says:

    I have never heard of digital piano before. I would love for my daughter to learn an instrument and this would be fun!

  11. i grew up using a standard piano but the idea of using headphones while practicing with a digital sounds fabulous. great especially for sensitive ears when you’re first learning, lol.

  12. I believe headphones for any piano student are a must. Not know to they let you listen to what you are playing but they keep outside noise to a minimum. Practicing every day is very important too.

  13. From a very young age, I have wanted to learn how to play the piano. Due to many circumstances, this has just never come to fruition, although I still love to listen to and appreciate a good pianist’s music when I hear it. Your list of 5 things for piano students certainly makes sense to me although I have never heard of the Keysies before! They sound like a great aid to help with learning.

  14. Brianna says:

    What a beautiful post! I still remember my first piano lesson, so special!

  15. Marysa says:

    Great list! My daughter played piano when she was younger, and this is exactly what we had (just slightly different stickers).

  16. Romy Schorr says:

    This is so great! I wish my teen would’ve continued playing the trombone

  17. Nina says:

    This sounds like a good guide for anyone thinking of starting piano lessons. I remember doing my first piano lesson

  18. Lavern Moore says:

    Every time I visit your blog, I learn something new and this is no exception. This time piano student needs. I can’t wait to read more!

  19. Jessie says:

    I stumbled across this at the perfect time. My husband wants to learn piano so badly, and I honestly didn’t know where to begin.

  20. blair villanueva says:

    Our kids here at home already most of these mentioned above. I guess we need to give her new music sheets 🙂

  21. Bill says:

    Headphones are a must for both students and the people around them. I mean, it can get pretty grindy on the ears when people are first learning.

  22. Emman Damian says:

    I think a good piano bench is needed. Also, a good quality headphones are needed too.

  23. Stacy says:

    I just love piano. This article will help a lot to people like me who is willing to learn piano in future. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Elizabeth O says:

    These are some great tips. My niece is having an interest to play piano that’s why his parents purchased one for him. He undergo piano lessons too. and I guess, I need to buy a high quality headphones for him.

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