Piano Lessons – Checklist

I’ve signed up for lessons…Now what?

Great! The piano lessons checklist is a soup-to-nuts list of things that I ask all my students to acquire. They give you the best possible chance to succeed, whether you are a beginning student or are transferring from another teacher.


It’s important that you have either an instrument on which to practice at home. If you have an acoustic piano, that’s best. If you have an electronic piano, please share a photo, noting the model number if it’s not visible in the photo.

If you are buying an electronic keyboard, please make sure that it has weighted keys. Typically you can only find them in full-sized 88-key keyboards. The Yamaha P-45, the base model in the P series, will cost about $550 plus tax once you add so-called the accessories: bench, full-sized damper pedal, and keyboard stand. Yes, without these accessories, your keyboard will be on the floor! The next model up is the Yamaha P-115, will cost about $250 more. It has a slightly richer sound, and it has the standard three pedals that you would find on most grand pianos.

These are just two examples of electronic pianos meeting minimum standards. I only mention the Yamaha brand by name due to their popularity and solid reputation. There are other acceptable makers at these price points, but they will likely be harder to find. If you don’t want to spend this much, please consider buying used, whether electronic or acoustic. Whatever you do, please don’t buy the 61-key special. Neither of us will be happy!

I would strongly recommend buying an electronic keyboard in person. First, you want to be able to try it out. Second, if there is anything wrong with it, it’s easy to return. Third, low-ball Internet prices will generally not include the so-called accessories mentioned above.

Assignment Book

While you can buy a fancy music assignment book for several dollars, any notebook with lined pages will work just as well. These sell for about 25 cents at Walmart during back-to-school sales, and less than a buck at other times.

Three-Prong Folder

There will be some exercises on loose-leaf pages that you will need to have with your books. You can get a really cheap one for as low as 15 cents, but I’d recommend a more sturdy version like the
Mead Five Star Stay Put Pocket Prong Folder. It’s available at Walmart for about two dollars.

Music Books

I will give you a list of books that you’ll need for the semester. I list most of the books I teach from on this Web page. If you have Amazon Prime, this can be the cheapest and easiest way to get them. They can also be ordered at a music store, but not all of the books I use are readily available locally.

Last Updated 2018-06-16 | Originally Posted 2018-01-11