Piano Lessons – Checklist

I’m Registered! Now What?

Number one on my list is to make sure you have a good practice instrument. If you don’t, please read what I recommend for a suitable piano. The rest of the items are a breeze to get in comparison! Please click on any item to zoom it to a larger size.

Assignment Book/Note Pad

Pre-Covid, I used to ask for a spiral notebook, the type you could find for 25 cents piled high at Walmart during back-to-school weekend. Now, it can still be a spiral notebook, but it can really be any paper: notepad, Post-It notes, scrap paper, whatever. I switched to MyMusicStaff for writing lesson notes, the software that supports my studio, and emailing at some point after lessons. You can take over keeping track of your assignments, like I used to do in your written notebook, or you can just jot down the pieces to have until my lesson notes come through. Please compare what you have to what I send in my lesson note, and let me know if I got something wrong!

Three-Ring Binder – High-Quality 1/2-Inch

Even though it’s typically way more expensive than the bargain one-inch model, a high-quality half-inch binder minimizes bulk in the student’s lesson bag and sits much more easily on the piano’s music desk. I perform from this type of binder for recitals.

Loose-Leaf Dividers for Three-Ring Binder

Please purchase high-quality plastic ones over the cheap paper ones. Write-on tabs are a nice plus. Students need to keep sheets of all kinds well organized: technique, theory, lead, music, and perhaps more.

Pencil and Eraser

Musicians always carry pencils and erasers. You will use them for all sorts of things, like mark fingerings and notes in your music, take notes for your assignment, and do your activities/theory assignments.

Little Red Music Notebook/Music Staff Whiteboard

It’s officially called Wide Staff Manuscript Paper, and costs about $2. You can get it online at Amazon, in store at Arkansas MusicWorks, or at any music store. I’m offering a Music Staff Whiteboard as a fun alternative to that. It’s better for kids since it’s more fun to use plus it’s wider than the paper version. I will try to have some in stock at all times, but the price will vary since shipping impacts the total order price.

Tote Bag or Small Backpack

You’re going to need a dedicated music bag to carry everything on this list. It could be anything from a 25-cent Walmart fabric bag to a small backpack. Whatever works for you works for me!


If you are a late beginner and have not purchased a metronome, it’s time to do so! I will typically let you know when it’s time to get one. When I do let you know, please go ahead to purchase one. I list the one I use and highly recommend at the bottom of my Music Books page.

Music Books

I will give you a list of books that you’ll need for the semester. Since I don’t inventory books to re-sell to my students, I offer two easy ways that you can get books:

  • The first is to order them from Amazon.com, which works well for widely-published books. I list some of the most popular on my Music Books page.
  • The second choice is to place a group order with me through Cliff Hill Music, which I do several times a year. This is really your best choice for hard-to-get specialty music, such as pieces that are often played in festivals.

    Last Updated 2020-07-29 | Originally Posted 2018-01-11