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*

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.

During the pandemic, I won’t be writing assignments in student notebooks just for good hygiene. Instead, I’ll be using MyMusicStaff to send a summary to the piano parent and the student, if I have her email address. Parents – you are responsible for distributing my notes to your child. It’s your choice whether to print or keep it electronic on a device.

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

It’s officially called Wide Staff Manuscript Paper, and costs about $2. You can get it on Amazon or at any music store.

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