Author Hans Christian Andersen once said, “Where words fail, music speaks.” Along with raising some interesting questions about the whole mute plot of The Little Mermaid, these words move us because they’re so true. And if music is a language, genres are the different dialects. For the aspiring pianist wanting to learn to speak the language of music, it’s helpful to know all the best music genres for learning piano.
If we’re talking dialects, classical would be the sort of words you would use to talk to kings. But don’t let that intimidate you. Classical music (as well as Baroque, Romantic, and all the other musical eras that are mistakenly called “classical”) is the perfect training dojo for good technique and expression, making it a good first stop for a new pianist. A few good beginning pieces to get you started in classical include:
- “Für Elise” by Ludwig Van Beethoven
- “Ode to Joy” by Lugwig Van Beethoven
- “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy
- “Gymnopédie” by Erik Satie
If classical is the way you tell history to kings, folk is the way you tell history to the common person. Although modern folk songs cause us to think of a quiet guitar song about wildflowers and roaming the countryside, any traditional song associated with a culture is considered a folk song. So, chances are, you probably already know it. Here are a few examples.
- “Happy birthday”
- “Aura Lee”
- “The Yellow Rose of Texas”
- “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”
A lot of “distinguished musicians” turn their noses up at pop music, but pop music is the dialect we use to talk to each other about whatever is going on in our everyday lives. And since it’s designed to be accessible, a lot of it follows a few relatively simple chords. That, coupled with the fact that you probably already know the tune of many songs, makes it a good music genre for learning piano. Some good beginner tunes are:
- “All of Me” by John Legend
- “Let it Be” by The Beatles
- “Titanium” by Sia
- “Fallin” by Alicia Keys
The beauty of music from “The Great White Way” is that it ranges over a myriad of genres from hip hop to bluegrass, so it can speak almost any dialect you want. But if you’re talking about that classic “Broadway sound,” it’s usually pretty easy to find songs that are simple to play and sing along to. Here are a few classics:
- “Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music
- “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha
- “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady
- “Once Upon a December” from Anastasia
Music truly is a beautiful language. And the beautiful thing about our piano lesson online tutors is that they know their way around just about every musical dialect.