I've been practicing piano for over a year. My intention was the cliche'd just-have-to-learn-für-elise-before-i-die. So I've learned the whole piece and a couple of more simple tunes but you know, as i understand now, many adults approach piano in this wrong way and end up with playing WITHOUT any sign of musicality.(And I did this stupid mistake too.) Now I see clearly that I have to begin from scratch and establish the fundementals.

I've searched the net about books, methods, suggestions, etc. which didn't bring me to an obvious idea for regular practice. I'm thinking about practicing GRADE 1 songs(to be able to play them musical surely), practicing scales and all supplemented with various method and theory books.

What are your opinions on this? Can i simply follow and practice ABRSM exam contents? By the way, I won't be able to take lessons from a teacher.


2 Answers 2


The ABRSM exam syllabus, and the set pieces for each grade, will certainly work as a logical progression. ABRSM also publish other "graded" collections of pieces.

However these ABRSM publications don't include any teaching material, though you can find YouTube videos created by qualified teachers to provide some of that.

It is probably worth supplementing the ABRSM books with material which has its primary aim of teaching. There are several series of "adult piano course" books available - Alfred, Bastien and John Thompson are three well known ones.

The best way is undoubtedly to get a teacher, who can see when you are doing something wrong and correct it before it turns into a bad habit - but if you can't use a teacher for whatever reason, that's no reason not to try to learn without one!

If the problem is simply the lack of a teacher where you are living, you may be able to find somebody who gives "remote lessons" via Skype, etc. That is certainly being done for advanced music tuition, but I don't know how common it is at beginner level.


Make establishing a proper technique your first priority. Improving on sight reading and extending your repertoire will not immediately change how you play other songs, but lack of technique will set you back in your ability to musically express yourself and potentially cause harm if you play a lot.

My 2 cents (25 years of piano playing.)

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