The Easiest Easy Piano Songs

Play your favourite songs in the easiest of arrangements! Enjoy pop hits, Broadway showstoppers, movie themes, jazz standards, folk tunes, and classical melodies presented simply, with lyrics. You’ll find something for everyone! The title says it all: easy arrangements with lyrics to make even beginners sound great! Songs in each collection are carefully chosen to work in these streamlined arrangements. Katharine Hutcheson looks over a couple of New Releases.

Katharine Hutcheson is a QLD Conservatorium graduate who lives on Brisbane’s southside and has been teaching piano lessons for 25 years. She is passionate about teaching students to develop independent learning skills that they can use at the piano and beyond, and growing solid practice habits and techniques at home. She builds self-confidence in every student through weekly lessons filled with laughter, a shared love of music making and duet playing. When Katharine isn’t teaching, she is a busy mum who loves to spend time in the kitchen and is never too far away from a large mug of Earl Grey tea, two cats in her lap, and a good book.

Disney Songs
Simple Songs

This fantastic new Hal Leonard book has songs from 39 different Disney movies, ranging from 1933 – 2019. It includes a refreshing variety of Disney songs that I have not previously seen in any Disney Song piano books in my 25 years of teaching. Such as “Queen of Mean” from Descendants 3 and “Sophie’s Theme” from The BFG. There are at least a dozen songs from lesser-known Disney movies that most 21st Century kids these days would not recognise; however, in my experience this provides a wonderful opportunity to research the movie together in the lesson with the student, learning something about a new Disney movie that your student may end up really enjoying! This book does not include an audio CD.

This book is well-suited to students who have been learning for several years at least. I don’t think the pieces are the “easiest of arrangements” as the title suggests. Students who play these arrangements should be comfortable with note-reading above and below each stave, and with playing a variety of syncopated rhythms. A wonderful addition to any student or teacher’s library of music books!

Broadway Songs
Simple Songs

Nearly 100 years of brilliant music that makes you want to get your dancing shoes on and sing your heart out! A terrific mixture of expected well-known numbers like “Singin’ in the Rain”, “Mamma Mia” and “Edelweiss”, and some nice new surprises along the way, like “Footloose”, “On the Street Where you Live”, and “Me and the Sky”.  There are a lot of musicals listed in this book that students may not recognise, giving you a good opportunity to spice up the homework instructions and encourage a bit of fun musical research. What fun to watch a musical clip online with a student and see their reaction when they hear the song for the first time (as I did in a lesson recently with a student learning “If I Only had a Brain”), then they get to play it themselves! 

This book is definitely not for the very beginner level student. Songs are approximately Grade 1-2 AMEB level, requiring students to have up to several years of piano playing experience. This book has lots of fun but simplified syncopated rhythms, intervals no bigger than an octave (suiting smaller hands), and chords containing no more than 2 notes. I can’t wait to explore this book with some of my older students who LOVE musicals.

Movie Songs
Simple Songs

With 50 songs in this book you could nearly learn a song a week and have the book last you all year! How exciting to see a movie theme book with songs from movies: “Pretty Woman”, “Charade” (an all-time favourite of mine), “The Magnificent Seven”, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Gone with the Wind”. With composers like Patrick Doyle, Henry Mancini, John Barry and the legendary John Williams, you’re all set for a year of popcorn, movie watching and music making. 

This book, with its simplified chordal accompaniments and large print, makes music reading easy for the Grade 1-2 AMEB standard student. Pieces could be simplified by the teacher and taught by rote to more beginner level students. They are not the “easiest easy piano songs” as the title may suggest, but any teacher willing to think outside the box can create the magic of these movie songs for students of any age and any ability. 

Jazz Songs
Simple Songs

A wonderful introduction to the joys of early 20th century jazz music. There are 50 songs in this book, most of which are from the 1930’s and 1940’s, that grandparents and great-grandparents would recognise and thank you for playing! 

This book opens to sit flat on the music stand (making for easy page turns). It teaches students to use a variety of simple time signatures, and simple keys with minimal accidentals. It features jazz styles such as “Slow Swing”, “Easy Latin Feel”, “Big Band Swing”, “Bossa Nova”, and lots of “Moderately Slow” and “Free Tempos”. Students need some awareness of syncopation, and all songs are Grade 1-2 AMEB level (not VERY easy songs). 

An opportunity awaits teachers with a book like this, for helping a student to develop a truly memorable family tradition with their piano playing. It would help students create a repertoire of soft jazz piano music to play in the background, as their family sit down and relax on a weekend. Lifelong memories are created for generations within families when a student plays music and learns how to do it WELL. 

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