Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course [Method Guide + Review]

We’ll go through the material this method book covers, talk about its pros and cons, and I’ll let you know if I recommend it for your piano learning journey.


Blog post:

EBOOK (How to practice piano…and like it):











Isabelle Bigos says:

Thank you for the video. I’m an adult learner, but played keyboard/piano as a child, mainly by ear. I am comfortable with early grades 1-2 (I’m just one of those perfectionists who needs to play every single piece dead right before moving up the grade and that means literaly hundreds.. lol). I have recently purchased Piano Adventures 1, just in case I had missed something out but I feel I have wasted my money, as there was nothing new in there for me, and it felt it was below my level. So I am not sure if I should spend more money on any other method books…? Further reviews would be much appreciated 🙂 I love your channel btw, please keep doing what you’re doing x

Jon Armstrong says:

My teacher started me on Bachs 2 part invention. She doesn’t care for method books.

wm1208 says:

Good information! I was in the Alfred’s Adult Book 1 and then found I couldn’t keep going after getting so far. Then I switched to the Alfred’s Basic Piano Library Series. I tend to like this series better. Presently in the Level 3 book. I find this level challenging for me, however, feel like I ‘m learning a lot and like the songs.

shahpaar waheed says:

I am using Beginner Classical Piano Music book by Damon Ferrante to brush up what I had learnt in the past. I am also another book of his called Piano Scales Chords Arpeggios Lesson. I would appreciate it A lot if you tell me what you think of it.

D Imek says:

Hi Allysia, question for you, at what grade level would you consider someone ready to start reading and playing hymns, SATB or even just SB hymns?? I so badly want to be able to play hymns but I’m just not there yet in terms of my level, but I appreciate your advice, thank you

Ares says:

Very cool!

Sandia Piper says:

Any thoughts on Alfred’s Adult all-in-one book series. That’s what I’m using.

Nina Rasmussen says:

As an adult beginner I started off using the Alfred adult series and although I made it through the 1st book I found that it progressed way too fast. I found another series called Alfred’s Premier Piano Course and it is so much more user friendly, I highly recommend it for adults and children. There are 6 levels and about 6-7 corresponding books for each level (Performance, technique, lesson, theory etc) so you can pick and choose what you want.
Why I think it’s better: the books are not as long as the adult series (about 30-40 pages) so you move through them quickly, the pieces are more diverse and not as “hokey,” and a lot more technique is introduced and gets more advanced throughout the series. Hope this helps 🙂

Monse Foster says:

Is there a method for adults that uses classical instead of chords?

Michael Lam says:

Thanks Allysia for doing the method book review series. I am just curious if anyone still using the John Thompson books (red cover)? I remembered when I start piano 20 years ago my teacher was using this book. After finishing book 1 then jump me right into Piano Pieces for Children (the green book).

Last Frontier Piano Studio says:

Review of Piano Safari!

Karen Loader says:

Great video-Alfred also has an Adult-All-In-One: Lesson• Theory• Solos Series of three books, the third book, once completed brings you into early advanced that is really fantastic and it has excellent theory work sheets and challenging Classical pieces, oh I wish they did a Book 4 that would teach early advanced into advanced piano because their text is excellent!
There is also John W. Schaum’s Series from books A to H and then Beyond the H book 1 and also Beyond the H book 2.
Allysia, one day as time permits, would you please take us through the 2 books Beyond The H Book books 1 at a Grade 6 level & book 2 a Grade 6 1/2 level.
Alfred also has a Premiere Piano Series, that I Judge As Excellent for students though Level 6
Also for young children, Helen Marlais does Succeeding At The Piano: A Method For Everyone Series Grades1-5 (she also shows many of her classes on youtube, which is why I purchased Grades 4 and 5 with the Recital books, really a fresh way of teaching and learning piano with great pieces and some more modern and newer repertoire by current day composers including a variety of pieces through most all of the musical eras, including the Romantic era that lead into their advanced books affiliated with the FJH Music Company Inc. to do theory, technique ear training and chords daily as well as early advanced books like the FJH Pianists Curriculum In Recital For The Advancing Pianist Original Solos Book 1 and I noticed Book 2 is also available for daily pianistic enhancement. There may be more-They also publish the FJH Contemporary Keyboard Editions Series that focuses upon 20th and 21st centuries. They also have they also have the Succeeding With The Masters Series and The Festival Collection books 1-7 as a companion text to the previous:)
Thank you:)

Darth Panda says:

I took various private piano lessons using these and other methods of learning. What I found was that Alfred’s Book series is great in terms of being able to learn on your own if you take a short break from your piano lessons but you definitely should be subsidized with other type books such as Hannon and Czerny to help with both chord progression as well as finger exercises.Also, the books over all were great with that said it got to the point I just asked my teacher to play a song from there and then I would choose to todo that one. So in other words I didn’t go in any specific order. although I did complete the entire series albiet on my own pace.I recommend this as a starter however in terms of actual learning regardless you would want to invest in a piano teacher who can not only steer you in right direction, correct you but also motivate you to play and or practice harder pieces.

Jun Lee says:

Really helpful information! Thanks much!

Mike Cipriani says:

Il tuo accento italiano è dolce. Way back when I used Michael Aaron’s books.

Alexandro Coutinho says:

Is there any good choice of method book for total beginners who want to pursue the classical side of piano? 😀

Timmie The Cat says:

Thanks for your great videos. I am using Schaum method books. Some good pieces with lots of simplified classical. Never boring and keeps me interested. Maybe you could please review when you have time

Sara Barbeau says:

I just love when you do books review. I start learning piano 2 1/2 years ago with Alfred Adult Method and I switched to Piano Adventures All-in-one second book. I preferred Piano Adventures, I”m almost at the end of the book. Apparently, I should follow with book 3B from the regular serie. I take piano lessons but I didn’t use it much with my teacher. I found that it gives me the tools to explore by self which feed my needs of a self learner. Side books were very good and I found arrangement richer that the one found in Alfred”s.

sdm151 says:

I’m finishing book 2 and the Hokeyness Factor has been brutal. I call them Nursing Home songs (e.g. songs you could play in a nursing home to really get the crowd excited). I also noticed in book 2 I really had to start slowing down my practice and focus on difficult sections. The self-doubt phase has definitely been strong but I’m powering through it. My teacher supplements with some pieces from Magrath’s Masterpiece Classics to keep things interesting and feeling like I’m learning real music. You pretty much nailed all of the struggles with the first 2 books and it was good to hear that I’m not alone there. Knowing that I’m still in kindergarten is both exciting and discouraging. Thanks, as always, for your videos.

Precious Pecans says:

This is the book I was taught for my brief formal piano years!!

Petula Guimaraes says:

Hi Alyssa! I’m happy you mentioned Piano Adventures because it is the one in following and I like it. I did find that without a teacher though I eventually plateaued by the end of the first book. The lessons were intellectually understandable but ny practice could not follow easily and I got very, very discouraged. Like, by the end if the book it is still challenging to play with both hands for me…

Terry Allen says:

I’ve been using the all-in-one and I’m nearly finished with the first book. I definitely recognize the songs you named though. My first real sticking spot was Blow The Man Down. The difficulty seemed to jump way up with that one. Jericho was one of my favorites. Scarborough Fair and Almonds and Raisins sound like real songs as well, so they were fun to work on. Looking forward to book 2 and powering through!

Roxanna Sharif says:

Yes I ‘ve got all three book… but my teacher uses Aaron Michael series… its quite good.

Superman 2048 says:

Thank you for this review! I’m at the first book atm and very happy with it. There’s indeed lots of hokeyness in it but that’s ok. I’m a beginner so I start at the beginning.
I had to go back in the book one time to relearn a couple of things because I kept writing letters under the notes, which if any beginner is reading this, musn’t do! Thank you Allysia and good luck everyone!

linmacias says:

Thank you Allysia! I am taking my time learning from Alfred’s Adult All-In-One Course. I love your videos because they are always so encouraging and informative.

Anne Wright says:

I used this book alongside graded ABRSM music, as you were talking about. Maybe some of the ‘hokeyness’ didn’t bother me as I am a GREAT deal older than the majority, so these have a familiarity. Found it good to use on my own away from my lessons which concentrate on ABRSM.

Lee says:

Use to learn from Leila Fletcher books in 1988
What do you think of the adults books?

Torgny Hansson says:

I also use the Alfred’s Basic Adult All-in-One Course. Book2 now.
Not sure what the reason is to have 2 series and how the correlate to each other.

jordi de waard says:

How come you say Alfred basic adult is only Grade 1/2 when there are pieces like Toccata in D and Beethoven’s first movement of the Moonlight Sonata in there?

Michael Robinson says:

YES! More of these videos! I feel overwhelmed by the amount of piano course books out there and I have trouble as a new piano teacher exploring/comparing the benefits/downsides to each one. Thanks!

2logj says:

Amazing information for all.please can you do a video on books like Bortok series .which book to start and how to proceed.thanks.

Nikos T says:

The only books i used are the so called “russian klavierschule”. Has anyone heard about them?

Rick T says:

I discovered this series just researching for something to help me self-teach (no teachers here). I really liked it and I probably breezed through it faster than I should have since patience isn’t my forte (isn’t that a musical term?). Anyway, the pieces are really hokey as you mention. I know in at least the third book they have an “Ambitious” section. Ok, now here you have the type of music that drew me to the piano in the first place. However, the selections in that section are probably too ambitious, e.g., 1st movement (Moonlight) of Beethoven’s op 27 no 2. Love this piece and not crazy difficult but truly over my head at that point. So yes, good series if you’re on your own.

Jaime Carrion Fialkow says:

Do you have any tips/comments about learning piano for adults who have some experience playing in childhood? How much can my previous experience help in terms of time/effort to go through the preparatory levels? I feel like I need to start from scratch as I don’t remember anything about technique, but I’m afraid it could be boring to do the very initial stuff diligently as I do feel like I have some memory in my hands. Thanks for the videos!

Linda Basham says:

michael aron series please!

Benjamin Williams says:

Have you tried Carol Barrett’s Classic Piano Course?

Angel Hernández says:

What do you think about Beyer op. 101

jl5555ls says:

This video is wayyyyyyyy overdue. Wayyyy overdue.

Ryan S says:

Learning as an adult myself, my instructor started me on,’Adult Piano Adventures’ by Faber (available via Hal Leonard) several years ago. It was fine for the first 5-6 months, but I then abandoned it and went straight into scales/arpeggios/chords and picked easier music and haven’t looked back. For me it helped to just learn the basics, but learned more via hands on because I personally cannot do easy to play pieces.

neha jain says:

Hi Alyssa.. great video!! N your bang on about the books being chord dominant!! Being more inclined towards classical music I was wondering if it’s a good idea to supplement the books with mikrocosmos as well?? Kinda do both together?? What do you guys think??

Jenn B. says:

The gentleman who teaches on the Let’s Play Piano Methods channel on YouTube goes through many method books page by page, which is so helpful for those of us going it alone without a teacher. (I believe I found him on your recommendation.)

QueensWino says:

I enjoyed this review of the Alfred Adult series very much! I am still on book one; I stalled out on “Blow the Man Down” (p. 107 in my edition) which I found difficult to pull off rhythmically. I plan to get back to regular practice and finish the book this year. I have supplemented my practices with beginner exercises from your videos for a bit of variety and plan to use more of them moving forward. I am a 50+ gentleman and I am in for the long haul. No rushing matters. Cheers from Queens, NY!

Captain Jack Aubrey of the Royal Navy says:

My path is kind of weird and I’m using these books for a bit different purpose. I’ve been “playing piano” for about 10 years now. I put that in quotes because it’s been 10 wildly inconsistent years, with extremely varied levels of discipline. I did take formal weekly lessons for the first 2 years and that gave me a solid foundation of theory and basic technique (circle of fifths, 4 octave scales, etc.), but I always struggled with reading music and never took it as seriously as I should have. To be honest, I was a poor student. The way I’ve been playing piano over the years has been very inefficient, picking pieces that were a bit too hard, struggling to read through the notes with my poor reading ability, and then committing the piece to memory and dwelling on it for far too long. “Practice” being simply playing a few pieces from memory for months on end. Terrible, I know.

My main purpose in learning piano in the first place was to aid my main goal and career aspiration of electronic music production/composing music for media. I’ve realized in the past couple years how important musicianship really is, regardless of how much technical music production knowledge one might have. So I’ve recently made it a mission to improve my musicianship and sheet music reading. I did a full reset. I’m currently about halfway through Alfred Adult All-in-One course Level 2 at a rate of a piece per day, not perfectly polished, but competently playable with a metronome. And I gotta say, it’s perfect! This was just what I needed. Short, easy pieces to practice my music reading and get some more varied experience under my belt.

TL;DR: If you’re a beginner, just follow the method books as written, listen to your teacher if you have one, and keep learning new things! Don’t get stuck at a comfort zone plateau and stop progressing. And don’t rely on memory! READ music! If I had done this starting 10 years ago, I’d be SO MUCH better at piano now. I’m kicking myself for wasting all that time.

S.O.S.P Naruto says:

@PianoTV, What books do you recommend for classical beginners after the Czerny op. 599 book?

Andy S says:

Hello and thank you for your valuable teaching videos for those of us on solo piano learning journeys. You asked for suggestions of other methods to evaluate and I’d like to mention Helen Marlais’ “Succeeding At The Piano” (SATP). I started with 6 different methods at the beginning, and after throwing out the others for one reason or another, I’m sticking with Piano Adventures and the one mentioned for the time being.

Side Scroller says:

Suzuki method if you haven’t done it yet please!

skaposzczet says:

I’m just struggling with book 2. Good to hear that this is common and it should be over after this.
The pieces are mostly easy but I think I have enough of simple music with almost always the same left hand.

 Write a comment


Do you like our videos?
Do you want to see more like that?

Please click below to support us on Facebook!