3 Classical Songs That Are Perfect for Beginners

Lisa Witt  /  Classical  /  UPDATED Jan 12, 2023

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You know them, your parents know them, your grandparents know them. Classical songs are instantly recognizable, beautiful, and rewarding to play. But they can be daunting for beginners. After all, doesn’t classical = hard?!

Nope 🙂 Today, we have three easy classical piano songs that are perfect for beginners: Für Elise, Minuet in G Major, and Gymnopédie No. 1. We’ve arranged them in beginner-friendly ways, and I’ll walk you through them step by step!

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Love classical music but not sure where to start? Head over to Classical Piano Quick Start, four free lessons designed for beginners taught by Victoria Theodore. Victoria is a classically trained pianist with degrees from Oberlin College and Stanford University. She has also shared the stage with stars like Beyoncé, Stevie Wonder, Prince, and more. Start your classical journey with Victoria today!


“Für Elise” by Ludwig van Beethoven

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For many people, “Für Elise” is the classical piano song. Beethoven’s melody is timeless and beautiful, and with some focus and determination, beginners can play this song too.

There are a few hand position changes in this song, but I’ll walk you through the fingering so you don’t run out of fingers!

To make things interesting, we’ve also included chord charts. This means you can play the left hand as it’s written or make up your own left hand accompaniment! If you want to sound like the original Beethoven arrangement, use fifths (ie. A-E-A for the A minor chord).

(If you’re new to chords and chord charts, check out our free chording guide.)

Download our free “Für Elise” arrangement here.

“Minuet in G Major” by Christian Petzold

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“Minuet in G Major” is a little more challenging, but with a little practice, you can play it. It’s a good song to practice hand independence, just watch out for that F sharp!

It may help to break the song up into sections to focus on. You’ll find similarities between some sections, so once you learn a few phrases, learning the rest of the song will come easier to you.

Also, do lots of hands-separate practice for this song! It’ll help, I promise ☺️ Start slow, and don’t be afraid to write down the fingering if that helps.

Download our free “Minuet in G Major” sheet music here.

Correction!❌ ✅ In the video, we say that Minuet in G Major is by Bach, but this is a common misconception. Minuet in G major is actually by a composer named Christian Petzold!

“Gymnopédie No. 1” by Erik Satie

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Satie’s “Gymnopédie No. 1” is absolutely gorgeous and has made a few appearances in movie soundtracks. This song is in D major, so every time you see an F or C, remember to sharp those!

The left hand in this song is quite simple—you basically rock between the notes of broken chords. Practice the left hand by itself a few times to get a feel for the song’s steady rhythm.

The melody in the right hand is also sparse. But while this song may seem simple on the surface, it leaves room for plenty of expressive phrasing and dynamics.

This splendid thing about “Gymnopédie No. 1” is that it sounds beautiful at a slow pace, so don’t rush. Relax and enjoy yourself.

Get your free “Gymnopédie” sheet music here.

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If you need more support, we have in-depth tutorials on all these pieces in our Members Area!

And if you want to play even more classical music, check out this list of seven unabridged but easy classical piano songs.

With a little practice, anyone can play classical music, so go forth and explore!

Lisa Witt has been teaching piano for more than 20 years and in that time has helped hundreds of students learn to play the songs they love. Lisa received classical piano training through the Royal Conservatory of Music, but she has since embraced popular music and playing by ear in order to accompany herself and others. Learn more about Lisa.

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