Silent Night Beginner Piano Tutorial

Lisa Witt  /  Christmas Songs / Dec 13

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Kaitlyn is back and she has been practicing!

If you don’t know who Kaitlyn is, make sure you check out our November VLOG where she started her journey to learn the piano.

For a refresher, Kaitlyn works in support at Pianote and wants to learn to play, so she’s doing it with our Pianote Foundations course. And she’s kind enough to let us film her so you can see her progress 🙂

Christmas is approaching, and one of the best things about learning the piano is learning to play songs. So Kaitlyn is going to learn how to play “Silent Night”.

And she’s not just learning it for herself.

She’s going to be PERFORMING at a little house concert (talk about pressure!).

The goal of this lesson is to show you how possible it is to start playing songs, even if you’re a complete beginner. It doesn’t take years of practice in a basement to be ‘good enough’ to play in public.

So here is your “Silent Night” beginner piano tutorial.

Kaitlyn’s progress so far

When we catch up with Kaitlyn at the start of the video, she’s been playing for about a month. For her, learning has been harder than it looks.

That’s a really common thing new learners face, especially adults. You can see the keys, maybe you can even make sense of what the notes are. But connecting your brain to your hands and fingers is a whole other story.

And that’s ok!

What’s important (and what Kailtyn is doing) is to KEEP PRACTICING. Little by little, day by day.

You will get better.

Learning “Silent Night”

I picked this carol because it’s easy to learn, and there aren’t too many chord changes. Make sure you get your free copy as well.

The song is in the key of G, which means there is an F#. Again, these black notes can cause problems for new learners, it takes time to get your fingers used to the new positions.

One of Kaitlyn’s struggles is switching chords from the G chord to the D chord.

So to get better at that, practice those chord changes, and ONLY those chord changes. Move back and forth from the G to the D at least five times.

By breaking that change down into a smaller chunk it’s easier to learn and your fingers will remember it better when it’s time to play it in the song.

Muscle memory is very real.

How to use a lead sheet as a beginner

You might have noticed that Kaitlyn is using a lead sheet.

But Kaitlyn can’t read music yet.

That’s ok! Because she DOES know how to form and play chords.

One of the things I love about lead sheets is how the chords are written above the notes. So even if you’re a beginner and can’t read music just yet, you can still play the songs 🙂

The best way to get better

Is to practice.

I wish there were an easier way, but practicing is the BEST way to get better. Practice every day if you can, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.

You can see in the lesson how much better Kaitlyn is after she’s practiced for a couple of weeks.

So here are some final practice tips for you.

Identify your weak areas – Kaitlyn knew exactly what hers were. Those are the things you need to practice the most. Break them down into little chunks and work on them.

Soon they won’t be weaknesses anymore.

Try to get out of your head – Overthinking can cause trouble. If you find yourself stuck on one particular part of a song or skill, take a break. Get away from the piano for a few minutes and then come back. Sometimes if we think something is going to be hard, we end up convincing ourselves it will be.

And finally…


Have fun 🙂

I hope you enjoy this “Silent Night” beginner piano tutorial. And to see how Kaitlyn does in her first-ever performance, CLICK HERE!

Lisa Witt has been teaching piano for 19 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.

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