Picking up the piano can seem a daunting task, given the amount of keys and versatility of the instrument. Learning easy songs, especially those as recognizable as Disney’s, will help you improve massively.
Your confidence will grow after each song you master and are able to play from memory. While not as complex as classical music, these Disney songs will introduce you to different chord progressions and techniques that will help progress your playing massively.
Piano Playing Basics
Before jumping straight into the music, it is important that you make sure your technique is sound so you don’t develop bad habits or tendencies that you need to fix retroactively. Your finger and hand positioning, as well as your playing posture, need to be taken into account and employed properly.
The basic playing form is known as C Position, which means you rest your left pinky finger on C3 (C on the third octave of the keyboard) and your right thumb on C4, which is centrally located on the piano.
It is key that you keep your fingers positioned like this as your hands move around the keyboard, as you do not want to cross your fingers to reach notes during play.
Your hands should be loose and relaxed, with your wrists straight enough to lay a ruler flat from knuckles to forearm. The pads of your fingers should rest gently on the keys, not the tips as that will cause your hand to bend too much.
The Value Of Learning Disney Songs
There are plenty of benefits to learning Disney songs, even if you aren’t a fan of the films or theme parks. As it is such a universal brand, much of their music is simple and accessible while also being catchy and memorable.
The majority of Disney tunes are straightforward rhythmically, meaning your playing chops do not have to be at an advanced level to keep up with the music’s pace.
The chord progressions are recognizable and largely basic, with patterns that can be figured out quickly. Apart from the speed, there tends to be little in the way of key changes, making the chord progressions easier.
Something as small as hearing a song you’ve recently learned in passing or during a movie can be extremely validating to the time you’ve put into your instrument and only add to your confidence as a player.
Top 21 Easy Disney Songs To Learn On Piano
In this section, we will cover fifteen Disney songs that are beneficial for you to pick up and are straightforward in terms of difficulty. For the most part, these are simplified versions of the songs.
As you continue to improve your playing, you will be able to increase the complexity and difficulty of your renditions!
1. Circle Of Life – The Lion King
This is a beautiful and highly recognizable tune that is quite simple and a joy to play. The song was written by the legendary Elton John and is in C, an easy key to play. The tempo is moderate and there is an overarching chord progression that will keep your left hand moving as well as your right.
2. You’ll Be In My Heart – Tarzan
Another staple in the Disney repertoire, “You’ll Be In My Heart” is a classic from Tarzan and was written by Phil Collins. While it is also played at a moderate tempo, there is more to learn than the previous tune. This one will take you slightly longer to learn, but the additional changes are worth it and still not overwhelming in the least.
3. How Far I’ll Go – Moana
One of the most iconic newer Disney songs, “How Far I’ll Go” is an excellent track from Moana that will have you and anyone else in the room singing as soon as you learn to play it. Your left hand will play a standard chord progression while your right handles the catchy melody. It has some slight rhythmic complexity, but the tempo is not fast and can be easily tackled.
4. The Bare Necessities – The Jungle Book
A timeless Disney classic, “The Bare Necessities” is a must to learn due to its pop cultural significance and what it has to offer musically. Rather than being based around left-hand chords, you are playing a walking bass line to compliment the melody being played on your right hand. While the song isn’t a daunting task, it can offer a slight but necessary challenge.
5. Let It Go – Frozen
As you may remember, Frozen took the world by storm a decade ago and “Let It Go” was its magnum opus. The song is unbelievably catchy and is more uptempo than the previous tunes, which will give you a different feel. The melody is slightly busier as well and will certainly speed up your right hand playing. You will not regret learning this one even after it is stuck in your head.
6. Under The Sea – The Little Mermaid
From the beloved The Little Mermaid, “Under The Sea” is a great midtempo song that will certainly help to improve your rhythm. The melody uses a syncopated rhythm that is fantastic practice for your right hand, while also helping the timing on your left hand as you play the lower notes during the melody.
7. Part Of Your World – The Little Mermaid
Sticking with The Little Mermaid, “Part Of Your World” offers a slower and more delicate piece of music to learn. The melody is played on higher notes further up the keyboard, while your left remains down between C2 and C3 for the most part. This wide gap between your hands will help improve your range and ability to stretch during play.
8. We Don’t Talk About Bruno – Encanto
This song from Encanto is the most recent hit single from a Disney film. Unlike the others, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” has a minor key feel with a relatively somber sound, a tone that we haven’t seen in any of the previous songs. With its recent popularity, “Don’t Talk About Bruno” is highly recognizable to children and is especially great for young players in that regard.
9. A Whole New World – Aladdin
“A Whole New World” is one of the biggest songs in the entire Disney catalog. This is in part due to Aladdin’s popularity, but also for the light and catchy melody. It is one of the easier songs to learn on the piano, at least in its simplified form, but that isn’t to say it will not help you practice. This song was written as a duet, so practicing with another singer or pianist for this song will help your accompaniment abilities drastically.
10. I’ll Make A Man Out Of You – Mulan
Disney’s Mulan offers a wonderful song in “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You.” This is a highly melodic based song and is slower, causing you to be more deliberate in your timing. Playing slower than you’d like can be as difficult as playing music with a quick tempo. Anything that forces you out of your playing comfort zone helps you improve all the faster. There is also a key change that offers additional practice and ear training.
11. Beauty And The Beast – Beauty And The Beast
This iconic song from Beauty And The Beast is a wonderful piece of music that is a great opportunity to practice playing a catchy melody in unison with chords and a solid amount of left hand movement. It is a pretty ballad that would be a treat for you to play for friends and family, they may start singing along!
12. Once Upon A Dream – Sleeping Beauty
“Once Upon A Dream” is a beautiful song that is different from most of the previous ones on this list because it is highly chord based. Much of the melody is expressed through chords and will help your finger dexterity immensely by forcing you to change from chord to chord as you go through the chorus.
13. You’ve Got A Friend In Me – Toy Story
Toy Story’s absolute classic by Randy Newman, “You’ve Got A Friend In Me,” is a slightly more challenging piece of music that will be highly rewarding to you as a pianist. Even in its simplified version, the jazz-inspired syncopation will truly make you work on your feel for timing and open up your playing to rhythms and patterns that would otherwise be unfamiliar. This song is massively beneficial for you to learn for that reason alone.
14. Hakuna Matata – The Lion King
This universally loved song from The Lion King was written by Elton John and although simple, “Hakuna Matata” has a beautiful and nuanced melody that will move your hands up and down the keyboard more than most of the previous songs; improving upon your playing range is a necessity.
15. Go The Distance – Hercules
A massively popular song in its own right, “Go The Distance” from Hercules is a gorgeous downtempo tune that has a memorable chorus with a clear pattern. This song is a great introduction to playing accents, as the chorus for it has three main rhythmic accents it hits throughout. While the melody is lovely to learn, this song is great practice for your sense of rhythm like “You’ve Got A Friend In Me.”
16. I See The Light – Tangled
This song from Tangled is both busy and straightforward. The melody is complex enough to be a fun, non-repetitive challenge, while remaining easy to learn. It is catchy and has several different parts, which is excellent for memorization practice.
17. Le Festin – Ratatouille
While not a film that is quoted for its music as some of the others on this list, Ratatouille’s “Le Festin” is a beautiful and stylish piece of music to learn on piano. While it isn’t Mozart, it is a bit more difficult than most of the other songs due to its pitch range across the keyboard and a busy melody.
18. We Don’t Talk About Bruno – Encanto
The wildly popular single from Encanto, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” is an easier tune than the previous two, but it has plenty to offer. The song has a decidedly minor key feel, with melancholy tones that provide a great tension in the music, making it very fun and memorable to play. This is a great song to practice singing along with as well.
19. Married Life – Up
“Married Life” is an iconic song that is just as emotional as the film it scores. It isn’t as easy as others on the list, as there is a good bit of rhythmic challenge and many different notes that come into play for the melody. It is a lovely piece of music that will feel incredible to play once you get it down.
20. When She Loved Me – Toy Story 2
“When She Loved Me” is a song that many will recognize from Toy Story 2. It is a good mix of an easy, repetitive chorus that is interwoven with slightly more challenging parts with more movement and interesting chords that are hit. This is a dynamic song that is great to practice with a metronome, as it is important to spend time learning slower songs without rushing the tempo.
21. Do You Want To Build A Snowman? – Frozen
A massive song from a film that needs no introduction, “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” is a great final song to round off this list due to the ease and familiarity of its chorus, combined with the note-y and challenging verses that move up and down the keyboard. Knowing this tune will invite many to sing along to your playing.
While there are nearly countless other Disney songs to learn on your piano journey, these fifteen are a perfect place to start. As you get a handle on the music, you will be able to both add new additional songs to your list, as well as learning more complex versions of the songs you’ve already mastered.