A Running List of Modern Pop/Rock Songs for Piano

As promised in my last post “So your child wants to quit music lessons?“, here is a list of modern pop/rock songs for piano that you can introduce to your child or student (in no particular order).  I plan on adding songs to the list as they are released or discovered.  *Disclaimer: some are not appropriate for kids but would still be good matches for young adult/adult students.

  1. “Say Something” by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera
  2. “Atlas” by Coldplay 
  3. “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars
  4. “Jar of Hearts” by Cristina Perri
  5. “Apologize” by One Republic
  6. “Drops of Jupiter” by Train 
  7. “Breakable” by Ingrid Michaelson 
  8. “Boston” by Augustana 
  9. “Angel” By Sarah McLachlan 
  10. “Grenade” by Bruno Mars 
  11. “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane 
  12. “Superman” by Five For Fighting 
  13. “Don’t Know Why” by Norah Jones 
  14. “Unfaithful” by Rihanna 
  15. “Silenced by the Night” by Keane 
  16. “Homecoming” by Kanye West & Chris Martin 
  17. “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys 
  18. “Foolish Games” by Jewel 
  19. “Everybody’s Changing” by Keane 
  20. “Mad World” by Gary Jules 
  21. “100 Years” by Five For Fighting 
  22. “Trouble” by Coldplay 
  23. “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter 
  24. “Haven’t Met You Yet by Michael Buble 
  25. “New Soul” by Yael Naim 
  26. “White Houses” by Vanessa Carlton 
  27. “Never Say Never” by The Fray 
  28. “Us” by Regina Spektor 
  29. “My Immortal” by Evanesence 
  30. “The Scientist” by Coldplay 
  31. “Violet Hill” by Coldplay 
  32. “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds 
  33. “Precious Things” by Tori Amos 
  34. “Ruled by Secrecy” by Muse 
  35. “How to Save A Life” by The Fray 
  36. “Brick” by Ben Folds 
  37. “Someone Like You” by Adele 
  38. “Ordinary People” by John Legend 
  39. “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles 
  40. “Turning Tables” by Adele 
  41. “Fallin” by Alicia Keys 
  42. “Clocks” by Coldplay 
  43. “Zak and Sara” by Ben Folds 
  44. “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton 
  45. “Ascent of Stan” by Ben Folds 
  46. “Starlight” Muse 
  47. Apocalypse Please” by Muse 
  48. “Just Give Me A Reason” by Pink (featuring Nate Ruess from the band Fun) 
  49. “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars 
  50. “Carry On” by Fun 
  51. “Stay” by Rihanna (featuring Mikky Ekko) 
  52. “Next to Me” by Emile Sande 
  53. “Laughing With” by Regina Spektor 
  54. “Mouthwash” by Kate Nash
  55. “The Show” by Lenka

What songs would you add to this list?

69 thoughts on “A Running List of Modern Pop/Rock Songs for Piano

  1. Pingback: So your child wants to quit music lessons? | Miss Amaryah

  2. Reblogged this on Oak Park Music Therapy and commented:
    Wowie Zowie – What a great list of songs to inspire some fire for lessons! For those of you who are struggling through music lessons, take a look at this great resource list. Thanks to author Amaryah for the great video links! Keep playing!

  3. Hi Ms. Amaryah, I found this blog while desperately searching the internet for a song on the tip of my tongue. Eventually I found it by humming the melody into one of those sites where you do that kind of thing. The song? “The Show,” by Lenka. It’s on youtube.
    Some other favorites of mine: “Mouthwash,” by Kate Nash
    “Idler’s Dream,” by Oasis. One of my all-time favorite bands, they have a surprising amount of piano-driven tunes.
    Anyway, have a nice day. I like your site.

    • Brad, those are excellent suggestions! I’ll be sure to add them! Thanks!!!!!!!!!! Reminds me that I lent my Kate Nash CD to a friend & never got it back!!!!! Have a nice day too! 🙂

  4. hi !!!
    it’s a great list, very inspiring.
    but i’m wondering if you have, or know how to find piano sheets for the music? 🙂

    • I’m glad you like it! I buy a lot of my sheet music at musicnotes.com. As a songwriter and former intern at a record company, I know that artists at almost all stages of success in the music industry are struggling to make a living so I’m a firm believer in purchasing sheet music or making a lead sheet. Plus, it’s the right thing to do, IMHO, even if the songwriter is a super success. Buying a collection of songs in a book is almost always more economical. Perhaps try Half Price Books or Amazon if you want the most for your money. I hope you find the music you are looking for. Good luck and have fun!

      • I was looking at purchasing songs for my kids on music notes.com and I am a little confused. When they list a song as a piano solo, it does not come with the lyrics. When it comes with lyrics, the piano is the accompaniment. I would like my kids to play as a solo, but also have the music so they can sing along. My daughter likes Bruno Mars- Just the Way You Are

  5. hi, i seem to miss the rock song, sure there are some, but this is a little insulting… you should put on november rain and estranged by guns and roses of i don’t know, something that’s actually rock. it’s a great list but it’s not pop/rock it should be just pop… just sharing my opinion 🙂

    • Hey Naja, Thanks for reading! I agree that there is a shortage of good piano-driven songs in modern rock music. I DO plan on including the songs you mentioned in a playlist I’ve been working on in a future blog… more geared toward the Classsic Rock/80s rock era. Thanks for the input!

  6. THIS LIST IS AWESOME!! I have some to add-
    1. Somebody to Love (Glee or Queen)
    2. Terrible Things (Mayday Parade)
    3. Ten Days (Missy Higgins)
    4.This Is How It Goes (M Higgins)
    5. Khe San (Not sure how to spell that one)
    6. A Thousand Years (Christina Perry)
    7. Scar (M Higgins)
    And basically all the Missy Higgins songs because she is awesome… 😀

    • I absolutely Love Missy Higgins and I genuinely get sad because I can’t see any sheet music/tutorials for her! I’m not that great with hearing and trying either..
      Another few songs I would suggest to try to learn, I currently am trying too
      – If I could start today again- Paul Kelly
      – Chasing Cars- Snow Patrol
      – Wonderwall- Oasis

  7. My son is only 21 months so not ready for lessons yet but I was thinking the other day we need to make sure to have some fun/modern songs ready for him to learn so he enjoys it! This list is perfect. I would suggest adding some Dresden Dolls/Amanda Palmer and some Birdy to the list! 🙂 Thanks for this awesome resource.

    • Hey Kendra… I love it when parents are intentional about exposing their child to good music! I’ve been doing this thing where *almost* every morning I pick a random Pandora station and we spend some time listening/singing/dancing along. I look forward to checking out your song suggestions!

  8. Hiya, just wanted to share a few rock songs, I play keys in a classic rock band so heres some we do:
    Curtis Lowe, Sweet Home Alabama, The Breeze – or just about anything Lynard Skynrd
    Amie – Pure Prairie League
    The Weight (Take a load off) – The Band
    Maybe I’m Amazed – Paul McCartney/Wings
    Roll with the Changes – REO Speedwagon
    7 spanish angels – Willie Nelson/Ray Charles
    Piano Man, Just the way you are, always a woman – Or just about anything Billy Joel

    Hope this helps.

    • Cloud9… so glad you checked out the blog! I mentioned in a previous comment that I plan on doing a separate blog with Oldies & Classic Rock songs… I’ll definitely include some of these songs on that list! Thank you!

  9. Hi Amarya,
    I just found your list while searching for popular piano music for my 9 yr old daughter–she has been learning piano for 2 years. My daughter just mastered Do, Re Mi–she plays the chords with the melody. She loves to play and needs a new song. I’m not a musician so I can’t tell what level of difficulty songs are. Can you tell me which songs from the above list might be good for a beginner/intermediate piano player to work on? Thanks a lot! Krista

    • I have a few 9-year old students who are really digging “Say Something” and “Someone Like You”… I’d recommend starting with one of those. They’re new enough that your 9 year is probably familiar with them and they have relatively easy chord progressions. Good luck!

  10. Nice list. There is some very good music there. One of my favorite song I might add would be “You will leave a mark” by a silent film.

  11. I love playing the piano. I’m 11 years old and I have taught myself lots of songs. I think you should add imagine dragons, blink 182, or bastille

    • Meghan… that’s awesome! I love that you are taking initiative with learning new songs! It’s always exciting to me when one of my students loves music so much that they search out new songs on their own! I’ve definitely taught some of my students some Imagine Dragons parts… a lot of their songs are synth driven but translate well to a plain piano! I imagine the same would be true for Bastille and Blink 182. Thanks for sharing!

  12. i learned Stay and say something and i want to learn another song but i want it to be like an upbeat song not a sad one. Can some one help me. Can you guys give me ideas? If you want to see the way say something came out just look me up on YouTube @AlexandraFulgencio please subscribe and like 😉

    • Hey Alexandra, I’d recommend trying “Clocks” by Coldplay or “Someone Like You” by Adele. Both have a lot of energy and are slightly more difficult than the two you’ve already learned. It could be a good “level up” sort of challenge for you!

      • Ohhhh… I happen to luv Coldplay! I’m learning ‘Clocks’ @ the min. 😉 Coldplay and Queen have a good amount of piano – can I suggest ‘Viva la Vida’ by Coldplay?

  13. Hi Miss!
    Thanks for making a list and to all persons who gave more songs in commenting, I’ve found it while searching for piano songs on the net and discovered few ones I didn’t know yet thanks to you.
    You’ve already put Muse songs but I’d definitely add first “Exogenesis symphony part III” my fav’ piano song so far and probably also one of the simpliest one to play.
    I also love these:
    “Accidental babies” (Live at Wisseloord Studios) from Damien Rice
    “Dragster Wave” from Ghinzu
    “The great escape” from Patrick Watson
    “Over my shoulder” from Mika

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  17. Oh my goodness… this is awesome! It is a long, slow process to find music I like that lends itself to solo piano/vocals. Most of the songs I really enjoy are already on here, which says a great deal about the songs on here which I don’t know. I can’t wait to try them!

    P.S. – the Scientist is one of my favorite piano songs ever…

  18. I suggest “everytime” by Britney Spears and “come sail away” by styx! “don’t stop believin'” by journey is a good beginner song as well, but it’s a bit played out!

  19. My son was inspired by learning ‘Chord Left’ and ‘Takko’ by Agnes Obel. Also Howard Blake’s ‘Walking in the Air’ from the movie ‘The Snowman’

  20. Pingback: New Age Music Song List | kssmusic

  21. Pingback: New Rock Music Of 2013 | kssmusic

  22. I’ve started playing the piano this year and can finally start playing some harder songs. So this is great list for me to get some ideas from. One suggestion I could give would be “Forever and Always” by Taylor Swift.

  23. Pingback: Good Easy Piano Rock Songs - Grand Piano

  24. . Surely, I recommend Back to Black by Amy Winehouse. The rhythm is a little bit difficult, but it needs only a lot of exercise… And the result is fantastic!

  25. Miss Amaryah, I have been a musician since christmas day 2001. I have taught myself the capability to play any instrument I can get my hands on, within a few hours. My problem is that I play by ear. I can’t read sheet music at all. Every time I have tried to learn, I just get confused. The only way I can learn is to listen to the song repeatedly and mimic the song until I get it right. I slipped into a severe depression a few years back after getting out of the military and didn’t want to think about playing any instrument. I recently got myself a piano after coming out of said depression. I stumbled upon this blog and loved it! Is there any way you could email me a list of awesome songs to play on the piano from all genres?



    • Hey Sloan, so sorry that I’m just seeing this now! I will add playlists as I am able but my life has taken some unexpected turns so I can’t promise to provide lists for #allthegenres! 😉 BUT I will add lists as I am able! Thanks for checking out my blog!!! 🙂

  26. Hi
    I have a song suggestion to add to this list- Stone Cold by Demi Lovato. It has some very beautiful chords that I think sound great.

  27. “Downtown” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Faded” by Alan Walker, “Rather Be” by Clean Bandits and “I’m not the only one” by Sam Smith

  28. Pingback: List Of Good Songs – About Music

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