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Maybe you want to improve your already impressive skills on the piano, or you now regret skipping piano practice as a kid and want to give it another go. Or maybe you've never stepped foot near a piano and want to try it out. If you fit any of these categories, you're in luck with the many online piano lesson options out there!
Playing the piano is one of the most useful talents you can develop. There is no shortage of opportunities to use this skill throughout your life. Whether it's accompanying the school play, entertaining guests, having a therapeutic outlet, or performing on stage professionally, you'll be glad you took the time to learn how to play. Like anything else in life, if you put in the effort to practice and stick to the online lessons, you can learn to play the piano well and enjoy your newfound talent!
Friday, October 22nd
Piano Marvel is a great online piano learning tool for individuals, teachers, and schools. College campuses such as Baylor University, BYU, Colorado State, TCU, and Utah Valley University are just a few of the schools who use Piano Marvel with their students. The platform allows teachers to monitor the progress of their students and provide assessments for grading purposes. As an individual using the software, Piano Marvel features modes that let you self-pace your piano learning and monitor your own progress along the way.
Over 10,000 songs to learn
The cost for Piano Marvel depends on how long you want access to the course. If you choose to go month-to-month, the cost is $15.99/month. If you want to pay for the whole year upfront, the cost breaks down to just $9.25/month. If you choose not to create an account for the course, but you want access to the sheet music from their library, you can buy the sheet music separately. The cost for most titles range from $1.99 to $3.99. There are over 10,000 songs available for learning in the library with new music added each week. You'll find that they feature both the latest song releases as well as the age-old classics and staple holiday music.
Practice tracked automatically
For teachers and schools using Piano Marvel for their students, custom exercises and songs can be uploaded for sharing. Practice sessions are tracked automatically for teachers to review. This includes minutes practiced, scores on exercises, and data points. This helps teachers set goals with their students, monitor their progress, and easily grade assignments. For students, individuals, and teachers alike, the Piano Marvel stores music and information that can be accessed on either a PC, Mac, or iPad.
Tried and true
Piano Marvel is a tried and true resource for piano learning. The video lessons show the instructor's hands playing on the piano along with the sheet music, so you can watch both together. Different modes can be set while using the course including prepare mode, assess mode, and a sight reading assessment. These features allow students to play at their own pace, track their progress, and test their knowledge.
If you purchase Piano Marvel and find that it isn't the best resource for your piano learning, there is a 14 day refund period where users can receive a full refund. However, we feel confident recommending Piano Marvel as our go-to course for online piano lessons and feel that students will find success by following the lessons.
If you are looking for an out-of-the-box method to learning or teaching piano, Piano Wizard is likely as unique of a course as you will find. Unlike most other online piano courses, Piano Wizard is a computer- based lesson platform that teaches with a video game-like method to make piano learning more fun. It appears to be designed to attract younger students, but would work for any age.
Electronic keyboard required
The Piano Wizard software requires a plug-in keyboard be purchased in addition to the software. A link is provided with external sites to purchase keyboards from. With the electronic keyboard, you place stickers (provided by Piano Wizard) on the keys that coordinate with the software. Color coded objects will scroll from the bottom to the top of your screen during lessons and indicate which keyboard keys to press. The object is to press the keys at the same time the object passes over the on-screen keys. This teaches students to read music over time.
Piano lesson features
The Piano Wizard software includes:
You can try a family membership for 30 days. After this trial period, the cost for a monthly subscription to the software is $2.95 for shipping and handling, a $97 one-time payment after 30 days, then $9.95/month thereafter. You can cancel or upgrade at any time. Another pricing option is the lifetime family membership. This is a $347 one-time payment and you own the membership for life. With either membership, the Piano Wizard software can be downloaded on up to three computers in the home. After that, there is a fee for additional installs. There is a 45-day money back guarantee in place for students who buy the piano software and decide it isn't the best option for them.
Unique and fun
We like that Piano Wizard provides a unique and fun method of learning to play the piano. For some, unconventional teaching strategies work better than the traditional ways of taking piano lessons. On the other hand, we do foresee the downside of only being able to use the software on a computer. We suggest this as an option for someone who likes gaming and wants a fun and unusual way of learning to play the piano if they don't mind learning on a keyboard.
Would you like to learn to play the piano by taking lessons from a famous musician? Perhaps one of the most impressive things about Playground Sessions is the six distinguished teachers who have contributed to the program. Well-known Quincy Jones has contributed to the learning methodology and curriculum. He has over 28 Grammys and worked with musicians like Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Will Smith, and more. Other instructors include Harry Connick Jr., David Sides, Alex Ness, David Gracia, and Dr. Byron Adams. Their accomplishments range from jazz album records to millions of YouTube viewers and Broadway performances, with all of the musicians/instructors having graduated from prestigious schools. Their bios can be viewed on the Playground Sessions website.
Students learn to play the Playground Sessions software with popular songs right from the beginning. Their philosophy is that learning is more natural when you know the tune and rhythm of a song that you are excited about. The program teaches notation, rhythm, and how to play by ear. Features include data charts that show the time spent practicing, progression, and where you need extra work. You can play with real time feedback and focus on a particular part of a song that you are struggling with, then loop the section and view your scores as you go until you get the section right and feel comfortable moving on.
Screenshots and videos
We felt like cheering and clapping our hands when we found screenshots and small demo videos of the piano lessons that come with the program. We appreciated that the Playground Sessions website actually highlights what students receive by paying for a membership. There is even a screenshot for the feature where students can play songs against their friends in a video game-like format and get scored based on notes played right or wrong. They earn points, level up, and broadcast their scores for others to see.
A variety of membership options are presented to customers. Both individual and family memberships are available. Lifetime family memberships range from $289.99 for two people to $449.99 for four people. Annual family memberships range from $119.88 for two people to $179.99 for four people. A standard monthly membership for individuals is $17.99 unless an annual membership is purchased for $9.99/month. Unfortunately, no refund policy is available for customers.
One complaint some customers have made about Playground Sessions is that there aren't video tutorials for each song and lesson. There are many popular song choices, but if you haven't learned enough technique from other tutorials, you may not be able to play all of the songs. Outside of this, we feel confident suggesting Playground Sessions as a highly-rated online piano lesson option due to the experienced teachers, popular song choices, and thorough video tutorials.
Learn and Master offers extensive courses for students wanting to develop a new skill from home. They have "mastered" the concept of self-paced learning online with the thorough material offered to students. Their website style and DVDs are not modern, so students will learn to play classical piano music here, but not gain access to music that is currently popular. Either way, the concepts of piano playing are the same and Learn and Master provides help for students at any skill level.
Over 38 topics covered
There are over 38 topics covered in the Learn and Master piano class to help students either build on their current piano playing skills or start from the beginning. These topics range from the layout of the keyboard to chord inversions and classical piano concepts. The styles covered in the Learn and Master piano series are rock, classical, ragtime, country piano, modern pop piano, boogie-woogie, blues piano, jazz piano, and Latin piano.
Designed for adults
The Learn and Master piano courses are designed more specifically for adults. The classes start out slow but gradually get more technical as each piano lesson builds on itself. Even if you are a more experienced piano player looking to go beyond the basics, the Learn and Master course is designed to help you do that. The lessons cater to a range of ability levels and will help you improve regardless of where you're at in your skill development.
60 day money back guarantee
By providing your email address and name through a website form, you will receive the free "Learn and Master Piano Secrets" email series from the professional course instructor, Will Barrow. To purchase the entire course of DVD's, the workbook, and CDs, you pay $89. The cost can be divided into three or four payments through a payment plan, with a surcharge of $4 with each payment. A 60-day money back guarantee is in place if you are not satisfied with the piano course once you receive it. If you run into questions about the Learn and Master course during or after your shopping experience, you can chat online with a customer service representative or call their toll-free number.
Good for the basics
Learn and Master is a good option for students wanting to learn the basic concepts of piano playing. Because Learn and Master comes in the form of DVD's and a workbook, they are not continually updated and fall behind as far as visual quality and song content. Many students will want to learn to play songs they hear on the radio or other songs of their generation and this piano lesson option will not provide that like some other platforms will. However, the concepts taught here don't change over time and remain relevant and helpful regardless of age.
Flowkey is an app designed to teach students new techniques and songs as they play along on the piano. This app can be used on a cell phone, tablet, or laptop. Flowkey displays the notes on the screen for the students to play as they go and allows them to go at their own pace. With audio recognition, the app recognizes if notes are played correctly or not and allows the student to keep trying until they master the song. A built-in loop function replays sections of songs to help students practice a particularly tricky segment.
Choose your musical interest
To get started, you are asked a few questions regarding your skill level on the piano, what type of piano you have, and what you are wanting to learn. Then you are asked to sign up for an account and offered a free trial of the lessons. There are thousands of songs available from classics to new releases. You can sort your selection by beginner, intermediate, advanced, and pro levels or choose a specific course topic.
8 piano lesson courses
The different courses offered include:
To find out the pricing of Flowkey, you can opt to upgrade to a premium account. To pay month-to-month, the cost is $19.99/month. To pay for a full year upfront, the cost is $9.99/month or $119.88/year billed annually. If you want to use Flowkey long term, you can pay a one-time fee of $329.99 for lifetime access to all of the course content. In the terms of service, Flowkey offers a full refund within 14 days if you change your mind after purchasing the app. An email address is provided in the event that you need to contact the company for a refund or any other reason.
Learn at your own pace
For students who want to learn techniques and songs at their own pace, Flowkey is a good option. If you want to focus on music theory as you learn, that's something you will not find here. However, the return policy makes purchasing access to their database fairly low risk. Besides the vague website, once you get using the Flowkey platform, you can find enough tools to help you improve your piano-playing abilities.
ArtistWorks offers over 50,000 online video lessons that extend beyond just piano. You can also take lessons in guitar, bass, mandolin, voice, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and other strings. The online platform was designed for students who do not have access to in-person lessons in their local areas: this program reaches students all over the world in any circumstances, as long as they have an internet connection.
Choose your piano teacher
Piano lessons through ArtistWorks are divided into three categories: classical, jazz, and popular piano music. Each of these categories has a different teacher that you can read all about on the instructor page and watch a short video clip of them. On this page, you can see the different levels taught for each piano category and the topics and songs you will be learning. As you progress through the lessons, each student can make up to 5 personal video submissions to their teacher. You simply record yourself playing, send it in, and within a couple of days your teacher will send feedback on your performance. Your submission along with teacher feedback is uploaded to a video exchange for other students to learn from.
Lack of cancellation policy
Access to lessons from ArtistWorks must be purchased either quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, rather than month-to-month or a one-time purchase. The 3-month plan is $35/month, the 6-month plan is $30/month, and the 12-month plan is $23.25/month. To gain access to lessons, you must buy into one of these plans that automatically bills on whatever timetable you purchase. Some customers have complained that they are continually billed even after they cancel their memberships. Nowhere on the website does it mention a return policy or guide to canceling your membership with ArtistWorks. To communicate with the company, you must fill out their online contact form and wait to be contacted.
Piano lesson features
As far as what is included with the different plans, the 3-month plan has unlimited access to all the lessons, limited access to the video exchange library, up to 5 video submissions to the teacher, and music theory workshop. On top of these features, the 6-month plan includes 25 backing tracks across instruments, and the 12-month plan includes a monthly broadcast and VIP bonus content.
Good content, but buyer beware
ArtistWorks is full of good content to help students learn to play the piano. But, because demos of the lessons are not provided on the website, it's hard to know just what you're buying into. Since students have to purchase a minimum of 3 months worth of lessons with ArtistWorks with no return policy, we suggest first trying out one of our higher-rated online piano lesson sites.
Piano For All aims to help beginner students not only learn to play by reading sheet music, but also by ear. The program comes with instant download of 9 interactive ebooks, 500 embedded audios, 200 video lessons, email support, and lifetime free updates. The website is all presented in first-person by the creator of the course, Robin Hall. Some aspects of the website are unprofessional and vague in their description of the course, like the credentials of Robin Hall or the actual interface of the full course.
60 day money-back guarantee
The cost for the Piano For All course is $39 for all of the material in an instant download, or $49 for all of the material in an instant download along with a mailed DVD-ROM (only to be used on a computer, not DVD player) with all of the course material. Shipping for the $49 package is free within the United States. If you review the course material and decide you would like to return it for a refund, there is a 60-day money-back guarantee in place. To initiate the refund, an email address is provided for you to contact the company.
Start with popular music
The downloaded Piano For All program can be accessed offline and on any device. If at any time you want critiquing on your progress with your piano lessons, Robin Hall states that he is willing to provide this for his students. His goal is for students to be able to understand the music they are playing well enough to improvise and create their own compositions quickly. Students start with popular rhythm styles by artists such as Coldplay, Norah Jones, Billy Joel, and more. From there, the Piano For All method helps students expand the melodies into different genres to make the music their own.
When it comes to the Piano For All course structure, the best description provided of how it works is in some video clips posted on the website. You see an instructor playing a song and highlighting the different keys being played. It is repeated a few times for the student to follow along. This is not much different than any other piano course that can be found online, and therefore doesn't necessarily live up to the hype that is sold throughout the website. Because of this and the unlikely claim that you can learn to play piano professionally within days with this method, we suggest going with one of the higher-rated courses we evaluated to ensure you understand what you are paying for.
PianoWithWillie is part of the Jazzedge network, which has an overall A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. Lots of microsites make up this network, meaning there are different piano resources connected under one main site for students depending on their current skill level and area of focus. PianoWithWillie is built to provide online instruction for students who have one or more years of experience on the piano. Other featured sites focus on specific styles/genres like jazz theory, music theory, funk, cocktail, rock, and blues piano.
Inconsistent piano lesson information
We found it odd that some information is inconsistent throughout the PianoWithWillie website. One page says there are over 550 hours of video, where another page says there are over 700 hours. The pricing is also different depending on what page of the website you view. On the actual membership page, the cost is shown as $29.97/month if you pay each month and $299 if you buy a year-long membership. There is no refund policy, so if you choose to purchase a membership, you can't change your mind afterwards.
Who is Willie?
You may be wondering who Willie is since he is the instructor and course namesake. It is mentioned once that he is a Berkeley graduate, but that's about it on the website. An additional online search gives further information, but still not much. He has toured the US as a performer and studied in New York and Boston with other renowned musicians. He has produced three recordings that have been featured on radio stations nationwide. As an add-on to the PianoWithWillie membership, students can get one-on-one coaching with Willie via Skype.
Over 4,000 lesson videos
There are many courses available to students from accompaniment to improvisation, jazz technique, rock composition, and more. There are two essential courses suggested for all students: piano essentials and chord essentials. These courses review the foundations of piano for students of all levels. In total, there are over 4,000 individual lesson videos that cover styles like funk, blues, jazz, gospel, Latin, rock, and classical piano.
It could be that PianoWithWillie is one of the best online piano courses out there, but unfortunately they don't provide enough information to convince us that this is the case. There are quite a few testimonials on the website praising the course, but these are not unfiltered, and therefore not the best resource to go off of by way of customer reviews. To be on the safe side, we recommend starting piano lessons using one of our higher-rated online courses.
Designed specifically for beginners and intermediates, the online Pianote course features 10 different levels with over 10 lessons each, equaling 100 step-by-step lessons. A blog page includes additional lessons and playing tips for free.
Access to real teachers
Some highlights of the Pianote course are direct access to the real teachers whenever students have questions, live weekly streaming videos, live weekly lessons, video reviews, and practice plans. One of six teachers goes over piano foundations, music composition, music theory, and learning to play by ear through the Pianote course features.
Piano lessons, videos, and practice plans
With a subscription to the Pianote membership, students gain access to all lessons, videos, and practice plans. Without purchasing the whole membership, a $19 sight reading course is available for those who just want to focus on understanding the interpretation of piano notes. A 4-video course goes over notes and rhythm, treble and bass clef, the grand staff, and music symbols. Another non-membership course option is the 500+ songs in 5 days course for $99. That's a big promise for a course! Here students are taught chords, progression, adding style and flair, inversions, keys, complex chords, and melody, all adding up to the ability to supposedly play over 500 popular songs on the piano within days.
Basic membership pricing is either billed month-to-month or annually. The month-long contract is $29/month, whereas the annual plan is $197/year. These plans, along with the non-membership plans, come with a 90-day money-back guarantee that can be obtained by contacting support via email or phone. Under the Pianote FAQ, it states that shipping to the USA is a flat-rate cost of $5. What exactly is being shipped? Good question. We have no idea, since this course is described as being completely online.
Hard to tell
As with some of our other lower-rated courses, Pianote doesn't give a demo or clear video explanation of what their course platform looks like. This is important since many people are visual learners and want to have a clean-looking course that is easy to use. Luckily there is a money-back guarantee, but it's hard to know if the course experience is professional and worth the investment. To be on the safe side, stick with one of the top-rated courses we have reviewed.
The first thing we noticed with Rocket Piano was their website full of unhelpful information mixed in with the description of their product. The top of the site features a short letter and photo of someone named Jon from Rocket Piano, but does not state who he is or what his credentials are. Throughout the site, the company tries hard to repeat that this course is not boring for students and teaches them in ways that no other courses do, although this is hard to believe based on the website presentation of the program.
Books and bonuses
The Rocket Piano package includes three books of step-by-step lessons for beginners, intermediates, and advanced skills as well as a jazz and gospel piano book. Five bonuses are also included including a metronome, music theory game, sight reading and perfect pitch software, and an additional piano book. These can be shipped to your house for free or downloaded to a computer. Within the lessons, several classic songs are taught as well as Rocket Piano originals, though the exact song names are not listed.
60 day refund policy
Since you can't have a clear picture of what the software or inside of the music books are like before purchasing Rocket Piano, it's a good thing there is a 60-day period where you can return your materials for a full refund. The cost for the full program is $39.95. Students can sign up for their newsletter to receive free "how to" articles, inspirational videos, composer reviews, and seven beginner video lessons that teach step-by-step techniques to get started learning your first song.
Few customer testimonials
Positive reviews can be found on the website, but they are not unfiltered, so they may not give an accurate depiction of the general consensus of the Rocket Piano course.
Clearer picture needed
For the price, a generous amount of teaching material is provided. We just wish they would give their potential customers a clearer picture of what the lesson regimen is like. Because of this, we have not given Rocket Piano one of our highest ratings.
Traditionally, piano lessons have taken place in-home with a professional teacher or at a local studio. It is common to have a piano recital every few months to display your improving skills for other students, family members, and friends. While some students like the idea of frequent performances, others dread this and would prefer to learn in private from the comfort of their own homes. In addition, in-person piano lessons are costly and this sometimes prevents prospective students from having the opportunity to take lessons in the first place. Luckily we live in a time with online options for piano lessons that cater to most everyone, regardless of age or lifestyle.
When searching for the best piano lessons online, consider the following things to ensure you find the right piano lesson package that fits your schedule, budget and comfort level:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online piano lessons available today. We hope these reviews open you up to an exciting opportunity for piano lessons!
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