Technology has brought us to a place where it is normal to learn things online. Want to learn a new cooking technique? How to change the air filter in your car? A shortcut in a game? You go online and watch a video! The online offerings have expanded to include musical instruments, and now there are numerous courses available to teach you just that.
Whether you are brand new to playing the piano, or you played in the past and need a refresher course, there is something for you. Here are five great online piano lesson courses, including their costs (if any) and features.
If you’re interested in learning how to play piano or keyboard in a fun and interactive fashion, then look no further then Piano for All. This course features 10 in-depth eBooks that contain 200 video lessons and 500 audio lessons. And best of all, the course works on PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, or any Android phone or tablet. Get your copy of Piano for All today while supplies last!
Pianoforall is a chord-based piano method, geared towards beginning musicians. Students start learning to play by ear using keyboard images, and through that eventually, learn to read music as well. Pianoforall is a one-time purchase. Students get access to nine e-books, containing 200 tutorial videos and 500 audio examples. The e-books can be downloaded or are available by DVD, and in either case, do not require the user to be online.
In each Pianoforall video, students will see two different views of the piano keys. One shows hands playing the keys. On the other, the keys light up as they are played, and the note names are identified above. This is especially useful as pieces and techniques are learned. It will showcase the correct fingerings to use, and students can see which keys to play.
Students can learn a variety of musical styles, including blues, rock and roll, jazz, ballads, and classics. There are also introductions to improvisation and basic melodic composition. Pianoforall states their method is perfect for students with no musical background, or students who may have experience playing or reading music but want to improve.
It is suggested for teenagers and adults, but not currently recommended for children. The website mentions a children’s book coming out soon, but it is not available yet. Pianoforall claims students will begin to sound good in a matter of days, though, with any piano method, it does recommend 20-30 minutes of daily practice.
Pianoforall is available for a flat fee, meaning students have access to the content forever. The material can be downloaded digitally for $79 (currently on sale for $39) or get a data DVD and digital download for $89 (now on sale for $49). Both options come with a 60-day money back guarantee.
Best For: Pianoforall is best for adult or teenage beginners who are not interested in a monthly subscription.
Top 5 reasons to use Pianoforall:
- Chord-based piano method utilizing many styles of music
- Students learn by ear first, then learn to read music
- Intended for adult or teenage beginners – no experience is necessary
- One flat fee for permanent access to the materials
- No internet connection required for use
Playground Sessions was co-created by Grammy award-winning jazz musician, Quincy Jones. Video lessons, staring pianist David Sides, teach students music theory and all basic piano playing techniques through a variety of musical styles. Playground Sessions is a subscription-based software, which can be downloaded on Mac, PC, or iPad.
Video lessons showcase several views: the piano (both full view and keyboard with hands), a keyboard with keys and note names that light up, and the sheet music. This will assist students in learning effectively. The curriculum through Playground Sessions is divided into Bootcamp and Songs.
Bootcamp contains lessons in keyboarding skills, notation, rhythm, and playing by ear. The songs are a variety of genres, including classical, country, holiday, pop, rock and traditional. All songs are available in three levels: rookie, intermediate, and expert. Songs can be purchased for $3.99 each, obtained with subscription credits, or in some cases won! Playground Sessions also offers an interactive component if used with a MIDI or USB keyboard hookup.
When playing in interactive mode students receive immediate feedback. Notes will light up green when played correctly, and red when misplayed. The interactive mode is very game-like, allowing students to earn rewards and “level up.” In addition, several other practice tools are included with the software. Students can adjust tempos, have fingerings of note names labeled, isolate small chunks of music, or hear a demonstration of how songs should sound.
Three subscription options are available: $9.99/month for an annual subscription, $17.99/month for a monthly subscription, or pay $269.99 for lifetime access. Each subscription includes credits to purchase songs. Playground Sessions also offers family memberships (annual or lifetime only) and offers discounts on keyboards and digital pianos when purchased with a subscription. All subscriptions come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Best For: Playground Sessions is best for beginner through intermediate students of any age who do not mind a monthly subscription. Students with access to a MIDI or USB keyboards will benefit from the interactive features.
Top 5 reasons to use Playground Sessions:
- Comprehensive music curriculum, teaching music theory, piano technique, and songs
- Includes interactive software and practice tools, along with game-like features
- Subscription options are available to fit any budget and additional family members can be added
- Intended for beginners aged 7 and up
- Available on PC, Mac, and iPad
The Yousician music lesson platform provides lessons on piano, guitar, bass, and ukulele. The basic content is free, or there is also a premium edition available. Yousician is game-based, meaning students complete missions to advance through the various levels.
All missions contain video tutorial lessons. In each video, there is a keyboard with letter names and keys that light up, along with scrolling sheet music. Numerous practice tools accompany Yousician, including the ability to adjust the tempo, isolate hands when practicing, view simplified music notation, and view color-coded notes. In addition, most practice songs contain background music, making simple melodies more interesting. Yousician also includes interactive features.
Using the microphone on your device, Yousician provides students with immediate feedback. No specialized equipment is required. Going along with the game-based feel, students can participate in weekly challenges, “competing” with users around the world.
Yousician is available for Mac, iOS, Windows, or Android. The basic app is free; however, students are limited to 1 lesson every 12-hours. (This is approximately 20-30 minutes of practicing.) The premium version allows unlimited practicing and is available for $9.99 per month with a one-year contract, or $19.99 per month with no contract.
For $14.99 per month, students can have access to lessons for piano, guitar, bass, and ukulele. The premium version also offers a 14-day free trial.
Best For: The free version is best for beginning students who think they may be interested in learning to play the piano but are not ready to make a financial commitment. The premium version is best for beginning students who want the interactive features but do not have access to a MIDI or USB piano.
Top 5 reasons to use Yousician:
- Game-based curriculum makes learning music fun
- Free app contains basic features
- Interactive features do not require specialized equipment
- Many practice tools are available, including simplified music notation
- Lessons are also available for guitar, bass, and ukulele
Flowkey is a relatively new online piano course. Students can access basic course content for free as well as limited songs. Full access is available with a premium subscription. Flowkey contains video lessons that combine auditory and visual learning. Students are introduced to note reading early in their studies. Video lessons show sheet music and a birds-eye view of a keyboard with hands playing.
By using device microphones, students can receive instant feedback on their playing. Flowkey has several built-in practice tools, include the ability to slow the tempo, isolate hands, and loop sections of music. Flowkey videos will also adjust to the player’s tempo, there is no need to pause or rewind videos. In addition to lessons in the course content, students have access to over 200 songs (fewer available to free users) that are a variety of genres and difficulties.
Premium subscriptions of Flowkey are available for $19.99 per month if billed monthly, $12.99 per month for a 3-month subscription, $9.99 per month for a 1-year subscription, and $299 for lifetime access. Students who purchase a Yamaha keyboard or digital piano are eligible to receive a free 3-month subscription.
Best For: Flowkey is best for students who would like a subscription-based platform containing interactive features and songs. Flowkey is also ideal for anyone who is also purchasing a Yamaha keyboard or piano.
Top 5 reasons to use Flowkey:
- Lessons include auditory and visual components
- Students learn to read music early on
- The interactive features do not require specialized equipment
- There are many practice tools included, such as the ability for the video to adjust to the player’s tempo
- A free version is available, containing basic course content and songs
Garage Band: Learn to Play
While most people are familiar with GarageBand, standard on Apple computers, not as many are aware of the music lessons that accompany this program. GarageBand contains a Learn to Play section, which includes lessons on both piano and guitar. Lessons are taught through high-quality videos, with multiple views of the keyboard (as well as light up notes).
For piano, there are nine lessons in the Basic Piano course. Each contains sections to learn concepts and techniques and sections to practice playing those concepts. When practicing with the videos, students can adjust the tempo, loop sections, play with an accompaniment, and even mix volume levels for the piano, accompaniment track, and the teacher’s piano. When practicing students can get instant feedback if using a MIDI or USB keyboard hooked up to the computer.
GarageBand is a free program, as are most lessons within Learn to Play. The free content includes nine basic lessons, four classical song lessons, and six pop lessons, which are chord-based. Additional “Artist Lessons” are available for purchase. “Artist Lessons” include popular songs taught by musicians such as Ben Folds, One Republic, and Sarah McLaughlin. These cost $4.99 each.
Best For: GarageBand: Learn to Play is best for students who already have an Apple computer. Since content is somewhat limited, students who already have some basic piano experience would probably benefit most. It is a great way to learn piano online for free.
Top 5 reasons to use GarageBand: Learn to Play:
- Come free with Apple computers
- Contains high-quality video lessons
- Interactive features can give feedback on playing
- Practice tools are included, such as the ability to mix volume levels
- Artist lessons are available and taught by the actual performing musicians
At this point, if you want to learn piano, what’s stopping you? There are numerous online piano courses available to fit any budget or learning style. The one important thing to remember is that you will only get what you put in. Consistent practice is essential for success on any musical instrument. Get out there are start practicing!
If you’re still interested in learning how to play piano or keyboard, get your copy of Piano for All today, which features 10 eBooks, 200 video piano lessons and 500 audio piano lessons!
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