There are many options for free piano lessons for kids to help them try out the amazing instrument before deciding to invest money in a teacher. While there really is nothing that can fully replace an in-person, one-on-one teacher who gets to know the students and customize lessons, exercises and pieces, free piano instruction options should not be ruled out.
In fact, depending on who you are, they might be preferred.
So let’s begin this journey by discussing where you can find excellent piano lessons for free on YouTube.
There are many YouTube channels that are genuine resources for the best free online piano lessons on the internet. They are a great option for kids because they can appear more like a one-on-one lesson, and a child can easily pause or rewind a certain segment of the lesson if something is confusing or becomes too difficult.
And who doesn’t like YouTube? It’s a great resource for education content, and piano lessons are no different.
So let’s begin this list with the Creative Piano Academy channel.
Created by Josef Sykora, the Creative Piano Academy YouTube channel has over 100 videos ready to get beginning students playing right away. The videos are clearly organized into those for just starting out like finger exercises and scales, and even moving into more intermediate skills like adding emotion and pedaling. The organization of the videos on the channel provides a loose structure so that students are not at a complete loss of where to start and how to progress.
The videos themselves have quite a high production value with top-down keyboard views overlaid with highlighted keys and a music staff displayed as well. This is similar to many of the paid options of online piano lessons. Josef also offers some free guide sheets to supplement the learnings within the videos such as rhythm exercise and fingering sheets.
Some of the disadvantages of this channel is that it mainly focuses on teaching chords and improvisation with the intent of eventually playing popular music on the keyboard. For those students looking for a more traditional piano learning with reading sheet music and learning theory, this channel would not be a great fit. Additionally, this channel is aimed at teenagers and adults rather than younger kids and can be hard for them to follow independently.
Creative Piano Academy also offers paid courses with more structured lessons and what Josef calls “practice routes”, however that is not necessarily required for those simply looking for beginning steps into piano playing.
Piano Lessons on the Web is a YouTube channel dedicated to teaching beginning piano students. Its collection of hundreds of videos contains useful strategies and exercises for learning how to play the piano and includes lessons on music theory and music reading. The earliest beginning lessons are compiled into a playlist making it easy to understand the logical progression of skills for younger students.
The comprehensive nature of the channel’s videos ensure that all aspects of piano playing are covered from posture at the keyboard, to finger dexterity, troubleshooting and even ear training. The concepts are explained in an easy-to-understand manner with a heavy focus on reading music, theory and technique.
The beginner videos are meant to help build a strong player foundation and hence may not get the students playing right away, however for those looking for a more traditional teaching plan, this is the right spot. Piano Lessons on the Web do not teach students songs, but rather the skills and foundations needed to be able to learn any song from reading sheet music. It expects students are finding external music to practice.
With these videos students can go at their own pace in learning, however after the first two beginning levels the videos are less organized and can be more complicated to follow for younger kids. It has videos meant to answer frequently asked questions, tips for how to learn piano and exercises to help enhance playing.
The PianoTV is an all-inclusive and comprehensive piano learning YouTube channel. Hosted by Allysia, there are videos for learning basic piano skills like chord playing and exercises for hand independence. She also has tutorial videos on how to play certain classical songs so students don’t need to figure it out all alone.
The big thing that makes PianoTV different from other YouTube piano channels is the non-skill focused videos it offers. Aimed more at the parents of the student, Allysia answers questions related to composers, listening to classical music, finding the best level-appropriate piano book and practicing tips. She also has popular videos related to more theory and composition based information like chords and tritones.
Videos on PianoTV are geared towards older kids. The explanations are a bit more complex than other channels or online lessons. The videos are also on the shorter side ranging from the shortest being 5 minutes to the longest being around 20. This ensures the videos are captivating and easy to progress through.
The YouTube channel created by Robert Estrin is dedicated to all things piano all the time. The video playlists include everything from learning exercises and chords to tips for improving stage presence, podcasts and interviews with professional pianists from diverse styles.
This channel is created too educate students of all ages wanting to learn piano. It doesn’t simply focus on the skill aspect, including videos about different piano types and brands and music theory lessons. There are also recordings of Estrin playing different classical songs for those students who want to listen before they play, or simply love listening to the classical music they hope to someday play.
The videos are organized easily into playlists making the channel great to navigate for younger students and progress at their own pace. The skills and playing techniques are explained in an engaging and simple way. Estrin uses the same style as any kids show rather than seeming like a YouTube channel. Kids will love learning the piano from Robert Estrin, and the other enhancement videos on the channel can help to make it a family affair learning about everything piano, not just playing together.
Meant for true beginners, the Hoffman Academy YouTube channel walks the viewers through step-by-step instructions of building up piano skills. The channel is organized in extremely easy to use playlists starting from the “super easy” piano lessons and progressing through the 15 units into intermediate playing.
The lessons are explained in a kid-friendly way with illustrations and visual aids making this a perfect free option for kids. Hoffman Academy also offers break videos for when students may feel overwhelmed or simply want a break from the constant piano talk. These videos contain fun adventures such as the delivery of a grand piano or the making of an origami piano.
The Hoffman Academy is a great starting point for young beginners of any kind and the YouTube channel offers an awesome free plan. Mr. Hoffman also has his own website with hundreds more units and online lessons as well as sheet music and practice games. Additionally, there is a premium feature that families can buy to gain access to even more online piano lesson resources, however that is not necessary unless students begin to get into the more advanced bracket.
Pianist Magazine is a great YouTube channel to teach piano to students of all ages and levels. While they do not have a consistent teacher, the video playlists are tailored to the right skill level of the student allowing them to start wherever they see fit. There are videos for beginners and there are videos for quite advanced students.
Absolute beginners are encouraged to being with the Basics of Playing the Piano: Tim Stein Series on the channel. It teaches all of the basic skills and knowledge needed to before students start playing the piano and embarking on their lesson journeys.
This is a great channel for people looking strictly for piano playing lessons. It does little else in terms of music theory or other piano information. Therefore students may not get the most inclusive lessons, but for those who are simply looking to learn piano this is a great option to explore.
7) Bill Hinton
Bill’s YouTube channel is a great resource for those students looking for piano tutorials in diverse styles. It’s a comprehensive channel that offers tutorial courses on classical piano, jazz piano, improvisation, chord progressions, theory and more. He keeps his page fairly updated, uploading videos every few days so there is always something new to learn.
The unique aspect of Bill’s channel is the emphasis on more chord-based playing techniques, and the additional jazz and blues style tutorials. He does also offer tutorials of how to play pop songs and exercises for building up techniques. These things make this channel great for even the non-beginning students to learn new skills.
Heart of the Keys is a piano teaching and playing YouTube channel run by Annique Gottler. This channel is geared more towards at least intermediate students because while she does offer tips and tricks to learning to play the piano, she does not go into depth on explaining technical concepts.
Annique styles her channel less like students will be taking piano lessons, and more as a way of helping students develop skills. Her most recommended videos are the practice challenges which are more of a way to encourage students to see the progress in their own practice after 1, 10 and 60 minutes. She is not a piano teacher, but rather a professional musician that can help students develop more specific techniques.
In Person Lessons
Online piano lessons are great, but nothing can really take the place of an in-person teacher who understands their students and can customize lessons for each individual. While there are not many free in person piano learning options, checking local instructors and music stores is a good place to start.
While most free piano lessons for kids will be found online or within downloadable apps, GuitarCenter offers piano lessons both in person and on zoom. Now, admittedly, this is the one option on this list that actually isn’t free, but because I think it’s such an easy and accessible way to learn the piano, I wanted to add it to this list.
Just like online classes, students can pick the instrument they wish to learn, what days and times work for them, and pick their own instructor. The website is easy to get students started by having an extensive list of instructors with biographies so students can find the one that fits them most. Additionally, students can pick between in person or zoom and 30 or 60 minute lessons making them almost as accessible as online options.
The benefits of having a real teacher, as discussed above, means lessons can be tailored to the student and what they want to learn and play. Real live lessons are also a bit more engaging as the student gets real time feedback on their practicing and playing. Rather than be on their own they have a partner in the instructor to continue pushing them on their musical journey.
Websites are another great free resource for many students to use when learning piano.
While these websites may not have as many video resources for visual aids, the written explanation can be very comprehensive and introduce a new angle of learning for the more advanced students.
10) Piano Nanny
Established in 1994, Piano Nanny is one of the most used websites for learning piano. Instructor Clinton Clark takes students through 32 units of playing piano that are easily organized into starter studies, intermediate, and advanced studies. The interface is extremely simple to use and is tailored to be a website that loads fast and is easy on the eyes while learning.
The lessons start at the very beginning, introducing students to simply the layout of the keyboard. It breaks down the overwhelming and complicated concepts into easy-to-understand explanations with visual aids to help facilitate learning. The lessons progress relatively slowly making sure to teach every concept in depth.
Lessons are a quick read and always end with a quiz to test students’ knowledge and learning. This can help the younger students who may need a more structured way of advancing through the curriculum rather than YouTube videos that are very self-evaluative. Additionally at the end of the lesson write ups there are practice tips to help students with retention and encouragement to practice in with different techniques.
Piano Nanny is a website that allows students to progress at their own pace. Students of almost any skill level can use it as they are not required to start with lesson one. Furthermore, while the lessons are not videos students can go back and review previous lessons any time they’d like.
This website offers everything a student could ever want to learn on piano. It is all-inclusive and comprehensive of piano skills, different skill leveled lessons, popular song tutorials and more. Pianolessons.com is a legacy library chock full of online piano lessons that are absolutely free. In fact, the library of lessons were created by those behind the piano learning website Pianote, which I have reviewed previously.
Now these lessons focus on one specific aspect of playing piano at a time, and are organized in such a way that they are easy to understand what will be taught. They have lessons to count different length notes to scales and eventually learning different styled songs.
The videos are relatively short making them easy to repeat and engage with, without burnout or boredom. The are straight to the point since they are separated so specifically the can go into depth about the concepts without making videos 20 minutes long. Additionally under each video is a written explanation of the lesson and a recommendation for which lesson to progress to next.
12) Zebra Keys
Zebra Keys is one of the only websites that has free piano lessons targeted at older students. They recommend ages 13 and up are going to be the most successful using their site, and beginner parents are encouraged to jump in on the fun as well. However, they are not just for beginners as the site encourages advanced students to utilize their resources and music tools as well.
The amount of sheet music Zebra Keys offers students is one thing that sets it apart from other websites. They have full versions of public domain sheet music from classical composers and previews of sheet music for more popular songs. Additionally they have blank sheet music for students that want to try out composition, or advanced students looking to do more with their piano skills.
Each lesson has 4 parts: preparation, beginner, intermediate and advanced. This makes the progression of each lesson easy to understand and follow. Additionally, each lesson is separated into the main skills needed to play piano: song learning, chords, theory, improvisation and technique.
Zebra Keys is one of the few websites that can bring beginners into the advanced stage and still have things to teach them. This website can be used throughout a piano journey as students can develop more advanced skills like improvisation and ear training.
Staying true to its name, Musictheory teaches piano students everything about theory they could possibly want. Starting with the basic introduction to the staff, clefs and ledger lines, the lessons advance into more complex theories such as inversions and analyzing common songs. Musictheory specifically focuses on the theory behind the music rather than the playing piano, and the website will be more beneficial to those that already have some semblance of piano playing skills.
The website interface is extremely interactive. Student can click on the lines of text as the advance through each lesson write up and the visual aids change with each click. The concepts are explained in simple sentences so that younger students will be able to understand them despite how complicated theory can get.
To supplement the lessons Musictheory also has quizzes so students can test their knowledge and know where to start and when to progress. The also offer tools including an online keyboard that pops up on the computer screen, staff paper and a metronome. The website is built for students of all levels who want to dive into some of the theory whether that’s the basic note identification or more advanced concepts.
Taught by Maria Miller, Piano Lessons 4 Children has 22 lessons meant for absolute beginners. The videos start by explaining proper posture and physical approach to the piano before moving on the names of the keys and eventually learning to play well-known children’s songs. The concepts are explained in a very simple way to ensure the younger students can understand and learn.
The unique aspect of this website is the composer lessons. Students are not only focused on skills and songs, but there is an additional section teaching about the different eras of piano composition and the composer associated. This is not something that students can find at any website.
This website is unable to bring players past the beginning level. It is meant to be a piano test for many younger students to see if it sparks then interest and then Maria encourages students to sign up for piano lessons with a real teacher to advance their skills.
Piano apps are another option for free piano lessons for beginners. While the apps are mostly not compatible with a PC, they can often offer instantaneous feedback on student’s playing to help them improve. Apps can also be great for those who may not own a piano at home, offering an in-app piano to play.
However, apps offer relatively similar options and are not entirely comprehensive of piano learning. They have very limited lessons as it’s more about learning to play popular songs and spark interest in learning the real thing.
15) Piano Marvel
Piano Marvel is an iOS app to help students learn piano. It features high-quality video lessons that guide students as they go through learning songs. With the free account, students are only able to access the level one video lessons and a few songs, but after interest has been sparked a premium account gives access to over 25,000 songs and hundreds of video lessons.
Piano Marvel has quite a few features unique to the app. The first unique feature is the Standard Assessment of Sight Reading (SASR) that tests students’ sight reading and teaches them how to improve. There is also the Asses Mode within the app that assesses students playing abilities and teaches how to avoid practicing mistakes through instantaneous feedback.
Along with those unique features, there are many tools to help enhance student practice and learning as well. These include common things such as a metronome, prepare mode that waits for students to play the right note before moving on, and a playback bar. Piano Marvel is a great app for actively learning piano, however it is completely AI run without a face for students to connect to.
16) Perfect Piano
An Android app that contains all 88 keys of the piano, Perfect Piano is a great option for those looking to learn piano who may not have one at their disposal. While it may not replace the real thing, the keyboard width can be adjusted on screen to have more notes as well as dual player mode for duets or chords mode to press more than one note at a time.
Similar to most piano learning apps, Perfect Piano uses popular songs and music scores to teach students the basics of piano playing. There are three guidance patters (falling note, waterfall music sheet) and three play modes (auto play, semi-auto play, note pause) meant to create a learning environment. Additionally students can adjust the speed of the songs, difficulty of the sheet music and loop certain sections to practice them until they are perfect.
The benefit of Perfect Piano is for those that may think playing piano is too much of a solo activity, through the app students can play piano with others from around the world, compete in weekly song challenges, and create guilds and communities of piano players.
Those using this app will not develop theory knowledge or exceptional technique, but they can learn how to read sheet music and create a piano playing community while they continue their studies.
17) Simply Piano by Joytunes
Simply Piano is ranked the #1 education app in 20 different countries, and is an exceptional app to learn piano. The device interactively listens to what students play on their piano through the microphone and then gives instant feedback. It customizes the exercises, sheet music and warm ups to the student’s skill level.
In tandem with the thousands of songs to learn in the library there are courses in the app for students to learn as well. While the library of songs is unlimited, students can take 2 free courses before needing to upgrade to a subscription for the rest.
The sight reading, chords and techniques offered to students by Simply Piano are some of the best that can be found in the app world of learning piano. Students can make quick progress and advance through the piano levels as they see fit.
18) Vivace – Learn to Read Music
As the name implies, Vivace is a tool meant to teach students how to read music. There is very few technique and playing skills learned with this app, however for students who are simply using apps as a jumping point, this is a great starting point to build the foundation of reading and therefore playing more complicated music.
Vivace has over one hundred lessons and many customization options making it great for both advanced and beginning levels students. There are step-by-step tutorials on both clefs including all the ledger lines. Practice mode allows students to combine all the notes they have learned and practice finding and identifying them on the staff and keyboard.
19) Perfect Ear
Similar to Vivace, Perfect Ear is not a comprehensive piano learning app. Instead, it takes the solfege method to teach music theory and train students’ ears to distinguish between notes and understand how they work together in chords and such.
Ear training in an aspect of piano that all students are capable of learning whether they are beginners or more advanced. The exercises in Perfect Ear are customizable to the student’s skill level and there are features meant to help develop absolute pitch, sight reading and not singing.
The interface is easy to use and has a minimalist design so that students can really focus on developing their skills. It can be a difficult app for some younger students to use given the more advanced concepts and more serious form of the app.
20) Piano Academy
Piano Academy functions like many of the other piano learning websites with video lessons by an instructor and animations. There is fun games to help students develop senses like musical listening, hand coordination and sense of rhythm. Tutorials also help students learn to play with both hands, chords and more to advance from beginner to intermediate skills.
As students play the sheet music within the app, the can get instantaneous feedback on their playing skills giving students knowledge of how to improve. The app also has an on screen keyboard making it accessible to those who are not quite ready to invest in an at-home keyboard, but for those who do it can also listen to the acoustics of students’ own piano.
This is one of the better piano learning apps with a wide range of songs designed so students can progress at their own pace. There are some in-app purchases, but the download is free and the purchases are not extremely necessary to get what is needed out of this app and start a piano journey.
Free vs. Paid Piano Lessons
In reality, free piano lesson for kids can only take them so far. As much as students would like, there is no free piano lesson that will continuously try to push them and grow as they do. However, that being said free piano lessons such as those described can be a great way to find if students have a passion before investing the money needed to get a teacher or a paid piano learning subscription.
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