Pianote review: A Virtual Investment in Your Piano Future

Learning to play the piano can feel like a daunting task for any beginner, especially a beginner that’s an adult.  What once could come easier to a child becomes a massive obstacle to an older person.  And it’s only exacerbated by one’s time limitations, family obligations, and self-doubt.

Luckily, Pianote is here to make online piano lessons simple, fun and affordable.  Through video lessons with virtual instructor Lisa Witt to downloadable worksheets and practice assignments, Pianote aims to be one of the most in-depth online piano courses on the internet.

But does it meet expectations?  Is it worth your hard earned money and time?  Well, in this Pianote review, I tried approaching this program like an everyday beginner would.  I went through various lessons step-by-step while testing out the new Alesis Prestige Artist in hopes of finding answers to the following questions:

1) How affordable is Pianote?  And is the program easy and intuitive to use?

2) Can this program teach you how to learn to play the piano effectively?

3) Is this method of teaching ideal for helping beginners develop a strong foundation on the piano? Can these particular online lessons help build one’s confidence and develop one’s skill?

4) How far can your piano playing skills advance while using Pianote?

5) Is this online course worth your money?

I will break down this entire review into easy-to-digest sections, but if you want to skip around to certain areas that pique your interest, feel free to use the Table of Contents listed below.

How Much Does Pianote Cost?

You can pay month-to-month or save money by buying an annual subscription

Can also buy individual portions of Pianote, as well

Let’s first discuss the cost of the Pianote online course.  You are able to pay for this program month-to-month, or you can opt to make one lump sum payment for the annual subscription.  The monthly plan for Pianote is currently set at $29.00, while the annual plan costs $197.00 (prices, of course, are always subject to change).

Despite the annual plan coming with a bonus practice planner, both subscription options provide you with the following:

  1. Unlimited access to every single lesson inside Pianote
  2. A system that tracks your progress of completing lessons
  3. Ability to participate in live Q&A sessions
  4. A 90-day money-back guarantee

One thing I do like about Pianote’s payment options, too, is that you’re able to purchase individual parts of the course, if you so desire.

There is a portion of Pianote called “Training Packs,” which features a variety of training lessons, techniques and strategy lessons aimed at helping you play the piano better and more efficiently. 

These Packs come free for anyone that’s a member, but if you feel you’re already ahead of the curve skill-wise (and you just want more targeted help on the piano), you’re free to purchase some of these individual Packs like:

  1. 500 Songs in 5 Days ($99)
  2. Piano Riffs & Fills ($99)
  3. Worship Piano: How to Play Piano In Church ($99)
  4. Piano Technique Made Easy ($120)
  5. De-Stupefy Your Left Hand ($99)
  6. Faster Fingers ($99)

You can also individually purchase Pianote Foundations, an older but very in-depth curriculum for $149, as well the Pianote Practice Planner for $39.

That’s a whole lot of options!  But it’s great to see an online course not only offering you their entire program for an affordable price, but also providing smaller pieces of the program for less money.

One thing that I’d actually love to see Pianote continually offer in the future is a Lifetime Membership option for customers.  It would of course be a much more costly upfront purchase, but for those that realize it’ll take them much more than a year to fully understand and master the piano, a Lifetime Membership might give certain customers better peace of mind.

As of this publication, it seems that Pianote’s Lifetime Membership is currently sold out and therefore is not offered to customers indefinitely. 

Welcome to Pianote

A very welcome and friendly piano program

Can be used on multiple devices

I mostly used Pianote on my iPad, as I had it propped up on the music rest of my digital piano.  But I also tried using the program on both a desktop and laptop computer.  No matter the device, my thoughts were often the same—this is a great, very intuitive experience.

What I appreciated about Pianote from the beginning was that it brought a simple and very modern aesthetic to the app.  When you log on, not only are you presented with just three colors to help guide you through the application (black, white, and red), but text, images, and buttons are bold, prominent and easy to access.

Regardless of the device you use, there’s always a menu bar to help guide you through the course.  Showing you menu items such as Lessons (featuring Method, Foundations, Courses, Songs, etc), Training Packs (such as learning how to increase your finger speed on the keys), and My List (individual video lessons you want easy access to), Pianote is very well organized.

Pianote does, as expected, look a bit different depending on what device you use.  On my iMac, Pianote was laid out like this:

But on my iPad, it was more simplistic and easier to digest:

When you click on “Method” (inside the “Lessons” drop down on the iPad), you’re presented with large thumbnails that break courses up into individual modules or levels.  

There are ten levels in all, but it should be noted that there are sub-sections for each individual level, thus creating multiple videos per course.

So for example, when I opened up Pianote, I was welcomed into Level 1 of the program.  Level 1 is all about teaching the user everything he or she needs to know in order to build a strong foundation at the piano.

This level is broken up into three sections:

  1. Setting Yourself Up for Success (Level 1.1): Four Videos
  2. Welcome to the Keyboard (Level 1.2): Eight videos
  3. Theory and Ear Training (Level 1.3): Four videos

And within each sub-section of each level is where all of your video lessons reside.

So, going forward with the aforementioned example, if you were to click on “Setting Yourself Up for Success,” you would then see the following four video lessons:

  1. How to Use the Method (6 minutes)
  2. How to Choose Your Piano (7 minutes)
  3. Setting Up Your Practice Space (5 minutes)
  4. Setting Yourself Up for Success (11 minutes)

And so, in total, Level 1 of Pianote consists of three sections that contain a total of 16 videos.  And when added up, these 16 videos provide a total of 133 minutes worth of piano lessons, tips, techniques and strategies.

And that’s just what Level 1 has to offer.

So, that gives you a little taste at how deep and thorough Pianote really is.

Continuing on with the user interface and overall navigation of this app, I wanted to mention how you progress throughout this program.

Pianote works around your personal schedule and comfort level.  These video lessons are pre-recorded, so it operates at a “go-at-your-own-pace” kind of speed.

With that said, if you’re learning piano for the very first time (or perhaps are revisiting your love for piano after a very long hiatus), it’s going to take you some time to adjust.

What I like about the Pianote program is that they’re keenly aware of this, and they’ve built in-app mechanisms to help not only guide you through the program, but provide you with positive affirmations, as well.

The first thing of note is the built-in progress of completion system.  When you’re completely done with a lesson—you’ve practiced it countless times and feel very comfortable moving forward—you can hit the big red “Complete Lesson” button.

Doing this accomplishes two things:

1) It turns the video thumbnail of the lesson into a subtle shade of red, with a big white checkmark of completion boldly presented in the middle of the image.

2) And two, it allows you to earn XP.

Now, if you’re familiar with video gaming, XP (or experience points) is often awarded to gamers that play RPG games and complete certain missions or push past difficult obstacles or enemies.  

In Pianote, the XP you earn by completing lessons do not earn you any specific reward, but it does provide you with incentive to push forward in the program—especially as the lessons become more challenging in subsequent levels.

As you progress through the program, it can be fun to look at your XP score and see it rise past the hundreds and into the thousands.  It can give you a sense of accomplishment.

With that said, I think going forward in the future, it would be great if Pianote found a way to allow users to “cash in” in their XP—even if it just awarded them access to a bonus song or piece of sheet music or maybe some kind of limited one-on-one virtual lesson with Lisa Witt herself.

Admittedly, earning XP is essentially based on the honor system—when a lesson is marked as “complete” by the user, he or she earns a set amount of XP.  So perhaps the XP system would have to be slightly reworked to make it a genuine reward-based system.  But I think allowing users to trade in their hard earned XP for some kind of in-app reward would be pretty fun.  

Is Pianote Easy to Use?

Great instructors, step-by-step lessons, and detailed assignments

Be prepared for a challenging experience if you’re a complete beginner

For any lesson to be effective, you must have a good teacher.  With Pianote, we’re guided through the process of learning the piano by instructor Lisa Witt.

Now if you’re new to the piano, you might have a certain image in mind when you think about the personality of a piano teacher.  

Perhaps you think he or she will be a bit snooty or short-tempered.

But Lisa Witt isn’t arrogant or impatient. In fact, one of the first things I appreciated about her demeanor was that she appeared very down-to-earth.

Lisa understands the pains of learning the piano for the first time, and can actually relate to the dilemma some people have when it comes to a lack of focus. 

“I have a very short attention span,” says Lisa in the video entitled “Setting Yourself Up for Success.”

“So sitting down for an hour [to practice] is very challenging for me.  So back when I was doing longer practices, I would do thirty minutes [of practice] in the morning and then thirty minutes in the afternoon.  And that was perfect for me.”

Lisa also understands that you’re a busy person.  You have school requirements and work obligations. You have long commutes.  Perhaps you’re even raising a child. 

She’s cognizant that, on some days, you simply don’t have much energy or excitement to continue with your lessons. 

“Be prepared to not want to practice,” Lisa says.

“Totally normal.  This all comes down to discipline.  So you have to balance that discipline with enjoyment, with lifestyle, and what’s reasonable with what you have to work with in terms of time.”

Lisa later states that, before you begin learning a single thing about the piano, you must write down why you want to learn the piano in the first place.  

Write down your short-term and long-term goals.  These goals will be what you will lean on when you encounter challenges throughout the program.  These goals will boost your motivation when you start to lose steam.

I think Lisa is a great instructor who finds a way to keep the lessons light, easy to digest, and overall quite fun.

How Does Pianote Teach Users?

Detailed video lessons, overhead shots with virtual keyboards

Pianote provides you with downloadable PDF’s and practice assignments

The next aspect of understanding if Pianote is easy to use is to examine how you (the customer) actually learns how to play the the piano through the program.

The bulk of Pianote consists of video lessons, and these lessons often involve Lisa sitting at a piano giving a brief overview of what you will learn.  

When Lisa turns to the piano to demonstrate something specific, the lesson cuts to an overhead view of the piano.  You can see all 88-keys, and easily follow where Lisa’s fingers go on the keyboard.

What’s great about the lessons, too, is the juxtaposition of a virtual keyboard alongside the real life keyboard that Lisa uses.  When a lesson cuts to the overhead shot, we see Lisa playing her acoustic piano.  

Above Lisa’s 88-keys is a superimposed white virtual keyboard.  Only here, specific notes that Lisa is playing are highlighted in red, with the musical alphabet (A B C D E F G) corresponding to each appropriate note.

So for example, in the video entitled “The C Scale,” Lisa teaches us how to learn our very first scale.  With scales being the foundation for songs and chording (and really anything and everything dealing with the piano), its understandable that Lisa is very excited to teach beginners the lesson. 

As you can see from the photos above, Lisa began on Middle C and progressed down the musical alphabet on the keyboard.

Visually, Pianote does a great job of making something challenging (learning the piano) feel much more comprehensible.

This also illustrates the benefit of learning the piano via online video lessons such as these.  Through the use of the virtual keyboard, Pianote is better able to reinforce the learning process via helpful visual cues.

Beyond the video lessons, Pianote also provides downloadable PDF’s that accompany certain videos, along with specific assignments you’re encouraged to complete in order to reinforce each lesson.

Early on, downloads may involve identifying whole steps and half steps or creating rhythms.  As you advance, the downloads may also include chord charts and lead sheets. 

PiaNote download on Whole Steps and Half Steps
A PiaNote download featuring a Lead Sheet

Assignments will help fortify your knowledge via practice and repetition.  Each assignment will usually identify the exact time stamp in the video lesson that references said assignment, as well.  

On top of that, each assignment includes a sentence or two identifying what you will learn or how you should go about practicing any newly learned lessons.

Will Pianote’s Teachings Advance with My Growing Skill Set?

As your confidence grows, so do the lessons and assignments

Pianote features ten levels of piano lessons, student reviews, and live sessions

While anyone can join Pianote—be it a complete beginner or a bit more of an advanced pianist —you’ll be hard pressed to walk away from your experience with this piano course and not learn something new.

From playing chords, learning to read sheet music, exploring musical styles and understanding composition and songwriting, there’s always something worthwhile to experience here.

Pianote has ten levels worth of lessons in its Method curriculum:

  1. Getting Started on the Piano
  2. Developing Dexterity and Keyboard Confidence
  3. Chording
  4. Playing Chords Like a Pro
  5. Sight Reading
  6. Develop Your Musicality
  7. Applying Technique and Solving Piano Player Problems
  8. Exploring Musical Styles
  9. Composition and Songwriting
  10. The Next Steps

As your confidence and skill grows, you’ll find subsequent levels to be quite challenging.  But like anything in life, you only will get out what you put in. 

Don’t purchase Pianote because you expect it to turn you into a concert pianist overnight.  Instead, purchase Pianote because you understand that the road to becoming a master on the piano is a long, winding journey.  But if you’re willing to put in consistent practice and longterm commitment, it will be a highly rewarding experience.

Pianote understands this process can be overwhelming, and what I really appreciated about this course is that the more you advance through the program, the more help Pianote provides you. 

For example, by the time you get to Level 8, and you’re beginning to transition from riffing and improvising on the piano to learning how to play classical music in a disciplined fashion, customers are encouraged to reach out to Pianote to get additional aid.

“This is where you really want to take advantage of those student reviews,” says Lisa in a video entitled “Minuet III in G Major by J.S. Bach – Play and Practice Strategy.”

A download for Minuet III in G Major from the PiaNote program

“When you think you’ve mastered the left hand of just the first line, film yourself.  Video record yourself.  Even an audio recording is fine…and submit it for student review.  That way we can check your work.”

This is yet another massive perk of Pianote.  For those worried that learning piano over the internet won’t provide the same hands-on attention you’d get with in-person lessons, Pianote’s student reviews aim to rectify that concern. 

Now, you can practice a lesson at home, and once you think you’ve got the basics down, you can simply record yourself and submit it for review.  Pianote will then give you feedback, let you know what you’re doing right and where you’ve potentially made a misstep and can improve.

PiaNote's student review feature allows subscribers to get feedback on their growing skill set.

I’m a big fan of personalized interaction like this.  Learning to play piano from home can sometimes feel incredibly isolating, so I like that Pianote is making a strong effort to truly connect and care with their customers.

One additional thing I appreciated was the comment section of Pianote.  As your confidence grows and your skills advance, so do the Pianote lessons and challenges.  And no one ever wants to feel like they’re climbing an insurmountable mountain without any help or guidance.

I found the comment section (which consists of other Pianote subscribers sharing their experiences with a given lesson), to be surprisingly uplifting.  The people commenting underneath each video lesson are exactly where you are in your stage of development, so it’s great to see someone comment about making progress in a given lesson.

And conversely, it’s incredibly relatable to see someone essentially say, “Wow, this lesson is really kicking my butt.”

What I loved, in these moments of self-doubt, was seeing members of the Pianote team regularly chiming in to emotionally lift people’s spirits, encourage them to push forward, or congratulate them for completing a lesson.  Pianote seems to have built a really great community of talented teachers and eager students, and the ecosystem everyone swims in is very healthy.

Even Lisa Witt’s “little big sister” Eleny Quapp chimes in from time to time in the comment section!

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the very helpful and intuitive Practice mechanic that’s built into Pianote.  Later in the program, when you start learning different musical styles like classical or jazz or blues, Pianote provides you with a built-in Practice interface.

Essentially, for a given lesson, you will be provided with an assignment to complete.  This assignment often involves you needing to practice a particular section in order to eventually master a given lesson.

Next to the assignment, you will see a gray button named “Practice.”  When you click on that button, it’ll take you to an interactive practice interface that shows the lead sheet or sheet music on the screen, and a button to play the musical piece below.

Once you click play, the music begins and you’re able to visually see how each sound you’re hearing correlates specifically with what’s on the lead or sheet music. 

On top of that, Pianote allows you to add more features to this virtual practice session, thus helping you to better cement the lesson in your mind.

For example, you can add a virtual keyboard that visually shows you the specific notes that need to be played.  You can also engage a metronome in this practice session, which can help you focus on your rhythm and tempos when practicing on your real, physical keyboard.  

Practicing music by J.S. Bach via PiaNote's build-in practice interface

One last thing I wanted to mention is Pianote’s “Live” feature.  Sometimes, while using the app, you’ll get a notice that Lisa Witt or Cassi Falk or another instructor is streaming live.  

You’re free to join these live sessions, and when you do, this is your chance to interact directly with a Pianote instructor.  This is often where you’ll be able to see instructors give live feedback on student submitted reviews, along with a teacher simply answering several piano-related questions.  

The format is very similar to the pre-recorded lessons, but the Live sessions of course feel a bit more informal and off-the-cuff, which I think is a positive thing.  

You’ll notice the teacher viewing and using a laptop that’s propped up on the piano.  The laptop allows them to connect directly with Pianote subscribers that are in the comment section asking questions.  

Live sessions on Pianote happen a few times a week, and there’s a schedule you can easily access to find out:

  1. What day and time the Live session is
  2. What the topic of the Live session is
  3. What instructor will be helming the Live session

Pianote even has a video podcast that’s accessible through the app, as well.  At the time of publication, the podcast had fourteen completed episodes on topics such as “Why People Quit Playing the Piano” and “Is a Musical Degree Worth It?”  

The podcast features Lisa Witt as host, but will also bring on other instructors like Cassi Falk and Sam Vesely.

Overall, I think you’ll find that Pianote not only adapts to your growing skill set, but provides you with tons of resources to facilitate your growth as you progress through the program.

Is Pianote Worth the Money?

Lots of competition in the online piano lessons marketplace

Pianote stacks up very nicely amongst the competition

There are many different choices for online piano lessons—and the marketplace seems to be getting more and more crowded every year.  

Names like Playground Sessions, Piano For All, and Flowkey all have known piano learning programs or courses, so Pianote is tasked with the responsibility of being useful and genuinely great in an effort to stand out from the crowd.

Ultimately, I think Pianote strongly succeeds at this task.  

Is it the most affordable program on the marketplace?  Admittedly no.  But the old refrain is very true—you get what you pay for.  And I definitely believe you get your money’s worth with Pianote.

Every Pianote Level

In fact, I wanted to really dig into Pianote to find out how much you’re truly getting for your money.  So I decided to open up all ten levels of The Method curriculum and get an estimated tally of how many video lessons there are, and how long the run time is for each level.

As mentioned before, Pianote has ten levels of lessons:

  1. Getting Started on the Piano
  2. Developing Dexterity and Keyboard Confidence
  3. Chording
  4. Playing Chords Like a Pro
  5. Sight Reading
  6. Develop Your Musicality
  7. Applying Technique and Solving Piano Player Problems
  8. Exploring Musical Styles
  9. Composition and Songwriting
  10. The Next Steps

So let’s examine each level, and its specific contents, a bit more in-depth:

Level 1 — Getting Started on the Piano

Level 1.1: Setting Yourself Up for Success

  • Video 1: How to Use the Method (6 minutes)
  • Video 2: How to Choose Your Piano (7 minutes)
  • Video 3: Setting Up Your Practice Space (5 minutes)
  • Video 4: Setting Yourself Up for Success (11 minutes)

Level 1.2: Welcome to the Keyboard

  • Video 1: Proper Posture at the Piano (3 minutes)
  • Video 2: Welcome to the Keyboard (14 minutes)
  • Video 3: Developing Your Hands (12 minutes)
  • Video 4: The C Scale (9 minutes)
  • Video 5: Power Chords (6 minutes)
  • Video 6: Your First Chord Progression (7 minutes)
  • Video 7: Your First Song (11 minutes)
  • Video 8: Developing A Left Hand Accompaniment (9 minutes)

Level 1.3: Theory and Ear Training

  • Video 1: Introduction to Melodic Patterns (5 minutes)
  • Video 2: Rhythm Clap Back (3 minutes)
  • Video 3: Rhythm 101 (18 minutes)
  • Video 4: Writing Rhythms (7 minutes)

Total Run Time for Level 1: 133 minutes

Level 2 — Developing Dexterity and Keyboard Confidence

Level 2.1: Developing Your Hands

  • Video 1: Making Your Scale Practice Musical (9 minutes)
  • Video 2: Hands Together C Scale (7 minutes)
  • Video 3: Triads (8 minutes)
  • Video 4: Chord Progressions Using Triads (15 minutes)

Level 2.2: The Music

  • Video 1: The Scientist (14 minutes)
  • Video 2: Arpeggios (6 minutes)
  • Video 3: Hallelujah – Left Hand (8 minutes)
  • Video 4: Hallelujah – Adding the Right Hand (10 minutes)
  • Video 5: Improvising Your Own Song (5 minutes)

Level 2.3: Theory and Ear Training

  • Video 1: Rhythm Clap Back (2 minutes)
  • Video 2: Sing Back and Playback (8 minutes)
  • Video 3: Eighth Notes and 6/8 Time (11 minutes)

Total Run Time for Level 2: 103 minutes

Level 3 — Chording

Level 3.1: Chording

  • Video 1: Minor Scales (6 minutes)
  • Video 2: Building Any Major or Minor Triad (8 minutes)
  • Video 3: Intervals 101 (7 minutes)
  • Video 4: Triad Inversions (11 minutes)

Level 3.2: The Music

  • Video 1: Chord Shortcuts (7 minutes)
  • Video 2: Knockin’ On Heavens Door (10 minutes)
  • Video 3: Using the Sustain Pedal (5 minutes)
  • Video 4: Sus Chords (9 minutes)
  • Video 5: Wasting Time with Sus Chords (5 minutes)

Level 3.3: Theory and Ear Training

  • Video 1: Hearing Intervals (5 minutes)
  • Video 2: Sing Back Your Sus Chords (6 minutes)
  • Video 3: Clap Back Challenge (4 minutes)
  • Video 4: Finding Melodies by Ear (5 minutes)
  • Video 5: Rests (7 minutes)
  • Video 6: Understanding Chord Inversions (6 minutes)

Total Run Time for Level 3: 101 minutes

Level 4 — Playing Chords Like a Pro

Level 4.1: Playing in New Keys

  • Video 1: Playing in New Keys (10 minutes)
  • Video 2: E Minor (7 minutes)
  • Video 3: The Diatonic Chords of G (8 minutes)
  • Video 4: Improvising in G (8 minutes)
  • Video 5: Chord Shortcuts in G (12 minutes)
  • Video 6: Intro to 7th Chords (7 minutes)

Level 4.2: The Music

  • Video 1: Playing Songs in G – Someone Like You (13 minutes)
  • Video 2: Fills and Riffs (10 minutes)
  • Video 3: Accompaniment Rhythms (10 minutes)
  • Video 4: Slash Chords (10 minutes)

Level 4.3: Theory and Ear Training

  • Video 1: Identifying Pop Progressions by Ear (12 minutes)
  • Video 2: Finding the Melody by Ear (5 minutes)
  • Video 3: Rhythm Clap Back (5 minutes)
  • Video 4: Sing Back 7ths (8 minutes)
  • Video 5: Building 7th Chords (11 minutes)

Total Run Time for Level 4: 136 minutes

Level 5 — Sight Reading

Level 5.1: Introduction to Sight Reading

  • Video 1: The Treble Clef (12 minutes)
  • Video 2: Building Confidence in the Treble Clef (8 minutes)
  • Video 3: The Bass Clef (7 minutes)
  • Video 4: Building Confidence in the Bass Clef (3 minutes)
  • Video 5: The Grand Staff (7 minutes)
  • Video 6: Playing Both Hands at the Same Time (8 minutes)

Level 5.2: Key Signatures and Accidentals

  • Video 1: Playing in G Major (9 minutes)
  • Video 2: Rests in Notation (9 minutes)
  • Video 3: Intervals in Notation (13 minutes)
  • Video 4: F Major and Playing with Flats (11 minutes)
  • Video 5: Sight Reading in Minor Keys (7 minutes)
  • Video 6: Accidentals (9 minutes)
  • Video 7: Tiers and Dynamics (17 minutes)

Level 5.3: Theory and Ear Training

  • Video 1: Writing Your Own Music (9 minutes)
  • Video 2: Ledger Lines (9 minutes)
  • Video 3: Hear, Play, Write (6 minutes)

Total Run Time for Level 5: 144 minutes

Level 6 — Developing Your Musicality

Level 6.1: Warm Ups and Technique

  • Video 1: Hanon #1 (9 minutes)
  • Video 2: The “Other” Minors (10 minutes)
  • Video 3: Next Level Triads in E (10 minutes)
  • Video 4: 2 Octave Arpeggios (12 minutes)

Level 6.2: Sight Reading 

  • Video 1: Sight Reading for Your Daily Routine (8 minutes)
  • Video 2: Your First Waltz (Left Hand) (11 minutes)
  • Video 3: Your First Waltz (Right Hand) (8 minutes)
  • Video 4: Your First Waltz (Both Hands) (6 minutes)
  • Video 5: Legato Playing and Phrasing (4 minutes)
  • Video 6: The Pedal and Notation (7 minutes)

Level 6.3: The Music

  • Video 1: Edelweiss (13 minutes)
  • Video 2: Creating Your Own Waltz (6 minutes)
  • Video 3: Challenging Your Skills (17 minutes)
  • Video 4: Lead Sheets (12 minutes)
  • Video 5: Developing Your Songs with a Lead Sheet (9 minutes)

Level 6.4: Ear Training and Theory

  • Video 1: Developing Your Ear with Minor Scales (6 minutes)
  • Video 2: Advanced Intervals (16 minutes)
  • Video 3: Diminished Chords and Tritones (8 minutes)
  • Video 4: Introduction to Cadences (15 minutes)

Total Run Time for Level 6: 187 minutes

Level 7 — Applying Technique and Solving Piano Player Problems

Level 7.1: The Circle of 5ths

  • Video 1: The Circle of 5ths (17 minutes)
  • Video 2: Key Signatures of the Circle (11 minutes)
  • Video 3: Playing the Right Side of the Circle (13 minutes)
  • Video 4: Playing the Left Side of the Circle (9 minutes)
  • Video 5: How to Identify Any Key Signature (10 minutes)
  • Video 6: How to Actually Use the Circle of 5ths in Your Daily Practice (5 minutes)

Level 7.2: Solving Piano Player Problems

  • Video 1: Building Speed (14 minutes)
  • Video 2: Building Keyboard Confidence (6 minutes)
  • Video 3: Finger Independence (5 minutes)
  • Video 4: Developing Your Left Hand (4 minutes)
  • Video 5: Hand Independence (9 minutes)

Level 7.3: Creative Technique Practice

  • Video 1: Creative Ways to Practice Scales (13 minutes)
  • Video 2: Creative Ways to Practice Triads – Advanced Fills (11 minutes)
  • Video 3: Creative Ways to Practice Arpeggios (8 minutes)
  • Video 4: Creative Ways to Practice 7 Chord Inversions (8 minutes)
  • Video 5: How to Build a Daily Technique Routine (9 minutes)

Level 7.4: The Music: How to Improvise

  • Video 1: Relaxing Improv (7 minutes)
  • Video 2: Sad Improv (8 minutes)
  • Video 3: Happy Improv (12 minutes)
  • Video 4: Spooky Improv (11 minutes)

Total Run Time for Level 7: 190 minutes

Level 8 — Exploring Musical Styles

Level 8.1: Classical

  • Video 1: Welcome to Your Classical Course (4 minutes)
  • Video 2: Minuet III in G Major by J.S. Bach – Analysis (11 minutes)
  • Video 3: Minuet III in G Major by J.S. Bach – Play and Practice Strategy (18 minutes)
  • Video 4: Impertinence by G.F. Handel – Analysis (13 minutes)
  • Video 5: Impertinence by G.F. Handel – Play and Practice Strategy (23 minutes)
  • Video 6: Country Dance in D Major by F.J. Haydn – Analysis (10 minutes)
  • Video 7: Country Dance in D Major by F.J. Haydn – Play and Practice Strategy (13 minutes)
  • Video 8: Menuetto I in C Major by W.A. Mozart – Analysis (4 minutes)
  • Video 9: Menuetto I in C Major by W.A. Mozart – Play and Practice Strategy (7 minutes)
  • Video 10: Morning Mood by E. Grieg – Analysis (10 minutes)
  • Video 11: Morning Mood by E. Grieg – Play and Practice Strategy (15 minutes)
  • Video 12: The Sleeping Beauty Waltz by P. Tchaikovsky – Analysis (7 minutes)
  • Video 13: The Sleeping Beauty Waltz by P. Tchaikovsky – Play and Practice Strategy (15 minutes)

Level 8.2: Blues

  • Video 1: Introduction to the 12 Bar Blues (5 minutes)
  • Video 2: Dominant 7th Chords and the Blues (10 minutes)
  • Video 3: What is a Blues Scale? (4 minutes)
  • Video 4: Swinging Left Hand Rhythms (7 minutes)
  • Video 5: Blues Riffs for the Right Hand (11 minutes)
  • Video 6: Soloing Using the Blues Scales (10 minutes)
  • Video 7: Walking Basslines (8 minutes)
  • Video 8: Putting It All Together (3 minutes)

Level 8.3: Jazz

  • Video 1: The Jazz Progression – C and G (9 minutes)
  • Video 2: Heart and Soul – The A Section (13 minutes)
  • Video 3: Heart and Soul – The B Section (12 minutes)
  • Video 4: Left Hand Comping Rhythms (10 minutes)
  • Video 5: Soling in Heart and Soul (6 minutes)
  • Video 6: Understanding Modes (13 minutes)
  • Video 7: Harmonic Analysis Part 1 (12 minutes)
  • Video 8: Harmonic Analysis Part 2 (23 minutes)
  • Video 9: Wrapping It Up (3 minutes)

Total Run Time for Level 8: 309 minutes

Level 9 — Composition and Songwriting

Level 9.1: Just Get Creating

  • Video 1: Anybody Can Be a Composer (9 minutes)
  • Video 2: The Emotional Valuer of Intervals (12 minutes)
  • Video 3: Writing Your First Melody (12 minutes)
  • Video 4: Getting More Out of the Piano (6 minutes)

Level 9.2: Composition Techniques

  • Video 1: The Formula for Composing (15 minutes)
  • Video 2: Chords Change Everything (15 minutes)
  • Video 3: Taking Your Melody to the Next Level (9 minutes)

Level 9.3: Structuring Your Creativity

  • Video 1: Song Structure 101 (14 minutes)
  • Video 2: The Final Chords (9 minutes)
  • Video 3: Arranging Your Own Song (14 minutes)
  • Video 4: Polishing Your Music (9 minutes)

Level 9.4: Playing in Different Genres

  • Video 1: Creating the Blues (8 minutes)
  • Video 2: Creating Jazz Music (18 minutes)
  • Video 3: Creating Classical Music (10 minutes)
  • Video 4: A Composer’s Insight (4 minutes)

Total Run Time for Level 9: 164 minutes

Level 10 – The Next Steps

Level 10.1: The Next Steps for Learning and Playing Songs

  • Video 1: The Cheshire Cat Returns (11 minutes)
  • Video 2: Beautifully Simple (5 minutes)
  • Video 3: Beautifully Yours (8 minutes)
  • Video 4: The Perfect Balance (8 minutes)
  • Video 5: New Balance (13 minutes)
  • Video 6: Something Jazzy (17 minutes)
  • Video 7: Playing in 6/8 (11 minutes)
  • Video 8: Using the Pianote Song Library (4 minutes)

Level 10.2: The Next Steps for Technique and Improvising

  • Video 1: Pop Improvisation (12 minutes)
  • Video 2: Improvising in 6/8 (11 minutes)
  • Video 3: Jazzy Improvisation (20 minutes)
  • Video 4: Moody Improvisation (11 minutes)
  • Video 5: Your Improvisation (10 minutes)

Level 10.3: Developing Your Musicianship

  • Video 1: Playing for a Vocalist (9 minutes)
  • Video 2: Playing in a Band (12 minutes)
  • Video 3: Creating You Own Unique Covers (9 minutes)
  • Video 4: Developing Your Repertoire (7 minutes)
  • Video 5: Your Final Assignment (10 minutes)

Total Run Time for Level 9: 188 minutes


In all, Pianote provides subscribers with a whopping 1655 minutes (or over 27 hours) worth of video lessons.

And keep in mind that this is just for their Method curriculum.  Pianote subscribers also get the previous curriculum called Foundation, which they can also use if they wish.

On top of that, this 1655 minutes worth of video lessons doesn’t include the following:

1) Training Packs (which was covered earlier in this Pianote review)

2) Courses (join instructors like Jordan Leibel, Brett Ziegler, Gabriel Palatchi, Josh Dion and more as you learn everything from the pillars of improvisation to creative songwriting and the fundamentals of gospel)

3) Song Tutorials (learn with sheet music or a chord chart)

4) Student Reviews (get your practice sessions reviewed by an instructor)

5) Live Q&A sessions

6) Pianote Podcast Episodes

7) Bootcamp Videos (designed to help you develop and integrate new skills)

8) Access to Pianote forums

9) Quick Tip Videos by Instructors (for those with less time to practice a full lesson)

10) Interact with other subscribers in the comment section under each video lesson

For less than $200 a year, that’s a lot of in-depth, helpful content.  

I suppose it’s inevitable that people will compare Pianote vs Flowkey or Pianote vs Playground Sessions.  But to me, the bottom line comes down to this—can Pianote help you learn how to play the piano, and for the money you’re spending, is it worth the investment?

And that’s what Pianote is—it’s ultimately an investment in your piano education and efficiency.  I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a better piano learning software or online course that not only provides you with relatable instructors and easy-to-follow lessons, but an entire infrastructure and ecosystem built for your short-term and long-term success.

You also might be wondering whether Pianote is a better option than getting in-person lessons.  That, of course, is a personal choice.  It depends on how you personally feel you learn best.

But if we were to conservatively estimate that one in-person piano lesson cost $50 per hour, and you received one lesson per week for an entire year, you would spend $2,400 after 365 days.

When you compare this number to Pianote—a program that costs less than $200 per year, allows you to learn at your own pace, and comes with countless hours of video lessons and even gives you the ability to directly interact with instructors—learning to play the piano online starts to look like a very worthwhile option.

And one last thing I wanted to address is whether Pianote is a good option for kids?  It should be noted that Pianote is not specifically created for children.  In my estimation, the course was created for adults, although teenagers would certainly benefit from it too.

According to Pianote’s Frequently Asked Questions section on their website, there are children that successfully use the program (albeit with the supervision of an adult by their side). 

I think online piano lessons for kids (specifically very young children) could potentially get tricky because the teacher isn’t present in the room.  And when that happens, a child’s mind can wander quite easily.  

You can certainly purchase Pianote for your young child, but just understand that the course was not—in any way—crafted with young subscribers in mind.  Lisa Witt and other instructors are very relatable and energetic, but when they speak to the camera in their video lessons, you very much get the sense that they’re addressing adult subscribers.

So, I agree with Pianote’s answer on their FAQ page—if you’re going to buy this program for your five or ten year old, make sure you’re present in the room to help them stay on track and remain mentally engaged.

And, should the program not work out to your liking, Pianote does offer a 90-day money back guarantee.


Pianote is a wonderful program that begins by slowly easing beginners into the shallow end of the pool.  And with practice, you begin to not only learn how to float, but swim as well.

With even more dedication and perseverance, you’ll find yourself moving further towards the deep end of the pool.  And the further you venture out, the more life preservers Pianote throws your way.

Whether you choose to pay month-to-month or opt for the annual subscription, Pianote offers excellent video lessons, incredibly friendly instructors, and a community that’s passionate about learning the piano.

And once you factor in the Live Sessions, Student Reviews, Training Packs, Bootcamps, Song Tutorials and Courses, Pianote might just be the best option for online piano lessons on the market.

PiaNote review

If you found this Pianote review to be helpful, feel free to visit our Learn Piano Now page to discover other great articles.

Affiliate Disclosure: Pianote provided access to their program for the purpose of this review. This review may also contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission from any qualifying purchase/subscription/membership of Pianote.

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