Guitar

5 Best Online Piano Lessons in 2021

Is Learning Piano Online the Best Option?

If you’re reading this article, this question might have crossed your mind before. After all, most people who learn piano have a private tutor or attend an in-person piano class. However, with the vast amount of options available, the quality of online piano courses have substantially increased.

If we compare the cost of getting a piano tutor compared to online learning, the latter easily wins. The average hourly rate of a piano teacher in the United States is around $31 per hour. If you have 4 hours of private courses per month, that’ll easily cost you $124/month. In comparison, any online learning resource on this list will only cost you $29/month at most.

As musicians ourselves, we can’t deny that 1-on-1 lessons can be incredibly valuable as the feedback you receive will be highly specific, and you can discuss with your teacher your learning goals. However, if you’re a beginner and considering the trade-offs and need the most instruction for the price, starting with online learning is a great idea. This is where this guide can help: to help you save time and narrow down your search. Once you feel you have a grip on the basics, you can consider getting a private tutor, whether virtual or in-person.


The 5 Best Online Piano Lessons At-A-Glance

Now before you dive in, here’s a quick takeaway for this piece:

  • If you’re a total beginner: Any of these lesson providers will work; it’s just a matter of trying out which method fits you best. This article will help you with that.
  • If you’re into learning via video-game-like interfaces: Consider Yousician, Playground Sessions, or Skoove.
  • If you already have some basic piano knowledge and want to learn more advanced stuff: Pianote is probably your best bet.

Should I Really Spend Money to Learn Piano Online?

“The internet has all the resources I need for free. Why should I pay for an online course or software?”in our opinion, the fact that there are unlimited resources on the internet is precisely why you should consider a paid option because manually curating resources and designing your own learning path requires a ton of time and energy.

All of the resources we compile here are made by professional companies and teams who use technology to craft and curate different methods and approaches, so students can focus on learning and playing music. You can also do a mix-and-match approach: subscribe to a paid product, and use free resources to supplement your progress.


Our Reviews of the Top 5 Websites for Learning Piano

Pianote

Pianote Logo
Suitable Skill Levels: Beginner to Intermediate
Price: $29/mo or $197 annually ($16.4/mo)
Free Trial: Yes, 7 days
Money Back Guarantee: Yes, 90 days
Song Library: Yes
Mobile: iOS & Android apps available
Link: Go To Pianote

Pianote offers a high level of flexibility and is suitable both for total beginners and intermediate players alike. If you’re starting from zero, the Pianote curriculum will guide you from getting your fingers comfortable on the keyboard to composition and songwriting.

They offer two curriculums: Method and Foundations. Both consist of 10 Levels. In each level, they have 3-4 courses, and in each course, they have 8-13 lessons (short videos).

Curriculum Comparison
The comparison of Pianote’s Curriculum.

Pianote also has courses, which are the mini-versions of their learning path. If you already have some experience with the piano, there’s a small quiz to help you find the best level to start from.

Pianote Courses
Pianote Courses

Another standout aspect of Pianote is how lively and helpful the community and instructors are. It’s a pleasant surprise since most of the time forums like this are dead, but not in Pianote. You can interact with other students to talk about your progress and encourage each other.

The instructors in Pianote are also pretty active and involved in the community. This is where we think Pianote is a step above every other course on this list.

Pianote has a Student Review section where students can apply and submit a video for the instructors to review and give specific feedback and encouragement. On average, the instructor will spend around 10 minutes on your video, which is pretty good, in our opinion! They also have a weekly Q&A where instructors will answer student questions. This allows you to get feedback on your musicality and feel, which most other online coursed don’t have.

The video quality is top-notch, and every instructor is quite likable and engaging; you won’t get easily bored. They also have a constantly updated Quick Tips section where instructors will post new videos on different tips and tricks that will sharpen your skills. You can also choose your level, instructor, topic, or progress.

Quick tips screenshot
Quick tips from Pianote.

The mobile app is also—honestly, to our surprise—really well-made. The interface reminds us a lot of Netflix. It is clean, easy to navigate, and you can download videos to review offline.

Overall, Pianote offers a lot of options to keep you engaged, especially if you’re someone who has had trouble sticking with a particular online course since you can always switch it up.

Pros

  • Comprehensive curriculum and learning path
  • Active and supportive community with helpful instructors
  • Top-notch video quality that won’t make you feel bored, even when you’re just looking at other students’ feedback
  • Polished interface and mobile apps
  • Variety of lessons and routinely updated content
  • Website and the iOS & Android apps are well-designed

Cons

  • Only has around 100+ songs on their Song Library
  • The gamification mechanic such as the XP (experience) system feels a bit arbitrary.
  • Doesn’t have a dedicated interactive learning interface like some other paid options on this list

Bottom Line:

Pianote is our winner when it comes to beginner and intermediate piano learners. They managed to integrate human and community feedback in, which is quite a rare feat in online music courses. All with a reasonable subscription price of $29/month.

Try Pianote


Yousician

Yousician Logo
Suitable Skill Levels: Beginner
Price: $19.99/mo or $119.88/year ($9.99 per month)
Free Trial: Yes, 7 days
Money Back Guarantee: No
Song Library: Yes
Mobile: iOS & Android apps available
Link: Go To Yousician

Unlike Pianote, Yousician is an app that focuses heavily on gamification and video game like interfaces to guide you through the basics of piano playing. You’ll be able to collect points, compete with other people, and take on weekly music challenges. Here’s a glimpse of what it looks like:

Yousician Keyboard
The Yousician Keyboard lesson interface

The app uses your device’s microphone to capture the notes you play. You can use either a digital/MIDI keyboard, or an acoustic piano. There are three ways to learn inside Yousician: Guided Lessons, Missions, and Workouts.

On Guided Lessons, Yousician will design a personalized lesson path based on your progress. You can choose how “intense” you’d like your training to be today, although we think 30 minutes practice is not necessarily “intense.”

Yousician Guided Lessons
Yousician Guided Lessons

On Missions, you can choose the module you’d like to practice. Each module consists of a tutorial video of the specific topic, and a couple of songs to apply the lessons on.

Yousician Missions Screenshot
Yousician Missions Screenshot

On Workouts, in a classic Guitar Hero fashion, you can re-do songs that you weren’t satisfied with and try to get a new high score.

Yousician Workouts Screenshot
Yousician Workouts Screenshot

You can also pick a specific area you want to practice. We think Workouts are helpful as a supplementary practice hammer in the lessons and concepts you’ve learned on Missions and Guided Lessons.

Yousician covers a wide array of music genres, from Beethoven, Fleetwood Mac, to Eminem, and it’s constantly updated when it comes to song libraries. It also has a weekly Challenge with fun themes where you can compete with other users worldwide. You’ll also be able to access past Weekly Challenges at all times.

The content of all three categories are actually pretty much the same. The categorization is just a way for you to approach the lessons differently, depending on your current mood. Maybe you want to improve your fundamentals or just want to noodle around with songs from the libraries. It’s up to you!

Pros

  • We really like the Workouts as a supplement to the main learning path
  • The Weekly Challenge is quite fun and refreshing
  • The gamification is well-designed to keep you motivated
  • Constantly updated song libraries with diverse genres
  • The app is polished and well made. We didn’t encounter any lag or performance issues whatsoever

Cons

  • While Yousician can help you learn fundamental piano skills, there’s a risk of your playing would be too “mechanical” due to the learning system
  • It doesn’t prepare you for real life sheet music due to the visual assistance.

Bottom Line:

If you’re a total beginner who gets motivation from tangible points, love video-game style learning, can’t stand video lectures, and prefer to try figuring things out on their own, Yousician is a solid choice!

Try Yousician


Skoove

Skoove Logo
Suitable Skill Levels: Beginner to Intermediate
Price: $19.99/mo, $39.99 for 3 months ($13.33/mo), or $119.99 annually ($9.99/mo)
Free Trial: Yes, 7 days
Money Back Guarantee: Yes, 14 days
Song Library: Yes, as a part of the curriculum
Mobile: iOS & Android (currently in beta) apps available
Link: Go To Skoove

Skoove is another app-based piano learning program just like Yousician. You can use either a MIDI/USB keyboard or an acoustic piano to play along. However, the desktop version of Skoove is web-based, so you don’t need to download an additional desktop application to your computer. Another notable difference from Yousician is that with Skoove you’ll also learn how to read actual sheet music as it is, without visual assistance.

Skoove Piano Lessons Interface
The Skoove piano lessons interface

Skoove uses songs as the focal point of each lesson. For instance, on Intermediate 1 you’ll learn about ‘sharp’ and ‘flat’ by playing the James Bond theme. However, the songs are not complete. If you play a pop song, for example, they’ll probably only guide you until the end of first chorus.

Skoove James Bone Interface
Skoove James Bond screenshot

It has a non-adjustable, linear learning path. While it’s not as flexible as other paid options, the straightforward learning path can be valuable to keep you on track and ease your decision-making process. Another limitation we noticed is that Skoove doesn’t have a separate song library you can browse and practice on your own outside the learning path.

Skoove is also the only one in this list here that supports other languages. In addition to English, it’s also available in German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese (Traditional and Simplified). If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re pretty comfortable with English, but having the additional options is always a nice bonus.

Pros

  • Easy to follow linear learning path
  • You’ll get familiar with reading real sheet music right away
  • The user interface is easy to navigate
  • Multi-language support

Cons

  • No human instructors or interaction
  • No a la carte song library
  • While the interface is quite intuitive, we found that sometimes the load times are a bit slow
  • The Android app is still in Beta, so there might be some performance issues

Bottom Line:

While Skoove offers less flexibility compared to other options, we don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing. If you’re someone who prefers to have everything cut out for you so that you can just start doing the work, Skoove is a strong option.

Try Skoove


Playground Sessions

Playground Sessions Logo
Suitable Skill Levels: Beginner to Intermediate
Price: $19.99/mo, $119.98 annually ($9.99/mo), or $289.99 for a lifetime membership
Free Trial: No
Money Back Guarantee: Yes, 30 days
Song Library: Yes
Mobile: Only on iPad
Link: Go To Playground Sessions

In the spirit of not burying the lede, we’ll let you know upfront that Playground Sessions only works with a digital piano or MIDI keyboard. If you already have an acoustic piano and are not considering getting a digital one, then Playground Sessions might not be the best fit.

In the case you don’t have a keyboard nor acoustic piano, Playground Sessions also offers a keyboard + membership bundle that includes their original self-branded PG-150 endorsed by the co-creator and legendary music producer Quincy Jones.

Although the user interface kind of reminds us of old-timey software, it’s surprisingly powerful.

Playground Sessions Piano Lessons Online Interface
Playground Sessions Piano Lessons Online Interface

On the dashboard, you’ll be able to visualize all of your progress. Another neat gamification aspect in Playground Sessions is that you can also collect Badges whenever you hit a particular goal, instead of just collecting points or leveling up—similar to Playstation 4 trophies.

The curriculum is classified into three different learning levels: Rookie (93 lessons), Intermediate (62 lessons), and Advanced (21 lessons), with video tutorials from Grammy-award winning Jazz pianist Harry Connick Jr. and renowned pianist David Sides. It also has a Courses section which includes supplemental materials to support you on your learning journey.

When it comes to the interface within the lessons, we think the virtual keyboard and sheet music interface setup is really nice. Another cool thing about it is the toolbar. It has useful functionalities such as a metronome, looping, zoom in/out, and even an option to print the music sheet.

Playground Sessions Virtual Keyboard
Playground Sessions Virtual Keyboard

While the curriculum is pretty solid for beginners, some students might find it hard to follow as not all lessons have videos (some only have written instructions). And when a video tutorial is available, it’s not as polished as we hope it would be. The video quality is mediocre, and there are no other visual cues that help students digest the instructions and knowledge conveyed in the video.

Playground Sessions David Sides
Playground Sessions David Sides Lessons

One of the most impressive things about Playground Sessions is the size of the song library. It has 1,500+ songs which are the biggest among others on this list. However, not all of them are free for you to access, even if you have already purchased the Memberships. If you’re on the Monthly and Annual plan, you’ll get 5 free songs per month. If you get the Lifetime plan, you’ll receive 40 free songs. Here’s the breakdown:

Playground Sessions Piano Lesson Pricing
Playground Sessions Piano Lesson Pricing

If you’re a Playground Sessions member, you can buy additional songs at the price of $1.99/song. If you’re not a member, you can still buy the sheet music at $4.99/song. It’s also worth noting that most of the arrangement here is a simplified version of the original composition.

Pros

  • The vast amount of songs in the library: 1,500+ songs with broad genres
  • Cool tools such as a metronome, looping, and zoom in and out, and a nice progress visualization dashboard
  • High quality backing tracks compared to others on the list

Cons

  • Only works with a digital keyboard
  • Lacking depth on music theory courses
  • Need to pay extra money to access more songs
  • Video quality is not that polished and the lack of visual cues makes it hard to follow

Bottom Line:

While we think the video tutorial quality still has room for improvement, the large lesson library, helpful learning tools, and enormous song options make Playground Sessions is something you should consider trying out. They also have 30-days money back guarantee, so you can test the water yourself.

Try Playground Sessions


Hoffman Academy

The Hoffman Academy is a YouTube channel that caters to children learning piano. While their YouTube videos are 100% free, one downside is that the pacing of the course is relatively slow compared to other courses, and most songs in the channel are children’s songs.

Still, the beginner videos covers the basic well if you’re okay with the slower pace. Joseph Hoffman is also a great instructor, easy to follow, and you can also see how he loves teaching. The video categorization is also well organized and easy to navigate. You can find videos by levels like the one below:

Hoffman Academy Screenshot
Hoffman Academy Screenshot

Every now and then, you’ll also do a live stream on how to level up your improvisation skills.

Pros

  • Totally free
  • All lessons on YouTube, accessible at any time and well organized
  • The instructor is engaging and likable, with high video production quality
  • The channel is routinely updated with fresh content

Cons

  • The pacing can be way too slow for adults
  • Lacking depth on the music theory courses
  • Need to pay extra money to access more songs
  • The song catalogue consists of children songs. Some popular tunes are available but only the main melody

Bottom Line:

Now, if you’re reading this article to actually find the best online piano lesson for your child, Hoffman Academy is a front-runner. The course speed and content is just perfect for children. If you’re an adult and don’t mind the kid-friendly videos, we definitely suggest trying out Hoffman Academy to see if it fits the bill. After all, it’s free!

Try Hoffman Academy

[ad_2]

See also  Cordoba C7 Acoustic Guitar | adungshop.com

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button