Learn How To Play the Piano Online
The top performers in our review are Playground Sessions, the Gold Award winner; Piano Marvel, the Silver Award winner; and Piano With Willie, the Bronze Award winner. Here's more on choosing a system to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of our top 10 services.
You might have wanted to learn how to play piano sometime in your life, but have never taken the steps to achieve your goal. This could be for a number of different reasons: you don't want to drive to someone's house to take in-person lessons, you don't have a keyboard or piano, you don't have the time to learn, or perhaps piano lessons are too expensive. Online piano lessons could be what you need to get past your reservations and finally learn how to play piano. To learn piano online, you don't need to leave the comfort of your own home; the equipment needed is minimal and you learn on your own time.
Online piano lessons teach you how to play piano with a combination of video tutorials, structured teaching methods and practice tools. With a computer and an internet connection, you will have access to each service's video tutorials and other online practice tools. The video tutorials help to visually demonstrate not only how to play the songs, but important playing concepts so you can have the necessary building blocks to continually improve your playing. You practice and play when you want, so you don't have to feel nervous about messing up in front of a teacher.
Many of these online services provide practice tools to hone your piano-playing skill-set. These tools include practice exercises for your left and right hand and practice instructions to ensure that you are practicing the right way and not learning bad habits. Knowing that you are progressing is a key element to learning any instrument.
The best online piano lessons also track your progress, showing you the wrong notes that you played and how you have improved since your last practice session. Online lessons, such as Piano Marvel and Playground Sessions, are MIDI compatible, so you can plug a MIDI keyboard into your computer via USB. A MIDI controller is an inexpensive alternative to a piano, and you can purchase a full-key MIDI controller for $100 to allow you to be interactive with your lessons. By using a MIDI controller, the service can keep track of your practice progress and the right and wrong notes you hit. You can also purchase an inexpensive piano keyboard for around the same price, but you won't have the ability to interact with the service like you would with a MIDI controller. For more information regarding online piano lessons and key components to help you use the programs, visit our learning center.
The majority of these online piano tutorials offer monthly payments that vary anywhere from $10-$50 dollars a month. Comparatively, this is far less expensive than what you would pay for in-person lessons, which can be anywhere from $50-$100 per month, or per lesson. Piano With Willie and Jazz Piano Online both offer an option to buy an annual subscription to online piano lessons. OnlinePianist and Play Piano Today offer a one-time fee for their services, so you don't have to worry about monthly or reoccurring payments of any type.
Online Piano Lessons: What We Tested, What We Found
Learning piano the way that caters to your needs is what is most important when looking for the right online piano lesson service for you. If you are a beginner, you are going to want to find a comprehensive curriculum that can teach you beginning methods and theory. For more advanced players, you might want to find a certain style of play to master or sharpen your ability to sight-read or play by ear.
One of our reviewers was a piano teacher for many years and helped come up with a list of criteria that we feel should be taught within the first two online piano lessons. These lesson concepts are the following:
- Note values
- Finger numbers
- Musical alphabet
- Notes and the corresponding key
- Staff, treble clef and bass clef
To assess all of the online lessons, we had a handful of reviewers test a particular product or service in our lineup. This was done to avoid overlearning a concept. For example, if a reviewer learned how to find middle C from four different services – by the fourth product – it would seem as if it were the best because middle C was found immediately, even though this concept was taught by three different products prior. Therefore, we used different reviewers for this process.
Each reviewer tracked all of the concepts taught in the first two lessons and described their overall experience with the online piano service. Reviewers that are more advanced players tested out services that are for advanced players, and the same applied to beginning players and beginning lessons to provide a fair assessment of all the piano services. We tracked and converted these evaluations into a score to determine which service or software clearly executes the piano curriculum the best.
Top Ten Reviews seeks, whenever possible, to evaluate all products and services in hands-on testing that simulates as closely as possible the experiences of a typical consumer. We obtained the units in our comparison by purchasing month-long trials from each of the companies. The manufacturers had no input or influence over our test methodology, nor was the methodology provided to any of them in more detail than is available through reading our reviews. Results of our evaluations were not provided to the companies in advance of publication.
What Else Is Included in Online Piano Lessons?
Video tutorials and lessons plans are great when you are learning to play piano on your own, but when you have the accompaniment of backing tracks and a metronome to help push yourself, that’s when strides toward improvement are made.
Metronome & Adjustable Tempo
Piano Marvel and Playground Sessions allow you to adjust the tempo of your lessons so you can ease and push yourself with each lesson. Both of these services also give you reports that track your progress since the start of your lessons. No other online piano lesson provides these features.
Learning specific songs might be the only reason that you want to learn how to play piano. Services, such as Piano Marvel, Playground Sessions, Piano Keys and Online Pianist, allow you to request specific songs for lessons. When you are learning something that is familiar or a song that you enjoy, it makes learning piano that much more fun and easy.
Tools For Educators
These online piano lessons can also be helpful for teachers to aid their students in piano training. Piano Marvel and Playground Sessions both offer tools to help educators track their students' progress and leave constructive feedback.
Online Piano Lessons: Our Verdict and Recommendations
At $9.99 per month, Playground Sessions is not only the least expensive program for online piano lessons in our lineup, but it's also the Gold Award winner. Playground Sessions provides modern music and top 40 hits regularly so you can learn your favorite songs on the piano. It is also MIDI compatible to help you track your lesson and training progress. Playground Sessions has countless number of lessons and hours of video tutorials.
Piano Marvel is the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award winner because it has many tools to help you succeed in your journey to play piano. It has a comprehensive lesson curriculum that covers a wide variety of musical genres, as well as interactive practice tools that keep track of your progress. At $15 per month, it is also one of the most inexpensive lesson plans available. This is far cheaper than the cost of in-person lessons, yet you have over 2,200 lesson plans available to you at any time.
Piano With Willie is our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award winner. This online piano school features many hours of online video tutorials and live Skype training videos for premium members. These lessons provide a comprehensive curriculum that covers many different musical genres and playing styles. Unlike Playground Sessions and Piano Marvel, there are no tools to track your practice progress because the lessons are not MIDI compatible.