PROS / OnlinePianist helps you refine the basic piano skills you already have through fun song tutorials of popular music.
CONS / It does not teach a number of essential music theory concepts and requires some rudimentary piano skills.
VERDICT / While it is not comprehensive or structured like other online piano lessons, OnlinePianist is a fun program to use if you casually want to improve on the skills you already have.
OnlinePianist is a fun and casual animated tutorial program that can help you strengthen basic piano skills. This online tool enables you to learn piano online through hundreds of piano tutorials for popular, mainstream songs. While OnlinePianist teaches fundamental concepts of music theory, it lacks a structured and methodical curriculum such as those found in more complete online piano lessons.
OnlinePianist's premium account gives you access to its huge collection of song tutorials, which includes both contemporary and public domain pieces. The online program has hundreds to choose from and adds a minimum of three new songs each week. You can either use the program's virtual piano keyboard or follow along on your own. Each tutorial includes a handful of useful practice tools that enable you to learn the song. For example, you can adjust the tempo of the song, practice each hand individually and set a metronome to help you keep pace. The tutorials also come with printable piano music, and you can set the song to loop so that you can focus on specific sections. Each song also has an easier beginner version, which is ideal if you are just learning how to play the piano.
These piano lessons online obviously lack the comprehensive music theory and sequential structure of more traditional piano programs. They assume some knowledge of piano theory, including music notation, sight-reading and scales. Thus, OnlinePianist isn't nearly as advantageous or integrated as other programs on our lineup. However, as you learn each song, the tutorials help you reinforce the basic piano skills you already possess.
OnlinePianist offers a number of features that underscore the fact that is a more entertaining and informal piano program. In addition to its use of contemporary music, the program fully integrates with Facebook and Google+, providing social interaction with other OnlinePianist members and your own social network. You can browse tutorials by genre, rating or popularity, and you submit requests for songs you want the program to create tutorials for.
OnlinePianist clearly isn't the most complete program for learning to play piano online. It lacks a number of important music theory concepts we look for in first-rate online piano programs. However, its entertainment value and fun tutorials of today's biggest hits make it a great option for casual hobbyists with an interest in music.