Artistworks: Piano with Christie Peery is a highly structured approach for you or your child to learn how to play piano. These online piano lessons cover all levels – from novice to highly advanced, so are good for a broad range of users. The way the best online piano lessons (opens in new tab) work is through teacher and student interactions. Christie Peery does this via online video submissions. When you are done with a lesson or a section of lessons, you can submit videos to Christie Peery for certification and for critique and feedback. This approach gives you the sense of classic, in-person lessons that other piano software we reviewed don't offer.
Piano with Christie Peery review: Membership
- Membership is staggered - you get more if you pay more
- Expensive but interactive
When you pay for a subscription to this online piano school, you pay for access to the video tutorials and some downloadable content, but this does not give you all the content that you will need for your online lessons. You will also need to purchase additional booklets of sheet music for the sections within the lessons. This can become pricey, especially when other online piano lessons provide everything you need after you subscribe.
Membership costs up-front will set you back $105 for three months, $179 for six and $279 for a full year. It’s up there in price, but (like PianoWithWillie (opens in new tab)) this is justified by a more personal and interactive approach.
Piano with Christie Peery review: Lessons & features
- Manual monitoring required
- Classical piano only
Since all of your piano instruction and critique is through video submissions, these online piano lessons don't keep track of your practice habits for you. You need to do this manually with the practice worksheet. For practice purposes, you will need to provide your own metronome and use an actual keyboard or piano, since there isn't MIDI-compatibility with these piano lessons.
Because the program is not MIDI compatible, you will need a video recorder or webcam and an acoustic piano or 88-key keyboard to complete the lessons. Although this may be a hindrance for some people, others may prefer the one-on-one interaction with a master teacher it provides. Sites such as Flowkey (opens in new tab) are a lot more straightforward, working on computer and tablet.
You should also keep in mind that this is a classical online piano course. These teachings come from classical piano pieces, and modern music is not part of the lessons or curriculum.
Piano with Christie Peery review: Experience
- You won't play straight away
- Thorough emphasis on technique
For our review, we went through the first couple of lessons to see the approach of each online lesson plan and the principles each instructor employs. If you start from the introductory fundamentals videos of Christie Peery's lessons, you won't be playing the piano at all. Much of the focus in these first videos is about keeping correct posture at the piano, hand and wrist posture, and creating good practicing habits.
As a classically trained pianist, it is apparent that Christie Peery's teaching methods are highly structured. You don't strike a note on the piano until all of the fundamentals are correct first. You also never practice without your practice sheet on your piano, which is how you keep track of your practice time and habits. This makes sense to create good habits out of the gate, but it can also make a beginner piano player lose interest quickly by not actually playing the piano immediately. If you want to play right from the beginning, check out Playground Sessions (opens in new tab) or Piano Marvel (opens in new tab).
The beginner lessons are broken into four sections – fundamentals, muscular, practical and musical. The fundamentals focus on hand position, posture and materials. The muscular focuses on building strong and correct figure muscle memory and habits. The practical lesson focuses on theory and reading sheet music. The music section is when you put it all together to play songs.
When you practice, Christie Peery recommends that you don't set a timer to practice for an allotted amount of time. You practice until you accomplish a certain task or amount of tasks, and you mark it down on your practice sheet. This is another part of her lesson structure: practice is meant to accomplish something on the piano.
In the first muscular video, you learn all the keys on the keyboard from a downloadable worksheet called Bee and The Note Family. By lesson three in the muscular training, you learn how to properly number your fingers and you go through a downloadable worksheet exercise to help you learn your finger numbers. We looked for things, such as finger numbering, note values and keys on the keyboard, as important lessons that you should learn in the first couple of lessons from your piano lessons online. Christie Peery's online piano lessons tackle those key elements within the first few lessons.
Piano with Christie Peery review: Technical support
- No social media
- Interaction with other students
The Peery online piano lessons do not have social media integration. However, the ArtistWorks website offers a lot of interaction with other students. You can view other students' videos, provide feedback and participate in discussions in the forums.
Should you subscribe to Piano with Christie Peery?
Some students prefer teacher-to-student interaction when it comes to learning. ArtistWorks: Piano with Christie Peery allows for this interaction but without the need to travel or leave your house. These online lessons are highly structured and have a strict lesson plan with practice regimen to follow. If you want the classic lesson feel, and are willing to pay a little extra than you would for other online teaching, this is the choice for you.