Many spent the majority of last year cooped up inside (and 2021 is looking much the same thus far), but that didn’t stop people from playing the piano. In its 2020 review Playground Sessions (opens in new tab), our top pick of the best online piano lessons (opens in new tab), revealed the songs that people turned to the most. These are the top three:
- Imagine - John Lennon
- Attention - Charlie Puth
- Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
Both “Imagine” and “Hallelujah” are accessible tunes for Rookie level pianists, and given how uplifting these tunes can be, it’s no surprise that they were a 2020 favorite. The (in)famous “Imagine” video that circulated in early 2020, packed with celebrities each singing a line of the tune, may have had something to do with the success of the John Lennon classic, but the real curve-ball here is Charlie Puth’s “Attention”. First released in 2018, the catchy tune may have been a next-step choice for those entering the “Advanced” levels of Playground Sessions.
We reported in August that the online piano service had offered free lessons to Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” for new subscribers. This lead to the world’s largest online piano recital, with over 7,000 users taking part. It’s unsurprising that “You Raise Me Up” was another one of the most popular songs to learn on piano in 2020.
When we spoke to David Sides, Playground Sessions Co-Founder, in August, he told us that “it was the perfect song to teach the world as it's one of hope and inspiration, things that many around the world were longing for.”
Learning online is here to stay
With plenty seeking new hobbies, or looking for ways to continue to learn the piano virtually, people increasingly turned to music as a way of self-improvement in 2020. Playground Sessions recorded a substantial 328,678 hours spent on its smartphone (opens in new tab) app alone, meaning that all the time people sunk into their screentime in 2020 may not have been entirely unproductive. Of its vast song library, the Playground Sessions also recorded that 95% of its available songs were played last year, and a total of 1.5 billion notes were played correctly by users.
David Sides told us “In general, there are many benefits to taking up an instrument - including health benefits and emotional benefits. Learning to play an instrument is especially valuable in times like these because it's great for relieving stress, great for bringing joy, and great at delivering a sense of achievement and productivity - all of which are things that help keep people positive during challenging times.”
If you are tempted to take up the piano in 2021, check out our guide on how to learn piano online (opens in new tab) for some expert advice. You could also consider the best learn French software and apps (opens in new tab) to continue to learn online this year.