Flowkey has a modern and easy-to-use interface that makes it easy to jump around and choose a lesson plan or song to learn. A quick assessment of your skill level at the beginning of the setup process is designed to give you a good starting point in the curriculum. There are monthly and yearly subscription options, and as with most online piano software, you can try the software for free for 30 days to make sure the lesson content and song list is right for you.
This is the only online piano software we tested that can track your progress with a MIDI-capable keyboard and an acoustic piano. Flowkey can access the microphone on your tablet or laptop and use it to listen to your acoustic piano while you take lessons, giving real-time feedback on which notes you played wrong. The easy-to-use software interface looks the same whether you use a computer or tablet. This was the easiest and most modern-looking software interface of all the products we tested. It will seem familiar to someone who uses mobile applications for learning or playing games. Piano With Willie is available for purchase on a monthly, quarterly or annual subscription basis.
There are also lessons on how to improvise and arrange music, which are rare topics for online piano courses. One-on-one Skype lessons are available for people who still want the personal attention normally associated with face-to-face piano instruction. We recommend this software more for adults than young children because of the lack of progress tracking. Piano With Willie works better with self-motivated individuals who complete practice lessons without being prompted by the software.
However, it does track your progress within each lesson and displays a percentage of completion before you start the next lesson. The Online Piano School with Christie Peery is the most comprehensive classical piano course on the web. There are hundreds of lessons for every experience level that you can take at your own pace using the ArtistWorks Video Exchange platform.
When you finish a section of lessons, submit a video and Christie personally reviews your video and gives you personalized feedback about how to improve. Before starting the lessons, purchase your own metronome, key keyboard or piano and a video recording device to capture your practice sessions so you can submit them for feedback.
We spent 60 hours taking online piano lessons to help you find the right piano learning software. Our testing staff has more than 20 years of experience as working musicians and have taken countless face-to-face lessons and online lessons for a variety of instruments. Luckily, the piano is not the primary instrument for any of our test staff, so we could effectively take beginning piano lessons, compare important features and make recommendations as novice piano players and advanced-level musicians.
We are also aware of the advantages and disadvantages of face-to-face instruction. Software instruction may not be the best option for everyone, but we found a few products that couple the advantages of software learning with the option to ask questions of a real human. As musicians, we were interested to see how long it would take to learn a beginner song on an unfamiliar instrument. Most of the products we tested gave us enough instruction to effectively play beginner songs in less than an hour.
In addition to our exhaustive research and testing protocols, we interviewed experts and people who use piano learning software in a professional capacity to stay up-to-date on all the latest features. We talked with Ryan Conger, professional keyboard player and music instructor at Fast Forward Charter High School , about how he uses software to supplement face-to-face instruction. We also asked him about his recommendation for music theory knowledge as it pertains to beginner piano students. Our testing process for online piano lessons started with evaluating how easily each product can be purchased, downloaded and installed.
Once the software was downloaded on our testing computer, we looked for all available features and took note of how easy it was to switch between lessons and songs. After we were comfortable navigating the software or app, we started taking beginner lessons. We also tested how easy it was to use a MIDI keyboard when the software allowed for that. The online piano courses we reviewed require a monthly, semi-annual, annual or lifetime subscription.
Even the most expensive online piano lessons are cheaper than face-to-face instruction, and you can take them at your own pace and in the comfort of your home. The best online piano software allows you to use a MIDI-compatible keyboard to track your progress in real time while you take lessons. The software can identify the specific notes you missed so that you can go back and practice the areas that are giving you the most trouble.
WiFi and Bluetooth are also sometimes an option and will allow you to connect your piano wirelessly to a computer or tablet, if you decide to use a piano learning app. Learning the hardest parts of your favorite song can be easier if you slow it down. The best software titles allow you to adjust the tempo to help you work through those rough patches.
Using a metronome while you practice will improve your ability to play songs at the tempo they were written, and it will also help you keep the tempo consistent throughout the song. Online piano software that allows you to request specific song titles adds value for someone who wants to buy a yearly or permanent subscription.
Learning songs that are familiar and fun keeps you motivated. Piano lesson software can be used by teachers who want to build a hybrid curriculum for students who have a hard time making it to face-to-face lessons. MIDI is an acronym for musical instrument digital interface. The best piano lesson software allows you to use a MIDI-compatible keyboard with the lessons, and it tracks your progress in real time as you move through the lessons.
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MIDI connections started appearing on electronic keyboards in the mids and became a standard feature in the early '90s. Chances are, if you have an electronic keyboard in your storage room collecting dust, it has a MIDI connection you can use to take piano lessons online. Most of the newest keyboards have a USB connection on the back panel that interacts with your computer the same as a MIDI connection, so it wouldn't require an interface cable, only a standard USB cable.
Some have Bluetotth connectivity for a wireless connection too. With the advent of music production and composition software came a new class of keyboard without built-in sounds but designed to interact with software or piano learning apps. Two important features to look for in a MIDI-compatible keyboard are velocity sensitivity and the number of keys. Velocity sensitive keyboards track how hard you strike a key and send that information to the software, resulting in a range of volumes. Velocity sensitivity is an important feature for students transitioning from beginner lessons to intermediate and advanced lessons.
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MIDI controllers come as small as 25 keys, but we recommend using a keyboard with at least 61 keys for piano lessons. A full-size piano has 88 keys, but most beginner and intermediate lessons only use the middle 49 to 61 keys. When you're choosing a MIDI-compatible keyboard to use with piano learning software, pay attention to the key feel and built-in sounds. An acoustic piano has 88 weighted keys, and many digital piano manufacturers have done a good job simulating both the feel and sound of an acoustic piano.
MIDI keyboards without built-in sounds have the same software control as digital pianos but are much more cost effective and portable, and they have a varying number of keys. Here are our favorite MIDI controllers to use with piano learning software:. Yamaha P This is one of the most compact key digital pianos, but at 25 pounds, it might be a bit too heavy for young students to maneuver around a small bedroom.
You can also connect the keyboard to a PC and use software such as Native Instruments Komplete , which is a popular package among studio musicians.
A metronome is a perfect companion to practice. Whether you're playing scales or sheet music for a favorite tune, a metronome keeps you in time and develops your natural sense of rhythm. Several great metronome apps are available on the App Store, and most of them are free, with in-app purchases that unlock more advanced features. If you'd rather download and go, Pro Metronome offers all the basic features you need to get started at no extra charge, including changing tempo and time signatures.
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Share Pin Email. Daniel Nations has been a tech journalist since Connect a MIDI keyboard for the full piano teacher experience. Piano lessons are built in. What We Don't Like App customization options are limited. Lacks many options for woodwind instruments. Download GarageBand. What We Like Organize exercises by level or genre. Great for young and adult learners. Progress reports let you know how you're doing.
What We Don't Like Can't search for songs. The app is free, but to get the most from it, you need a subscription. Can't print sheet music. Download Piano Maestro. What We Like Makes learning the piano a game. Progress trackers give real-time feedback. Videos provide visual examples of notes and chords. What We Don't Like The app doesn't always "hear" you play correctly.
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Subscriptions are pricey. Can get a bit crowded on smaller screens. A classical path where you learn more about reading music and playing in the classical style. A knowledge path that focuses on music theory. A pop path that focuses on rock, blues, funk, and other styles of music. Download Yousician. What We Like Choose from more than instrument sounds. Supports digital keyboards. Notes fall down from the top, or you can view traditional sheet music.
What We Don't Like Comes with just 20 songs; you need a subscription to get more. Sounds aren't realistic. Download Synthesia. What We Like An awesome way to organize and take sheet music anywhere. Automatic transpositions save time. For total mobility, iRig Keys is also an ultra-low power consumption unit. When hooked up to an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, it can be powered by the device, and for longer playing sessions it can be powered by the available USB port.
Use it any time and anywhere inspiration strikes you And if you want to connect to an older iOS device, all you have to do is pick up an optional pin cable. Contact IK Support to request your free cable.
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