Best Online Piano Lessons

Best Online Piano Lessons

If you're eager to learn how to play piano, you probably already know that there are almost endless online piano lessons out there. Traditional piano lessons certainly have their place, but if you're a busy person with an unpredictable schedule, learning online at your own pace can be a pathway to success.

And if you're ready to start your piano journey, it's vitally important to pick the right piano learning app or website before you begin. To help you make up your mind, we've assembled our picks for the 12 best online piano lessons.

The Top 12 Best Online Piano Lessons

Model

Rating

Price

Playground Sessions

Flowkey

Piano Marvel

Skoove

Herbie Hancock Masterclass

Pianoforall

Yousician

Pianote

Simply Piano

Pianu

Rocket Piano

Pianokeyz

Review of our Top Picks

Playground Sessions -- Most Engaging

Important Features

  • Gamified learning helps motivate you with badges and unlocked courses
  • Instant feedback makes it easy for even a complete beginner to learn piano
  • Incorporated music theory is easy to learn and helps give you a solid musical foundation
  • It was co-created by producer Quincy Jones and includes Grammy winner Harry Connick Jr. as a teacher
  • Pricing is $17.99 per month, $119.88 per year, or $289.99 for a lifetime membership

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It's designed to let you start playing songs quickly
  • It does very well with using songs to illustrate piano skills and important music theory concepts
  • You earn points depending on your performance and can use them to unlock extra features
  • You can save money by purchasing MIDI keyboard and membership bundles

Cons

  • If you want more than five song tutorials each month, you need to purchase them
  • If you aren't too interested in pop music, the song library might not be quite right for you

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Playground Sessions is one of the most talked-about online piano lesson site options out there. It's also a reliable way to learn piano -- especially if your primary goal is playing songs you love. These piano lessons are geared toward new players, as song arrangements are somewhat simple.

It's worth noting that this site has fewer video lessons than most online piano lessons do -- it tends to rely more on instant feedback and song tutorials. It's also worth noting that, while it's relatively affordable, Playground Sessions does not offer a free trial membership option.

Playground Sessions requires you to have a compatible MIDI keyboard or electric piano, so it isn't a site where you can learn with an acoustic piano. But if you like working with an engaging, modern interface and do well when learning feels like a game, Playground Sessions just might be right for you.

Please read our very in-depth Playground Sessions Review and its one to one comparison with other big piano learning apps - Flowkey and Piano Marvel.  

Our Star Rating

We think that Playground Sessions is the most engaging site for piano lessons on the list, and we give it five out of five stars.

Flowkey -- Most Versatile

Important Features

  • You can speed up or slow down songs to practice, and you can also practice right and left hand parts separately
  • It assesses your skills right away to make sure that you start your online piano lessons in the right place
  • You have the power to control your learning -- you can start playing your favorite songs right away or start out with interactive lessons
  • The app can "listen" to an acoustic piano to offer instant feedback as it does for a digital piano
  • Pricing is $19.99 per month, $119.88 per year, or $329.99 for a lifetime membership (you can also save money if you pay for a few months at a time)

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It scrolls sheet music as you play, making it possible to learn to read sheet music as you go
  • You do get some level of support from piano teachers like you would in private lessons
  • The large song library includes selections from many different genres, and they can be sorted by difficulty
  • It provides an outstanding overview and beginning to your piano journey

Cons

  • The microphone "listening" feature is sometimes inaccurate
  • It doesn't include many ways to track your piano learning progress

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Flowkey is another online piano lessons site that appears on almost every roundup review. And it's for good reason -- the site has a massive song library and offers focused piano learning programs tailored to a range of learning goals.

One of Flowkey's most useful features is its use of practice modes -- you can start learning in "wait" mode, where the software waits for you to play each note before moving on. You can also learn more complex pieces one hand at a time before putting them together.

While it does somewhat emphasize classical piano, Flowkey is a well-thought-out lesson program with a good balance of learning basic piano skills, learning music theory, and learning songs.

If you want to dig deeper into the features of Flowkey, please read detailed review or its head to head comparison with Playground Sessions, Simply Piano and Skoove. 

Our Star Rating

We think Flowkey is the most versatile option for online piano lessons on the list, and we give it five out of five stars.

Piano Marvel -- Best for Serious Players

Important Features

  • When practicing songs, you can break them into manageable portions using the site's "whole," "mince," or "chop" slicing
  • It's designed for fast learning -- the site claims you will learn four times faster than other methods
  • It lets music teachers create their own lessons, and it also can help students find the best online piano teacher for them
  • The site holds periodic contests and challenges where you can win cash prizes
  • Pricing is $15.99 per month or $110.99 per year, but you can access Level 1 online piano lessons for free

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • You can set practice time goals while tracking your progress
  • It's fairly affordable given all the included features
  • Lessons are divided into "method" and "technique" so you can practice what you learn
  • The song library also includes additional exercises and reading

Cons

  • The rigorous testing may be too much for casual learners
  • Much of the site is geared toward classical music, which may not be right for everyone

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

If you've done any digging into Piano Marvel, you've probably read about the site's use of the Standard Assessment of Sight Reading test. This is a great tool for serious pianists, but that isn't the only aspect of Piano Marvel that's great for motivated players.

This site has the most rigorous means of assessing players -- rather than just marking each lesson "complete," this site will award you a gold, silver, or bronze virtual trophy based on how well you played the required piece. Though it does place a considerable emphasis on classical music, this site's song library also includes plenty of pop hits.

Please read our detailed review of the Piano Marvel site here along with a full comparison with Playground Sessions.

Our Star Rating

We think that Piano Marvel is the best for serious learners, and we give it five out of five stars.

Skoove -- Best Simple Option

Important Features

  • You can access 25 sample lessons for free before choosing a paid membership
  • Once you complete introductory lessons, you can choose to focus more on classical music or pop music
  • If you've just decided to learn to play the piano and have no instrument yet, you can do some lessons on a QWERTY keyboard
  • It includes video lessons on hand position and technique to make sure you learn to play the piano properly
  • Pricing is $19.99 per month, $39.99 per three months, or $119.99 per year

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The site is fairly simple in terms of layout, and it's easy to use
  • It can work with a MIDI keyboard or listen to an acoustic piano via a device microphone
  • Backing tracks in the beginning music lessons are a lot of fun to play along with
  • It teaches you to read sheet music, begin ear training, and start to improvise

Cons

  • The instant feedback you get while playing doesn't factor in the duration of each note
  • Most beginner lessons cover multiple topics very briefly, so it's easy to get lost

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Skoove is another of the best online piano lesson sites that emphasize popular music while going somewhat light on classical music or on music theory. These online piano lessons also seem to take the boldest approach when it comes to learning piano for the first time.

Many programs ease slowly into piano basics, but Skoove effectively takes you through a sampler platter of piano playing -- the beginner course asks you to both improvise and play with both hands. Skoove says it abides by a philosophy of listening, then learning, and then playing, and that philosophy will get you far when you're learning at your own pace without in-person lessons.

Get more details about the features of Skoove and its full comparison with Flowkey in our detailed reviews.

Our Star Rating

Though it may not have all the bells and whistles of some of the best piano lessons, Skoove is nonetheless the best straightforward online piano site. We give it four out of five stars.

Herbie Hancock Masterclass -- Best Non-Traditional Course

Important Features

  • You'll get to hear the origin story of one of the world's greatest jazz pianists
  • If you intend to perform, Herbie offers great advice sprinkled with his own anecdotes
  • The online lessons can be very helpful if you're developing your own musical style
  • In some video lessons, Herbie shows you helpful techniques
  • Pricing is $180 per year for access to the entire Masterclass platform; there isn't an option to buy this course separately

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The course is very focused on finding your own voice, and it's great for aspiring songwriters
  • The included workbook provides valuable exercises to help you grow as a player
  • Herbie's focus on playing chords in new ways and reharmonizing pieces can help breathe new life into old pieces
  • If you already have some musical knowledge and playing experience, this is a great way to build upon it

Cons

  • If you're looking for online piano lessons in the traditional sense, this may not be the right course for you
  • The Masterclass platform itself is fairly expensive

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Most of the online piano lessons we've focused on are more traditional learning sites -- that is, they help you develop a learning plan that you then follow at your own pace. But learning to play the piano on your own while at home is sometimes an isolating experience.

And if you're looking for some inspiration, this unique masterclass taught by legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock will have you deep in thought about the philosophy of music and your own reasons for playing. 

It's worth noting that while this masterclass is full of musical knowledge and philosophy, it likely isn't too suitable for brand new pianists. If you're a beginner, you'll probably get a lot more out of this course after you've taken a few piano lessons already. For more details read our full review on the course here.

Our Star Rating

We think that this unique masterclass provides the best food for musical thought on the list, and we give it four out of five stars.

Pianoforall -- Best Book-Based Piano Lessons

Important Features

  • It emphasizes ear-training from the beginning, so it's a great option if you want to play by ear
  • Many books have a special focus on jazz, blues, and ragtime, and a few focus on classical piano
  • Targeted exercises help you reach your music learning goals relatively quickly
  • The program incorporates learning to read sheet music into learning to play
  • Pricing is advertised as a one-time payment of $79, but it usually is offered at $39. For $89, you get full access plus a DVD

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It's one of the most affordable options
  • E-book based learning is easier to navigate if you have trouble with technology
  • A one-time membership fee gives you free access to the current program and future updates
  • Its chord-based approach may be better for learners who have trouble with more traditional learning approaches

Cons

  • The lack of progress tracking or on-screen teachers may not be good for some learners
  • The emphasis on jazz, blues, and ballads may not be right for those with a focus on pop or classical music

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

It may sound odd to describe online piano lessons as being "book-based." But that's probably the best way to describe Pianoforall, an interesting learning site that combines the simplicity of learning from a book with the benefits of online piano courses. This site's learning program uses interactive ebooks. With these books, you can print pages to place on a music stand.

Aside from its somewhat unusual learning format, Pianoforall is a little different from traditional lessons in its emphasis on learning and using chord shapes. And from the first e-book, it encourages improvisation, too. This approach makes it a great choice for players who want to put together their own compositions. Please read our complete Pianoforall review here.

Our Star Rating

We think that Pianoforall has the best online piano courses based around e-books. We give it four out of five stars.

Yousician -- Best Gamified Learning

Important Features

  • After the introductory sections, you can choose a classical, pop, or creative path
  • You get instant feedback while practicing, and you can earn awards for playing well in performance mode
  • Learning is divided into "missions" that help you practice what you've learned and "workouts" to help hone your technique
  • You can enter in how much time you have to practice and the app will give you an appropriately timed lesson
  • Pricing starts at $19.99 per month or $119.99 per year, although there are many different payment plans

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It has won numerous awards from Apple, Google, and other services
  • With some memberships, you can use it to learn multiple instruments
  • You can use the app's social functions to compete with friends for high scores
  • A wide variety of lesson types and practice modes help keep you busy

Cons

  • Though it does show you a sheet music scroll, this site does not really teach you to read sheet music
  • When assessing playing for accuracy, the app doesn't take note length into account

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

If you've started playing guitar, you may already have heard about Yousician's instrumental lessons. This app offers some of the best piano lessons out there if you do well with gamified learning. Most interactive lessons give you practice exercises that offer instant feedback.

A diverse song library lets you learn classical and pop songs (as well as songs from other genres). And when you want to further your learning, you can practice lesson concepts and skills with "missions" and "workouts." Most of these have both practice modes and performance modes. Overall, Yousician is great if you are self-motivated and prefer a game-like approach to learning.

Our Star Rating

We think Yousician offers the best gamified learning experience, and we give it four out of five stars.

Pianote -- Best for More Traditional Learners

Important Features

  • Foundational learning path helps new players get a roadmap to piano learning
  • Many types of courses, boot camps, and workshops help you learn what you want to
  • Professional piano instructors offer thorough, personable guidance through the curriculum
  • The play-along feature lets you also get the benefit of more software-centric learning
  • Pricing is at $197 for an annual membership or $29 per month. The lifetime membership often goes on sale for $497

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Given its features, it's a great value
  • You get the feel of in-person lessons, and you can ask teachers questions
  • Live lessons mean there's no shortage of new things to learn
  • Multiple instructors mean that you get the benefit of learning from many accomplished pianists

Cons

  • Students are encouraged to publicly post progress videos, and not everyone will be comfortable with that
  • The song library is still relatively small

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Lots of people love the gamified learning approach that many modern music learning platforms take. But if you'd prefer something more traditional, Pianote might be right for you. This site relies on instructor-led video lessons that get close to the feel of in-person lessons. After watching a video introduction, you then can practice playing along with the instructor. Play-along videos include a metronome, looping, and slow-down features so you can get comfortable with even difficult pieces.

This site also includes live lessons -- you can view an upcoming release schedule and choose lessons you really want to see. Pianote has a small but growing library of song tutorials, and new tutorials are typically added weekly. We like that the site includes a Foundations learning path to give you the skills you need before moving on.

Our Star Rating

We think this is the best program for those who prefer traditional lessons, and we give it four out of five stars.

Simply Piano -- Best App-Only Site

Important Features

  • You can focus your learning by choosing the "soloist" or "chords" path, but you can also do both
  • It also has a section of five-minute piano workouts to do if you don't have time for a full session
  • The site custom-designs a lesson plan for you based on your goals and skill level
  • It introduces new pieces slowly -- first, you hear them, then you see the sheet music, and then you start playing them
  • Pricing is $59.99 per three months, $89.99 per six months, or $119.99 per year

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Unlike many lesson sites, this one has printable sheet music
  • You get a 7-day free trial before committing to buy it
  • You get access to 27 separate courses, so there's plenty to learn
  • Instant feedback lets you know how accurately you're playing

Cons

  • You can't use it on a computer, which may pose a problem
  • It is very focused on pop music, so it may not be right for all players

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Right from the start, it's important to note something about Simply Piano -- it is only available in-app format and does not work on computers. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if you have trouble navigating smaller screens, it may not be the best for you.

But this learning site might be the best for players who learn the best in game-like situations. Simply Piano does a good job guiding you through practice, and its colorful interface looks a lot like a video game. You can choose from a variety of five-minute workouts if you don't have time for a full practice session.

Simply Piano has a fairly solid curriculum as well. Before you choose to follow the path for solo pianists or the one for more chord-focused players, you'll need to complete a series of lessons introducing you to piano basics. You need to pass a playing assessment on each lesson before moving on to the next, so you'll ensure you build a solid skill set as you progress.

Our Star Rating

We think Simply Piano is the best app-only piano site on the list, and we give it 3.5 out of five stars.

Pianu -- Best for the Casual Learner

Important Features

  • The site pairs guided song tutorials with lessons so you can quickly apply what you learn
  • Gamified learning approach with badges and incentives makes the course a lot of fun
  • The introductory "Academy" level and six-part "Pro" level give you a clear learning roadmap
  • If you want to get started before your keyboard arrives, you can start playing on the on-screen keyboard
  • Pricing is $14 per month, which makes Pianu one of the most affordable options

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • New players start out with a song, so the course is immediately rewarding
  • New lessons are regularly added, so there's always more to learn
  • You can access the song library for free without a membership
  • The song library contains lots of sheet music, which isn't the case with all piano sites

Cons

  • The relaxed nature of this site means it isn't the best choice for serious learners
  • If you practice too often with the on-screen keyboard, those skills may not translate to actual pianos

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Whether you visit the Pianu site itself or read about it on a professional review website, you'll immediately read that the focus of Pianu is having fun. Pianu is perfect for casual learners -- you can even get started with an onscreen keyboard if you have a device with a touchscreen! Pianu is an affordable site, and even non-members can access their song library (but not the guided tutorials).

Please read our comprehensive review of Painu here.

Our Star Rating

We think Pianu is the best online piano lesson site for casual learners who mostly want to have fun. We give it three out of five stars.

Rocket Piano -- Best Bonuses

Important Features

  • Music theory is incorporated in small, memorable pieces
  • It includes genre-specific books focusing on jazz and gospel
  • Lessons in the advanced stages focus on improvising, transposing, and other useful skills
  • 26 included jam tracks give you the feeling of playing with a band
  • Pricing is a one-time payment of$39.95 for an instant download

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It's one of the most affordable piano courses on the list
  • Bonus materials can help you develop perfect pitch and learn to read sheet music
  • It comes with a generous eight-week money-back guarantee
  • You get to start learning songs very early on

Cons

  • It only offers one book for each learning level
  • Compared to some other courses, it has relatively few video lessons

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Rocket Piano is another piano site that is based around e-books. It's a great option if you tend to be overwhelmed by sites that offer a huge variety of courses. Rocket Piano has three books -- one for beginner players, one for intermediate players, and one for advanced players.

It also has a relatively manageable amount of content, as it includes less than 60 video lessons and roughly 130 audio files. Plus, when you sign up and pay the relatively low one-time signup cost, you get instant access to learning tools like a metronome, a guide to advanced piano techniques, and more. To find out more details, please go through detailed review of Rocket Piano the Music Ambition team has put up for you.

Our Star Rating

We think that Rocket Piano gives you the best bonus learning tools of any piano learning site on the list. We give it three out of five stars.

PianoKeyz -- Closest to In-Person Lessons

Important Features

  • Ryan does well with teaching theory and musical skills in ways that are easy to understand
  • The easy-to-navigate interface lets you view song tutorials, courses, or theory lessons
  • Lessons will teach you both how to read sheet music and how to play by ear
  • Though the song library is somewhat small, it covers a wide variety of genres
  • Pricing is 99 cents for a 30-day free trial. After that, the annual membership is $229.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Ryan's YouTube channel lets you effectively preview PianoKeyz before becoming a paid member
  • Members get access to a members-only forum
  • New content is regularly added to the site
  • You have the option to contact Ryan to ask questions

Cons

  • If you forget to cancel the free trial, you will be billed the annual rate
  • There aren't interactive features and there is no way to track progress

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

If the name "PianoKeyz" looks familiar, it might be because you've seen the site's YouTube lessons. Piano teacher Ryan Jones started posting video lessons to YouTube before developing his own PianoKeyz site. The site's online piano lessons are somewhat lacking when it comes to tech features.

However, Ryan is a thorough and effective piano teacher, and his video lessons will show you the score of each song he teaches you to play. The free trial is generous, but be careful -- the only way to get full access is to pay the annual rate, and you will be billed for a year-long membership if you don't cancel the trial in time!

Read our detailed review of the Pianokeyz course review here.

Our Star Rating

We think PianoKeyz gets closest to the feel of taking lessons from an in-person instructor, and we give it 2.5 out of five stars.

Value Guide: What Should You Look For in a Piano Course?

With the seemingly endless online piano lessons out there, it can be tough to pick the right course for you. When choosing your piano lessons, you might want to keep these things in mind.

What Feedback Do You Get?

With most programs -- including Flowkey, Playground Sessions, and Pianu -- you will see the keys on the screen give you instant feedback on the accuracy of your playing. Just about every site lets you track progress in some way, but Playground Sessions and Pianu are two that go the extra mile by letting you earn badges as you make progress.

Sometimes, a piano lesson site does offer the opportunity for additional feedback. Piano Marvel is one of them. In addition to the standard on-screen feedback, Piano Marvel also lets you test your sight reading skills using the Standard Assessment of Sight Reading (SASR) test. If you're very serious about playing piano and want to get better at reading sheet music quickly and accurately, this is a great tool to make use of.

Some courses are more philosophical in nature -- the Herbie Hancock Masterclass is a great example. This course is more designed to provoke thought about playing piano, and it isn't meant to be a standalone lesson program.

Is Your Preferred Genre Covered?

Many people start playing piano because they want to play songs they like. So it makes sense that a lot of piano sites primarily incorporate popular songs. There's nothing wrong with that, but if you have specific genre interests, you might want to try to select piano courses that let you practice them. And in most piano courses, the included song lessons are where you get to develop your genre skills.

Of the sites we've covered, Flowkey probably has the widest collection of genres in its song library. But Pianoforall also gives you the opportunity to take a deep dive into a few less-common genres. One of its e-books focuses on ballads, and there are multiple books focused on playing the blues.

How Is Music Theory Taught?

Many piano lessons like to emphasize the fact that they include little theory. And while it's true that many casual piano players probably don't need to really get into much theory, having some sense of the musical concepts behind compositions will make you a better player.

Playground Sessions is especially good at using snippets of popular songs to teach important theoretical concepts. Piano Marvel tends to get a little more into music theory -- that and its optional sight-reading assessments make it a great tool if you want to play at a higher level.

Is Your Piano Compatible?

When learning piano online, you can get valuable feedback by connecting a MIDI or USB keyboard to your computer. Most piano learning sites will also let you follow their lessons with an acoustic piano -- you just don't get the benefit of on-screen feedback.

Skoove and Flowkey are exceptions to this rule -- both have the uncommon feature of letting you use your device microphone to "listen" as you play acoustically. This way, you can get feedback on your playing just as you would with a plugged-in keyboard.

How Extensive Is the Song Library?

One of the most exciting things about using a piano learning app is learning your favorite songs (and some new ones) in the song library. Playground Sessions lets you unlock more song tutorials as you go, but you can also purchase more if you'd like to learn specific songs. Other sites like PianoKeyz have smaller or developing song libraries made primarily of popular songs. Flowkey has a song library that covers an impressive range of genres, but many of its included songs are classical pieces.

Final Thoughts

After diving into all of the online programs above, we can confidently say that we don't think you can go wrong with any one of them. Which one you choose will depend on the music genres you want to focus on, your aspirations as a pianist, and the features you value. That being said, we think the best all-around choice is Flowkey. It has some of the best practice tools, including the ability to practice the left and right-hand parts separately before bringing them together.

We think Playground Sessions is a worthy runner-up -- though you can't use it with an acoustic piano, its gamified approach to learning is a lot of fun, and it's also a considerable advantage if you're easily distracted. And lastly, we think Piano Marvel is a great piano app for those who want to play seriously -- its sight-reading test alone makes it worthy of a look.

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