Maybe you've played piano off and on for a few years. Or maybe you've never played but have always wanted to. The right piano course can be hard to find, but it's vital to choose the right one if you want to become a better player and enjoy the learning experience.
Today, we'll be looking into Pianoforall, an expertly-designed online program that has helped hundreds of thousands of players take their piano skills to the next level. This all-online and popular piano program is made up of electronic books (e books) that come with audio and video, and allows you to learn piano at your own pace.
Things to Consider Before Signing Up for an Online Piano Course
Online lessons are becoming more and more popular, and it's easy to see why--you can access lessons at any time, you can learn anywhere, and online courses tend to be more affordable than in-person learning. However, with the sheer number of online music courses available, it's important to think carefully about what you need in a course. Here are some of the things to ask yourself before signing up:
PRO's & CON's of Pianoforall
Before we get into the specifics of the course, let's look at some of the pros and cons of Piano For All.
Features & Benefits
Now, we'll take a closer look at this remarkable program and how it works. By evaluating some of its key features, we'll hopefully help you decide whether this program is the right one for you.
What's In a Lesson?
You might wonder what a typical lesson looks like. Each “Piano For All” lesson is guided, and it features video and audio to demonstrate what you're playing. (You can view a sample lesson here.)
You also can print out exercises if you'd prefer to use paper copies to guide your practice. Like most types of video lessons, the ones on Piano For All can be accessed at any time from any computer, smartphone, or tablet. You also can access them from offline, which is especially useful if you like to practice in areas where you may not have reliable internet.
Because of the course's unique streamlined layout, you'll have everything right where you need it. The exercises are laid out sheet-music style on the virtual pages of each book. If you want to see the video and hear audio, you simply need to click an icon on the page. Then, a screen will pop out and illustrate the lesson for you. There's no navigating from screen to screen and no need to navigate an online database while flipping pages in a book--everything is coordinated for you.
This approach has a lot of the benefit of traditional piano lessons without the traditional cost. You get an introduction and narration of each exercise, along with a demonstration. However, since the course is self-paced, you can skip over exercises that are too easy and spend extra time on the challenging ones. In total, there are 200 video lessons, so this course should keep you playing for a fair amount of time.
Who Is It Designed For?
According to Robin Hall, the creator of Piano For All, this unique course is designed to take beginner piano players to the intermediate level as quickly as possible. You don't need any prior experience playing the piano or any other instrument--Piano For All will teach you to play using a combination of playing by ear and reading sheet music. You'll also be able to hear audio demonstrations of each exercise, so you'll know what they should sound like.If you want to hear one beginner player's impression of Piano For All, check out this video review. We think that this course is great for beginner players, and it's especially good for those who want to explore different genres or who don't know what genre they want to focus on just yet.
How Do the Lessons Progress?
This program is designed to be different from traditional music lessons in that you start applying what you learn to actual songs very quickly. (If you're curious to hear one student's opinion, check out this video review). That said, you're probably curious about what you learn and when.
Piano For All is a course that's divided among several books. These books are virtual and come with audio and video in order to help you assess your playing. Here's a summary of the included books and what you'll learn in each one:
- 1Party Time Rhythm-Style Piano -- This intro book helps you learn to play by ear, and it also introduces you to playing rhythm piano with chord progressions.
- 2Blues and Rock 'n Roll -- Blues and rock songs on a piano are a lot of fun to play, and this section introduces you to chords and a playing style that can be used for countless famous songs.
- 3Chord Magic -- This section teaches you helpful memory tricks, speed learning exercises, and chord progressions that are used in popular songs.
- 4Advanced Chords Made Easy -- This book has plenty of practice progressions modeled after famous songs, and you also get a rhythm chart for 80 Beatles songs.
- 5Ballad Style Book -- This section helps you create your own melodies and learn how to play in the ballad style.
- 6Jazz Piano Made Easy -- This book covers easy techniques that you can apply to songs you already know. You'll also learn chords and patterns commonly used in jazz.
- 7Advanced Blues & Fake Stride -- If you liked the previous book, you'll love the further blues techniques taught in this one.
- 8Taming the Classics -- This book adapts some of the great classical pieces so you can begin to play them.
- 9Speed Learning -- This book focuses on scales and exercises, but it tries to make them fun. Each exercise is designed to speed up your learning.
While these books are numbered, you may be able to change around the order. For instance, if you are mostly interested in playing blues, you might be interested in working on the blues books before some of the others.
Other Factors to Consider
Piano lessons are a useful and fun investment if you choose the right program for you. We've already gone through many of the important features of Piano For All--it can teach you to play by ear, it introduces you to many genres, and it helps you get comfortable and familiar improvising and making your own melodies. In this section, we'll look at some of the additional features of this program that you may find useful to know.
When we were first reading about this interesting program, we thought the pricing listed was a mistake. Robin Hall notes that the regular price for the whole course is $79, but the course is often on sale for $39.
This price is remarkable because, unlike many online lesson programs, it isn't a monthly membership fee. You just pay the $39 once and have lifetime access. As an added bonus, your membership includes all updates of Piano For All for life. We think that's a pretty good deal.
For many students, there comes a time when they feel stuck learning the piano. Whether they're a new student or have been playing for a while (like the student in this review), many students will need to reach out at some point.
If you do get stuck, the good news is that this course has a great support team. In fact, they'll be supportive even before you've made a purchase. Course creator Robin Hall says on the website that you can request the e-mail addresses of current Piano For All students, and they can discuss the course with you to help you decide if it's a good fit. Hall also says you can contact him with questions or to request a critique of your playing. In a world where many course creators just seem to be after money, it's refreshing to see a course creator who genuinely seems to care.
Social Proof of the Course
Before selecting a piano program online, it's a good idea to do some research. Many programs will have some screenshots or sample lessons available, but it's rare that you get to actually see the program before purchasing it.
For that reason, it's a good idea to investigate reviews of online piano courses before enrolling. We've included a few snapshots of Piano For All reviews here:
This Piano For All review comes from the site Piano Dreamers. The snapshot we chose is a useful one because it goes over some of the basics of Piano For All. Like many online courses, this one helps you get playing quickly, and it uses an accessible chord-centered approach.
This Piano For All review snippet comes from the review site Know It All Nev. The reviewer isn't a musician, but he noticed the program's unique approach, which the creator of Piano For All calls a "secret." This "secret" may not work for all players (especially those who prefer a theory-based approach), but it seems to work for many Piano For All students.
This last one is from Pianoforallreview.co.uk, a site made by an active user of the program. This review snapshot is helpful because it touches on how the program works, and it also praises creator Robin Hall's quick response time when contacted.
No single piano course is perfect for every player, but we think that Piano For All will be suitable for a lot of beginning players. With progressive, easy-to-follow lessons and a wide genre focus, this approach gets you started playing quickly. If you want to gain a deeper knowledge of music theory and use that to support your learning, though, this may not be quite the program you're looking for.
However, for the fairly low one-time payment of $39, we think that Pianoforall is an incredible value. There's no free trial option, but this price is about what you would pay for one standard music lesson, so we think it's more than worthwhile. Click here to check it out!