The Best Online Piano Lessons (2023 Buyers Guide)
Find out which training program will help you learn to play fastest
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Last Updated: August 2023
Want to play piano like a pro? Here are our picks for the best online piano lessons for beginners out now:
The Top 5 Piano Tutorials Online
- Flowkey (best overall piano lesson program for most people who want to play their favorite songs)
- HearAndPlay Music Theory Bundle (best for learning to play piano by ear or for artists/producers/songwriters)
- ToneBase (best for learning traditional piano – classical music and “virtuosic” technique)
- LessonWithYou (best for personalized 1-on-1 learning with a piano teacher)
- Melodics (best practice tool for improving technique)
In this full buyer’s guide we break down our top picks and help you choose the right one for you.
We’ll go over the good, the bad, what’s included with a subscription and who each pick is best for.
Buying Guide Table of Contents
- 1. Flowkey Deeper Look
- 2. HearAndPlay Deeper Look
- 3. LessonWithYou Deeper Look
- 4. Melodics Deeper Look
Full Video Buyers Guide
QUIZ: What Lesson is BEST for YOU?
Best Piano Lessons Online – Comparison Chart
|Flowkey||HearAndPlay Piano Courses||LessonWithYou||ToneBase||Melodics|
|Ease of Use||8/10||6/10||7/10||8/10|
|Price||$19.99 USD / Month||$19 USD One-Time||$30 – $55 USD / Lesson||$19.95 USD / Month|
|Who It’s Best For?||Most Beginners Who Want to Learn Traditional Piano||Beginners Who Want to Improvise or Play Without Sheet Music||Anyone that wants a private, 1-on-1 piano teacher||Music Producers Who Want to Improve Their Playing|
|Biggest Advantage||Fully Interactive + Follows Along While You Play||Teaches you how to sit down at a piano and just start playing music||No contract, completely personalized to you.||Great for Beatmakers / Producers|
|Biggest Disadvantage||Mostly focused on songs, not theory behind playing||Not a lot of traditional theory or in-depth learning||No Additional Material/Features/Videos||Requires computer + MIDI piano/keyboard|
|#1 Best Feature||Doesn’t require MIDI piano/keyboard to use interactive features||Hands down, the BEST method of teaching piano around||1-on-1, private piano teacher w/ feedback||Has lessons for piano, drums and drum pads|
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Overview of Our Buyers Guide
Learning how to play the piano online takes time. But these types of learning platforms are probably the best way to minimize the time you need to become a good musician.
With the amount of basic piano chords and patterns you can create, if you don’t have a game plan you’ll practice forever.
Especially when you’re a beginner.
We gave special consideration to the METHOD of teaching of each piano course we reviewed, and ultimately you should choose based on HOW you prefer to learn.
Key Decision Making Factors:
When looking at the best online keyboard lessons, we took into account several factors:
- Ease of Use: How easy is the website/program to use? Is there confusion or overwhelm that will hinder complete beginners?
- Comprehensiveness: How much ground does the lesson set cover? What topics and areas are included?
- Lesson Quality: How good are the actual lessons themselves? Are they fun, engaging, boring, dry?
- Affordability: How much do the lessons cost and is the price worth it compared to what you get?
- Standout Features: Is there anything that a particular option does BEST or better than everything else out there?
Let’s look more at the different options.
Buyers Guide Quick Tips
What to Look Out For + Consider When Making a Decision on Which Course is Best for You
- Think about how you prefer to learn – do you want to jump around from topic to topic as you see fit, or do you want a more hand-held, guided approach?
- Are you looking for the easiest to follow lessons or do you want a community or mentor feedback while you’re learning?
- Only consider price if absolutely necessary – it’s much better to make your choice based on your intended goal/outcome for learning or preferred learning STYLE.
- Are you interested in a specific style of music? Or do you want to learn a lot of different genres?
- All of the programs are effective at what they do, but remember – it requires YOUR work/effort over a long-ish period of time.
- Almost every program we reviewed has a free-ish trial or risk-free guarantee, so don’t be afraid to dive right in. Be sure you know the details of the trial/guarantee before committing!
Each in-depth look at our picks for best piano lessons online below goes over the following information:
- Program Highlights
- Key Factors Summary
- The Good and The Bad
- Program vs. Competitors
- Who Should Use it and Who Shouldn’t
Flowkey – The Best Online Piano Course for Most People
BEST FOR: ANYONE WHO WANTS TO LEARN A TRADITIONAL APPROACH TO PLAYING PIANO VIA SHEET MUSIC OR WANTS A HIGH-TECH INTERACTIVE LEARNING EXPERIENCE
If you’re looking for a more traditional approach to learning piano then FlowKey is probably your best bet.
It’s not a typical training program – it’s a fully interactive, play-as-you-learn training app. It does have theory lessons and gets into the fundamentals, but it’s highly focused on learning songs through sheet music and notation.
The real key is the interactive play-along app – which listens for your piano as you play while scrolling along the sheet music. It’s a really dope way to practice and learn. We’ve reviewed similar options like Playground Sessions and Melodics, but for learning the piano we think FlowKey has the best implementation of the learning technique.
If you want to learn like most people do, then FlowKey is one of the best online piano lessons for you.
- Pricing: $19.99 / Month or $119.88 / Year (50% Savings)
- Accessible via web browser or it’s own mobile app
- Beginner courses focus on notes, scale and chords
- Intermediate and advanced courses focus on more of the same
- Main courses do not take long to complete, and then you’re onto learning songs
- Song library includes both classics and modern music
- Every song has multiple difficulty levels for beginners to pros
- Ease of Use: Fairly easy to set up and use. App can be a bit janky at times when listening for your piano
- Comprehensiveness: Not extremely comprehensive on theory, but you learn all the fundamentals you need to know
- Lesson Quality: High quality – well shot theory and well-designed interactive exercises
- Affordability: Not the most affordable – monthly subscription, but in line with industry standards.
- Standout Features: Best implementation of interactive play-along app we’ve seen
- The BEST implementation of an interactive learning platform
- Massive selection (1500+) of songs to learn
- Best option for learning piano in a traditional manner
- Learn and practice easier/faster than other methods
- Free Account available
- 7 Day Free Trial of Premium
- Not a lot of focus on learning how to play by ear / improvise / compose
- Monthly/annual subscription or high-priced lifetime access makes it more expensive than other options
- App listening function can be a bit janky at times
- Cumbersome to skip through lessons you’re not interested in
Check Out Our Full FlowKey Review
More About FlowKey
Even though Flowkey does not focus a lot on playing piano by ear or learning to compose/improvise music – rather than just play it – it’s still our #1 pick for most people.
With flowkey you have an amazing addition to your learning mode. We think it’s well worth it to get both Hear and Play’s course AND a subscription to FlowKey. That way you have the best of both worlds. You’ll learn the fundamentals and have a focus on sight reading with this online piano lesson. And even if you’re a seasoned player, there are lessons here that may help you improve your playing.
One of the reasons we think this is the best online piano lesson is how they designed their interactive lessons. When you’re practicing a piece of music you’re able to play along with the lesson. It will even wait for you to hit notes before moving on to the next note. It’s a great way to learn how to play – much better than traditional theory books/audio/videos alone.
What Sets FlowKey Apart from the Competition
There are similar options, including Playground Sessions and Melodics. But both of those options aren’t the best way to learn how to play the piano. Playground Sessions is a piano course, but the flow of lessons and exercises isn’t as good as FlowKey’s. As for Melodics, it’s more of a practice tool (first made for finger drumming, and adapted to include piano and drum sets) than a set of piano lessons.
Further, in terms of songs available to learn FlowKey has a MUCH better and wider selection than Playground Sessions.
But the biggest difference (and the best part of this program) is the fact that you DON’T NEED a MIDI keyboard (like the other options) to take advantage of the interactive learning. You can use an acoustic/electric instrument as well! Flowkey’s software will “listen” using your computer/tablet/phone microphone for the notes you’re playing and react accordingly. Big plus here.
Who Should Use It?
To be honest, this is the best online piano lesson for any student at any skill level – they would love FlowKey. Beginners get a fun and interactive way to learn traditional theory and advanced students can learn pro versions of their favorite songs with the same interactive/fun approach. If you want to learn the traditional method of playing piano and learn lots of great modern and classic popular songs, FlowKey is your best choice.
Who Shouldn’t Use It?
Plain and simple if you want to learn how to improvise on the piano or play by ear, do not get FlowKey. It’s heavily based on sight reading and learning the basics of notes/chords/scales. You will get a traditional education in piano, and not even a fully comprehensive one at that. It’s all about songs, but through sheet music. In that case, HearAndPlay’s courses are a much better option.
The Runner Up – HearAndPlay “Piano By Ear” Courses
BEST FOR: ANYONE WHO WANTS TO BE ABLE TO IMPROVISE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC OR PLAY POPULAR SONGS BY EAR (NO SHEET MUSIC)
HearAndPlay is a lesser known – but great – company that was started by Jermaine Griggs and offers lessons on piano, voice, guitar and drums.
For piano players, we recommend either picking up the “4 Steps to Next Level Playing” workbook OR the entire piano playing bundle (which includes the workbook)
The company is mostly focused on Jazz and Gospel styles of music, but their teaching method is one of the best I’ve come across.
I’m a HUGE fan of HearAndPlay because the products they sell, even though they’re the lowest of low-tech, are taught in a great way – easily understandable concepts, high-level theory boiled down, etc.
And if you’re someone who doesn’t want to rely solely on sheet music to play, HearAndPlay’s piano lessons are the best option for you.
And even though the company has a Gospel focus, the concepts they teach are not limited to that style of music. You can use what you learn in a much more general way, playing any genre you want.
- Pricing: $19 USD (one-time payment) for Piano Workbook alone or $65 USD (one-time payment) for course bundle
- Fully digital workbook, audio and video courses (instant digital downloads)
- Best course out there for learning how to play piano by ear
- Teaches you the basics and advanced concepts around chords, scales, progressions/patterns, songs and more
- Boils down high-level theory concepts to their most fundamental lessons
- No guided, hand-held approach (completely self-taught)
- No major bonuses/extras included with purchase
- 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Key Decision Making Factors:
- Ease of Use: Not a very easy to use option – low-tech, no hand-held guidance or support. Book and audio based courses, no website/video.
- Comprehensiveness: Not a very comprehensive course. You learn everything you need to know, but it doesn’t dwell on various theory topics, etc.
- Lesson Quality: Short, concise lessons that boil the concepts down into digestible and understandable ideas.
- Affordability: The most affordable option on our list – one time payment, starting under $20
- Standout Features: None. Except the teaching method used in the courses.
- The best training method for playing/improvising piano quickly (play by ear)
- Skips the baby steps of music theory
- Shows you how to play piano without having to read notes/sheet music.
- Boils seemingly difficult concepts down into a simple to understand core
- Learn how to find key of any song, quickly.
- Not a traditional method of piano teaching
- based on “playing by ear” not reading sheet music notes
- No bells, no whistles, no extras – just a book/audio
- Takes a LOT of practice to memorize various scales/chords
More About HearAndPlay’s Piano Courses
The man behind HearAndPlay, Jermaine Griggs, is a genius in his method of teaching. And this course was the absolute best online piano lesson for me when I first found it.
HearAndPlay’s original 300 page “Piano By Ear” book was the first course I ever bought and enjoyed. It was a totally different experience than any traditional music lessons I had taken in the past.
I was learning faster and getting closer to being able to play the way I wanted to play – by ear.
Now they offer a 110 page workbook of fundamentals, or a course bundle that includes the workbook and a bunch of additional audio lessons.
But it’s the the #1 pick for best online piano lesson in this list, because it’s probably not the way most people want to learn how to play.
Here’s what’s included in the HearAndPlay online piano lesson bundle:
- “Piano By Ear For Starters” Audio Program
- “Finding The Key Of Any Song” Audio Program
- Hear & Play Chords 101 & 102
- 4 Steps To Next Level Playing Audio Course & Workbook
What Sets HearAndPlay Apart from Competitors?
HearAndPlay’s courses are really based around the concept of playing piano “by ear” – without having to rely on sheet music or pre-written music. It’s got a keen focus on the ability to improvise or just figure out how to play songs simply by hearing them.
The conciseness, quality, and the great outcomes of their training make this a HIGHLY SLEPT ON course. The company does not teach you music in a traditional way – it’s so much better. They boil concepts down into understandable core ideas. And that’s the biggest difference between HearAndPlay and competitors.
Beyond that, all the other great piano lessons out there are high-tech digital games or apps that are great for learning traditional theory/technique, but they won’t really teach you the things HearAndPlay’s courses will. Sure you’ll learn about the basics, and figure out how to sight read, but will you be able to sit down at a piano and just play? Maybe if you memorize a piece of sheet music.
The only issue is it’s not fancy – at all. It’s literally a book and some audio. But it’s so worth it.
Who Should Use It?
If you don’t want to be reliant on reading sheet music to play the piano, this is the course for you. It’s also the most affordable option on our list. If you want to be able to improvise and create music yourself this is the perfect course. If you want to be able to hear a song a few times and then be able to play it, this course is for you.
Who Shouldn’t Use It?
If you’re more interested in learning how to play classical music or you want to be able to read sheet music and play songs via notation, then this is not the best course for you. Further, if you’re really interested in the theory of music more broadly, this is not the most comprehensive course out there. Go with something like FlowKey instead, since that would likely be the best online piano lesson for you.
BEST FOR: STUDENTS WHO PREFER TO LEARN DIRECTLY FROM A PIANO TEACHER LIVE, WITH FEEDBACK AND A PERSONALIZED, GUIDED APPROACH TO LEARNING PIANO
LessonWithYou isn’t your normal “online piano lesson” platform that gives you a comprehensive library of video lessons to let you learn at your own pace.
In fact, there are no video lessons – no no extra bells-and-whistles, no nothing.
It’s sole focus is on providing you with a personalized piano teacher that will guide you 1-on-1 with feedback, just like taking “local” piano lessons from a teacher in your town.
The company has a large number of teachers, all of whom have professional training and certification (degrees) in music. They work with you to find out what your personal learning goals are and fit you with a personalized instructor that will help you achieve them.
The lessons are all done via Zoom video conferencing software, but you don’t need any additional equipment outside of a webcam with a built in microphone. You can use your normal piano/keyboard to learn and practice during your lessons.
You basically subscribe (without any committment/contract) for weeklty 30, 45 or 60 minute lessons (your choice). It doesn’t have a lot of bells-and-whistles like some other learning platforms, but it is definitely the best choice for anyone that wants a personal 1-on-1 piano teacher to help them learn.
- Pricing: $30 USD – $55 USD per Lesson (depending on how long lesson is)
- Get a free 30 minute lesson to see if it’s the right approach for you.
- 30, 45 or 60 minute weekly lessons
- Zoom video-conferencing software used to deliver live lessons
- Lesson materials shared via screen sharing during lesson and sent to email afterwards (if applicable).
- Additional course/lesson material may be required depending on lessons/goals (purchased separately)
- Online shop offers lesson books, accessories and keyboards for purchase
- Ease of Use: It’s a very easy-to-use system. Some minimal settings need to be changed in Zoom to ensure audio is heard properly. Depending on webcam quality some softer/quieter sounds may be difficult for instructor to hear as you play.
- Comprehensiveness: No video lesson library that cover every area of piano, but because teaching is personalized you can delve into any topic you wish with your instructor.
- Piano Lesson Quality: Very good – personalized to meet you where you’re at in your learning journey. Exercises assigned during lesson with follow-up email instructions.
- Affordability: Likely the most expensive option over time since you’re paying per lesson. But is likely a cheaper option than finding a local piano teacher in your town/area.
- Standout Features: None – not applicable.
- Get a free trial lesson to see if it’s the right approach for you
- Instructors are great – friendly, highly knowledgable (with degrees)
- Hit the ground running in your trial/first lesson
- Personalized on-boarding matches you with the ideal instructor for your learning goals.
- Cancel subscription or switch instructors at any time
- Can be more affordable than some local piano teachers
- $5 discount per additional weekly lesson if you have more than one person learning
- Can’t really learn “at your own pace” since lessons are fixed and weekly.
- No video lesson library to learn more about topics/concepts beyond your weekly lesson
- No “bells-and-whistles” like other lesson options (community forums, tools, etc)
- Will end up being much more expensive than the “learn by yourself” video platforms over time.
- Lessons (especially 30 minute ones) will go by VERY fast
Check out our Full Review of LessonWithYou (coming soon)
What Sets LessonWithYou Apart from Competitors?
LessonWithYou isn’t like the other platforms that we’ve reviewed on this site. Other lessons are more of the “teach yourself” and “go at your own pace” type of offerings. You’re given a big library of material and are expected to learn on your own.
LessonWithYou on the other hand is exclusively focused on personalized, 1-on-1 teaching like a traditional music lesson in your own city/town. There are no video libraries and you don’t really get to go “at your own pace.” You have a fixed, weekly lesson with an instructor and then practice what you went over for the rest of the week.
So comparing them to the other platforms is a bit apples-to-oranges.
It’s a different style of teaching than the others and is really for people who prefer a traditional approach to learning music. Beyond that, there are currently no options that offer you both a video lesson library and add-on personal coaching in the piano space.
Who Should Use It?
If you’re someone who learns better when you have an actual live human around to bounce ideas/questions off of then LessonWithYou is your best bet.
If you lack discipline with your practice and find yourself neglecting your learning when you’re on your own, then the outside accountability of a personal piano teacher will be a very helpful thing.
If you’ve tried video lessons and haven’t really progressed as quickly as you’d hoped, then go with LessonWithYou. If you want the benefits of a personal piano teacher but would rather learn at home (in comfort/privacy) then this is also a great option for you.
Who Shouldn’t Use It?
On the other hand, if you’re a self-starter that really likes to learn on their own then this isn’t a great choice for you. You may feel too limited or boxed in. If you find it easier to just go through content you’re interested in and then apply the concepts to your playing as you wish, go with a different platform like FlowKey or HearAndPlay.
If you absolutely hate zoom conversations because of the potential lag or talking over each other, then this will likely become frustrating for you as well. In that case a local piano teacher may be a better option.
Finally, if you like the social aspect of getting out of the house and going to a specific place to do specific tasks then, again, a local piano teacher would be your best bet.
All-in-all, if you want to learn how to play piano with a live teacher, 1-on-1, that will help you in a personalized way with feedback each and every week, LessonWithYou is the best choice for you.
Melodics – The Best Practice Tool Out There
BEST FOR: ANYONE WHO WANTS TO IMPROVE THEIR PIANO PLAYING TECHNIQUE – GREAT FOR MUSIC PRODUCERS AND SONGWRITERS TO IMPROVE ABILITY TO PLAY PIANO OR DRUMS/PADS
Melodics first emerged as a revolutionary app that helped people improve their finger drumming skills (drumming on pads instead of an actual drum set). It was a gamified way to practice skills that otherwise might seem boring/mundane.
Quickly they grew to include popular music as part of their exercises, and branched off into other areas. But it’s not your typical set of piano lessons online.
The app uses a similar interface and approach to practicing your playing as the drum side. It’s a great way to make practicing a routine but it feels more like a video game than a practice tool.
However, it is short on theory lessons and comprehensiveness. So even though we classify it as one of the top online piano lessons, it’s more of a practice tool. And it is a good one. You will need MIDI controllers (keyboard/drum pads/drum set) to fully utilize the app, which is downloadable to your desktop (no web app version).
- Pricing: $19.95 USD / month or $134.99 USD / year
- Downloadable laptop/desktop app
- Requires MIDI keyboard, MIDI drum pads or MIDI drum set to use
- Short, interactive lessons and practice exercises
- Gamified approach gives you levels/points/goals to hit
- Popular artists and songs make up some of the lessons.
- Guided approach from beginner level exercises on to advanced playing techniques
Ease of Use: Extremely easy to setup and follow along.
Comprehensiveness: Not at all comprehensive – no real theory lessons, all about practice
Lesson Quality: Well designed and well structured program – lessons are fun and build on top of each other
Affordability: Not the most affordable option, but in line with industry standards
Standout Features: Really the best way to make practicing your playing a routine
- Best method of structured practice on piano/keyboard (game based)
- Free account available with 60 lessons
- Completely visual and interactive – looks like a colorful video game
- Gamified and addictive – points/levels and more so you keep wanting to come back to “practice”
- Fun exercises based on modern popular music
- Can use it to practice both piano and drums
- Lessons start with an interactive overview before diving into actual playing.
- Requires laptop/computer to access
- No mobile/web app – downloadable desktop app only
- Requires a MIDI-enabled keyboard to use
- Not a traditional course, more designed for practicing + getting better
- Very light on theory
More About Melodics:
I’ll be honest – I absolute love Melodics. It’s an amazing software program that helps you learn how to play better, drums and drum-pads. I had the yearly plan and I used it in my daily piano practice routine and I’ve noticed a serious improvement in my ability to finger drum.
But it’s nothing like the two picks mentioned above in that their sole purpose is to give you the information you need to become a seasoned pianist. Those are actual piano lessons. Instead, Melodics is intended to help you get better at playing whatever your chosen instrument is. And the only way to do that is consistent practice.
Melodics is truly a well-structured approach to piano practice and it will help you play better chords and melodies in no time. You get to play along with music using an intuitive visual guide on the screen.
All in all, Melodics makes a great companion tool to really level up your technique through structured practice that’s actually fun to do. But if you want to learn traditional theory and get a traditional education it’s no the best online piano lesson for you.
What Sets Melodics Apart from Competitors?
Melodics doesn’t really compete directly with the other online keyboard lessons in this buyers guide. Like we mentioned it’s more of a practice tool than a set of theory courses. As such, it doesn’t have as much of an emphasis on music theory or fundamentals. The other options will teach you those things, while Melodics on the other hand will help you get better technique.
Who Should Use It?
If you’re a piano student that’s looking for a way to make your practicing fun, get Melodics. If you’re a student that wants a way to improve their playing technique, it’s also great for that.
It’s actually the best thing out for people who generally make music, but aren’t musicians with mastery over an instrument – think music producers and songwriters. It’s great for them because they know the basics of music, but may just need to improve their technique or rhythm or their general level of playability.
Who Shouldn’t Use It?
If you’re a complete beginner that’s looking to get into piano, Melodics SHOULD NOT be your first choice. If you want to learn all about chords and harmony and melody then it’s not the ideal option. The program is too light on theory to be considered a traditional online piano lesson.
People who want to actually LEARN the theory are better off starting with HearAndPlay (if they want to play by ear) or FlowKey (if they want a traditional education).
Other Notable Options
Here are some other good programs you might be interested in learning more about. But if you ask us, these aren’t the greatest online piano lessons available. Most people will be better off using the above top two picks we’ve gone over.
Piano For All
- Online Version (Instant Download) – $39
- Online + Physical Product (Shipped to You) – $49
- Cheaper than other options available
- Similar teaching style to HearAndPlay
- Not just a set of eBooks – hundreds of video/audio embedded
- Focused on learning different piano rhythmic patterns to make playing by ear easier.
- Best option for those looking to start playing piano RIGHTA WAY
- Focus on popular music styles and getting right to playing.
- 60 Day Money Back Guarantee
- Really corny, olde-time music – nothing contemporary or popular within the last 100 years.
- Not a lot of emphasis on sight reading sheet music
- Only brief lessons on “classical” music
- Shorter money-back guarantee (60 days) than HearAndPlay
Check Out Our Full Piano For All Review
More Info About Piano For All
This is another course we kind of recommend. PianoForAll is a semi-popular online piano lesson created by Robin Hall.
It’s a similar learning style to HearAndPlay.
The course does teach you a bit about sight reading and traditional classical music, but that’s not the main focus of this particular piano lesson.
With PianoForAll, it’s all about getting you up to speed and playing actual music FAST. You don’t get bogged down by theory or anything boring.
And since it’s a set of audio/video that’s embedded in workbooks, it makes a great format for learning how to play.
But we don’t like the style of songs/patterns that you learn – they’re too oldey timey sounding. We prefer HearAndPlay MUCH MORE – especially if you want to play modern sounding music.
So this isn’t the best online piano lesson for most people.
Rocket Piano / Piano Marvel
- Rocket Piano Online – $39.95 (One Time)
- Piano Marvel Software – $15.99 / Month (or $110/year)
Rocket Piano Advantages:
- Cheaper than most options
- Bonuses included such as learning games and audio exercises
- Includes variety of media to aid learning – sound files, pictures/diagrams, videos, etc.
- Best option for those looking for a more “traditional” approach to learning piano
- Learn to play songs you want to play
Piano Marvel Advantages:
- Interactive piano learning + practice software
- Gives you real time feedback on your technique/playing
- Includes variety of media to aid learning – sheet music, video lessons, printable workbooks, etc
- Best option for those that value feedback but still want to learn “traditional” piano and classical music
- Try it out with a FREE trial for 7 days
Disadvantages of Both Programs:
- More traditional approach to playing piano (sight reading, etc)
- Primarily book-based (reading) learning technique for Rocket Piano
- Songs you learn are dated (i.e. classics) and originals only
- Mostly focused on classical styles of music
More Info About Rocket Piano and Piano Marvel
Piano Marvel and Rocket Piano tie at position #3 for us, making them the runner ups.
The Rocket Piano course has been available for about 5 years, and it remains a popular online piano lesson (over 90,000 students).
Piano Marvel is a fantastic piece of software because it has assessments and gives feedback on technique (if you have a MIDI keyboard).
But compared to FlowKey or HearAndPlay’s courses, these fall a little short for us.
These courses do teach you comprehensively, but we feel it likely leans more towards a traditional (i.e. boring) approach to learning.
I personally preferred to learn how to play by ear so I could improvise and produce music.
I am not saying these other options are not effective. In fact, the courses are very effective, for both beginner and experienced pianists.
But we just prefer HearAndPlay or PianoForAll.
With Rocket Piano, you will learn how to sight-read music and other basic traditional music theory. Same goes for Piano Marvel. So if you prefer to learn the old-fashioned way, this course will likely be the right choice for you.
One of the benefits of the program is that it also comes with a bunch of bonuses like backing tracks, quizzes and games. (It also comes with a metronome, but… you have a smartphone, so…)
And of course, Piano Marvel offers the awesome extras of assessments and feedback. You do need a MIDI compatible keyboard to connect to your computer, but it’s the missing link with a lot of online music courses – you don’t get feedback on your technique. Piano Marvel solves that (along with Melodics).
All in all, the training style and our complete satisfaction with HearAndPlay and FlowKey makes Rocket Piano and Piano Marvel our runner-ups (i.e. tied second choices). It’s still a great option and definitely works so don’t be afraid to try it out if it interests you. There’s a 60-day money back guarantee with the course.
Learn Piano in 30 Days
- $27 USD per month
- $1 trial for 14 days (2 weeks)
- 60 Day Money Back Guarantee
- 30 day “beginners” course gets you up and playing quickly
- Popular songs lessons are the best part of the program
- Includes bonuses: music sheets, audio files, community forum, software
- Monthly subscription, instead of one-time fee
- Not REALLY 30 days – that’s just the beginning. Then you take “intermediate” and “advanced” lessons
- “30 days” means 30 video lessons. Practicing and implementing lesson material will take you longer (unless all you do is practice all day)
More Info About Learn Piano in 30 Days:
This piano tutorial is a really solid looking program – especially if you want the online piano lessons for beginners. However, the title of the course is a little misleading. Sure, if you are REALLY diligent with daily practice for hours, you can probably get through the material in 30 days. But if you live anything like a “real life” then you know stuff happens.
And that means it’s going to take you longer than what they’re claiming. There are 30 video lessons in the “beginners” program (one per day) and then you have to go through the “intermediate” and “advanced” programs. So don’t think you’ll be playing like Chopin or Alicia Keys in 30 days flat.
That’s just not the case. But the program IS STILL really good. It’s covers everything you need to know. And although it is more of a traditional learning/teaching style (like RocketPiano), it does include software to help you learn how to play piano by ear.
However, that’s not why we recommend it. We recommend it because of their “song” lessons. This is the only program we’ve come across that teaches you how to play POPULAR music that you’ve probably heard of (and love to listen to).
That’s the big selling point for Learn Piano in 30 Days. Their list of song lessons includes things like:
- Empire State of Mind by Alicia Keys
- Someone Like You by Adele
- Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars
- One Dance by Drake
- Panda by Desiigner
- Much more
And that is the main reason we happily recommend this program. Too often with piano lessons you’re forced to play tired, boring, old music that you have no interest in. That’s not the case with this piano course.
And of course, if you’re not sure, there’s a $1 trial available for 14 days (not as good as a FREE trial, bu hey… it’s better than nothing. On top of that, there’s a 60 day money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the material.
So why not try it for the 30 days they claim you need to become a piano player? You’ve got nothing to lose.
Our Overall Recommendation
All of the online piano courses we’ve reviewed on this page are GREAT options to go with when you’re trying to learn how to play piano.
My top pick is HearAndPlay’s Piano By Ear Bundle, personally. But that’s mostly because I’ve had a great experience with the company’s lessons – both vocal and piano (and I plan on taking the drum lessons too eventually).
But if I’m being real – the best option for most people is FlowKey.
Finally, if you want a 1-on-1 piano teacher to help you every week, you should go with LessonWithYou.
Most people want a traditional musical education and want to learn the songs they love – and for that FlowKey is definitely the better option. HearAndPlay is more for people who want to play by ear or improvise.
Either way, both lesson options are great for beginners to learn how to play the piano.
Why Learn Piano Through Online Courses
A question we often get is “why do you recommend piano lessons online instead of private or school based piano teachers?”
And the truth is, a private tutor can be great – for some people.
Some people just work better when they have someone specific they’re accountable to. It forces them to put in the work. And that’s fine.
However, it’s not the BEST way to learn in my opinion.
First off, private lessons are PRICEY. Over time they can add up to a lot of money spent. Online lessons are much more affordable.
Beyond that you’re able to learn at your own pace – if you want to go faster, go faster. The flexibility of online training is just so enticing it’s hard to pass up.
But the biggest benefit to choosing one of the courses we recommend above, is that you are more likely to learn exactly what YOU want to learn.
You’re not forced to drone on with boring theory or scales forever. (Of course, you should always learn your piano intervals, scales and modes!) You’re also not forced to learn old songs that have no relevance to you.
You get to learn the music you want to learn. You get to learn the songs you want to learn. And you get to learn the WAY you want to learn.
With a private teacher, you’re forced to go by their schedule, their methodology and their song choices. Most of the time (in my personal experience) it’s never anything you actually WANT to do or get excited about. It’s different with the online training programs above.
And that’s why we will always recommend self-training with the aid of a high-end tutorial over private lessons every single day.
My Personal Experience With Piano Lessons Online
I hired a private piano teacher once. I also had a private guitar teacher.
I hated both experiences.
It was not inspiring at all. It was all basic theory with no clear roadmap of where I was going.
I couldn’t see the end-goal of playing r&b, funk and soul music (which is what I wanted to do). All I could see was a boring major scale and some dusty old song I had NO interest in learning.
Needless to say each of those private tutors only lasted for about a month before I quit.
Eventually I stumbled upon HearAndPlay’s original 300 page piano course and I decided to order it for myself.
I LOVED it from the start.
It gave me a real sense of what I’d be able to do once I got the basics down. I could see myself just being able to sit down at a random piano whenever I wanted and play a song that sounded GREAT.
I didn’t get that at all with the private tutors.
Beyond that, I loved the method of teaching. With my private teacher, it was all very rooted in classical music theory. With my online lesson, it was all about getting me to actual PLAYING (by ear, without reading sheet music) as soon as possible.
That made it all worth it and kept me motivated and inspired to keep going.
And that’s why I’ll always highly recommend online training over private tutors any day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, taking structured lessons to learn the piano is one of the best ways you can improve your skills quickly. Whether you choose in-person lessons or online ones, they will contain training and exercises that will methodically take you from where you’re at now to a higher level of playing. Learning on your own can be difficult, so these are a great option to make sure you improve at piano playing.
Depending on what type of lessons you’re taking they can vary in cost. In person lessons can range from around $100 to a few hundred dollars each month. Online piano lessons can start around $20/month and be cheaper if you pay for the entire year up front.
Learning the basics of music can start pretty early in childhood education. But to really benefit from specific piano lessons a person should be able to focus and comprehend the concepts they’ll need to learn. The age that this happens can vary by child, but many children start learning around the ages of 6-10 years old. Some children may be able to benefit from lessons earlier than that, as well.
A good set of piano lessons will cover lots of different areas of music. Most lessons all touch on concepts like basic music theory (notes, chords, scales, etc.), how to read sheet music, rhythm and time, as well as song material. A really great set of lessons will also touch on things like playing by ear, improvising and songwriting.
Final Thoughts & Wrap Up
Learning to play music through online lessons is a fantastic innovation of the internet. Learning piano has never been as accessible or affordable as it is now.
Don’t worry too much about speeding through the material of whatever course you buy. The real key to your success is the practice and consistency.
Beyond that, whatever education option you choose, we’re sure you’ll get a lot out of it. Just put in the work.
We hope you enjoyed our full buyers guide on the best online piano lessons out there! Thanks for reading.
Related Piano Articles
- Piano Chord Progressions Guide
- The Best Way to Learn Piano By Yourself
- Guide to Inverting Chords on Piano
Resources for Piano Players (affiliate links)
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