Piano Lesson Software Review

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How to Use Software to Learn Piano

People want to learn piano for many reasons. It is certainly one of the most widely played instruments, challenged in popularity only by the guitar. As an orchestra in a single box, the piano is perhaps the most expressive instrument. It is without a doubt the most solid foundation for music education and appreciation. With MIDI and audio recording software, you can use your knowledge of a standard keyboard to create arrangements with any type of instrumentation, from classical symphonies and jazz quartets to techno tunes and rock groups.

Learning to play the piano requires enthusiasm, persistence and dedication. An experienced teacher used to be the best guide along the path from aspirant to virtuoso. Today, there are other methods for routing your enthusiasm and desire to learn along a carefully constructed curriculum to streamline your ability to achieve your dream of making music.

You have many options for online piano lessons. These include piano lesson software, video tutorials and games that teach music theory. The best piano learning software is part of an all-inclusive subscription service that combines online features, downloadable software, tutorials, games and social media for the most complete approach to learning piano with software. Our top picks for the best piano lesson software services are Playground Sessions, Piano Marvel and Piano Suite Premier. To find the right service to help you meet your goals, read our in-depth reviews and articles about learning the piano.

Piano Lesson Software: What to Look For

Your goals will determine what you should look for in piano lesson software. The software we reviewed provides options you can use by yourself or with a teacher to learn at your own pace and structure your lessons around your schedule. The products we reviewed work well for teaching individuals, both with and without a private piano teacher. The best services work beautifully in concert with music educators to provide the most comprehensive programs for learning piano.

Some products provide a keyboard and software and are great for children and adults who are just starting out. Some are designed specifically for children, and others for older students with varying degrees of proficiency. Still others are great tools for private teachers or music departments at schools and universities.

We used the following criteria to illustrate what each piano lesson service offers and highlight the strong points and failings to help you choose the best one for you.

Lessons
The more elements of technique and music theory that piano lesson software teaches, the better. Lessons should be structured hierarchically, beginning with the basics and progressing to advanced concepts and techniques. These lessons should teach proper hand position, fingering and technique, notes and notation, rhythm, scales and chords, and how to read sheet music and play by ear.

Features
This category evaluates how the piano learning programs teach the lessons and how well these methods work. Features to look for include MIDI compatibility, video tutorials, practice exercises, printable sheet music and tools for educators, if you are one. Other aspects to consider are online and mobile features, social media integration and regular software updates.

Practice Tools
Piano lesson programs provide tools to teach their lessons. How you participate in the lessons is the crux of any teaching program, and it is especially important when software is your only instructor. Important tools to foster learning include easy-to-follow instructions, a follow-along practice interface, a metronome with an adjustable tempo, play-along accompaniment tracks and interactive sheet music that tracks the notes as you play them to give you targeted feedback. The piano learning software should have exercises for the right and left hands and both together, along with interactive games, progress tracking and rewards along the way.

Help & Support
Because many people use piano lesson software without a teacher, a solid support system to rely on for help with the software or the lessons is essential. Help resources should include online FAQs and forums, tutorials, and telephone and email support. Additional resources include a trial period or money-back guarantee, and live chat and social media support.

There is no shortcut to proficiency, but with practice and the right tools, learning the piano can be much easier and more rewarding than you might think. Whether you want comprehensive lessons, valuable practice drills or exciting games that solidify musical concepts, there is software that caters to your goals and ambitions. Start making your dreams of playing piano a reality with piano lesson software.

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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Playground Sessions Piano Marvel Piano Suite Premier Piano and Keyboard Method Piano Wizard Academy Learn & Master Piano A.S.A.Piano Rocket Piano PianoHead Piano Is Fun
Playground Sessions Piano Marvel Piano Suite Premier Piano and Keyboard Method Piano Wizard Academy Learn & Master Piano A.S.A.Piano Rocket Piano PianoHead Piano Is Fun
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Lowest Price
Visit Playground Sessions
$9.99/mo.
Visit Piano Marvel 1.3
$12/month
Visit Piano Suite Premier 2.9
$89.95
Visit Piano and Keyboard Method 3
$49.95
Visit Piano Wizard Academy Next Gen
$497.00
Visit Learn & Master Piano
$149.00
Visit A.S.A.Piano
$44.95
Visit Rocket Piano
$39.95
Visit PianoHead 3.8
Varies
Visit Piano Is Fun
$29.95
Ratings
10.00
9.78
9.38
9.15
8.25
8.00
6.75
5.75
5.38
4.85
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
9.75
9.38
10.00
9.38
8.75
10.00
9.38
9.38
8.75
9.38
8.75
8.13
7.50
8.75
9.38
10.00
5.00
7.50
8.75
8.13
5.00
5.00
10.00
7.50
5.00
5.00
2.50
5.00
5.00
5.00
8.75
4.38
4.38
5.00
7.50
 
Lessons
Number of Lessons 111+* 2,000+ 180+ 300+ 100 28 30+ 218 26 20+
Number of Songs 39+ 2,200+ 500+ 100+ 200+ 30+ 31    
Theory
Music Notation
Sight Reading
Play by Ear
Multiple Levels
 
Scales
 
Intervals
 
Fingering
  
Multiple Styles
  
Rhythm
  
Technique
  
Chords & Arpeggios
  
Harmony
 
 
  
Improvisation
  
 
  
Composition
 
 
    
Features
MIDI Compatible
  
 
Video Tutorials
 
Printable Music & Worksheets
 
  
Free Updates/Upgrades
 
  
 
Features for Educators
     
Social Media Integration
      
 
Other Instruments  
 
 
    
Practice Tools
Accompaniment
  
Practice Instructions
Exercises for Right/Left/Both Hands
  
Adjustable Tempo
 
  
Metronome
 
  
Progress/Score Tracking
   
Reports
      
Section Looping
      
Mixer/Recorder
 
      
Games  
 
  
Help & Support
Email
Phone
FAQs
 
Online Forums
  
  
Manual
 
Trial Period   30 30 30 30 60 60 60   30
Supported Configurations
Windows 8
 
Windows 7
Windows Vista
Windows XP
Mac
 
 
*In addition to the 31 music theory lessons included with a subscription, there are several arrangements of each song for up to three levels of proficiency, each of which is counted as a lesson, for a total of 111. Even with a membership, most song lessons cost extra.