Gear Review: Pianote Online Piano Method

With all the experts and tutorials available online, there’s a ton of information about learning to play the piano. And while some of it could help you on your journey to becoming a better pianist, there’s a lot that can go wrong. The performers you find online aren’t always the experts you are looking for, most are not really teachers, and sometimes they are not even experts at all. And then there’s the problem that all beginners face: Where do you start?

Piano’s online piano method, song tutorials, and experienced piano coaches led by Lisa Witt promise a different experience–one that not only works to help you learn piano skills but also provides an online learning environment that has the support of real teachers who help piano students have fun while learning at their own pace. Anxious to see if the claims were real, I logged on to check it out.

Key Features

Pianote has a couple of standout features: The first that most piano students will encounter and appreciate is its organization. The Pianote Method presents ten well-organized levels, each with step-by-step video lessons and exercises designed to help piano students learn the right thing at the right time. It’s a clear path and that focuses on building core skills—something that it’s easy to miss if you’re ‘winging it’ with random online tutorials. Learning in the right order not only makes future lessons easier to tackle but builds your musical knowledge so you can be confident when you play and won’t forget what you have learned.

While the Piannote Method teaches core skills, like different musical styles, reading music, and the basics of harmony, the emphasis is on teaching core skills and why These building blocks are important to be a better pianist. Through the lessons, there are constant reminders that the goal is to play the beautiful music you love, and that piano playing–and learning–should be a fun means of self-expression, not drudgery.

There’s on-demand access to over 20 comprehensive courses and more than 320 lessons that focus on specific skills, styles, and techniques. Pianote also keeps track of all your progress and sets you on a learning path.

Most courses at Pianote are piano-centric, but there are other interesting segments, like insights on songwriting with creator, Josh Dion, and introductions to jazz, improvisation, and gospel–even Latin jazz.

Every beginning piano student loves to learn Let It Be and Lean On Me and one can find hundreds of YouTube tutorials that will show you how, but Pianote takes a different route. Using more than 100 song tutorials, Pianote instructors not only break down exactly how to play your favorite songs but teach basic skills as they go. You can play along with backing tracks, adjust the tempo, and create practice loops that all help to build your playing ‘chops’.

The standout feature of Pianote for me is how the materials are presented with real teachers, an impressive cast of ‘coaches’ who teach and inspire. To get the full experience, I checked into a course with a featured coach, Victoria Theodore. Theodore, who has performing credits with popular music artists like Stevie Wonder and Beyonce, tackles what has to be one of the most challenging courses for piano players starting out – Beginner’s Guide to Classical Piano.

Theodore presents all the basics of classical piano study, including how to warm up, fingering, hand position, how to practice, and more, in short lessons well-formatted to help students get playing quickly. The course focuses on skill building with the goal of helping the student to make beautiful music at the piano with good technique. Her presentation is informative, positive, and encouraging as she shows students exactly what to do.

Victoria Theodore’s Classical Piano is a great course for building beginning piano skills and a painless introduction to classical piano music. It is built around simple pieces that exemplify each era in classical music, rather than drilling students on scales and exercises.

Pro

Pianote has well-organized practice tools and an approach designed to keep students motivated, plus it offers all the benefits of online with access—anytime lessons. Real instructors—expert in different musical styles—song tutorials, and tools help you learn, and the cost is much less than private lessons at $197.00 membership per year. You can even test drive Pianote for 90 days without risk if you are not sure it’s right for you.

Cons

With so many styles to choose from, training packs, forums, and courses, the number of materials might be hard to choose from at the start.

Verdict

Pianote combines a friendly, professional approach with well-organized materials, tools, and online events to keep a community of motivated and interested students. It is as close as you are going to get to all the benefits of private instruction for those committed to learning online. However, if a typical online track is not enough, you can also set up private lessons through the website. Pianote offers a fun and informative experience for beginners since they can explore different musical styles with different instructors at their own pace with no pressure. There’s a lot to learn at Pianote and qualified instructors who are ready to help. It’s definitely worth checking out at Pianote.com.

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