There are a lot of easy piano lesson software and courses online and the method each program takes is quite different. Today, I would like to introduce a program called "Piano for All," which takes a method to learn from chords.
This is an example of a video from Pianoforall, the kind of video tutorial you see in this program. It doesn't mean that you watch the video and play like that. Those are the songs you get to play! The arrangement of the screen that the piano keys are below where the instructor is playing and the keyboard above indicates the keys that are played in different colors is what you see.
When you purchase the program, you can download 10 eBooks that have all videos and audio files embedded. It can be downloaded to various computer systems from PC, Mac, iPad to Android phone, etc.
There is no software required. You just need to download those instructional books and you are good to go. Of course, you need a keyboard or digital piano or acoustic piano to practice on, but that's all you need. You do not have to be online to practice once eBooks are downloaded.
Above blocks show the ten books with their titles. You build up your skills on the foundation.
What I was surprised the most was that as it is said on the website,
"You get to sound like a Pro right from the start."
That is so true. I am able to read sheet music and play the piano all right, but when it comes to improvise, I'm still not good at it. I know chords, but since I learned from sheet music at the beginning, it's still not part of me and I still feel it's easy to read written music instead of looking at chords and play on my own.
With this program, playing by chords becomes so easy! I feel like I can improvise better now.
As you can see, you learn the basics in the first four books. Although it is not until about Book 5 that you really play actual songs with both hands, but even in Book 1, you can play notes that sound really pleasant to your ears. If you are a singer, you can sing along with what you play right from Book 1.
Piano keys and sound are very logical while they look so complicated.
For example, you get to learn C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bo (diminished) chords in less than halfway through in Book 1! Sounds very difficult, right? But it is not at all!
You will see that piano keys are very logically lined up and so is each note. Each chord progression and rhythms are all logical, too.
In the first four books, you learn the basics of chords and different rhythms. You learn different styles and a little more chords in Book 5 through 7, and in Book 8, you get to learn classical music. Book 9 and 10 are more in-depth information and resources.
This is a very good course for someone who wants to learn how to play popular music or any of your favorite music, and definitely someone who wants to learn improvisation and composing, even if you know how to read notes (just like me!)
It is amazing how you can apply the basic rhythms from this course to sound like jazz or blues or whatever types of music you want to play. It is very interesting to see that what you listen to every day without thinking too much is actually composed based on a certain rhythms and they are not that hard!
What I see this may not be good for is children. As I mentioned, chords are pretty logical and you need some logical mind to understand. With young children, it may be a little difficult to understand fully. Also, in case of children, it is usually parents who want them to learn how to play the piano and rarely children want to learn on their own. More disciplined lessons with regular visits to a local studio may be more suitable for children.
Also, if you are interested in classical music only, taking this course may take a little longer to get there since classical music appears in Book 8. It is definitely beneficial to learn all the basics of chords and rhythms explained in prior books. As such, even if your interest is on classical music, it's highly recommended that you learn all the chords and rhythms, however, if you are planning on playing classical music only, reading sheet music, then, you may be frustrated that you don't get to play classical music until later.
Another thing I noticed is that there is no mentioning of proper posture or fingering at the beginning. You need to practice hitting keys from above with your fingers shaping round just like having an egg inside. Hands cannot be flat to make a good sound. It would be helpful to know those very basic matters before even playing, which is not mentioned in this course, however such information is available elsewhere on the Internet that you can refer to quickly.
With that, I see that this is more for young adults or adults, from total beginners to any levels of piano players.
Overall, at this price point (right now, it is priced at $39 for immediate downloading,) this is a very good program with so many audiovisual aids. It is a simple, easy-to-follow course. Considering that a typical 30-minute lesson at a studio is $25 to $35 based on my experience, this is a very small purchase.
I should not forget to mention that the creator is very responsive. When I emailed him, he responded immediately. That is a very good sign. Even if it is affordable, you want to make sure that you purchase a product from someone who takes ownership in the product that he/she is selling. If you have a question, I am certain that he will respond quickly, which is a very important aspect in learning how to play the piano especially by yourself without any professional watching you and giving proper instructions.
You can purchase with peace of mind because there is a 60-day guarantee on this program. That is a very generous offer from the creator, which I believe is a proof that he is confident with his own course in delivering results.
There are a lot of testimonials from people who have used or are using the course on the website. Make sure to read other fellow learners' experience and see what you think.
A question of how long it takes for you to be able to play the piano is a hard question because it all depends on how much you practice. Of course, the more you practice, the better you are!
Enjoy practicing piano with "Piano for All!"