Top Apps and Courses for Learning Piano (2022)
Learning how to play the piano has never been so easy, or fun. Whether it’s interactive apps with real-time feedback or traditional online courses with video tutorials, your options for learning piano online are virtually limitless. The aim here is to find the best online piano lesson for you!
To give you a starting point and perspective on the many options, we took a look at various online piano courses and pulled together our top five. Here we explore the many features, learning styles, skill levels, and costs while also highlighting what we felt were the tool’s most important characteristics.
When shopping through our list of best online piano lessons, keep in mind your unique abilities, strengths and learning style, as well as your goals and budget. In the end, the best program will be the one you stick with and enjoy. So, let’s get started.
Best Online Piano Lessons
1. Playground Sessions – Best Online Piano Course Overall
Playground Sessions is an easy-to-use piano learning app that combines video tutorials, game-like lessons with scores and badges, and real-time feedback. Co-created by Quincy Jones, with video instruction by legends like Harry Connick Jr. and David Sides, it’s easy to see how this app has become one of the most popular on the market.
But don’t let this app’s celebrity and gamification fool you, this program offers a well-thought-out lesson plan that will keep you motivated. The program offers a wide variety of courses with song selections sorted by skill level. Much of the course structure is within their Bootcamp section, which is broken down into rookie, intermediate and advanced curriculums. We really appreciated their fun approach to learning, too. Some courses are unlocked once you reach a certain skill level, while others are 30-day challenges where you focus on a specific song or scales. You can also find additional courses to help you master certain skills, like music theory or how to improvise on the piano.
Another great feature is the apps’ ability to record your performance. Tracking your progress this way is an important part of learning the piano. And it’s rewarding. Just sit back and listen to what you’ve created. It’s amazing how your mind can pick-up those subtleties in tones and conspire to do better. There is also a scoring system for recorded songs, ranging from one to three stars.
The software is easy to install and comes with a host of important features that includes a large song library, which hosts multiple music genres from rock to jazz, hundreds of interactive lessons, printable sheet music, a special feature to play along with full band background music, progress charts, and more.
Best Real-Time Feedback
The most noticeable feature that we liked about Playground Sessions is its live feedback. Although it’s not the same as having an in-person tutor, who can guide you during a one-on-one lesson, the screen will immediately tell you when you have missed a note, gotten out of synch, or have a specific area you need to focus on.
This evaluation and feedback will help you understand your weak areas and make you improve through practice. Most platforms don’t provide you much feedback on your rhythm and timing, however, Playground Sessions includes a detailed system for evaluating your performance.
This also works with problems with learning a certain part of a song. All you need to do is highlight it and play it on a loop until you master it. The software will grade you based on your performance; you can improve steadily and at your own pace.
Although you don’t need a digital piano to learn with Playgrounds Sessions, you will need one to use the real-time feature.
- Uses popular music that you have likely heard and are familiar with
- You can choose a song and then practice the method that you believe works for you
- Playground Sessions tracks your progress to keep you motivated
- Gamification, scores you, and helps you achieve your set goals
- There are fewer video lessons than exclusively audio ones
- It has limited visual aids in the video collection
Playground Sessions Pricing Model:
$17.99 – monthly subscription
$119.88 – annual subscription
$289.99 – lifetime subscription
They also offer family plans for multiple members
2. Pianoforall – Best Piano Lessons on a Budget (currently $39)
Pianoforall might be one of the most well-known and oldest online piano courses on the market. This time-tested course, developed in 2006 and updated as recently as 2020, follows a more straightforward and traditional learning structure that appeals to many people (over 300,000 students world-wide). The program consists of nine eBooks, 500 audio lessons, and 200 video tutorials, all designed to help you advance your skills. It works very simply, with each book chosen in an order that will help you, as you slowly improve your playing.
In addition to constant online access to almost every device, Pianoforall combines visual and audio lessons to make your practicing easier. You’ll learn about music notation and the rest when you begin.
This first book gets you started right away and includes several exercises to help you quickly learn basic chords and rhythms. You’ll be able to play ten rhythms and eleven chords at the end of the first book so you can use them together to play popular songs. Learning rhythm piano is the greatest technique to begin piano playing since it allows you to perform easy pieces straight away.
What we like most about this program is that the cost is low enough for a true beginner to start learning the piano quickly and easily within days.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to learn the piano or buy it as a gift, this is the ideal program. Most in-person piano lessons range from $30 to $100 for one lesson. Pianoforall is currently $39 (regularly $79). That’s a one-time payment for lifetime access to a proven program.
- Great for beginners that like a more traditional approach to learning
- Low cost, one-time payment
- It immediately lets you start playing so you can start learning quickly
- It is easy to understand
- Helps you use both hands, especially the left one, more
- Beginners have more allowance for improvisation and composing melodies
- Teaching is a bit limited as it doesn’t teach about posture, wrist, hand, and finger movements
- There isn’t a lot of teaching about technique
- Doesn’t go too much into more advanced piano symbols or terms
Pianoforall Pricing Model:
$39 (regularly $79) – Lifetime access
3. Flowkey – Best for Highly Personalized Piano Lessons
Flowkey is an easy-to-use, popular online piano teaching app that offers a wide range of personalization that would be good for beginners who aren’t comfortable reading sheet music, which can make it ideal for online piano lessons for children. Flowkey does this by showing a video of the hand position above the sheet music. This could be a great way to start for children and adults that find learning chords and sheet music too slow or boring. Right away, you can jump into playing simple tunes, which will motivate you to progress to more advanced songs. But this app isn’t just good for kids, there’s something here for all skill levels – beginner, intermediate, advanced and pro.
We particularly liked the slow-motion feature. With their custom practice sessions, you also have the ability to replay a specific section and highlight a section of a song that you want to loop so you can play it over and over again. Remember: repetition is the mother of skill.
Flowkey is also popular because of its customization and versatility, as it is a multi-platform application that works with any piano or keyboard and offers a wide selection of songs to choose from ranging from easy to difficult.
Flowkey is easy to install and can be downloaded onto your smartphone, iPhone, tablets, or personal computers without a hitch. It also offers a free trial where you have access to 8 free songs and some of our course exercises.
Most customizable learning
Flowkey is one of the more advanced online piano apps that lets you personalize your learning experience. Right when you sign-up, you have the option to take a multiple choice, pre-assessment quiz that helps determine your piano skill level and the type of piano (or no piano) you have. It also includes customizable features like playing with only left or right hand, looping a section of a song and adjusting the speed of the videos with slow-motion.
- Very customizable with an easy-to-use interface
- Great for beginners, especially children, who have little or no knowledge of piano playing
- Has a free trial and flexible payment options
- Provides constant updates
- Not so good for teaching sheet music
- Does not have a metronome feature
- Less appeal to advanced piano players
Flowkey Pricing Model:
$19.99 – monthly subscription
$119.88 – annual subscription
$329.99 – lifetime subscription
4. Skoove – Best for Learning Piano via Popular Songs
Skoove is a course designed for intermediate and beginner pianists. What sets this online learning app apart from the others is its large selection of popular music, which can be highly motivating. Skoove has over 400 lessons dedicated to giving beginner piano players the help they need to advance further. It is also easy to get started. The only thing you need is a tablet or an acoustic piano and you’re set to go.
It has an easy-to-use and intuitive interface and, like Playground Sessions, you get instant feedback. However, Skoove uses your device’s mic for the feedback feature, which has its pros and cons. You can use both an acoustic piano and an electric piano, but the quality and speed of feedback is a bit lagging.
Learn Piano with Songs You Love
Skoove’s music list is designed to give you the motivation to start playing, as doubtlessly, some of your favorite songs will be on it. The 1984 Leonard Cohen classic, Hallelujah, for example, is arranged in a way that even beginners can learn to play it, especially since it provides the exact finger placement and waits for you to press down on that key.
You can learn how to play classical, neoclassical, and present-day pop music through Skoove’s lessons and music list, all while evolving your skills and awareness about playing piano and interacting with music.
- It can be used with both acoustic and digital pianos
- Play by ear and learn about improvisation
- The interface is easy to use
- Teaches basics of reading music
- Sheet music is displayed one line at a time
- Skips important music theory concepts
- Cannot customize lessons to your preference
Skoove Pricing Model:
$19.99 – monthly subscription
$39.99 – 3-month subscription
$119.99 – annual subscription
5. Hear and Play – Best for Play by Ear Piano Learning
Hear and Play takes a unique approach to piano education, focusing on recreational musicianship. This course will teach you to hear music the way gospel pianists have done: by honing your aural identification of key centers, chords, and progressions.
There are several courses accessible once you buy Hear and Play, as well as ear training tools and vast volumes of videos and tutorials for complete songs. There is a lot to select from, and each product is a course in itself.
Hear and Play Jazz & Salsa, GospelKeys, and Music Theory are the three primary courses available for purchase. All of these courses teach you how to train your ear to recognize songs ranging from simple ballads to renowned pieces.
Best Choice for Playing by Ear
These courses are designed for intermediate-level pianists who will gain the most from playing by ear style. If you already have a basic understanding of the piano, you will be able to comprehend technicalities much more easily and devote more time to learning to hear and learn music.
Even skilled piano players benefit from these courses because there is always room to improve their relative pitch. Hearing through tunes or key centers becomes more challenging as the courses develop into increasingly sophisticated jazz-based progressions.
- It is customizable so you can choose which tool you would like to use
- Has a supportive online community
- Offers a range of tutors to choose from
- Accessible to those who cannot read music
- Not suitable for beginner students
- No online tuition offered
- You need to choose your lesson by yourself
Hear and Play Pricing Model:
$65 each – for each Hear and Play piano course
How Do I Choose the Best Online Piano Lessons?
Seeing so many options might be a bit daunting, especially if you have never tried an online piano lesson before. However, when considering what the best online piano lesson is for you, just remember that we all learn in different ways, so look for a program that works best for you and fits your strengths. Finding the best fit will keep you motivated and committed to learning the piano.
Other things to consider, include:
- Your preferred learning style. Do you prefer a traditional learning structure offered by Pianoforall or more gamification like Playground Sessions?
- Do you consider learning sheet music a barrier to getting started? Then Flowkey or Hear and Play are best for you.
- Determine your budget. Cheaper isn’t always better, but it might get you started.
- Music selection. You might find that a broader music collection that matches your interest will also motivate you to learn more.
Online Piano Lessons vs. Private Tutor
If you are still undecided about whether you should use an online piano app or personal tutor, let’s consider some of the key benefits of each:
Benefits of online piano programs:
- Accessibility: If you live in a remote area, you might not have access to a personal teacher. With an online lesson, you’re as close as your desk or kitchen counter.
- Scheduling: With online learning, you can schedule your own time and learn 24/7.
- Costs: A professional piano teacher can range from $30 to 100 per lesson, which can be costly when you’re not sure if this is something you want to invest in.
- Convenience: You can learn at your own pace and repeat courses as often as you want with no pressure to finish by a certain time.
- More learning styles, resources, and techniques: There are a lot of fun ways to learn piano online. Many of the newer apps use game-like features to guide your progress. You can also play-along with bands, listen to your own music, chart your progress. You also have access to hundreds of songs to choose from and other online materials like sheet music and books.
Benefits of personal piano teacher:
- Social Skills: Interacting with a teacher and learning the piano will help your socialization skills and performing in front of others.
- Accountability: Sometimes we can all use a little bit of a push to do better and the confidence to move on.
- Moral support and positive feedback: Learning a new instrument can be challenging and a personal trainer can recognize the frustration and offer instant motivation.
- Answer your specific questions: These could be questions about technique or about the teacher’s journey in learning piano.
- Fine tuning your piano craft: You might reach a point where you know that your playing can be better, but you’re not sure in what area to focus.
How to Find a Personal Piano Teacher
Starting with an online piano app is a great way to start and learn at your own pace while saving money. These online programs definitely have advanced training that will challenge you and keep you motivated, but you might also consider learning from a personal piano tutor, either online via Zoom or Skype or in-person. Once you have learned what you can from your online lessons, you can further hone your skills and try more complex piano playing with the help of a professional. It’s best to find a teacher through recommendations and reviews. If that’s not an option, we recommend searching on Piano Teachers Connect. It’s a great way to find a personal piano teacher that fits your style, budget, pace, and level of expertise.
So What’s the Best Way to Learn Piano Online?
With so many affordable resources and online tools, now is a great time to dive into learning the piano online. You can’t go wrong with any of the programs we have listed here. They each have their strengths and different approaches to teaching. If you’re looking for a progressive way to learn the piano that can be a little playful yet structured and comprehensive, Playground Sessions was our pick. However, if you like a more traditional straightforward style of learning with an affordable one-time payment, then Pianoforall would be ideal.
Learning to play the piano, or any instrument, is one of the most rewarding paths you can take in life that can both ground you and elevate you at the same time. Just stick with it, commit to a process, and find the passion that is just waiting for you.