Learning piano isn’t as simple as one might think. Additionally, in-person piano lessons can be quite expensive or just not suitable for everyone. For that, you might start to look for online piano lessons and piano learning apps. However, that begs the question of whether an online course is as good as an in-person lesson.
When going for online lessons from a software program, you need to make sure that the app’s features align with what you’re looking for and that it’s suitable for your skill level. And if you’re looking for online piano lessons, you must have run into Piano Marvel.
So, in this Piano Marvel review, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the program, from its pros and cons to its different features and membership options.
So, without further ado, let’s delve in!
|Overall Score: 4.75/5|
A Quick Piano Marvel Overview
If you’re learning to play piano, especially classical music, you need to check out Piano Marvel, and let me tell you why.
First of all, Piano Marvel is perfect for all levels and ages because its teaching approach is simple and easy to follow.
To get started with this piano learning software, you need to get your digital piano or keyboard connected via USB to a computer or an iOS device. You’ll be getting small-sized lessons to get you started and familiar with the piano. Moreover, the software keeps track of your progress and accuracy as you learn the piano over time.
Piano Marvel also works with acoustic pianos, but not all features are available; you’ll only be able to use Book Mode. For that, I mostly recommend Piano Marvel for digital pianos so that you can enjoy all its features.
If you’re worried that online piano courses aren’t as immersive as in-person lessons, Piano Marvel is made by professional pianists and piano teachers to make sure the online learning experience is just as fruitful.
Additionally, this software program offers different lessons like technique, ear-training, and sight-reading lessons. This means that you’ll gain a lot of knowledge and experience playing the piano, not just memorizing a few notes. It even teaches you music theory and musical terms, which are things you don’t often find in online piano lessons.
Besides, it offers a massive music library with over 25,000 of the most popular songs and exercises available for different skill levels. However, I have to mention that most of the music in there is classical and more child-friendly, like Mary Had a Little Lamb, which might be boring for some adults.
- Perfect for students of different levels
- Works on Windows, Chromebook, macOS, and iOS
- You get immediate feedback and analysis
- Over 25,000 songs and exercises
- Offers technique and music theory lessons, ear-training exercises, and sight-reading tests all in one course
- Only Book Mode works with acoustic piano
- Mostly offers classical music
- Doesn’t teach you correct hand positions and posture
Go for Piano Marvel If:
- You already have a piano teacher, and you’re looking to practice on your own
- You enjoy classical music and want to learn classical pieces
- You’re looking to improve your piano playing skills at your own pace
- You enjoy video tutorials
- You use a digital piano
What Does Piano Marvel Offer?
If you’re looking to learn more about what Piano Marvel has to offer and whether you should consider using this software, here’s everything you need to know.
Piano Marvel offers up to 18 levels of songs, but the method and technique lessons only go for six levels; here are the details of each level.
The first level of the Piano Marvel method will teach you all about notes, including whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, and eighth notes. As the levels advance, method lessons gradually become more difficult, but if you go at your own pace, you should smoothly make it all the way to level six.
Throughout the method lessons, you’ll earn a solid foundation of musical terms, notes, and scales. You’ll practice playing Middle C, pedaling technique, and reading sheet music. Once you get to level six, you should be able to play classical piano smoothly and read and understand advanced sheet music.
Additionally, you’ll learn the difference between Middle C and Low C along with some flashcard exercises.
Besides the method section, there’s a technique section that mostly focuses on ear-training exercises, basic rhythm clapping exercises, major and minor scales, and chords, which are all critical lessons when beginners start to learn piano. As the name implies, this section also focuses on your technique and style of playing to make sure you’re doing everything correctly.
Both method and technique sections offer trophies as you advance through levels to keep you encouraged based on a scoring system. For example, getting a score between 80% – 90% awards you a bronze trophy, between 90% and 95% awards you a silver trophy, and anything over 96% means you’ll receive a gold trophy.
Because Piano Marvel aims to teach beginners to play the piano at the pace they like, they offer three modes: Prepare Mode, Practice Mode, and Assess Mode. Let me tell you how each mode works, so you’d have everything you need to know.
However, before I dive into the modes, I have to mention that these aren’t available for acoustic pianos. If that’s the case for you, you’ll have access to Book Mode, where you’ll be able to see the video lessons, but nothing much else.
First of all, Prepare Mode allows you to practice songs without assessing the rhythm; its aim is to improve your accuracy and make sure you’re hitting the correct notes.
When you’re familiar with the notes, you can move on to Practice Mode, where each song is broken down into multiple sections so you can practice smaller bits at a time.
Lastly, the assessment mode scores you on how accurate your playing is, and it also scores your rhythm on an entire song. After you’re done playing each song, you receive instant feedback on how your playing was and what needs to be improved, if any.
So, in Prepare Mode, you practice getting the notes right, while in Practice Mode, you get more familiar with rhythms, and in Asses Mode, you’re scored based on your notes and rhythms combined.
Standard Assessment of Sight-Reading (SASR Test)
Sight-reading skills need a lot of training to develop if you’re a beginner. Piano Marvel’s sight-reading test allows you 20 seconds to look at a music sheet of a song; then, it tests how accurately you can play that song.
You can use your SASR score to keep track of how much you’re improving and compare your score to other players if you want to.
The library Piano Marvel offers is a huge library, to say the least. With over 25,000 songs to play and practice, you’ll never run out of songs to learn.
However, I do have to mention that even though the library includes jazz, contemporary, and rock and roll options, most songs are classical. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m sure you’ll find your favorite songs in there.
Moreover, on lower levels of the method section, most songs are children’s songs, which isn’t ideal for adults who are looking to learn the piano. When I first started Piano Marvel, I wasn’t super excited about the children’s songs, but I was able to find many options that I liked nonetheless.
What Are the Courses Like?
Think of Piano Marvel as your personal online piano teacher. You can use the video tutorial at every lesson so you’d know exactly what you need to do. It guides you through learning new songs and getting familiar with them.
On top of that, learning piano isn’t an easy task without piano teachers. Still, Piano Marvel provides you with instant feedback on your piano performance just like in-person piano instructors would. Moreover, you can use that feedback to know your trouble spots and progress tracking over time.
The courses are quite easy to follow, and they’re perfect for pianists of all skill levels; you can always find a song that challenges you just enough to improve your skills. You can choose to play a song with whole slicing, chopped slicing, or minced slicing until you get familiar with each part.
However, for those playing an acoustic piano, Piano Marvel loses a lot of its selling points. As I mentioned, you can still learn in Book Mode, where you can access songs and video lessons, but the assessment features don’t work, which is a huge let-down.
Piano Marvel Memberships – What Do You Get?
Piano Marvel users can choose between three membership options. Let’s discuss every option in detail so you’d know which one is best for you.
First of all, the free account is something you can’t miss out on, especially if you’re still unsure if Piano Marvel is for you. With this account, you’ll have access to the first-level lessons. I strongly recommend you try out Piano Marvel with this free account before opting for a monthly or annual subscription. That way, you’ll be familiar with this software’s approach without having to pay a penny.
Once you’re comfortable with Piano Marvel, you might consider upgrading to a premium account. A monthly subscription costs $15.99, while an annual membership costs $110.99. So, if you want to keep using Piano Marvel beyond just learning the basics of piano, you’ll have to upgrade to a premium subscription.
Piano Marvel – Alternatives
If you’re still undecided whether Piano Marvel is the right software for you, here’s a comparison between Piano Marvel and other piano apps to make your decision easier.
Piano Marvel vs. Playground Sessions
Piano Marvel and Playground Sessions are quite similar in terms of how they operate. They both work well with digital pianos, and both piano apps have similar feedback and rewarding systems, so it might be difficult to figure out which is better for you.
Piano Marvel takes the cake when it comes to sheet music reading and different playing styles and dynamics. It’s easier for complete beginners because the lessons can be broken down into smaller bits that you can practice at any pace you like.
On the other hand, Playground Sessions is superior in terms of the song library. It offers much more genre options that Piano Marvel can’t compete with.
Piano Marvel vs. Flowkey
When playing acoustic pianos, Flowkey is the clear winner because it uses your phone’s microphone to detect which notes you’re playing. However, Flowkey is mostly targeted at beginners, unlike Piano Marvel that has something for everyone.
Even though Flowkey doesn’t focus on music theory, it still has an advantage over Piano Marvel, which is the wider range of genre options in the music library. But, of course, there are pros and cons to each software, so you’ll have to go for the app that offers the best features for your own needs; there’s no ultimate winner.
Is Piano Marvel Good for Beginners?
Piano Marvel is perfect for beginners. Its method section takes you through six levels where you’ll learn different techniques at a slow pace that’s suitable for beginners. Besides, the Prepare, Practice, and Assess modes allow you to practice each song in smaller bits until you can get it perfectly.
Is Piano Marvel Good for Sight Reading?
Definitely yes! Piano Marvel offers sight-reading tests and exercises. You’re given 20 seconds to look at a sheet; then, you’re scored on how well you were able to play the notes from memory. The scoring system is useful to keep track of your progress, and it encourages you to keep learning and improving.
Now that you’ve seen my Piano Marvel review, you should be able to tell whether this software is the right fit for you. Still, here’s a quick recap of everything I mentioned to refresh your memory.
Piano Marvel aims to help you through your piano-learning journey through a series of interactive exercises that any pianist of any skill level can benefit from. It has over 25,000 song options, so there’s always a new song for you to learn. The songs’ difficulty levels go up to level 18, and this makes it more challenging.
Moreover, the app works perfectly with digital pianos, all you need to do is connect your piano to your PC or iOS device, and you should be good to go.
My favorite thing about this software is its three modes of operation. You can start at something as simple as getting the notes right in the Prepare mode. Once that’s perfect, you can move on to learning the rhythm of the song in small bits at a time.
After that, you can play the whole song and get feedback on your playing, so you’ll know what needs to be improved. Besides, the rewarding system can keep you engaged and interested for extended periods.