If you’ve been searching for the best online piano lessons, there’s a good chance you’ve come across Pianoforall.
With over a quarter-million students worldwide, Pianoforall is among the most popular online piano teaching platforms right now. It teaches students to play the piano by ear, unlike the conventional style of reading music.
Although it’s not a brand-new project, Pianoforall gained much of its traction from the coronavirus lockdown period as many people started learning new skills, including playing the piano. And with all the hype around Pianoforall, we thought we might take a closer look at what it’s all about.
In this post, we’ll cover all you need to know about Pianoforall so you can decide if it’s the way to go for you.
Pianoforall Review: At a Glance
Pianoforall is designed to equip its students with the fundamentals of playing the piano. In addition, it’s structured to offer versatility so that students can play different genres of music after the course.
Pianoforall segments lessons into 20-30 minutes of play so students can easily master one skill at a time. It’s also self-paced and self-directed. As a result, you can learn comfortably and at your own pace and progression.
It can get boring drilling down minutes and minutes of video lessons simultaneously. This is why Pianoforall blends its curriculum with guided video and audio lessons, ebooks, gamified piano apps, and exercises.
For full access to Pianoforall’s materials, you’ll have to buy the course on their website for a regular cost of 39 dollars. Great, right? Plus, this is a one-time fee which means you’ll have lifetime access to all Pianoforall materials.
It’s a great feature, especially if you’re going to take your lessons nice and slow or you don’t know how much time you’ll dedicate to your lessons.
The course doesn’t get any old, though. Pianoforall provides regular course updates to ensure you’re right in the loop.
So, let’s jump to the first thing we want to know: the advantages of signing up to Pianoforall. Here are a few pros:
Pianoforall provides content that engages both your visual and auditory senses. You get embedded audio and video lessons as well as interactive ebooks.
This is especially beneficial to beginners who aren’t versed in reading music yet as they can see and follow along with instructors. There are also gamified apps where you have fun while taking your lessons.
Learn by Popular Music
Another great feature worth mentioning is the music you learn. Pianoforall utilizes popular songs in its course, so you don’t have a hard time playing along.
Also, you’ll most likely enjoy a song you recognize more than some tune you haven’t heard anywhere before.
Pianoforall provides you with a detailed and organized copy of their curriculum. This way, you have enough information to learn piano on your own.
Pianoforall teaches you the piano by composing melodies, improvising, and hearing others play.
This style of learning is often ignored. However, it’s a great way for beginners to build a solid foundation in musicality.
With short small tasks to complete, you’ll get the impression that you’re becoming better at playing. This is a great confidence boost for beginners.
Learn to Play by Both Hands
Unlike the traditional setup where you learn to play with the right hand, Pianoforall teaches you to play with your left as well.
Now, to the other side of the coin. Here are some disadvantages of the Pianoforall program:
Avoids Reading Music
One of the objectives of every music school is to teach piano students to read music. It’s not the focus, true. But, it’s an essential tool to have if you’re going to play professionally.
However, Pianoforall allows you to improvise at every turn, even in books that rely on sheet music. This constant improvisation diminishes the drive to read music.
Lack of Focus on Technique
Traditional teachers are keen to remind students that posture, body movements, and general technique matter in music.
However, there’s an obvious loss of technique with Pianoforall. Of course, it doesn’t help that the course is online, but Pianoforall may need to address the issue in some way.
For instance, YouTubers teach technique and posture through their video lessons. Pianoforall can adopt that.
Many Unknown Markings
While the terminology and symbols covered in this program are sufficient for individuals who want to improvise, play songs by ear, or read sheet music, students who wish to advance may be bewildered by unfamiliar notations and symbols.
You can augment your course with material that teaches the terms and symbols of music notation if you’re one of these students.
Pianoforall Package Content
With your one-time payment of around $40, Pianoforall offers you nine ebooks (600 pages in total), 200 video lessons, and 500 audio clips and exercises.
Each ebook is specifically themed for one genre of music. These ebooks are completed sequentially, so you sort of master one skill and progress to another.
Let’s have a look at the ebooks and discuss their content. They are listed in the order as follows:
- Book #1: Party Time—Rhythm Style Piano
- Book #2: Blues & Rock N Roll
- Book #3: Chord Magic
- Book #4: Advanced Chords Made Easy
- Book #5: Ballad Style
- Book #6: All That Jazz & Blues
- Book #7: Advanced Blues & Fake Stride
- Book #8: Taming the Classics
- Book #9: Speed learning
Let’s not forget the bonus book as well; The Practice of Mindfulness. So now, let’s delve in.
First Book: Party Time—Rhythm Style Piano
This first book is mainly aimed at teaching you the basics of piano playing. At this stage, you’re assumed to have no knowledge of the piano or how to play the piano. You’ll learn everything from notes to piano chords and rhythms.
Next, you’ll begin playing a three-note chord. The importance of playing and hearing your music over understanding the basic theory is a recurring theme in this book. However, it does explain some theories, such as rhythm and musical notation.
Luckily, Pianoforall doesn’t bore you with too much detail at this stage. The goal here is to have you move along quickly from the basics.
You’ll have built a foundation to play rhythms from famous songs instead of spending time on rhythm exercises and naming chords.
Second Book: Blues & Rock N Roll
One great thing about the Pianoforall books is that you’ll have mastered 10 rhythms and 11 fundamental chords by the end of the first book.
The second book is more of a build-up. It emphasizes blue rhythms, which are centered on left-hand plays. This allows you to master playing with your left even before you learn to play with your right.
As you’ll discover, playing with your right hand comes easily and naturally, making it wasteful to focus on playing with it.
Even though it’s short compared with the first book, you’ll be able to play five iconic blue rhythms and 12-bar blues by the end.
Third Book: Chord Magic
This is where things get technical. The third book focuses on every single chord there is and its inversions.
You’ll learn certain mnemonic devices that are commonplace in the music world. Your piano teacher would likely use these devices to help beginners in music.
Pianoforall provides you with an all-chord memory trick that helps you meander a load of information easily. It also offers practice suggestions that reinforce your studies on the go.
And that’s not all.
The third book contains Cycle of Fifths and Fourths that give a comprehensive understanding of music structure and key synergy.
Fourth Book: Advanced Chords Made Easy
Just like the name suggests, this book provides you with tips and techniques for mastering difficult chords easily using a “magic formula.”
You’ll be challenged at this stage to create your composition based on a song inspired by the American musician Barry Manilow. Then, you move up to clustered and diminished chords.
This book also contains practice progressions to improve your ability to get your finger on the pulse. Then, you begin to dive deep, learning the style of the Beatles and playing their tunes.
Book Five: Ballad Style
The fifth book is a learning experience. It teaches you how to play ballad-themed music using a step-by-step method that allows you to compose your song.
The goal here is to teach you how to improvise with melody, left-hand pattern, and chord development ideas. Also, it’s to show you that you already have the imagination to do so.
This book also includes sheet music for several lovely ballads that you’ll undoubtedly enjoy performing.
Book Six: All That Jazz and Blues
This is one of the most challenging sections of the entire course, but it’s also the most educational. You’ll learn the blues scale, chords, and other blues intricacies.
You’ll then progress to play jazz, which can be complicated. However, this difficulty is averted by the blue scale lessons. It also teaches jazz piano in four distinct keys with exciting and engaging progressions.
Book six also includes several tips that push you to improvise while learning. Finally, as the course comes to a close, it explains quartal harmony and gives you a good knowledge about the seventh chords.
Book Seven: Advanced Blues and Fake Strides
Book Seven extends on the blues rhythms learned in Book Two by combining your advanced chord knowledge with new right-hand chord riffs. You’ll also master tremolo, slides, and turnarounds, which are all common blues elements.
The second section of this book covers both false and real stride piano, with the distinction being the length of the “stride” your hand is taking.
You get to put your newfound knowledge to good use with “the song you’ve been waiting for – The Entertainer,” bringing Book Seven to a close on a high note!
Book Eight: Taming the Classics
Book Eight starts with a summary of musical notation. You then build up with tips to master sheet notation.
This book is considered one of the most divisive components of Pianoforall. It favors a shorthand approach that involves cuing in on familiar chords and patterns and detecting flat and sharp notes.
The lesson then moves on to classic piano works by a variety of well-known composers, such as Beethoven. Plus, it includes all of the materials you’ll need to keep reading sheet music, pedaling, tone, as well as the option to choose the duration of practice.
Book Nine: Speed Learning
Now, the official last book. It covers arpeggios, scales, and triads, the first things you learn in a regular online piano course. In Pianoforall, they come last.
The book’s title alludes to the tactics you’ll use in your regular training to improve your piano skills. It includes mnemonics that you may apply right away, as well as several practice routines that you should memorize.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a solid grasp of key signatures, melodic patterns, seventh chords, triads, and other concepts.
Bonus Book: The Practice of Mindfulness
The bonus ebook isn’t specifically about the piano. However, it does feature advice on being more creative, focused, and mindful.
What Customers Say
Most reviews for Pianoforall are very positive, especially after the upgrade in 2013 and again in 2020. On Amazon, for instance, it has been rated 4.5 stars, and it doesn’t end there.
Many people have learned to play the piano well with Pianoforall. It’s hard to locate a single unhappy student among all the determined and eager piano beginners.
You can check out the Pianoforall website to read more testimonials.
Best Alternatives to Pianoforall
Many platforms give online piano lessons. The one you choose depends on how you want to learn. If you’re looking for a platform other than Pianoforall, here are a few alternatives:
- Flowkey – Foundations for All Ages
- Playground Sessions – The Popular Music Lover’s Pick
- Skoove – Quick Piano Foundations
- Pianote – Most Teacher Interaction.
Note that all these platforms are unique in their offerings, so you’ll have to know what suits you before picking one out.
How Long Will It Take to Finish the Pianoforall Curriculum?
There’s no cut-out duration for completing the Pianoforall curriculum, especially since you can learn at your own pace. However, you can become an intermediate player in under six months.
However, you’ve to factor in how many sessions you take a day and how fast you can learn. For example, spending 30 minutes a day for 80 days will give you a different result than spending two hours a day for 80 days.
Does Pianoforall Require Special software?
For Android, yes.
According to Pianoforall, the ebooks are available in EPUB3 format with embedded audio and video lessons.
To access and browse the ebooks on Windows or Android, all you need is Kotobee Reader. It’s a free ebook reader.
For MAC or IOS, the ebooks will open in your “Books” app, which is already installed on your device.
Are the Course Materials Printable?
Yes. You can choose to print out full books or sections. It’s entirely up to you.
Do I Always Need an Internet Connection to View My Courses?
No, you don’t need to be connected to the internet every time. Everything is accessible from your computer once you download Pianoforall.
Do the Downloads Take a Long Time?
You can download all of the books at once or one at a time. There’s no rule here.
Because the largest book file is only 180 MB, they download rather quickly. You’ll also have permanent access to the downloads page.
Piano or Keyboard? Where Should I Begin My Lessons?
The lessons can be used on either a piano or a keyboard.
Yet, beginners are encouraged to use a piano first before relying on complex keyboard functionalities.
Are Pianoforall Lessons Age-Specific?
Pianoforall appeals to people of all ages.
Adult beginners enjoy Pianoforall lessons because they learn rapidly, don’t have to practice as much, and don’t have to take years of lessons.
It’s also ideal for teenagers who want to study piano or keyboards in a fun way so they can play in a band or at school.
However, it isn’t intended for smaller children.
What Happens When I Lose All My Downloads?
You have nothing to worry about. All you need to do is send the Pianoforall team an email explaining your loss; then, you can redownload your courses.
Also, they come at no extra cost.
In this Pianoforall review, we’ve shown you that it’s a program that grows your talents from the ground up, giving you the foundation you need to play not only other people’s music but also your own.
However, Pianoforall, like any other instructional resource, will require some self-control and consistency in studies.