People have different suggestions on the best way to learn the piano. You could sign up for subsidized lessons at a community center, buy a piano with light-up keys and pre-recorded songs that you can easily follow along, or learn to play your favorite song by ear.
It may also be useful to teach yourself a little music theory, get a few song sheets, or an affordable sight-reading tutor. All these techniques are included in piano training apps. So as you decide on the best online piano lessons for you, you’ll be looking at the price and features.
It’s also useful to distinguish ‘live’ online lessons from websites or apps. A good piano training product will have all three aspects. But web-based lessons need a real-time connection. Some apps need constant web access too, even after you download them onto your computer, keyboard, or smart device. But some do have offline modes when you have no internet access.
Think about how easy the app is to use, availability, and compatibility with your existing musical instruments and smart devices. Some may need plug-ins. Free online lessons sometimes use a freemium model, so check that you don’t get accidentally billed at the end of your ‘free trial’.
If your online lessons are website-based rather than downloaded, you may need a MIDI keyboard to use all the features. Pianu works well with MIDI and uses a light-up key system to train you via 20 interactive piano lessons. It teaches music theory and sight-reading too.
Online piano training apps are only as good as their libraries. If they don’t have adequate files for sheet music, song demos, and pre-recorded tones, you’ll have to seek these externally, which costs you time and money. Playground Sessions’ library is well-stocked and you can buy extra songs. The software has gamified lessons, music theory classes, and celebrity endorsement.
The Flowkey software was developed in partnership with Yamaha, so it comes as a free limited-time subscription when you buy many digital Yamaha models. You can get Flowkey as a free option, monthly subscription, or one-time purchase. It’s helpful because it’s interactive. Select a song on your screen and you’ll see both the score and the finger positions on a lit-up keyboard.
4. Piano Marvel
Many of the best online piano lessons begin with basic fingering techniques. Piano Marvel takes a different approach by letting you learn at your preferred pace. You can study in ‘Prepare Mode’ which lights up the notes on your sheet music as you play them, so you can practice slowly. You can use SASR mode to enhance sight-reading and ‘Assessment Mode’ to correct learning errors.
You may have seen Lisa Witt’s platinum pixie cut on YouTube without realizing she gives deeper online lessons too. Unlike other online piano lessons that take the form of downloadable apps, Pianote is built around a website and structured as a membership format. You get video lessons, song sheets, and one-on-one support from human teachers, so it’s a lot more than AI.
The one-time fee for this piano system is cheaper than the weekly or monthly subscriptions from rival online piano classes. But is this affordability backed by quality? Well, the package has over 200 song videos to train you in chords, rhythm, and pacing. A lit-up demo keyboard guides you as you play. Some musicians have used this system for nearly a decade and they still swear by it.
Piano apps and online lessons are meant to make music classes easier and cheaper. Some try to eliminate the human element, but the best virtual lessons retain at least some form of human contact. Skoove does this by breaking down complex songs into beginner-level video lessons. And it focuses pop songs so it stays relevant for contemporary learners.
8. Artist Works
This web-based music site offers video lessons from three top pianists. The lessons are categorized by the tutor’s chosen genre – jazz, classical, or pop. You get practice tips, piano drills, and more. The course uses a system called Video Exchange Learning. It’s interactive, meaning you can record practice for your teacher and they’ll send you personal video responses.
A lot of people gave up on piano as kids because their teachers traumatized them. The advantage of seeking the best online piano lessons is you can scroll through thousands of teachers via free YouTube videos and other demos. Willie woos you with his free piano book and offers genre-based lessons on his membership site. He’s especially good at jazz and blues piano.
10. Rocket Piano
Online piano lessons have been around for a while. So if you see one with a surprisingly low price, check for upgrades before you buy. For example, the initial cost for Rocket Piano was under $50, but it may cost more now. It comes with games, song sheets, piano drills, and more. It’s not strictly online though – you can buy a pack that has videos, MP3s, PDFs, and software.
Sounds promising, doesn’t it? Especially because the first two weeks are a free trial, so if you keep up with your practice, you’re essentially only buying 2 weeks of lessons that you can then use forever. The catch is it’s a membership website so you can only access your video lessons while you’re logged in. But you get live chat support from tutors and technicians, so that helps.
A lot of online lessons can be linked to a digital piano using MIDI cables and systems. Music2Me is a website-based membership site, so it won’t work with MIDI. Instead, it’s pre-loaded with interactive video lessons. On their sheet music, fingering is numbered to help you learn.
Udemy is an aggregate site that hosts lots of different lesson types, from yoga to app-building. So if you opt to learn on Udemy, you’d still have to look through their listings to find hundreds of the best online piano lessons available. Some sessions are free while others charge subscriptions.
YouTube is a good resource for free piano classes. Many of the best online piano lessons have YouTube channels that offer free lesson aids. But some channels are comprehensive music schools, such as this one by Andrew Furmanczyk. Start with theory then move to piano.
15. Mangold Project
Mangold offers comprehensive piano lessons with topics like how to read sheet music, playing musical ornaments, or imitating the style of famous virtuosos. The channel is conveniently arranged into playlists that focus on genres, chords, or quickie theory tips and tricks.
The channel is run by piano teacher Timothy Wurm. He sells paid lesson packages and teaches via Udemy, but if you want to quickly polish an aspect of your piano playing, you can check out his conveniently titled YouTube videos for free. He teaches specific songs and techniques too.
17. Piano Couture
The guiding principle for YouTubers seems to be ‘upload and they will view’. But with so many piano tutorials, it can be hard settling on just one. Coen Modder’s lessons focus on tutorials for specific songs rather than piano-playing in general, but his playlists are helpfully organized by level (easy, intermediate, advanced), genre, and even ‘crossover’ guitar songs for piano.
18. Music Notes
Anytime a pop song becomes a hit, YouTube musicians post covers and playing guides. But some pianists would rather learn from the original sheets. They don’t want substituted chords played by ear. The Music Notes app has more than 400,000 scores and arrangements. These sheets can be printed, annotated, transposed, and played back, but the app has no actual lessons.
19. Piano Academy
This app is available for Android and Apple, and you can start using it right on your phone or smart device. It has a touch keyboard so you can practice on the screen, or you can use MIDI to link it to a digital piano. You get a personal instructor with video tutorials. You also get instant assessments using the app’s AI to spot and correct your errors. It has sheet music lessons as well.
20. Perfect Piano
Perfect Piano is compatible with Apple and Android so you can download it from your app stores. You can also order the software pack on Amazon. The app contains an 88-key piano simulator. You can connect the app to your digital synth via MIDI. The app lets you interact, learn from, and compete against other online pianists through weekly challenges.
21. Note Rush
Reading sheet music is an important part of professional piano playing, so technically, this app is among the best online piano lessons. It ‘listens’ the notes you using your smart device mic. It follows these notes on the score so you can visually train your ‘sight-reading muscles’. It has timed exercises for learners, and you can choose ‘student mode’ to play songs slower.
22. Simply Piano
Joy Tunes developed this app, and offer free subscriptions when you buy selected digital piano models. It cuts across both Apple and Android and has various courses built-in. You get the first two courses free. It uses your device mic to detect notes and compare them against the app’s sheet music and course-correct your playing. You don’t need MIDI cables – just internet access.
23. Online Pianist
You get a lot from this app. It lets you download animated piano tutorials to your device, adding five fresh songs to the library every week. The built-in virtual piano lets you practice anywhere, anytime. You can also click through chords and scales to rehearse your fingering. Remember that while the web-based virtual piano has 88 keys, the mobile version only has 5 octaves.
24. Yokee Piano
You’ve heard of social drinkers and social smokers – meaning they only indulge in the presence of company. So if you’re the kind of musician that needs jam sessions to keep you interested, Yokee lets you take piano challenges with backing tracks and post them on social media. It adds new song tutorials every day and you get real-time feedback both from tutors and other users.
An interactive music app from Finland, this online piano trainer takes you through everything from tuning and scales to fingering and sheet music. The app has pre-set lessons you can follow and you get feedback on your improvements and errors. There’s a free version and a premium one. Both have virtual color-coded keyboards and you can use ‘practice mode’ for slower demos.
26. Piano Fastlane
Marketed as the most popular piano course on Udemy, Piano Fastlane is a one-time purchase you can use for life. The course has 30+ video lessons and 90+ downloads. You can access your lessons via smart TV or mobile and if you’re lucky, you can get deep discounts at flash sales. It teaches music theory including sight-reading. It also covers playing by ear and various genres.
Still, on Udemy, Arthur Bird offers quick lessons in blues and jazz for learners with no musical background. You don’t have to read music to take his course, which helps because jazz and blues are largely improvised. It’s a smaller course with 4 hours of video and 25 downloads. Lessons focus on acquiring speed, flair, and rhythm as you advance your skills in 12-bar-blues.
These days, kids pick up internet devices almost as soon as they’re born! So it’s not weird to teach your toddlers the piano using and app. And this one is specifically designed for kids aged 3 and younger. It playfully teaches them to read and play music using granny’s dust shapes they have to ‘whack off the screen’. You can use a smartphone or link it to a MIDI digital device.
The best online piano lessons use gamification techniques to keep us hooked. In this way, they ensure consistent piano practice. They make the piano fun, so you keep rehearsing. This app includes a virtual piano with 8 octaves, 8 skins, sampled sounds, and playback options.
30. Perfect Ear
Pianists can either play by ear or read sheet music. The best pianists can do both, so here’s an app to train your ear. It teaches you to spot chords, keys, rhythms, and other musical features so you can mimic them on demand. It uses the solfege/solfeggio method of solfa notation.
If you’re looking for a versatile piano app, this last one on our list is among the best online piano lessons – hence its name. You can use it as a virtual piano, engage learning mode for slower pacing, or use the built-in recorder to save your compositions. The app lights up keys in sets of 10 or 24 and you can move your set up or down the keyboard by octaves. It comes in Polish too.
What online lessons are you using right now? Is it an app or a website? Tell us in the comments!