Are you looking for the best online piano lessons?
Then you have probably googled it and felt lost in the list of various lessons available.
Which ones are really good for beginners?
How much they cost?
How do I learn with these methods?
Are they as good as a real teacher?
What equipment do I need?
OK, ok, relax, I will go through these question (and more!) in this article.
I will do even more than that.
I have selected the best online piano lessons so you can compare and find what is best for you.
If you are looking to buy a piano or an electronic keyboard, read my guide to choosing the right piano or keyboard for you.
But, first how do you learn piano with an online lesson or an app?
I mean, you are alone in front of your piano. You have a laptop, a tablet, or a phone at hand.
How does it work?
Once you have downloaded the files or logged into the website, you will have a curriculum you can follow.
Usually, you will have access to a series of lessons with a progression in difficulty, as well as songs that you can learn and practice.
The methods and the materials are different though.
You may have a keyboard view together with the musical notation (as in flowkey) with a highlight on the keys you have to press. Or simply the music sheet itself with the highlight on the notes.
Or on the contrary, no music sheet (at least for the beginning lessons) and a keyboard view showing you how to play.
Nothing comparable to a real teacher of course. But using the microphone of your device (laptop, phone, tablet) or a MIDI keyboard, the software will detect if you play the rights notes at the right moment. Or even wait for you to play the notes before going to the next when you are discovering the song (flowkey).
The pedagogical approach differs also, you will find online piano lessons following a classical linear way of teaching (flowkey). Reading music sheets, rhythm exercises, scales, and chords.
Others change the rules by focusing on chords and ear learning (Pianoin21days, Pianoforall). These can help you playing full songs on the piano much faster. And even teach you how to improvise, a good step towards music creation.
On the technical side, these methods rely either on web browser software, interactive ebooks you can use offline or apps you have to install.
This means that you will have to be connected on your device (except for Pianoforall and HomeSchoolPiano which work offline).
How to choose the digital piano lesson which will work for you?
“Ok, thanks, very helpful advice” you will say.
Ok, ok, just kidding, I will help you a bit more than that!
But first, don’t forget your WHY and your GOAL.
(Read my complete guide on how to learn the piano if you haven’t yet)
Don’t get tempted by a method with a nicer interface if it doesn’t teach the style you want to learn for instance.
If you want to play classical pieces, be aware that you will almost surely need to learn how to read music sheets and be good at sight-reading (reading notes on the fly while you play the piano).
You may start to learn the foundations with other methods, but you will eventually have to go for it.
Some piano methods are very complete, up to a “professional” level (it needs more than a good method to become professional though).
Others are good for kickstarting your learning but you will probably want to find elsewhere a method to get you to the next level.
So, this being said, let’s see what are the criteria to check to make your choice.
- Mobile friendly? do you need a computer?
- Online only? do you need to be connected?
- Accessible for complete beginners?
- What level you may reach? is it a full curriculum up to a professional level or just to get started?
- How many lessons and songs? do you actually learn songs or only techniques?
- Interactivity? is the software detect the notes you play to give you feedback?
- Human feedback? can you actually communicate with a teacher?
- Community support? are there other users to exchange with?
- Styles of music covered?
- Payment type? a one-time payment or recurring monthly subscription?
- Extra fees? is everything included in the price?
- Free lessons/trials? can you give a try to the method before buying it?
- Technical support? if you are stuck in front of your screen, can you get help? and how?
Let’s have a look in more detail for each method and how they respond (or not) to the above criteria.
What are the best online piano lessons in 2021?
There are plenty of different piano lessons online and it is quite overwhelming to pick one amongst all of them.
To help you with that, I tried a number of them and I summarized all you need to know about the best ones I could find. (The best is, of course, a bit subjective and depends on your goal as we discussed earlier!)
Now let’s get into more details for each of them!
1. Pianoforall: efficient, cheap and offline
Since I don’t fear contradictions, I start with an offline piano method!
But it is a digital method which has a very good place in this article because it is very efficient to teach you how to play the piano fast.
And even learn how to improvise on the piano in a few weeks, I was impressed!
I think that this method is very good to quit with the frustration of long sessions on the piano without enjoying to play your favorite songs.
This method doesn’t require learning how to read the music sheets (even if you will learn this later on using this method).
Indeed, the idea behind this method is quite innovative.
It uses the combination of keyboard diagrams, musical notation, audio, and video. So you learn by visual and aural association.
You will be in complete immersion and integrate much more quickly into the lessons.
Then your brain does the connections by itself!
You devote a little bit of time each day, and you will experience massive progress very soon.
In only a few days, you will play your first song, so easily and naturally.
On the downside, the interface might seem a bit outdated (but still more engaging than traditional piano methods!). But I like that it is clean and simple.
Also, there is not a lot of music theory addressed here, so if you want to play classical music, you will have to complete your training with another method.
And it doesn’t give you access to a library of songs directly (even if you will be able to play lots of songs quickly).
You can find an example lessons below to get a better idea of how it works.
2. Flowkey: the best to learn songs and good fundamentals in music
Flowkey is an online only piano method, offering a complete curriculum with easy access to a large collection of songs in a very broad range of style.
During the lessons, you can have a instant feedback through a note detection feature, using MIDI input or a microphone.
You have three interesting modes to learn a song: wait mode, where the software waits for you to press the right note, 50% speed and 75% speed. You can also choose which hand to work.
All the features are integrated in a well-designed and very pleasant to use interface.
On the downside, you won’t find a comprehensive course on music theory here. It is mainly focused on playing. But you can certainly reach a high-level skill in piano playing with a large repertoire if you use this method.
Since you can have a free try, I strongly recommend that you do for it and see if it is what you expect.
But if you want to learn quickly how to play songs while learning fundamentals in music reading and theory, I bet you will like it!
3. Skoove: the funniest and easiest to get started
Amazingly entertaining and superbely well presented and easy.
Even if I have quite some years of piano and music behind me, I was caught doing all the beginner lessons! So enjoying.
And it makes music so accessible.
In less than one hour, you are playing a first song, with two hands and a good quality band playing together. While learning smoothly how to read music sheets.
I was totally blown.
So much fun, so engaging. And you can play with a computer keyboard if you don’t have yet a piano or musical keyboard.
The interface is just beautifull and very well designed. You will be efficiently guided in your learning. Quite impressive!
But of course, it is not perfect. The main thing is that its curriculum is quite limited. You may reach an intermediate level but not more. It is really dedicated to complete beginners (which is good).
Whatever you current level, just try it, it is so fun!
4. Pianote: video-based course with human feedback
This piano course can be seen as an online video version of a traditional course, but with interesting extra features.
The lessons are all video-based, not software-based.
The videos are engaging and encouraging. You will certainly enjoy the video lessons if you go for this solution.
Just an example, a lesson to play a cover of Bohemian Rapsody by Queen:
Hint: go to check on Youtube where you will find plenty of videos, free lessons. It will give you a good idea of what is inside before you buy it.
With weekly live lessons from a teacher, plus personal review and feedback.
A feature which is not easily found in other methods.
This human feedback is complemented by a live community, allowing to interact directly with teachers but also other students.
This way you are never alone with your piano or keyboard and get regular support.
I would like to mention also an interesting offer with 3 bonus training packs: one aiming to help you play 500 songs in 5 days, one for developing faster fingers, and the last for improving your sight-reading.
5. Jazzedge: the most complete online piano course
This piano course follows a very complete traditional curriculum, with the potential to reach a high skill level on the piano.
Contrarily to what the name says, it is not restricted to jazz music and covers a full range of styles. But if you are into jazz, it is certainly the best method around.
It is video-based and you can find a good list of examples lessons at various levels on Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V26CdqJ-bxM
I think that this method has great potential and is very complete as it is claimed on their website.
You can also have coaching sessions directly with Willie, an engaging teacher with a long (20 years) experience in online teaching.
The quality of the lessons is very good to my opinion.
Willie knows how to teach for sure!
But, it has undergone some re-organization recently and it is still a bit confusing for now.
There are several mini-sites under the same Jazzedge umbrella:
- No Bull Piano which is a more focused “light” version of Jazzedge,
- HomeSchoolPiano (reviewed also here) a separate site more focused on beginners,
- and more dedicated sites such as a Summer Piano jam on blues improvisation.
You will also find a lot of links and reviews on PianowithWillie which not available anymore but totally included in Jazzedge.
So, for absolute beginners, I will advice to check the HomeSchoolPiano method.
I suggest that you request free access to the 30-days piano playbook.: a series of beginner lessons that will teach you some fundamentals.
6. Playground Sessions: a well-integrated piano course
OK, I’ve got a problem with them.
This is a personal view but I have some problems with all the self-claims made around this method: #1 online method, best piano learning app, celebrities… a bit too much ego-centered for me.
Moreover their marketing strategy is not very ethical…
But let’s focus on the content. It is a good quality product (that’s why I review it despite my personal opinion), allowing instant feedback with a MIDI keyboard (they sell convenient keyboard+subscription bundles if you don’t have already one).
This piano method is based on videos as well as an app for Windows, MacOS and iOs.
They also propose bootcamps and games which are great to increase your engagement and keep you on tracks during your piano learning journey.
You can see an example of beginner lesson here:
7. PianoMarvel: a complete and engaging online course
Pianomarvel offers an impressive list of lessons (100+), exercises (1200+), and songs (2000+), accessible online, or with an iOs app.
Altogether it is a strong piano curriculum up to pro level.
It covers a broad range of music styles, from classical music to movie songs.
Read my complete review of PianoMarvel here.
This method has particularly interesting features such as a dedicated sight-reading assessment system to help you with this difficult aspect of traditional piano lessons.
And there is a MIDI detection of notes if you have a digital piano or a musical keyboard.
They also help you being engaged with games and progress tracking features. Although the “trophy” may be more enjoyable to young learners.
You can try the free lessons and use the premium paid features for free for 30 days (unusual on the market!).
Give it a try at no risk!
Also, I have good news for you!
As a member of my tribe, you will get a special discount of $3 per month on the premium account if you use this code: guide2music!
Or you can directly use this link.
On the downside, I find the teaching quite traditional which may require more time to be able to play simple songs.
And the interface is a bit outdated.
8. Artistwork: private online piano lessons from masters
This method proposes 3 different (and separate) courses: classical, jazz or pop. Each one with a dedicated high-class teacher who is a renowned professional musician. As their slogan say: “learn with the masters”!
You can get to a high level of piano skills, following a traditional way of teaching. In fact, it is similar to private online piano lessons, but with a master pianist.
This means that you will have to be patient and dedicated before you are able to play a full song. Efficient in the long term, but maybe not for everybody.
Watch this nice presentation by George Whitty to give you more insights:
It is important to mention though that when you sign up for a subscription, it’s for only one specific course from the 3 proposed. If you want to learn from another teacher, you have to pay all over again.
And there are extra fees to buy the booklets (as you would have for a traditional private piano lesson).
I have got good news for you: as my readers, you can get a special discount of $80 (!) on one-year plans using this link!
9. HomeSchoolPiano: the complete beginner solution
As mentioned above, this is a mini-site under the umbrella of Jazzedge, but working independently.
The course offers a well-integrated curriculum providing all you need to get started in your piano learning journey: technique, rhythm, and ear training, music reading, and even improvisation.
The main idea is to propose a complete environment for very beginners, accessible for the whole family.
An interesting technical note: you can download the video and audio files for offline access. And get printed workbook and DVD.
You can watch a presentation of this method here:
Of course, due to its own purpose, this method is limited on the level of skill you will reach.
And there isn’t any feedback possible, you are left alone with your course and your piano (and if it is for your children, you have to know the piano yourself to help them).
10. LearnPianoin30days: a risk-free beginner course to try
This piano lesson is dedicated to making you play the piano in 30 days. As simple as that.
To be more realistic, you can get all it needs to play a not-too-difficult song in 30 days. Except if you are already more advanced. But anyways, you won’t be able to “master” the piano as it is claimed. Except if you practice daily for 30 years, not days.
Even if it is not the most complete piano curriculum around, it offers a lot: 100+ of videos, audio files, and printable music sheets. And more than 500 songs with new additions regularly.
From their testimonials and other reviews I could find, it is quite efficient. Despite the quite outdated interface.
And you can get a full trial for 14 days for only $1, thus you can give it a try at no risk. They also offer a full refund for 60 days, so you should be able to already play a song at that time.
11. HearandPlay: learn by ear
This is an unusual method compared to others. As the name says, you will learn only by ear, no music sheets.
The main component is a software (Mac, PC) allowing to load or download from the app any MIDI file. It then shows you which keys to play, along with additional instruments acting like a band if your file is multi-instrumental
It is quite focused on Gospel, but you can get modules for Jazz and Salsa.
I quite enjoyed following a few lessons (friendly and fun teacher) and impressed by the software which allows us to directly browse and play any MIDI file.
Take a free lesson here:
On the downside, you have to buy several products to take the whole benefit of this method.
Also, you won’t have a full musical education since it is only focused on ear-learning.
And the range of music styles is very limited.
But if you want to play gospel, go for it! And start by signing up for free lessons.
Other methods on the market dismissed from my selection here:
There are other online piano lessons around or piano apps of course. I have reviewed here the most interesting courses in my opinion, but you will maybe find the following methods if you search on the Internet.
Here is some information on them if you are interested in more alternatives.
It could have been an interesting option to start to get some basic but little information is available on what the method offers.
I could only get the price: 3 different packages to offer to range from $97 to $497.
Expensive for a limited offer.
Because I am quite convinced that you will be able to play songs in 21 days with basic chords and scales, but then, what do you do? You won’t go very far.
And you will end up buying other methods?
Similarities with Skoove, but with a cheap and low-quality interface and audio, without enough explanation.
It can be fun to play with the computer keyboard or a MIDI keyboard, but I am not convinced by the interface and the pedagogical content.
Pretty limited in what you can learn also.
A traditional way of teaching piano through books, videos, and audio, but quite outdated. Better options here, even for the same price.
A simple method based on high-quality video lessons. Quite limited compared to the full curriculum offered by other online piano methods, and for a higher price ($58).
OK, we have listed and reviewed here what I think are the best online piano lessons (and a couple offline too) and I hope you have now a better idea of which one you want to go with.
In my opinion, the top 3 online piano lessons for beginners are:
Since the majority of them offer free lessons (sometimes quite limited), and a good money-back guarantee, you can virtually try any of these risk-free.
If you still have trouble choosing, select the 3 top ones and give them a try for a few days. See how you feel and if you enjoy the content, the interface, the teachers.
And then, go for it fully, consistently for at least 4 weeks (ideally before the guarantee expires) before giving your final judgment.
Of course, in the meantime, I am here to help you my best!
If you want to learn quickly how to play piano chords, checkout our guide.
If you are looking for your first or a new piano or keyboard, read this guide.