Learning the piano online in the comfort of your home is one of my favorite innovative products that is gaining popularity in the online market today.  When I noticed my daughter had a natural inclination towards music, we bought her a keyboard as a Christmas gift.  I did not think about piano lessons, I just figured, she can just have fun in the house with her keyboard, she’ll figure it out. She can start with the music book that the keyboard came with and that should keep her busy. One day, for the first time, I heard her playing this beautiful melody, and I was like, “wow, she’s finally learning from that book”, when I came down to give her thumbs up, she was playing this song using her iPad, so I checked it out.  I was like, WOW! Her iPad listens to her keyboard, and it’s teaching her how to follow and read the notes.  I was blown away.  So, to make the lengthy story short, when I saw the app price, it was a no brainier not to sign up.  For $150/year you have your own “piano teacher” at home 24/7? Heck, yeah!!!! Always do your research: After trying out this first piano learning app that she found online, a few months later I found her on a different piano app again. This time I got mad at her and told her we paid for the other app so she should use the one we paid for instead of wasting her time with some other free random piano app that she found online. After several times of catching her with this new piano learning app, I had enough; I investigated. Is the world now flooded with so many music learning apps online? When I saw the very first one, I thought it was a gift from heaven, so I signed up right there and then. Then I thought, if there are so many learning apps out there, did I pick the best one?  This triggered me to do some research. 2 years later, I wanted to write, document, and share this article with you.

Top 10 online piano apps

1. Simply Piano: 

Website: www.joytunes.com Price: 3 Month Subscription: $59.99 6 Month Subscription: $89.99 Yearly Subscription: $119.99

Not only that Simpy Piano won multiple awards such as the Apple’s Editor’s Choice Award, Parent’s Choice Award, or Best App award, the lessons on Simply Piano are just so laid out right that even a tiny kid can follow them easily.  This app will really make you feel that you can really learn to play the piano on your own.  With Simply Piano they structured your lessons from basic lessons to advanced.  You also have the option to focus on your lessons as a Soloist or focus on Chords. The app teaches some music theory, which is impressive considering it is only an app. You can definitely learn to read sheet music with this app.  They have a library of actual sheet music as well and you can start playing with them whenever you feel ready to tackle actual sheet music.   Simply Piano definitely made the piano learning convenient and easy. It gives you live feedback as you do the lessons. Even if you have never touched a keyboard in your life, with Simply Piano you will play the piano like a pro in no time. To get the most of your lessons it’s highly recommended to use a MIDI cable.

Pros: 1. Great at teaching you note reading 2. The app is smart and will tell you if you got the notes right or wrong during lessons 3. You can have up to 5 users per account as opposed to just one user. 4. You have access to their sisters products 5. Active community (private Facebook group) full of professional pianists and players at all levels. Cons: 1. No option to show lyrics on the sheet music 2. The App won’t let you skip ahead. You need to do your lessons to have access to more songs.

2. FlowKey

Website: www.flowkey.com Price: Per Month: $19.99 Three months: $38.99 Lifetime: $330

FlowKey can be downloaded in your Phone, Tablet and Computer.  The creator built the app around songs you want to play.   Within the app you can also filter your settings to only show the songs you like. It’s easy to navigate through the app.  Similar with all other apps, the lessons are organized between Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Pro. Another thing I like about Flowkey is being able to highlight certain parts of the song and have the app play just that part over and over.   This is especially good if you are struggling with certain parts of your lessons.  The downside on the app is it doesn’t have a metronome.  A metronome is important to play in the right Rhythm. You also have support available anytime it’s a chat option at the right side of the screen and they are responsive. You can listen to the song before you play it, which is neat. The app also teaches piano posture, how to position your handFree trial is available for you to try out the app.

Pros: 1. Has option to preview and listen to the songs before starting your lessons 2. The App will show an actual hand and keyboard playing the notes as you do your lessons. 3. App is customizable, you can highlight certain parts of the song and have the app just play that part. 4. App listens to your keyboard 5. Easy to navigate around the app Cons: 1. When you want to slow down the tempo, it doesn’t sound pretty. 2. No metronome feature so you have to rely on the cursor to make sure you have the right rhythm.

3. Skoove

Website: www.skoove.com Price: 12 Month Subscription: $9.99/month Month to month: $13.33/month

Skoove is a web-based piano method which is great because you can do your lessons using your desktop. There is no need to download anything, you just log in to the Skoove website and start your lessons in the “courses” tab,  However, they have apps available as well if you prefer this option and it is easy to download. The microphone in your computer or IOS device will be the key to do your lessons and for a better experience use a MIDI cable to connect your device and keyboard. Like all the other piano learning apps, the platform listens to your keyboard as you do your lessons. Skoove lessons are organized by Beginner, Intermediate and Advance.  I also like that the platform shows a hand and keyboard underneath to demonstrate how the fingers should look. They also offer a free trial which is great for you to test the product if it will work for you.

  Pros: 1. You can do your lessons through a desktop 2. Good at teaching sheet music 3. Available in multiple languages (currently six different languages) 4. Teaches good piano posture 5. Easy to use Cons: 1. App doesn’t recognize rhythm.  Only focuses on if you pressed the right note or not 2. Sheet music are short versions of songs.

4. Yousician

Website: www.yousician.com Price: Yearly Subscription: $119.99 1 instrument or $179 for all instruments Month to month: $14.99 1 instrument or $19.99 for all instruments

Yousician is an app not only designed for learning to play the piano but also other instruments such as Guitar, Bass, Ukulele and even Voice. You can also easily switch between instruments as well. As you can see on the price above, picking multiple instruments is more expensive. When you download the app, there’s a setup process where you answer a few questions about your level of expertise.  The setup is easy to follow. The guided lessons are easy to follow as well. New lessons will unlock as you finish previous lessons.  If you choose guitar you are then taken to a different screen to tune your guitar before starting the lesson. The app is also available to use on your desktop.

Pros: 1. Option to play with other instruments 2. Easy setup 3. Competition with other members within the app helps with motivation. 4. Game lesson format is fun 5. Lots of song choices Cons: 1. Can’t print sheet music 2. Does not detect note duration.

5. Piano Marvel

Website: www.pianomarvel.com Price: $15.99/month or $110.99/Year

Piano Marvel is available in PC, Mac computers or Ipad.  Compared to other traditional piano learning app, piano marvel teaches more advanced techniques and has more classical pieces.  This platform were originally designed as an additional aid for a traditional piano lesson with a piano teacher so some of the resources may be confusing as they may be made for teachers.  With that, the app will not teach you proper posture or hand position since the idea is that you already have an in person piano teacher that teaches you these important things. The company continues to update the platform to make it more user friendly.

Pros: 1. Teaches notes duration 2. Original sheet music that you can print 3. Ear training 4. Teaches sheet music symbols 5. Teaches advanced music theory Cons: 1. Can be confusing for beginners 2. If you are more like a pop music person, this isn’t for you

6. Playground Sessions

Website:playgroundsessions.com Price: Yearly Subscription: $9.99/Month 3 Months Subscription: $14.99/month

You’ve probably seen Harry Connick Jr. saying if you’ve lift up a piano or keyboard in the past and been intimated, he will fix it for you at playground sessions. Yes, he will be your “virtual teacher” within this platform. The lessons have 3 levels, the Rookie, Intermediate and Advanced. The Rookie level has 84 lessons, it will start with Harry Connie Jr. introducing you finger numbers, proper posture and hand position.  After this introduction you will begin your lessons where you learn to read notes on the staff and playing them on the piano.  The intermediate level has 61 lessons where you will be taught the major and minor chords, chord progressions and inversions. The advanced level has 21 lessons covering some advance music theories such as dotted rhythms, 16th notes, arpeggios, dominant seventh and some improvisation.  The platform has a comprehensive library of songs as well, however you will have to buy some of them ofor $1.99 each since the lifetime membership only gets you 40 free songs. Each song that you get comes with an interactive sheet music which you can print.  However, printing is only limited for up to 3 prints. Christmas carols and classical pieces are free.

 Pros:
  1. Lots of popular songs
  2. Customizable platform
  3. Game type of lessons
  4. Teaches some improvisation
  5. Interactive lessons
Cons
  1. Does not work for acoustic piano
  2. Not very much into techniques and music theory

7. Gismart Piano

Website: gismart.com Price: Free

Gismart piano app is worth checking out.  It’s a free app, and it teaches you the basics of piano playing. You need not own your own keyboard with this app.  It is a touch screen where you would use your touch screen device to play the piano.  It’s like you have your own real 88 keys keyboard except it’s on your screen.  The 3D feature makes playing the piano on your phone feel you are playing on an actual piano. The app was developed by professional musicians and it is well thought out based on the realistic features and interface. It has loads of tutorials in the app and they are easy to follow and learn. You can also choose other instruments as accordion, pipe organ, grand piano or harpsichord. Users can also play chords and nodes using a dual keyboard. Gismart Piano is only available for iOS devices.

Pros:
  1. It’s a free app, and can’t beat the price.
  2. You don’t need to buy a keyboard
  3. Tutorials in the app are great
  4. 3D touch makes it feel like you are playing on an actual 88 key piano
  5. Good features
Cons
  1. You are not playing an actual piano
  2. App size is big, will take up a lot of space on your storage

8. Piano Maestro

Website: www.joytunes.com Price: $9.99/month $59.99/Year

Piano Maestro is another product by JoyTunes.   The app design is very attractive and have a fun look.  It is appealing and great to motivate kids to play. A lot of piano teachers uses this app and students can enter their teachers code to gain free access to the app.  However, anyone can purchase the app and use it on their own.  The app has three groups the Journey, Library and Home Challenge.  Journey has 38 chapters that teaches you about notes, basic music theory and other skills like playing with both hands. Library is where all the songs and exercises can be browsed.  In the Home challenge section is where a piano teacher can assign activity or home practices to their students.  It is great for the teachers to see progress of their students within the app.  The app rewards feature is great as it motivates kids to keep on doing their lessons.

Pros:
  1. Fund interactive learning lesson is appealing
  2. Rewards feature motivates kids to keep using the app
  3. Doesn’t just listen to notes you play but score your timing and tempo as well
  4. Lots of song selections
  5. You piano teacher can see your progress and can assign you homework through the app
Cons:
  1. Like all the other app, it doesn’t go deep into music theory
  2. App design is geared more towards kids.

9. Piano Academy

Website: www.pianoacademy.app Price: Monthly: 15.99/month Yearly: 119.99/Year

Piano academy teaches you piano lessons through video tutorials teaching you music theory such as notes, the staff, chords, and much more.  This is an app for all levels whether you have not touched a piano in your life or you want to brush up and continue practicing your favorite songs. The app can also listen to your piano and can listen to the notes you play and will give you instant feedback if you pressed the correct note or not. The app also teaches hearing training, hand coordination and rhythm. They have a good mix of song selection from classical to contemporary hit songs.  The app teaches how to play chords as well. There are fun piano games designed to stimulate your musical hearing and continue learning coordination and all other basic piano skills.  Piano Academy was created by Yokee.

Pros:
  1. App listens to your device and gives instant feedback
  2. Fun games are used in the lessons
  3. Easy to navigate through the app
  4. Good song selections
  5. Good for all levels
Cons
  1. No warm up before starting your lessons
  2. No option to slow down or speed up

10. Pianoforall

Website: pianoforall.com Price: Lifetime membership $39

Pianoforall is a little different from the typical piano learning app listed above, but I’ve added it to my top10 list because of its popularity.  The platform was founded by Robin Hall and it has over 250,000 students.   What you get with your lifetime membership are 10 ebooks plus 200 video lessons embedded in the e-book.  The videos will show Robin Hall teaching each lesson on the lower side of the keyboard while an animated keyboard above shows you which notes he is playing.  The platform works with a desktop (PC or MAC) and Ipad or phone (IOS or Android).  If you are using the desktop (PC or MAC), you need to have Flash Player or adobe reader installed as there are video and audio clips in the e-books. If you will use IPAD or iPhone, you will need to download the Readdle Documents app. Android device requires the AZPDF Reader Lite app. The setup can be tricky, but their website has a dedicated section where you will find step-by-step instructions and links for the apps you’ll need.

Pros:
  1. Lifetime membership
  2. Have animated keyboard
  3. Tutorial videos
  4. Works with desktop
  5. You will feel you have a one-on-one instructor – Robin Hall
Cons:
  1. Does not listen to your keyboard
  2. No MIDI option
I hope you find this article helpful, there are no more excuses not to learn the piano these days.  With these amazing technologies you can learn to play the piano anywhere even with a tight budget. MIDI Cable is a must have cable when you use these online piano lesson apps. It makes your lesson and experience easy. You can find a decent MIDI cable at amazon for only $15. I thought all along we were fine without a MIDI cable and yes; we could do our lessons fine without it, and we did for a year. But when I tried the cable “just for fun” I am now kicking myself why I did not get it since day one. I wrote an entire article about our experience with the MIDI cable, Check it out here. Please leave us a few comments below if you find this article helpful.  And we are open for any suggestions as well. Cheers Jen & Bree