Are online piano lessons a good option for your kid? If so, what’s the best way to learn to play piano online for kids?
These are things I personally wondered about since the first time my daughter showed interest in playing a keyboard. (She’s 8 now and I take lessons with her!)
We love our lessons now but it wasn’t always the case. There was a time I considered having her learn to play piano online.
Why? As she gets older, life is harder to schedule. More activities means less open slots for piano lessons.
So I researched the pros and cons of online piano lessons for kids. And, I’m sharing my results with you here.
Read on to find out what I learned.
- The Pros Of Online Piano Lessons For Kids
- The Cons Of Online Piano Lessons For Children
- Free Sites to Learn Piano Online For Kids
- The Best Online Piano Lessons For Kids
- Are Apps a Better Way to Learn to Play Piano Online for Kids?
- After a Lot of Research, Here’s What I Decided
- And Now, Here’s What I Recommend
- Closing Thoughts
The Pros Of Online Piano Lessons For Kids
Let’s start with the advantages and benefits of online piano lessons for kids:
1. No Firm Schedule for You to Have to Keep
For starters, your kid can learn to play the piano when it’s convenient. Anytime they’re free and willing to practice, they can do so.
As a parent, you might love not having to drive them to lessons and back, especially if you’re in a rural area.
2. There Are Lots of Different Ways to Take Lessons
The Internet has millions of different resources available.
Lessons are available through video and text tutorials, graphics, e-books, and even discussion forums. There are many expert piano professionals sharing what they know through video libraries and websites.
You can also find specific genres, songs, and techniques to try out.
3. They Are Probably Cheaper
If you’re looking to save money (and who isn’t?), there is an abundance of free options available to your family.
Premium memberships are out there, and discussed later, but they’re not always necessary. It depends on your goals for your kid.
4. Course and Methods Are Updated Frequently
Online resources get updated a lot more frequently.
Online lessons are going to feature the latest methodologies and trends far faster than physical manuals or books. You also won’t be locked in to a teacher who only has one way to teach.
5. You Can Backtrack to Previous Lessons if You Forget Something.
If there is any step that you don’t remember or master immediately, you can revert back a step or two. It’s easy to go back and repeat a lesson.
Kids can proceed at their own pace. In fact, if they’re not using an online teacher in real-time, they can even stop for breaks when they need to.
6. You Can Just Play and Follow Along For Fun
Your kid doesn’t have to have a music background or even know the basic fundamentals of piano instruments or music to get started.
Learning can be limited to playing just for fun. Or, a student can start at the basic, intermediate, or advanced learning level they’re at already.
7. You Can Follow Along Via Videos or Live Interaction
With a high-resolution camera, an online lesson can become interactive! This is a great way to mimic what it would be like to have a real teacher in the house.
In fact, using online lessons from teachers in different time zones is possible online, which just makes the scheduling availability and convenience all the more powerful.
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The Cons Of Online Piano Lessons For Children
With all those advantages, it sounds like taking piano lessons online is awesome, huh?
Before you make a decision, here are some drawbacks to online piano lessons for kids.
Here are a few you should know:
1. It Is Easier for Children to Get Distracted With Online Lessons
When your kid is learning something online, especially if it does not involve a human tutor, distraction is a real threat.
Emails, ads, and especially social media are all things that might take your kid’s attention away from their piano work. Some kids need a physical presence to keep them focused on the task at hand.
2. Free Lessons Will Only Get You So Far
Free lessons only go so far.
The wealth of free information out there is as vast as the ocean. However, most of the time, it’s as shallow as the first wave or two on the beach.
If your kid doesn’t take to the freebies, you might still have to pay for lessons with an in-person teacher or sign up for premium content at a website (again, covered more later).
3. Your Child’s Playing Technique Will Not Be As Good
Is your kid’s technique good? Are they learning proper fingering and chord progressions?
Without a teacher being physically present, it can be hard for an online human to judge the physical technique of a piano student, no matter how good your webcam is.
Also, sound quality can keep an online teacher from truly hearing how well (or not) your piano is being played.
4. It Takes Longer or Might Be Impossible for You to Get Answers to Your Questions
It is difficult to get instant feedback with an online piano teacher.
Online teachers might not respond to questions promptly, especially in group lessons that don’t involve individual attention or one-on-one interaction. Your kid could make mistakes that don’t get caught, meaning repetition of them reinforces them into bad habits.
Free Sites to Learn Piano Online For Kids
Have you decided that free online piano resources for kids are still worth looking at?
Here are some of the free piano lesson resources, I considered for my daughter. I even learned a bit from some of these myself too!
Was this your first thought in supplementing piano lessons? That’s good!
There are thousands or more of tutorials you can browse anytime you want to pick up a certain song or learn more about a particular skill.
It’s unlikely thought that these tutorials can entirely replace a seasoned teacher. But, they go a long way in answering questions your kid might have in between their formal lessons.
Piano on the Net was widely considered the first source of free online piano lessons, which started in early 1994. It’s now owned by Piano Nanny and they continue the award-winning legacy.
The sequence of 35-minute lessons can be worked at in your child’s own pace – slowly or quickly.
The course instructor is Clinton S. Clark, a Jazz musician, award-winning film composer, and member of both The Society of Composers & Lyricists and ASCAP.
Maria Miller’s personal project offers easily understood and free piano lessons. These aren’t just for kids, but also teachers, parents, and beginners of any age.
Popular children’s songs are an emphasis that makes the content friendly to kids. Parents that want to teach and learn at the same time will find this site useful.
Other helpful content includes lessons on famous composers, reading musical notes, and kid’s sing-along songs.
This site offers more than 50 piano lessons free across a range of difficulty levels.
Every piano lesson has visual flash animations which help your kid both see and hear the song they are playing. The target audience is 13 and older.
Also visit this site for ear training tools, public domain and free sheet music, and a constantly growing collection of reviews and songs.
This site takes free lessons literally, because every video piano lesson is completely free of charge to any visitor.
There are supplemental activity sheets that include practice tips, activity pages, and sheet music that you can buy if you want, but you’ll never pay a penny for your kid to follow the videos.
This is the sister site and precursor of the (paid) Hoffman Academy site below.
The Best Online Piano Lessons For Kids
Free lessons are great but they might only go so far. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for.
So, if you’d like to invest seriously in your kid’s development, or even your own learning, consider the following premium possibilities for kids to learn piano online:
Nearly 7 in 10 users recommend this site to others. And, at only $19 a month, it’s one of the cheapest options on the list.
Setting up an account is quick and easy, so your kid can dive into the online piano lessons within minutes. Use this either as a tablet app or online software via a desktop or laptop.
The user-friendly interface helps make the lessons easy to enjoy, considering how many popular songs it has your kid can pick from. In fact, if the song library were a bit bigger and theory lessons were added, Flowkey could rival the best of all online piano lessons.
As it is, the areas it is sorely lacking in include content about music composition and theory.
Joesph Hoffman created this online lesson program.
He uses a classical approach as the video lesson instructor, but he excels in teaching young kids. This works because of his classic starter songs and light-hearted stories along the way.
The program doesn’t ‘age’ particularly well with kids though. As they get into their preteens or teens, they might be more curious or interested in modern songs, which these lessons lack.
There aren’t really enough reviews out there to objectively judge a quality rating for this program, but at only $15 a month, it’s certainly an affordable option.
Who doesn’t want to learn piano from Harry Connick, Jr? (ok, I bet your child doesn’t even know who that is!)
There is a motto behind the online piano lessons of this program and it is simply “Play To Learn”.
From the moment your kid starts these lessons, they start playing the piano immediately. This site’s distinct approach engages students with fresh music and concepts they find both relatable and motivating.
Playing music for learning is a heavy focus, but learning to play some popular songs helps keep the interest of kids. Theory won’t show up until after several lessons, but it’s very useful for your kid to start learning notes sooner rather than later.
This highly-rated program costs only $17.99 a month.
Rating for this program aren’t perfect, but still really high. At only $15.99 a month, it could represent the best bang for the buck on this list.
Interactive piano lessons simplify learning the instrument into an easy sequence of lessons that won’t overwhelm any child. It’s cheap, complete, and entertaining, using a format that almost feels like a game, which kids love.
However, finger numbering isn’t included in the very first lesson. Payment is also necessary to access all of the content.
Piano With Willie
Willie Myette is an accomplished pianist who studied in Boston at the Berklee College of Music.
Piano players of any skill level can find chances to get better through structured lessons that flow well with high levels of consistent engagement. On the plus side, a wide variety of piano-playing styles are covered in a jaw-dropping 3,500-plus lessons.
On the other hand, there are no tools that let your kid track their progress.
Also, the cost of $29.97 per month is one of the more expensive price points for online piano lessons.
Singer and songwriter Rachel James leads kids through a month-long series of piano lessons online to those that pay $27 per month.
The video lessons are informative, if short, but they do cover the fundamentals necessary for your kid to learn piano successfully.
The lessons can be enjoyable, although self-motivation is more necessary than with other sites. That, combined with lower video quality on some lessons, makes the high price tag a bit difficult to swallow.
Before you learn more about Skoove, go ahead and say the name outloud. Kinda fun, huh?
This software package for learning piano online can be used on desktop computers but also Apple mobile devices. If your kid is learning on a MIDI keyboard, then this program is compatible.
The interface is a simple way for your kid to have fun learning. That’s thanks to having popular songs in both many different musical genres and across a variety of skill levels. The selection of modern music is diverse.
But if you want your kid to learn the crucial tenets involved in music theory, then Skoove is not a great choice. It lacks the music theory education included with the other options.
Also, pricing can be complicated. Paying $19.99 a month seems a bit expensive for what it offers. But getting three months for a total of $39.99 is better.
You can also shelling out $119.99 for a whole year for a much lower average monthly price (less than $10.00). But, that might be a bit more than most people want to swallow at once.
It’s also a bit of a risk unless you’re sure someone in the family will be playing the whole next year.
Are Apps a Better Way to Learn to Play Piano Online for Kids?
Your kid might not be old enough to understand this but there was a time that laptops and desktops ruled the Internet, if not the world. Want to really blow their mind? Tell them about the days when there was no internet at all!
That’s why so many online piano programs still cater to them. However, mobile media, be it tablets or smartphones, are what are starting to take over online music learning. So, now, there are a number of apps that follow suit.
Apps for learning piano still can’t take the place of formal lessons. They don’t even come close to the free and premium options already listed above. However, I checked out a few of these for me and my daughter.
The one big problem with apps is how many of them are out there. The Apple App Store has more than 2 million, and Google Play has 150 percent of that!
Fortunately, I’ve found some decent ones along the way I’d like to share with you. Find them all on Google Play and most of them in the iTunes App Store.
Simply Piano by JoyTunes
This app features a variety of daily workouts. That makes it very useful for anyone with a tight schedule, or just for kids that would rather play one day.
Your child can work their way up at their own pace with guidance towards key association. This app has a listening feature that keeps up with your kid as they play on their keyboard or piano, giving them guidance on how they might improve.
This is honestly something somewhat lacking in even many premium online lessons.
Magic Pianomagic Piano App
Want to give your kid a chance to play the piano without actually having a piano?
This app, either on a phone or a tablet, can help your kid learn timing, rhythm, and notes. It even has a game mode that lets your kid hit achievements to unlock new songs.
Between that and not having to need an actual instrument, it’s a great way for kids to keep learning piano while also being entertained when you’re on a road trip.
Pianist HD App
This app also has a virtual keyboard that mimics a genuine piano so you or your kid can play at the speed right for you. There’s even an option for actual vibrations to make the experience more authentic.
Music Tiles Magic White Piano
This app turns daily piano lessons into playing time, which is great for little kids. Honestly, I find it a good way to unwind after a long day at work sometimes.
Daily challenges and bonuses are addicting at times. The sound effects are also rather impressive, as compared to other apps.
For what it’s worth, I have no affiliation with any of the aforementioned apps, nor will I make any commissions of you visiting or downloading any of them. That’s largely due to the fact that every single one of them are completely free to download and use.
After a Lot of Research, Here’s What I Decided
Having written all of this, I do want to say that I have yet to come across anything that truly replaces a human piano teacher. We take our piano playing pretty serious at my house. We like the one on one instruction, attention, and correction.
However, the Internet does make it possible to schedule human teachers who can instruct your right from your own home. Although, I still think in person lessons are better.
But, as a parent, there is a lot to like about taking online piano lessons for kids. I like that it saves two or three hours I don’t have to spend chauffeuring my daughter across town and sitting in a waiting room with strangers. It’s certainly safer for her and fewer trips to the gas pump for me.
Online teachers will also teach a parent and a kid at the same time. Just make sure your camera and microphone are good enough to help them help you.
For that matter, the scheduling convenience is tremendous. Evening piano instructors in our town are scarce and more expensive than daytime teachers. However, by getting someone a few time zones away, that teacher can keep office hours he or she likes, and we get our evening time together.
We do sometimes use some of the options above to supplement our current lessons. We also use them if we want to learn a particular song just for fun outside of our paid lessons.
And Now, Here’s What I Recommend
I hope I haven’t overwhelmed you with all this information. I’ve learned a lot about the pros and cons of online piano lessons in the last few years. I wanted to share some of what I’ve picked up along the way so I could help out other parents like others have helped me.
If you’d like to know which specific programs or apps I recommend in each category covered in this guide, here they are:
Free Online Piano Resources For Kid Recommendation: PianoLessons4Children.com
Zebra Keys is great if you have a teen playing and YouTube’s selection is unbeatable, especially considering how kids learn how to use it so well. However, it’s also easy to get lost on YouTube and end up watching cat videos or old commercials.
I endorse PianoLessons4Children.com as the best free option because it’s not only free to use but kids find it fun.
The really valuable thing for me is being able to learn piano myself alongside my daughter while also being able to teach her at the same time. I know these years won’t last forever, so I’m making the most of my time with her.
Paid Online Piano Lessons For Kids Recommendation: Playground Sessions
Having tested out many different premium options for a month or so at each site, I can tell you that there are many good ones. But, Playground Session is a winner with both me and my daughter.
The learning curve is a bit more accelerated than any other program. But, she has enough fun that she doesn’t even realize how much she’s being challenged.
The monthly fee isn’t the cheapest..But it’s a steal where it is on the market scale, especially considering the nearly perfect ratings this site has.
Apps For Learning Piano Recommendation: Simply Piano by JoyTunes
My daughter and I both honestly love the game modes of several apps but this is my favorite one for two reasons.
First, even when I’m too busy to join my daughter for a lesson, she can still get one for free every single day.
Secondly, the listening feature has improved her technique more than she knows.
So there you are, the many pros and cons of online piano lessons for your kids, along with specific recommendations for free programs, paid lessons, and even some apps.
I hope somewhere in here you find the ‘key’ to your own child’s online piano development. (sorry, bad pun!). Only you and your child know what is best for your unique situation. But, I hope I have given you some food for thought.
What do you think about online piano lessons for kids? Anything I have missed? Do you have any experience you would like to share? Let me know in the comments below. Also, please share on social media with your friends if this information was helpful.