When we were just little sprouts, our parents signed us up for piano lessons. Some of our teachers were fun. Others were grouchy – one of us even had a teacher who would poke us in the back to make us sit up straight!
Before we delve into this series of online piano lessons reviews, it’s worth noting that every one of those teachers taught us valuable lessons.
If you have access to an in-person piano teacher and you can afford to pay for lessons – even occasionally, as a way to supplement free or cheap online piano lessons – please consider supporting these individuals.
They all have plenty of wisdom to impart and there’s nothing like the warmth and fun that comes with in-person interaction, particularly when you have the opportunity to make music together.
|#2 Playground Sessions|
|#4 Hoffman Academy|
|#6 Piano Nanny|
|#8 Rocket Piano|
|#9 Plern Piano|
|#10 Zebra Keys|
A Quick Word About Our Review Process
So, how do we decide which sites make it into our music lessons reviews and which ones to leave out? There are loads of great sites out there, after all!
This time, we decided to take a look at some of the top paid lesson sites as well as several sites that offer free resources.
There’s a clear dividing line between the two models as you’ll notice when you visit for yourself; the paid sites tend to offer excellent camera angles, professional instructors, and some very cool technical tools that let you work with electronics as well as traditional acoustic pianos.
Some sites let you interact in person, in real time, very much in the same way that you’d work alongside a traditional piano teacher.
Still others offer pre-recorded materials that provide you with a good foundation, but that might leave you with some questions or gaps in your learning.
To decide which sites to include in our top 10 online piano lessons review, we tried them out ourselves. In case you haven’t guessed, we’re all pianists here – some of us are pretty good, thanks to those lessons that our parents paid thousands for! We checked out the materials, tried the sample lessons, and looked at the overall quality of dozens of different sites and settled on the following ten.
Curious about which ones we like best?
Overall, it’s a tossup between Skoove, Playground Sessions, and Flowkey, with an honorable mention going to Hoffman Academy for its unique focus on younger learners. For in-person online piano lessons, Musademy takes the cake.
Enough chatting: Let’s dive into the online piano lesson reviews.
The 10 Best Online Piano Lessons Sites Reviewed
|Trial Option:||Signup is Free; try basic access at no charge|
|Subscription Model:||Skoove Premium is available in 1, 3, and 12 month subscriptions|
|Unique Features:||Personalized, one-on-one support from real instructors|
|Price:||4 prices: Free – $19.99 per month|
|Best For:||Tech-savvy kids, teens, and adults; ideal for beginners and intermediate players|
Skoove uses computer technology to interact with learners and teach online piano lessons in real time. This system works with digital pianos and keyboards as well as with acoustic pianos.
Those without keyboards can get started using virtual keyboards on digital devices but eventually, they’ll need to invest in an actual keyboard or piano.
With Skoove, learners aren’t limited to a certain genre. Instead, they can choose a favorite and start learning music that they enjoy. Popular songs are part of the plan, so there’s no need to sit through boring content that feels like a burden.
Music theory is an important part of Skoove’s piano lesson package, but it’s presented in a friendly, accessible way that’s easy for new players to grasp.
Anyone can try Skoove. The basic level is free, and provides a good feel for the way lessons work as well as providing a solid overview of the site. If you’d like to pay for lessons, you’ll find that you get a great value.
A 12-month subscription costs $9.99 per month, which is less than the cost of an average one-hour in-person piano lesson. 3-month subscriptions cost $13.33 per month, and one-month subscriptions are most expensive, at $19.99 per month.
|Trial Option:||Full refund within 30 days of purchase if unsatisfied|
|Subscription Model:||Monthly, annual, or lifetime|
|Unique Features:||Huge song library; lots of bonus courses; fun features that gamify learning|
|Price:||Starts at $9.99/month|
|Best For:||All ages, kids to senior citizens|
If you love Harry Connick, Jr., then you’re probably going to enjoy learning piano online with Playground Sessions. Other top musicians take part in the instruction process too, guiding new players through the basics and into more technical lessons in a way that makes sense.
Widely acclaimed as one of the best piano learning apps anywhere, Playground Sessions was co-created by none other than Quincy Jones.
He designed the system to make leaning piano fun while taking advantage of current technology. You’ll learn to read music while seeing which keys to press and as you gain skill, you’ll find yourself playing at an impressive pace. Real-time feedback helps you learn piano the right way, while scores and progress charts help you stay motivated.
Playground Sessions helps you learn how to make music quickly, so there’s a low chance that you’ll wind up feeling frustrated.
You can use almost any device to get started with lessons but eventually, you’ll want to express yourself with the help of a portable keyboard or a digital piano. Once you’ve learned piano online, you can transfer your skills to an acoustic piano with ease, if you like!
Plan pricing varies. Lifetime memberships offer the biggest savings but represent the largest up-front investment; for example, a 4-membership lifetime family plan is $569.99. Compared with the cost of live piano lessons for 4, it’s quite an impressive saving!
|Trial Option:||Free trial; no credit card required to signup|
|Subscription Model:||Free limited version; monthly, yearly, and lifetime memberships|
|Unique Features:||Great song tutorials and frequent updates with new content|
|Price:||Free – $299.99 for lifetime access|
|Best For:||Beginners through Pros|
Flowkey is designed to teach total beginners how to play simplified versions of their favorite songs in just a few minutes, and then start building skills in a way that’s easy to understand. The app works on a variety of devices and it offers a huge variety of music in almost every genre imaginable.
When you first sign up for Flowkey, you’ll have the option to select your level. If you’ve never played a note before, you will want to choose “Beginner.”
Other options are Intermediate, Advanced, or Pro. If you’ve had some lessons, you can feel free to explore and find the level that’s most comfortable for you. The app tracks your progress as you go, and you’re able to backtrack if you ever feel the need.
Like quite a few other online piano courses that made it into our top 10 list, Flowkey has a beautifully designed user interface that shows you the sheet music along with a video of notes being played on a keyboard. If you’re looking for pointers on piano technique, you’ll probably like Flowkey’s improvisation course as well as Playing Skills 1 and 2.
Flowkey is priced similarly to other online piano courses, with free access to a limited amount of content. Subscriptions are $19.99 / 1 month, $38.99 / 3 months, or $119.99 / one year.
|Trial Option:||Free signup; 30-day refund on paid memberships; cancel anytime|
|Subscription Model:||Basic plan is free; Premium is available on a month by month or annual basis|
|Unique Features:||Kid-friendly online piano learning games, daily practice instructions|
|Price:||Free – $18/month; $9 per additional student or $179 / year and $89 / additional student|
|Best For:||Good for kids, great for families with multiple piano students|
Hoffman Academy features online piano lessons designed with the needs of kids in mind. This lesson series starts young pianists at the very beginning and gradually builds skills in a way that’s quite similar to the live piano lesson experience.
Lessons are pre-recorded and come with downloadable sheet music as well as MP3 audio files. Learning games and practice instructions are included as well, all intended to make the process enjoyable and approachable.
Where some of the best online piano lessons sites focus more on songs, Hoffman Academy’s creators believe in offering a fully comprehensive curriculum that includes music theory, technique, sight reading, ear training, improvisation, and more.
Courses are taught by more than a dozen professional instructors. Of course the roster includes the site’s founder, Joseph Hoffman, who is a composer, conductor, and seasoned piano teacher who also happens to teach other piano teachers how to work with students.
If you happen to live around Portland, Oregon, you might be interested in signing up for in-person classes at Mr. Hoffman’s Hoffman Academy of Music, where these online courses are created.
|Trial Option:||One free lesson|
|Subscription Model:||Lessons are priced one at a time|
|Unique Features:||Live online piano lessons with real teachers|
|Price:||$15 / 30-minute lesson; $28 / 1 hour lesson; other custom options on request|
|Best For:||Every age and level|
If videos and self-teaching aren’t for you but you’d love the convenience that comes with online piano lessons scheduled at a time that suits your schedule, give Musademy a look. This cutting-edge site uses video chat to connect you with a piano teacher who is a fit for your skill level and desired genre.
The process is simple. First, you contact Musademy to provide them with some basic information about yourself and your musical learning goals. Next, you sign up for a free trial lesson that helps you decide if this model will work for you. When it’s time for your lesson, you simply log into your online lesson room, where your teacher will meet you and begin the lesson.
One of the nicest things about Musademy is that you can take as many or as few lessons as you’d like, so it fits your budget as well as your schedule. You can use it by itself, or enjoy it as a way to supplement other lessons. Give it a try!
#6 Piano Nanny
|Trial Option:||All Content is Free|
|Subscription Model:||Free piano lessons as a public service|
|Unique Features:||Simply outlined courses designed to help beginners make progress|
|Best For:||Beginners through Intermediate Players|
While Piano Nanny doesn’t have lots of fancy videos, it’s an excellent resource for beginners who want to learn piano online without spending a penny.
The content has been around since 1994, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful; you can find quite a few standards to play as well as a full range of lessons that have been neatly categorized to appeal to beginners, intermediate players, and players with more experience.
An online notepad helps you remember what you’re learning, so you don’t have to review the entire lesson later while you are practicing. You can use any keyboard or piano you like, as this simple site doesn’t require you to connect digitally.
Piano Nanny online lessons are taught by Clinton S. Clark, who is an award-winning Jazz musician and film composer.
Clinton explains concepts thoroughly and encourages his students to practice what they’ve learned before moving on to next steps. Whether you’re taking lessons elsewhere or simply looking for a free resource, you’ll find valuable takeaways in this wonderful library of free content. Give it a try!
|Trial Option:||Free trial, 60 free lessons to get your started|
|Subscription Model:||Free, monthly, and annual|
|Unique Features:||Strong focus on contemporary music|
|Price:||Free – $29.99 / month|
|Best For:||Teen and adult beginners; intermediate and advanced players who want to expand into electronic keyboard skills|
Want to play piano and MIDI keyboards or learn your way around the electronic drums? If so, you’ll probably like Melodics. This app is free to download, and you get to enjoy a total of 60 free lessons before you opt into a paid plan.
This system features a simple, 5-minute per day learning model that focuses on fun. Learn a variety of genres including hip-hop, future beats, EM, Techno, Funk, Soul, and much more, with lessons offered by contemporary musicians who love the same sounds you do.
Melodics isn’t designed for acoustic pianos. Instead, it offers compatibility with most MIDI devices. You can also use pad controllers and drum kits to plug and play. The system is gamified with practice goals, streaks, challenges, and rewards that encourage you to keep on making music.
Everyone gets to start with a free trial period. If you like Melodics, you can choose between an annual plan that works out to $14.99 per month, or you can go for a month-by-month subscription at $29.99 per month.
#8 Rocket Piano
|Trial Option:||Free beginner piano lessons for everyone; 60-day money-back guarantee on paid plan|
|Subscription Model:||One-time fee for everything|
|Unique Features:||Cool jam tracks to play along with|
|Price:||Free – $39.95|
|Best For:||Beginner to Advanced|
Rocket Piano offers a unique focus on music theory for pianists, but in a completely different way than traditional courses.
Besides offering basics for raw beginners, the site features a strong focus on expression, playing by ear, improvising, and learning how to make melodies, harmonies, and chord progressions work to your advantage.
The end goal is for users to gain the ability to play almost any song they want to, including from traditional music, by listening, or by viewing chord symbols.
The system includes online lessons, e-books, and exercises. The beginner piano course is a series of seven free lessons for everyone.
Give it a try even if you’re not a total beginner, as it provides a feel for the way lessons are laid out and determine if this method appeals to you. If you like it, you get the entire package for $39.95. You don’t need any special equipment, just a piano or keyboard, a device to download the lessons and other materials to, and the will to learn piano.
#9 Plern Piano
|Trial Option:||Lots of free content|
|Subscription Model:||Plenty of free content, more with optional registration|
|Unique Features:||Compose and share music online|
|Price:||Free – $10|
|Best For:||Beginner to Advanced|
Plern Piano stands out by offering a ton of free features and the option to access everything on the site for a mere $10. When you do, your access lasts a lifetime. The only catch is that you do have to pay the one-time signup fee to see complete songs. Until you’ve paid, you only get a taste.
This isn’t a traditional lessons site, however you’re going to find plenty of great resources here to supplement your traditional lessons or learn on an a la carte basis. You can use Plern to learn how to sight-read, and you’ll have fun with the Guitar-Hero style game that shows you upcoming notes as you learn. You can also import MIDI files, edit them, and more.
Users can upload sheet music for others to enjoy, and they also have access to private libraries that keep songs private. If you are interested in composing original music and sharing it online, this site will help you learn how.
#10 Zebra Keys
|Trial Option:||Everything is free|
|Subscription Model:||Free for everyone|
|Unique Features:||Fun, basic learning method with animations that show you how to play|
|Price:||Did we mention it’s free?|
|Best For:||Beginners and intermediate players|
You’re not sure if piano is right for you, but you’re curious. You don’t want to spend any money, and you’re looking for an easy way to get started. That’s where Zebra Keys comes in. This site is (once again) totally free for everyone, including total beginners and those with some experience who want to build their skills or brush up before moving forward with paid lessons.
There are a total of 57 free online piano lessons here, along with some free sheet music and animations that let you see and hear the songs so you can practice playing by ear if you’d like to. If you’re looking for blank sheet music to print and create your own compositions, you’ll find it here along with a good amount of public domain music and quite a few piano resources including a nice ear training tool.
While you probably won’t become an expert player by spending time with Zebra Keys, you’ll enjoy yourself and learn some things without spending a cent. Have fun!
Happy learning! As you can see, there are tons of amazing resources at your disposal, and most of them are surprisingly inexpensive if not completely free. Here’s our advice: If you’re going to learn exclusively online, you’ll probably do best with a mashup of resources from a few different sites. We all learn in unique ways and we all appreciate different things. Try the free resources out for yourself and see which method works best for you!