Top 5 Fun Free Resources for Learning How to Play Piano

Very often I talk to people who think it’ll take years to learn how to play piano. Wrong! Honestly, you can learn a basic song in as little as an evening! With a few weeks, you can learn to perform more complex pieces, depending of course on how much you practice. From there, you can work on even more complicated pieces to build technique. There are a ton of really good resources out there to help you learn how to play piano. Here below, I want to focus on a couple of my favorite FREE ways to get started IMMEDIATELY.

5. Hoffman Academy

Granted, there are a number of online instructors, but my personal favorite is Joseph Hoffman from HoffmanAcademy.com. Real nice instructor – he has video lessons that are between 5 and 15 minutes long that clearly explain an important educational topic. Supplementary materials are available too, and they’re inexpensive (like $19 for 20 lessons worth) and helpful. You learn how to play piano at your own pace, practicing between concepts. No online videos can replace a good teacher, but if you want to get started now, this is one of your best bets.

4. PianoMaestro by JoyTunes

Piano MaestroThis iPad app is like “Guitar Hero” for piano. It can be paired with any acoustic (“real”) or digital piano, without any wires. You start by just playing one note, and it gets progressively more challenging. If you already play, you can jump in and play at an appropriate level. It teaches you how to read REAL music for REAL songs that you hear on the radio. There’s always a nice backing track that makes you sound really good. They have a constantly growing collection of fun, popular music that you’ll instantly recognize – songs from Angry Birds, Game of Thrones, Avicii, Katy Perry, etc. They also have entire method books, including Alfred, Music for Little Mozarts, Piano Pronto and more. It’s iPad-only for the moment – they’re currently working on an Android version. Best of all, you can get a free one-month trial with our coupon code: JTS1MFamilyPiano.

Edit: I recently found FlowKey, a similar iPad app that’ll also teach you how to play piano. It has a different aesthetic, a different catalog of songs (some free!), and a different pricing model. I encourage you to check it out!

 3. IMSLP.org

imslp

The International Music Score Library Project is like Wikipedia, except for sheet music. Everything featured is out of copyright, meaning that you can download them for free. It’s the biggest collection of free sheet music that we know of, and it’s great for classical, blues, and jazz classics. It’s not just for piano, either – they have representation of hundreds of popular and obscure instruments. You can search with multiple criteria – for example, method pieces that are intended to help you learn piano. Of course, if you want to give us $5 for a copy of the Hanon finger exercises you can, or you can download the pdf there.

2. Youtube

youtube

I love YouTube because it’s such a great way to encourage exploration and experimentation, with both new and experienced musicians. Like a song on the radio? Type it into Youtube’s search bar, followed by “how to play piano” and I’ll bet you a nickel that someone has made a video that shows you how to play that song. It will likely be a simplified version, focused on the chorus and the melody, but it’s likely to be a relatively quick, easy, and fun way to play a song that your friends will recognize.

Furthermore, if you’d like to focus more on learning solid technique, there are about 1.8 million results for the term “learn to play piano.” Many of those results will be videos from instructors that will focus on building technique. If there’s a concept that confuses you, there are always more videos that may explain it from a different angle, and give you deeper insight into how to play better. One good channel for beginners is from local teacher Laura Ackerman.

As an aside, if you use YouTube to learn how to play piano, you’ll likely reach a plateau, and that’s a great time to look into private lessons. A good teacher will:

  • give you new areas of learning to explore
  • correct any bad habits that you may have developed
  • give you feedback for refining your technique and performance
  • help keep you from getting bored or disengaged
  • give you the opportunity to perform in a recital or other venue.

All in all, YouTube is a fun way to get started, and a great compliment to lessons. If you’d like to talk to us about private lessons, feel free to email me at brendan@familypianoco.com, or call us at 847-775-1988.

1. Free 10 Week Group Adult Course

2015-06-22 17.17.00One of the nice benefits of getting a piano from us is our Group Adult Class. Each week, Alice and her colleague Dorothy give a small group of moms, uncles, grandads, etc. an hour of instruction and personalized feedback here at the store. We allow students aged 15+ to participate – we find younger students usually need more one-on-one attention, and a shorter lesson than that full 60 minutes. We offer this 10 week course 4 times per year, and it’s a ton of fun. By the end of the first night, most students can play “The Saints Go Marching In” using both hands. Everyone bonds and at the end, there is a mini-recital for those that want to show off what they’ve learned. This class is FREE for up to 4 adults if you get your piano from us and it never expires. If you don’t, you can still participate, but tuition is $150 per person.

Need an Instrument to Practice on?

An example of one of our beautiful pianos available for rent.

 

Speaking of getting a piano, here at Family Piano Co, we have some really good options to choose from. If you can’t practice, you can’t progress, so we encourage you to get a high-quality instrument to learn on.

 

Buy a Piano – We have a beautiful selection of new and used pianos, both uprights and grands. We especially like to focus on budget-friendly pianos for folks just starting off. The nice thing is that you get 100% trade-up with all acoustic (“real”) pianos. If, for example, you buy a piano for $968, you can trade that in, and we’ll guarantee you $968 towards any other piano on the floor (minus moving charges). Our skilled technicians spend 2-4 days fixing up each piano, making sure it’s perfect before it’s delivered to your home. We also include a three-year warranty, so rest assured your piano will never have any unexpected costs, or stop working. Financing options are also available. Browse pianos here.

 

Rent to Own a Piano – Our popular rental program is both affordable and flexible. It starts at only $49 per month to get one of our quality instruments into your home. 100% of your first 12 payments go towards owning the instrument – and there are no additional or hidden fees either. There are no minimum number of months, no down payments, and no sales tax (until you purchase, of course!). More details here.

 

Buy a Digital – For a lot of families, a digital piano like a Casio Privia is a great option. In the last few years, the feel and sound of digital pianos has really improved. Many we have in stock are to the point of being viable learning tools for most students and musicians. Each model has different features that we can explain to you, so you can pick the best possible option. We price-match Amazon, and other major online retailers, to ensure you get the best price. Additionally, you can take them home immediately, get more hands-on training from us, and you support a local business.

 

Whenever you’re ready, we’d love to personally walk you through your options, answer you questions, and make sure you have an enjoyable, low-pressure, no haggle experience here. Feel free to call us at 847-775-1988 or email me at brendan@familypianoco.com.

 

Bren and Alice