50+ of Our Favorite Tools and Resources for Piano Players
A warm welcome to you if you can play piano well, and the same welcome if you’re just getting started. Either way, this is a great place for you to land. This is Family Piano Co’s entire list of resources for everything piano. The compilation here is great for people who want to learn to play, and equally great for players who want to discover new tools or communities. We’ve arranged everything into categories, and feature resources ranging from online courses to sheet music. The descriptions are as concise as possible without sacrificing valuable information, and it’s noted whether it’s free/available to you in most cases too. Some will fancy you more than others depending on what you’re looking for, but all in all, everything here could be useful to someone. Please note that a few of these folks pay us a modest affiliate fee if you make a purchase, but that has no impact on what we list here. Have fun rifling through, and if you know of a source you think we should add, contact us!
Hoffman Academy This course has almost 200 videos, and it’s free of charge. There is a premium plan for $19/mo that unlocks practice modules, and some other useful features, but the videos themselves do not cost a dime. They’re broken up into units, and are very thorough and easy to understand. Any member of any audience will understand and enjoy Mr. Hoffman, who has been described as the “Mr. Rogers of the piano.” Really a great course to get to a proficient level of playing.
Pianote A video-learning platform that has both a structured curriculum, plus weekly live-stream videos, community forums, and modules for learning specific musical skills. Reasonable monthly, annual, and lifetime payment plans available.
The Musical Webb Both a site for online music courses, and an active blog/newsletter filled with useful and relevant resources for aspiring musicians and artists. Courses are available for beginners, as well as for practicing musicians, and range in price from a flat $37 to a $29/mo plan.
Jordan Rudess Online Academy – the amazing keyboardist and composer of Dream Theatre, Jordan offers a wide range of videos and an online community, for beginners and advanced players alike. $49 for a lifetime membership.
musictheory.net This site provides about forty lessons on music theory in the form of slideshows. They’re all concise, and easy to follow, even if you’ve never studied music theory before. The website also provides excercises that put what you learn into practice, and other tools such as a chord calculator and tempo tapper. Best of all, it’s free content that’s supported by the enhanced-version apps of these lessons and exercises that you can choose to support.
Groove3 has a number of specialized piano video courses on blues, jazz, country, and rock styles, either on a per-video course or as part of their all-access subscription pass.
Melodics is a sophisticated desktop app that teaches you to play MIDI keys, drums, or grid controllers. Over 800 lessons from top artists in the electronic music community. 60 lesson free then $15-$30 per month.
Udemy This online video course marketplace has over 300 results for “piano,” many for $12 – $50.
Learning Music by Ableton (Beta) – this addictive course on music making presents one little bit of knowledge at a time, along with embedded music tools, for the reader to actually play with the concept before clicking the “next” button. Careful, before you know it, you could spend hours learning music theory! Totally free.
Learning Synths by Ableton (Beta) – similar to their “Learning Music” course, this is a really fun way to explore how fundamental concepts like Envelopes, Filters, Oscillators, and more impact sound. Totally free and a ton of fun!
SoundFly – online music learning courses for piano, guitar, music composition, music production, and more. The big difference is that they also pair you with a private mentor, which we think is super important.
Open Music Theory – a comprehensive, open source “textbook” of music theory. Well-laid out explanations of basic music theory, plus more advanced explorations of form, post-tonal theory, and more. Primarily from a classical perspective.
AAA State of Play’s Music Theory Lessons – AAA makes playground equipment, including this “musical playground” for kids to learn music theory. A lot of bases are covered here in the form of PDFs and external links ie. rhythm and meters, scales and key signatures, intervals, and chords.
$11.99/mo – iPad
A top-ranked in-depth educational tool that helps students practice and learn their sight reading, rhythm, technique, playing with both hands and much more. Try it for free using our coupon code, JTS1FamilyPiano.
$19.99/mo – iOS, Android
The number one search for “how to play piano.” Works though your device’s microphone, and teaches you to play using popular songs. Has many different modes and functions, making it fun for all levels of playing.
$17.99/mo – PC/Mac, iPad
The best-reviewed of the “Guitar Hero” style apps. Co-founded by Quincy Jones, this app “combines gaming elements, popular music, and advanced technology to make learning as fun as possible.” Teacher tools available too.
$19.99/mo – All Platforms
Learn piano, guitar, bass, and ukulele with this interactive music app. Listens to you play through your device’s mic, and gives you feedback on accuracy and rhythm. Over 1,500 step-by-step tutorials and exercises available.
Free – iOS, Android
A reference guide for looking up the age of a piano, plus other relevant manufacturing notes. We often use this tool ourselves, professionally.
Free – iOS / Android
Easily browse and purchase over 700,000 pieces of sheet music. Several useful tools to encourage piano practice, including easy recording tools. Useful for all piano instruments, but you’ll want to buy a Roland LX-series instrument to unlock all functionality.
Free – iOS / Android
Another fun “Guitar Hero for Piano” Game, where you can load in any MIDI file and it will work. It has the popular “falling colors” view or the more traditional music notation. Compatible with select Casio models.
$14.99 – iOS, PC/Mac
A popular best-selling music notation app that composes music for you as you play it on your MIDI device. It’s a user-friendly experience, and includes a variety of tools any aspiring composer would find useful.
$99 – PC/Mac + iPad
An accompaniment app that will respond to you playing depending what mode it is on. It’s a suitable learning tool, but also just helpful in general. It does require MIDI devices/files to ensure complete accuracy, however.
Free – iOS, Android
“Tinder for musicians” is what best describes the functions of Vampr. Users build their profile with Soundcloud and YouTube links, and then connect with other users to connect and collaborate on projects.
Free – iOS, Android
An ear-training game that helps you learn to aurally identify specific notes. It starts with just two different notes – like a C or G – then gets more complicated. It’s a fun and addictive way to train yourself to hear notes better.
Rhythm Swing An educational app available on iOS devices that helps children learn about rhythm through a fun game guided by lessons. Musical phrases are heard and explained, and then practiced through the game, which entails a monkey swinging around a crocodile to the proper beat. It’s only $3.99, and it’s a fun way for kids to learn the sounds and notations of different rhythms.
Note Rush A fun little game available on both the App Store and Google Play that helps familiarize children with reading notes on the music staff. It’s $3.99, and many teachers prefer this investment to other traditional methods such as note cards.
Flashnote Derby A fun game available on both the App Store and Google Play that helps familiarize children with reading notes on the music staff. $2.99
Piano Game Club A subscription service that mails you four new games every month. Geared more towards children, the games are kid-tested to ensure their effectiveness, and they cater to different learning styles and difficulty-levels. It’s only $8 to sign up, and you can cancel at any time for whatever reason in addition to their money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.
Synthesia Start by playing notes on your keyboard as they fall down, and end up playing popular songs! This game is in the previously discussed “Guitar Hero” style–and in fact, it was previously called “Piano Hero.” It features a large library of music, a practice mode, and premium features such as a learning pack that displays music in proper notation. It is free otherwise, and available on PC/Mac, plus the App Store and Google Play.
HDpiano A leading piano-song lesson provider. Same Guitar-Hero visuals accompanied by narrative instruction that makes tutorials for how to play popular songs accessible to learners at all levels. You’re able to pause, fast-forward, and rewind to get to the part of the song you wish to practice more. Not the best for learning piano, but it works well as a song instructor, and it has a decent library of music. Available for $15/mo. They also have a YouTube channel that’s pretty helpful, and free.
Finger Rhythm Hopscotch This fun little game is finger hopskotch, and it helps students understand basic rhythm. The idea is that you hop your fingers across the board, and hold your finger on each place for the value of the written note then earn points for the successful completion of a board. It’s simple, free, and effective. Furthermore, the site it’s on, Music for Little Learners, has a fantastic blog for teacher resources.
5 Fun Winter Activities for Your Piano Studio A blog post that highlights five winter-themed activities/games for teaching younger students piano. It was created by Brandy Woods, a music educator from the Pittsburgh, PA, area. Most of the activities are free, and all are engaging. Some even link to other blogs so you can dive deeper into the rabbit hole of activities.
11 wonderfully creative ways to teach children music theory This is blog post that consists of eleven games you can craft. They’ll cover topics from note values and rhythm, to time signatures and enharmonics. They are free of cost, although some can be expensive in time and/or resources. Nevertheless, all are creative ideas, and definitely great ways to teach some basic theory.
Sing a New Song This is a blog as that seems to follow an old music studio’s curriculum. It is geared towards kindergarteners, making the content useful for young students. The section I’ve linked to leads to their list of music games. They vary in subject from rhythm to note recognition, and some even have themes. They are very classroom appropriate, and are great free games for youngsters.
Need an Instrument to Practice on?
If you can’t practice, you can’t progress. If this list has you all excited to play, but you’re still pounding keys on an older keyboard, Family Piano Co has some really good options for you.
We have a beautiful selection of new and used pianos, both uprights and grands, plenty of which are budget-friendly for folks just starting off. We offer 100% trade-ups with all used acoustic pianos, most of which come with our three-year-warranty, so you can rest assured you will be completely satisfied with any purchase you make. In fact, our skilled technicians spend 2-4 days fixing up each piano, making sure it’s perfect right before it’s delivered to your home. If price is a big issue, we have a flexible rent-to-own program, and financing options as well.
In addition to acoustic pianos, we also have many digital keyboards and pianos from Kawai, Casio, and Roland. Any we have in stock are at the point of being viable learning tools for most students and musicians. It can be daunting knowing the exact differences between each model, but our knowledgeable staff can walk you through them all so you can pick the best possible option. We price-match Amazon, and other major online retailers, to ensure you get the best price, and additionally, you can take digitals home immediately, get more hands-on training from us, and you support a local business on top of that!
So whenever you’re ready, we’d love to personally walk you through your options, answer your questions, and make sure you have an enjoyable, low-pressure, no-haggle experience here. Feel free to call us at (847) 775-1988, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the form to the right to get in touch!
Piano Lessons On The Web A very excellent all-in-one place for beginners. Tim not only has lessons for playing piano, but he features lessons for music theory and songwriting, music reading, rhythm, and miscellaneous tips and technique videos as well. It’s a smaller channel, and a gem because of it since he actually responds to questions in the comments. In fact, he live streams often to answer questions, and will teach lessons live so you can interact with each other too. It’s an incredibly great channel with high-quality content, and quite frankly, I’m not sure why it hasn’t blown up yet.
Lypur / Furmanczyc Academy of Music This channel’s “How to Play Piano” course boasts the most views for a piano course on YouTube, with 18M views on the first lesson. And for good reason! Andrew Furmanczyk is a very knowledgeable instructor with a funny sense of humor. His videos are engaging and entertaining to watch. Besides his main series, his channel also has a course for learning music theory, performances of his, and cat videos. Unfortunately, the channel hasn’t been active in years since Andrew left to pursue other interests, but it continues to stand as a great channel for learning piano.
Michael New Michael’s channel is one that features lessons mostly in music theory. His videos are appropriate for beginners and advanced players alike, and he also covers topics any musicians will find useful like how to improvise and dealing with performance anxiety. Not only is the keyboard he demonstrates on easy to see and follow along with, but he also films with a whiteboard to create a very visual learning experience. All in all, a fantastic channel that will remain relevant throughout your piano-playing.
Piano Philosophy by danthecomposer This is a great channel on YouTube for content related to improving at piano. danthecomposer has a couple of series, the most notable being his “How to Become a Pianist in Ten Lessons.” The underlying philosophy behind his channel is that playing piano starts in the mind, and not the fingers. A lot of his videos focus on why things work, instead of how to play them, without going extremely deep into music theory. This makes it great for beginning and experienced players alike. Furthermore, his blog, A Philosophical Approach to Piano, has a lot of interesting articles and supplements to the videos on his channel.
Vinheteiro Lord Vinheteiro, which isn’t his real name in case you’re wondering, is a Brazilian pianist who makes really entertaining content. Videos like “5 Relaxing Songs for your Dog,” and “How to Make Girls Fall in Love Playing Piano” are amusing watches, and his channel’s structure in general is reminiscent of Buzzfeed’s style. In addition to his more hysterical stuff, he has a lot of interesting covers and arrangements as well. It’s worth a subscription if you’re looking for a piano community that isn’t strictly classical. Aside from his channel, Vinheteiro has a website that offers piano courses for Portuguese speakers.
LivingPianoVideos Robert Estrin is a concert pianist who shares his love of pianos through his extensive videos. He covers everything from piano playing techniques, general piano owner information, and even subscriber questions. If you are looking for general information about any and all things piano, this is the place. Additionally, Robert maintains an extensive blog, and sells some pianos through his personal website, www.LivingPianos.com.
Laura Ackerman This channel belongs to a local Lake County teacher, and a friend of Family Piano’s. Many of Laura’s videos follow Faber piano lesson books, making it great to follow along to if you have some yourself. Her channel’s main audience is children, but that doesn’t mean older students won’t enjoy her upbeat personality and helpful content.
Sheet Music Plus – Over a million pieces of digital and print sheet music to choose from, with various reward programs and discounts available, especially for music teachers. Composers can also upload and sell their own original pieces through the platform.
Prima Music An online sheet music shop with lots of teacher resources available as well. You sign up for membership, and are able to build your way up to 25% discount on every order, which is a neat incentive. They offer free shipping on every order, no sales tax, and have a price-match policy too.
Musicnotes The world’s largest e-commerce sheet music retailer, and publisher with over 300,000 arrangements available for various instruments. Because it’s online, it’s instant delivery of printable sheet music with no shipping and handling fees. You download, print, and play. They even have a free app available on PC and Macs, and on the App Store and Google Play.
Musescore An open-source music notation program backed by a community of music lovers. Its team of supporters, developers, and translators keep the software completely free, and constantly updated. You can use it to write music for several different instruments via MIDI input, and there are plugins you can use to customize your experience as well. A very great software to be a part of, and the sense of community behind it is a plus as well.
IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library Essentially Wikipedia for sheet music. Everything featured is out of copyright, meaning that you can download them for free. It’s the biggest collection of free public domain sheet music 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.
Fakebooks are often big collections of many popular songs, typically written with just the chord changes, basic melody line, and lyrics. This skeletal sketch of the music gives the musician a lot of room to embellish and improvise to fill in the gaps, and makes it easy for a musician to quickly sightread almost anything written in this format. Historically, these fake books have not paid the artists royalties, although this is changing.
PianoParents A blog ran by Doreen Hall, a longtime piano teacher, intended to encourage and support the parents of piano students. The articles are very focused, being either fun history for parents to know, content that will excite parents and their children, or advice that could be applicable to them. There is a mailing list available, and Doreen also accepts feedback and requests.
Piano Parent Podcast Technically not a blog because it’s mostly a podcast, but in a similar category. It’s intended to help piano parents, but piano teachers could gain insight from this site as well, and there is a even a challenge in November aimed at children and players. Most episodes are about twenty minutes, and there is even a summarized write-up in case you don’t have time to listen to the whole thing.
Pianist Magazine The biggest and best selling piano magazine in the world. It features news articles, interviews with famous pianists, and an abundant amount of resources. An annual subscription for American readers is ~$82.71 (£59.50 since it’s a British magazine). If that’s outside of your budget, there is a free newsletter as well. On top of the magazine, the website has a buyer’s guide, a list of piano teachers and tuners, video lessons, and a digital shop full of sheet music. Overall a great place to get into the piano community.
Music Matters Blog “Inspiring creativity in music education.” That’s the tagline for this blog ran by Natalie Weber, who owns a piano studio in Derby, Kansas, and it focuses on just that! The Music Matters Blog is one of the longest-running music education blogs on the internet, operating since 2005, and it averages about 60,000 to 70,000 visits per month. Natalie has a post up about once a week, and has many sources in the sidebar to direct readers to helpful resources. It’s a fantastic community we fully stand by, and it’s appropriate for any and all piano-blog readers.
Piano Education Resource Guide A similar guide to this one, full of cool piano resources that are different than what we’ve got here. Definitely worth checking out!
The One Piano Hi-Lite A learning device designed as a light-up bar that goes across a piano’s keys, and interacts with your playing. It works on acoustic or digital pianos, and connects to your iOS or Android device through either a micro USB cable, or through Bluetooth 4.0. Once plugged in, you can use their free app to connect to 1000s of pieces of music and games, and play interactively with the bar. It retails for $269, and has won many awards and sponsorships by renowned teachers. They also sell The One Smart Pianos, a full 88-key digital piano for $1499.99 that comes with the the Hi-Lite system installed.
PianoDisc The world’s leading piano player system. It allows acoustic pianos to feel like they’re digital, offering them the ability to play music through external devices, and Bluetooth MIDI for connectivity to PianoDisc’s proprietary apps. These player systems can be added to pianos of virtually any size, style, or make. There are also many other versions and options and you can add that make the system more valuable and useful. All versions of the system feature full 88-note playback with 1,024 levels of individual note expression per key, making them much more than a simple Bluetooth connector on your piano. Check out their library of music here.
QRS PNOmation The other leading piano player system. You can play the music from any device, just by Bluetooth or accessing the IP address of the player on your piano, which adds incredible flexibility. These player systems can be added to pianos of virtually any size, style, or make. QRS has been leading the way with recording to the QRS cloud and other very neat innovations. Check out their library of music here.
How to Get Free PianoDisc / QRS Files MidiPianoCD will convert MIDI files into files that work with PianoDisc, QRS, Disklavier, and other player systems. MIDI is like digital sheet music. You can find MIDI files at BitMidi.com, FreeMidi.org, ClassicalArchives.com, and by Googling for MIDI files. For more MIDI resources, check out MidiPlayerTools.com.