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Whats the best online piano course/lessons? (Read 1271 times)

Offline jacobfrey121

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Whats the best online piano course/lessons?
« on: June 01, 2020, 05:50:30 PM »
I'm teaching myself piano right now, and its going great so far but I'd really like to have a cohesive online course I can take. Any other self taught players out there? Right now I'm just teaching myself through random youtube videos and reading some sheet music, other than that I'm just looking up chords and scales. Let me know if there is anything out there that is preferably free.

Offline isabellaf

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Re: Whats the best online piano course/lessons?
«Reply #1 on: June 09, 2020, 01:48:08 PM »
I'm also interested.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Whats the best online piano course/lessons?
«Reply #2 on: June 09, 2020, 03:08:03 PM »
Depends on what you want to learn. Coursera has a few good courses on composition/music theory, improvisation, and music appreciation.

Exploring Beethoven Sonatas
Write Like Mozart
Jazz Improvisation by Gary Burton
one course on the blues

These are the ones I remember.

Piano technique is quite individualized, and I don't think any resource can replace a good teacher. If you're self-teaching, you will need to do your research, and explore a lot to arrive at the most comfortable position. There are some very basic "courses" like that by Andrew Furmanczyk on youtube. Your best bet is probably to look up good Youtube videos, understand the basics, and then read or watch whatever you can on youtube/pianostreet/reddit. I don't think you'll find the find of comprehensive course you're seeking.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Whats the best online piano course/lessons?
«Reply #3 on: June 10, 2020, 02:12:28 PM »
Depends on what you want to learn. Coursera has a few good courses on composition/music theory, improvisation, and music appreciation.

Ranjit, I followed a couple of the ones you mention.
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Exploring Beethoven Sonatas 
I'm working with this one right now.  I signed up a few years ago and didn't get past the first one, and since then he expanded the original 5, to 12.   I already have a good grasp of music theory (classical) and musical form.  It's a good idea to have a grasp of the form of sonatas (the 3 - 4 movements) and sonata form (Exp. Dev. Recap.) though he goes into it.  Biss has put out a CD on the sonatas, and spent over 10 years studying them, for this purpose.  We learn not just about Beethoven sonatas, but how musical form evolved from Haydn to Beethoven, and what Beethoven did for it to evolve further.  Since music such as symphonies also have this structure, it is far reaching.  It is excellent.

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Write Like Mozart
I found the title off-putting.  Is it any good?

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one course on the blues

I took one done by an excellent teacher from Berkley.  He managed to give deceptively simple things, but presented them at two levels so that advanced students could also take off, but so could beginners.  The very first assignment was simply to find three pieces that were in C major, by ear.  It was not as simple as it appeared.  First you have to have the sound of C in your ear, and be able to identify the Tonic. We are supposed to grade the assignments of fellow students.  A few had pieces in F major, because the Dominant can also be heard strongly, and C is the Dominant of F major.

Being "classical minded", this was a place where I could grow.

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Jazz Improvisation by Gary Burton
He is a master musician par excellence, and brought innovations to the playing of his instrument in his lifetime - the double mallet, allowing for 4 notes at the same time for complete harmony.  His course is very "dense".  I met fellow students who seemed to be advanced in jazz, who said they were taking the course for the 3rd or 4th time.  That was the strategy: Absorb what you can - then come back.

For example, in the first week's lesson you were to learn a bunch of common and alternate scales, be able to play them on your instruments in all keys, and create random notes within that scale.  Realistically, I think it would take me at least a year to build that.  I made it up to finishing the 2nd lesson, and then decided to come back when I had mastered that much.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Whats the best online piano course/lessons?
«Reply #4 on: June 10, 2020, 03:03:16 PM »
I found the title off-putting.  Is it any good?

Yes, Write Like Mozart is a good course. The instructor is a professor at NUS. It is where I first acquired an understanding of functional harmony. It covers form, classical era harmony and voice leading, SATB voice leading, keyboard writing, counterpoint, etc. It is also pretty dense. While I did finish it in the time frame of six weeks years back, I should still go back to it to revise the topics. At the end of the course, you are asked to compose a piece, 20-30 bars in length, in classical idiom, which uses chord substitutions, stylistic voice leading, different textures and chord progressions which fit certain criteria. It took me a whole day to complete the final project, and it was a blast. When I started the course, I barely knew how to read sheet music.

As a side note, brogers70 suggested the course when I asked around here for some basic music theory resources.

This is the blues course I was talking about (fair warning, I only went through the first few weeks):
https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-blues

I thought it was as dense (probably more so) than the Gary Burton one. It might make more sense to go through the course after Gary Burton. I prefer dense material, since I know I'm learning something new when I'm going through it. It goes against pedagogues who suggest taking things one at a time, and building understanding step by step, but I find it fun, and believe I usually don't have a problem understanding the material. I tend to dive into the deep end, and then figure out all the prerequisites.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Whats the best online piano course/lessons?
«Reply #5 on: June 10, 2020, 04:50:23 PM »

This is the blues course I was talking about (fair warning, I only went through the first few weeks):
https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-blues

I thought it was as dense (probably more so) than the Gary Burton one.
I remember that one.  He's not dense as much as he is intellectual about it.  It is not as compact as Burton's, but more so than the Berkley one.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Whats the best online piano course/lessons?
«Reply #6 on: June 10, 2020, 08:52:45 PM »
PianoTV.net does a good job with teaching through individual, free, online videos
She also offers a 27 lesson series, which I have not done, for $177

You might consider buying a method book series such as Fabre, so that your path will be progressive and planned.


Offline ranjit

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Re: Whats the best online piano course/lessons?
«Reply #7 on: June 11, 2020, 03:52:11 AM »
For example, in the first week's lesson you were to learn a bunch of common and alternate scales, be able to play them on your instruments in all keys, and create random notes within that scale.  Realistically, I think it would take me at least a year to build that.
Just wanted to point out something here. I was learning many of the scales for the first time when I was taking the course, but managed to do it (I left it after the 500 miles high assignment I think because it was proving too hard to keep track of all the chords coming in twice a bar). The key for me was to think of everything in terms of major and minor scales + scale degrees. So, Dorian was a minor with a natural sixth, Locrian was the major scale a half step above the tonic, and the altered was kind of like a minor scale a few modified notes.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Whats the best online piano course/lessons?
«Reply #8 on: June 11, 2020, 08:27:36 AM »
I think I see what you're saying.  When I wrote of a year, I meant in the sense of mastery, where you can go to any of those scales in all keys in an automatic way, and play outside of any order without losing track.  Intellectually it's not that hard to pick up and remember the patterns.  But to have it in your hands over all the octaves, that to me would take a fair bit longer.  But maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance and just decided it would take that long.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Whats the best online piano course/lessons?
«Reply #9 on: June 11, 2020, 12:42:55 PM »
I'm teaching myself piano right now, and its going great so far but I'd really like to have a cohesive online course I can take. Any other self taught players out there? Right now I'm just teaching myself through random youtube videos and reading some sheet music, other than that I'm just looking up chords and scales. Let me know if there is anything out there that is preferably free.

To the OP -- I am self-taught, and I've extensively used internet resources to do so. The following is based on my personal experience, and may differ from common advice. Follow it at your own risk.

It's my experience that when you're self-teaching, you should have an abundance of knowledge to work with. Try and theoretically understand concepts much further ahead of what you are physically capable of playing, so that you can use the knowledge you have to make educated decisions on how to teach yourself and what skills to learn next. Much of piano playing technique may be unintuitive depending on where you are coming from, so leaving aside preconceived biases is very important.

I binge-watched Josh Wright and Graham Fitch videos on Youtube within a few months to a year after I started out. I also read thousands of posts on pianostreet about various aspects of piano technique and playing. It did not matter what level the resource was aimed at -- I read everything I could find.

The point is immersion. There are common patterns you will pick up on when you pour across all of that information. You will see how pianists break up impossible-seeming tasks and practice them, how they analyze pieces, what proper technique means in practice when they try and 'solve' difficult passages while minimizing hand tension, applied theoretical knowledge and common patterns they observe in music which aid in memorization and musicality, etc. Also, observe the hand movements of concert pianists who seem to play effortlessly as closely as you can, and try to mimic them. Be aware of tension as much as possible at all points in time. If anything causes pain, it is important to leave it and take a break.

All this while, remember that the written (or spoken) word is a fallible medium, and people will not always express themselves clearly enough, or you may misunderstand what they mean. Piano playing and technique does not have "facts" set in stone. For example, arching your hands is common advice, but a frequent beginner mistake is to take it as a "rule". That is not correct. You can have poor technique even if your fingers are arched, for example if you arch them too much or if they curl up and create tension. Playing with flatter fingers may also be fine in certain circumstances. To some extent, the optimal technique for your hands depends on your hand physiology, which is unique. Musicality depends on the individual, and is subjective to some extent. But "subjective" should not be understood as "anything goes", because there are common guidelines which are applicable to a large extent.

Information which is above your "level" is very useful especially when self-teaching and imo you should discard the mentality of taking things "one step at a time" if you want to succeed at it. You need to keep switching between different planes, one where you are the "teacher" and one where you are the "student". You need to analyze accurately what skills you need to evolve as a pianist, what techniques you need to achieve them, and use that awareness to formulate a plan.

Offline csindell

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Re: Whats the best online piano course/lessons?
«Reply #10 on: June 16, 2020, 02:12:45 PM »
I have experience with quite a few online courses.  PianoCareerAcademy is the best!  Ilinca Vartic is the teacher and uses the Nikolaev Russian School of Piano as the source material.  Excellent beginner course and so much more.  Best technique instruction I have ever seen.
Josh Wright, ProPractice, is also very good. 
The course on Udemy, Piano for Everyone, is also great for beginners as well as experienced players who want to play pop rhythms with contemporary music. 

Offline dogperson

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Re: Whats the best online piano course/lessons?
«Reply #11 on: June 18, 2020, 01:11:20 PM »
I have experience with quite a few online courses.  PianoCareerAcademy is the best!  Ilinca Vartic is the teacher and uses the Nikolaev Russian School of Piano as the source material.  Excellent beginner course and so much more.  Best technique instruction I have ever seen.
Josh Wright, ProPractice, is also very good. 
The course on Udemy, Piano for Everyone, is also great for beginners as well as experienced players who want to play pop rhythms with contemporary music.


PianoCareer Academy has some free tutorials but the course itself is not free.  It is highly respected and would be worth exploring

Iím afraid you will not find a free, complete and respected course.  It takes skills and time to develop which deserve financial reimbursement 

Offline sherryl

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Re: Whats the best online piano course/lessons?
«Reply #12 on: July 29, 2020, 08:50:15 AM »
I'm teaching myself piano right now, and its going great so far but I'd really like to have a cohesive online course I can take appvalley. Any other self taught players out there? Right now I'm just teaching myself through random youtube videos and reading some sheet music, other than that I'm just looking up chords and scales. Let me know if there is anything out there that is preferably free.

Iím about to turn 21. Iíve wanted to play the piano since I was a little kid. I wanna buy a keyboard asap and start learning. Wish me luck :)


Offline keypeg

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Re: Whats the best online piano course/lessons?
«Reply #13 on: July 30, 2020, 02:33:33 PM »
Iím about to turn 21. Iíve wanted to play the piano since I was a little kid. I wanna buy a keyboard asap and start learning. Wish me luck :)
I hereby wish you luck!  :)

(Think turtle.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Amended: Think happy turtle.  Slow, steady and enjoying the journey every step of the way.  Be a happy turtle.)