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9 Best Piano Learning Apps 2021 For Quick Improvements

Piano | Tools For Musicians
Best Piano Learning Apps 2021 For Quick Improvements

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Looking to improve your piano skills without forking out hundreds on a keyboard or thousands on a piano? Then a piano learning app may be the best solution.

But which is the best piano learning app on the market? The one that best combines ease of use with the ability to help you become the pianist you want to be? Read on to find out now.

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flowkey

flowkey is a top piano app

flowkey promises to be a useful tool for piano players of any skill level and it even markets itself as “the best way to learn piano.” While it is one of the best available, we don’t necessarily think of it as the best.

If you have a piano or keyboard, that’s all you need to get started with flowkey, as is the case with most apps on this list. In some cases, though, you’ll still be able to practice on your computer keyboard or onscreen on your device.

When you sign up for flowkey, you will be asked whether you have any piano experience, as well as whether you have a piano you can use (you can login and see what content is available without a piano or keyboard). It will also give you the choice of playing songs or learning the basics, depending on how you’d like to get started.

You are then prompted to set up your free account and identify your skill level – Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, or Pro, so that you can find learning materials at the appropriate skill level for you.

Price

You can sign up with flowkey for free, but if you want to access everything, you’ll want to upgrade to premium. They have three pricing options depending on how long you’d like to be able to access the platform:

  • 1 month – $19.99/month
  • 12 months – $9.99/month
  • Lifetime – $329.99 billed once

Most apps follow a similar convention in that you can explore their app for free but will need to upgrade to premium to take advantage of their full offering.

Platform

flowkey’s platform is 100% online, which means you should be able to access their songs and course material from any device with a browser and internet connection.

For best results, though, use a larger tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, so you can see everything clearly. More screen retail space is generally a little easier to work with.

What’s Included

flowkey’s song selection is considerable, though some can only be unlocked when you upgrade to a premium account. You can still access free songs, such as “Amazing Grace”, “Happy Birthday to You”, “Clair de Lune” and others to try things out.

flowkey says they’ve got over 1,500 songs in their library, and they’ve got everything from pop hits, classical, film & TV, to game music, jazz, traditional, and a great deal more you can learn from.

In addition to songs, you can also access their courses, which include the following:

  • Introduction To The Piano – eight modules
  • Playing With Both Hands – seven modules
  • Intermediate Piano Playing – six modules
  • Mastering Chords – seven modules
  • Improvising With Chords – five modules
  • Music Reading Training – eight modules
  • Playing Scales – 10 modules
  • Playing Scales II – 12 modules

User Interface

First, let’s cover the overall design of the platform. flowkey is modern, sleek, and smooth. It’s easy and intuitive to navigate as well.

Its color scheme is quiet compared to some other apps that are more colorful, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

If you’re looking for a song, you can browse their database or take advantage of the convenient search function. Songs can be previewed before you choose to learn any of them, which is always helpful.

If you’re learning a song for the first time, flowkey will walk you though how to use their platform. They tell you that you can use the loop function to work on a specific segment of music, separate the music by hands (so you can learn one hand at a time – that can make practice a lot easier), take advantage of “wait mode” to have the software wait until you play the correct note, and access other learning modes like “slow motion.”

Once inside the lesson, you can also watch a high-quality video demonstration of how the song is to be played.

These are all highly usable functions.

The course material is a little more basic, where one short video is followed by another. It works well, and it can give you a strong sense of accomplishment as you progress, but there is no supporting text, PDFs, or other materials to reinforce what you’re learning.

Minimalist isn’t always a bad thing, but in this case, it seems like maybe they could have added a little bit of supportive content to help users.

But overall, flowkey is a great app to try.

Melodics

Melodics

Melodics is a desktop app that’s been designed to make practicing fun. It’s a little unusual in that it’s been designed to help you develop your skills with a MIDI keyboard, pad controller, or electronic drumkit.

Basically, it’s a great choice for anyone looking to make beats and hone their music production skills.

When you go to download Melodics, you are asked whether you have a keyboard (which is what we’ll be covering here), pad controller, or MIDI drums. Once you’ve made your selection, you can download the software and install it on your computer.

The software is relatively small (about 50 MB), so it shouldn’t take you too long to download and install.

Once installed, you’ll need to create an account and choose what you want to learn – MIDI keyboard, finger drumming, or electronic drums. Of course, the focus here is MIDI keyboard.

The software will automatically detect your keyboard if it is connected to your computer. If you don’t have one, you can still practice with your computer keyboard.

You can then choose your skill level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) as well as a genre you want to try.

Price

Melodics has three tiers:

  • Free – comes with five performance minutes per day, and 60 lessons.
  • Monthly – $29.99/month gives you access to unlimited play time, lessons by acclaimed artists, 800+ lessons, 50+ courses, free play over lessons, and new weekly content.
  • Annual – $12.49/month billed annually. Gives you access to everything you get with the Monthly plan.

Promotions may affect the price of Melodics.

Platform

Melodics is available for Windows and Mac. It’s not an online platform, but rather a software application, so you must install it on your computer to use it.

What’s Included

Melodics’ content is organized into four key sections – Guided, Courses, Lessons, and Exercises.

Guided includes lessons on rudiments, like right hand, left hand, intervals, building chords, and more. Basically, it gives you a solid footing in music and piano theory.

Courses is basically just the Guided section broken down into individual courses. So, if you’ve got a head start with keyboard, and don’t need to start at the beginning, you can simply choose from their selection of 45 courses based on what you want to learn now.

Lessons are organized by grades (grade 1 through 15) and have different focuses depending on the lesson, like Rhythm, Melody, or Interval. This should make it easy to choose what you want to work on now depending on your skill level and experience.

Finally, within Exercises, you’ll find scale exercises you can use to improve your technique and speed. Exercises are organized by skill level (beginner, easy, intermediate, advanced, and expert).

User Interface

Melodics has got a sleek, modern, playful graphical interface that’s easy and fun to use.

There’s a bit of a built-in reward system (gamification) after you finish tutorials or lessons, and that can be quite satisfying.

The platform is well organized and easy to navigate. Everything loads fast too.

Overall, Melodics has done a great job of putting together a piece of software that’s easy and fun to engage with.

Pianu

Another good piano learning app is Pianu

Pianu claims to make the process of learning piano easy.

The focus of the platform is learning to play with songs, which is quite possibly one of the best ways to learn. After all, learning songs is usually more fun than learning exercises.

Once you’re on Pianu, you’ll need to create an account with them and log in to the platform. Once inside, you’ll be brought to your dashboard, where you can see your overall progress as well as badges (“achievements”) you’ve collected.

From the dashboard, you can access the Academy, Songs, and Connect. Within the Academy, you can begin learning the fundamentals through songs, and of course you can find plenty of great songs to learn within the son library.

Price

Pianu offers different plans depending on what you’re looking for. They are as follows:

  • Monthly – $14/month
  • 3 Months – $35 ($11.66/month)
  • 6 Months – $56 ($9.33/month)
  • Annually – $100 ($8.33/month)
  • Lifetime – $275 (unlimited)

Platform

Pianu is an online app. You should be able to access it on any device, but more screen space is always preferred.

What’s Included

Pianu gives you access to a complete piano course with 20 interactive lessons teaching you how to read music and play chords.

Lessons are gamified, so you can unlock badges in the Academy, just as you would unlock achievements in a video game – all while learning the songs you love.

You also get six finger-strengthening tutorials to help you develop technique and dexterity.

The Academy progresses through levels (1 though 5), where you work through all the basics – major chords, one-octave scale, arpeggios, and more.

Within the song library, you will find plenty of songs organized by levels (again 1 through 5).

User Interface

The interface is simplistic but fun. Gamification seems to be par for the course based on some of the other apps covered here, but it’s still a nice touch.

Pianu could be great for kids and adults alike, especially those who are achievement oriented.

The interface is simple and usable. But it’s also quite cartoony. That could be a turn off to some.

Although Pianu could prove a great starting point, overall, they seem to have less content compared to some of the other apps mentioned here.

Piano Marvel

Piano Marvel

Compatible with Windows, Mac, or iPad, Piano Marvel gives you a way to learn your favorite songs online.

First, you’ll need to set up a user account. Then you’ll be asked a couple of questions about whether you have a teacher, and whether you’d like to receive news and updates from Piano Marvel.

Once your account is set up, you can take a virtual tour to learn how to use the platform to become a better pianist.

Price

Piano Marvel offers the following plans:

  • Free – Assessment and scores with MIDI, over 200 exercises (Level 1 only), over 125 songs (Levels 1 – 9), three sight reading tests, 25+ lesson videos, and practice reports.
  • Premium Annual – $110.99/year gives you access to assessment and scores with MIDI, over 1,200 exercises (Level 1 – 6), over 2,000 songs (Level 1 – 18), unlimited sight reading tests, 100+ lesson videos, expanded practice reports, sight reading boot camps, free support.
  • Premium Monthly – $15.99/month gives you access to everything you get in the Premium Annual plan.

Platform

Piano Marvel is compatible with Windows, Mac, and iPad.

What’s Included

This was basically covered in the pricing section (see above), but we’ll cover how everything is laid out here.

Once inside Piano Marvel, you’ll be brought to your dashboard, which tracks your overall progress (nice gamification feature).

On your dashboard, you’ll find links to Library, Method, Technique, SASR, and Reports.

Within Library, you can access thousands of songs to learn at any level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, and professional). You can even search via title or composer. You will also find multiple arrangements for each song.

Once inside a song, you will be presented with the sheet music. You can print out the sheet music, watch the song video, change the tempo, and more from this screen. You will even get a score (points) based on your performance.

In the Method section, you will find lesson videos along with sheet music. The videos make it super easy to understand what needs to happen with each lesson, as you can see both the sheet music and the teacher’s hands while they are playing piano. This is a good section to learn all the fundamentals in.

Technique is essentially the same as the Method section, except with a focus on rhythm and ear training.

SASR refers to the Standard Assessment Sight Reading test, which, as you probably guessed, you can take to determine your overall competency in sight reading.

Finally, the Reports section shows your progress.

User Interface

We like what Piano Marvel is up to. Their platform is easy to use, and there is quite a bit of content besides.

Although easy to navigate, the interface doesn’t look anywhere near as attractive or modern as some of the competitors already mentioned. If anything, it looks kind of outdated and ugly.

The sheet music is clear, and the videos are incredibly helpful, so that’s a plus, but it leaves something to be desired.

Then again, maybe the fun factor doesn’t matter as much to you, in which case Piano Marvel might be right up your alley.

We can’t imagine any user will find themselves lost within Piano Marvel, but if you’re looking for the fun factor, there are better options available.

Yousician

Yousician

Yousician is a well-known app in musician circles. Perhaps more “notorious” than popular depending on who you ask, because of the so-called “bouncing ball” approach to learning.

But we find Yousician to be one of the best apps out there.

In addition to piano, you can also learn guitar, bass, ukulele, and even singing using their platform.

Yousician has been built with award-winning technology and is regularly updated to boot.

First step to getting started is downloading the app, which means setting up a user account. The app is only 15 MB, so it should be a quick download. Once downloaded, simply install.

Once you’ve installed Yousician on your device, you’ll be greeted with an intro video and be asked the standard questions to do with skill level, as well as whether you want to use Yousician or standard notation.

Once inside, Yousician will automatically start taking you through lessons based on the options you chose.

Price

You can try Yousician for free. By upgrading to Premium, however, you can unlock all songs, all instruments, and gain access to unlimited lesson time.

Yousician usually costs $199.99 per year, but this price varies based on sales.

Platform

Yousician works on iOS, Android, and PC, whether it’s a phone, laptop, desktop, or tablet.

What’s Included

You get access to thousands of songs, exercises, workouts, teacher-crafted lessons, and step by step video tutorials to help you on your learning journey.

You can even set playing goals, track your progress, and monitor your improvement.

Yousician also has weekly challenges where users compete for a place on the leaderboard.

User Interface

This is where Yousician outshines the competition. Their app immediately takes over your screen and begins immersing you in the world of music.

This also means you aren’t left with a lot of choice, mind you. Navigating to other content is either difficult or impossible, so you’re obligated to finish whatever lessons you’re on.

Still, the platform is simple to use, easy on the eyes, and highly engaging. You can easily get sucked in, as if you were watching a great movie or playing a video game.

Navigation isn’t entirely clear (unnecessary?), so that’s the one piece that could be better, but aside from that, they’ve put together a great experience for their users.

Playground Sessions

Playground Sessions

Playground Sessions claims to offer the best piano lessons online. It was co-created by the legendary Quincy Jones, and features lessons from the iconic Harry Connick, Jr.

If you want to get started with Playground Sessions, your first step will be to purchase a membership plan.

Price

Playground Sessions has three plans for membership:

  • Monthly – $17.99/month
  • Annual – $119.88 ($9.99/month)
  • Lifetime – $289.99

Monthly and annual memberships give you access to Music Theory Bootcamp, five free songs per month, free classical songs, and unlockable bonus courses.

With Lifetime membership, you get access to all the above in addition to 40 free songs.

Platform

Playground Sessions is compatible with Windows computers, Surface, Apple computers, and iPads.

What’s Included

Playground Sessions gives you access to online piano lessons.

You can learn your favorite songs with interactive lessons and choose from pop, rock, classic hits, R&B, traditional, and classical, which have all been organized by skill level – Rookie, Intermediate, and Advanced.

You can learn theory and musical concepts from songs you within Bootcamp.

You can also keep tabs on your progression with easy-to-read charts.

User Interface

Obviously, Playground Sessions has got a lot to offer, with many well-known names involved in the development or lesson side of things.

The greatest draw to the platform is that it’s got celebrity teachers, popular songs, gamification elements, and step by step lessons.

With so much going for it, the interface feels a little dated and cartoony. It doesn’t distract from its overall value or content, but students might expect a little more for the price.

Interface design isn’t everything when it comes to learning, though, and may not prove much of a distraction for some.

Aside from that, it’s relatively easy to use and navigate, which is always a plus.

Skoove

Skoove

Skoove offers interactive piano lessons and claims to help you revel in the joy and bliss of playing music. Yes, they really do use language like that in their marketing, but it’s not hard to relate to.

Signing up with Skoove is fast and easy, and you’ll find yourself inside a course in no time.

Price

If you’d like to try Skoove for free, you can get access to 25 piano lessons.

Premium includes 40+ piano lessons, monthly updated lessons and songs, one-on-one support form Skoove music instructions, and special courses.

Premium costs $19.99 per month, $13.99 for three months, and $9.99 for 12 months.

Platform

Skoove’s platform is online, but they also have an iPad and iPhone app.

What’s Included

Some of the details were covered earlier in the pricing section. So, here we’ll look at some of the courses and lessons you get access to.

The following courses can be found inside Skoove:

  • Piano Beginner 1
  • Beginner Theory: Sight Reading
  • Piano Beginner 2
  • Piano Beginner 3
  • Piano Songs Beginner
  • Piano Intermediate 1
  • Piano Intermediate 2
  • Piano Intermediate 3
  • Piano Songs Intermediate
  • Florian Christl
  • Remme
  • Classic Piano
  • Pop Piano
  • Piano Songs Advanced
  • Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano
  • Chords & Scales
  • Keyboard for Producers
  • Soundtrack Course
  • Beatles Course
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Christmas Course

So, as you can see, there’s quite a bit of content, and each course has about 10 to 20 lessons.

User Interface

We like that Skoove doesn’t have a lengthy signup or installation process. From the moment you land on their website, you’re basically just a few clicks away from getting started.

The courses are easy to navigate, and they’ve kept this part of their site minimal too.

Inside lessons, their interface is quite reminiscent of flowkey. Overall, it’s well-designed, and functional. Sheet music is shown in the upper half of the screen, and in the lower half, you can see a keyboard with fingers placed on it.

Navigating through the lesson is easy, too with clearly marked “Start” and “Next” buttons. You can also listen to exercises or songs before you start playing them, and if you don’t have a keyboard, you can still practice on your computer keyboard.

Their design isn’t the nicest or the best, but it’s up there.

Hoffman Academy

Hoffman Academy

Hoffman Academy was developed with kids in mind.

Although some learning apps and sites work well for players of all ages, sometimes younger kids do need a bit of an extra push with fun at the forefront and learning in the background.

To get started with Hoffman Academy, you will need to create an account.

First, choose whether you’ll be using the site as a parent/mentor or as a student. Then fill out your details.

Once inside, you’ll be brought to the dashboard where you can choose from Lessons or Games and change your account settings.

Price

As with most platforms, you can see what’s inside Hoffman Academy for free. With that in mind, if you want to gain access to everything, you’ll need to upgrade to one of their premium plans:

  • Premium Monthly – $18/month gives you access to all video lessons, progress tracking, over 355 printable music learning resources, four online games, personal avatar, daily practice plans from Mr. Hoffman, ability to earn points to advance levels, use on your smart device, and support from customer service team of music educators. Additional students can be added for $9 a month.
  • Premium Yearly – $14.92/month billed yearly ($179). You get everything included in the Premium Monthly plan, as well as the ability to add additional students for $89 per year.
  • Premium Lifetime – $495. You get everything included in the Premium Monthly plan, and discounts on additional students.

Platform

You should be able to access it from any device.

What’s Included

With Hoffman Academy, you get access to 14 units worth of material, each with about 20 lessons. They also have a popular music/repertoire section.

The games each focus on different areas of learning. Here’s an overview:

  • Alphabet Towers – theory
  • Mystery Melodies – ear training
  • Piano Street – theory
  • Rhythm Train – rhythm
  • Staff Crawler – staff

User Interface

Hoffman Academy has got a great website overall. And although it looks like the members section might be due for a slight overhaul, it’s still attractive, easy to navigate, and well organized.

Each lesson comes with a video that’s sure to keep a child’s attention. But you might be surprised how detailed and in-depth the lessons are, considering they are made for kids.

Each video comes with activities. These usually consist of tasks to do with repertoire, challenges, theory, and so on. So, there is plenty of material supporting the videos to ensure the learning sticks.

It’s a bit of a different beast from other piano apps we’ve covered, and that makes it difficult to compare or rank, but we like what Hoffman Academy is up to.

Simply Piano by JoyTunes

Simply Piano by JoyTunes

Simply Piano by JoyTunes promises to be a fast and fun way to learn the piano, catering to players at every skill level.

The app can be used with any piano or keyboard, as your device listens to the notes you’re playing.

You will need to install the app on your smart device to begin using.

Once inside the app, you are brought on a quick tour. You will then be asked whether you have a piano.

Following that, you’ll need to create a profile. From there, you can begin digging into the courses and songs.

Price

The app is free to install. To unlock all the content, though, you’ll want to upgrade to premium. The three plans available are:

  • 12 months – $7.99/month (includes seven-day free trial).
  • 6 months – $10.99/month
  • 3 months – $16.99/month

Platform

Simply Piano by JoyTunes is available on the App Store and Google Play.

What’s Included

Simply Piano by JoyTunes comes with 25 courses for different skill levels, hundreds of songs from all genres, sheet music, sight reading, chords, technique, personalized exercises, warmups and more.

The following courses can be found within Simply Piano:

  • Touch Intro
  • Stay In Touch
  • Piano Basics
  • Essentials I, II, III
  • Pop Chords I, II, III
  • Chord Styling I, II, III
  • Classical I
  • Lead Sheet I, II, III
  • Blues Chords I
  • Intermediate I, II, III, IV
  • Jazz Chords I, II
  • Slash Chords
  • Taste of Bach I, II
  • The Entertainer

Lesson videos make it easy for you to learn. They are generally quick and snappy, allowing you to make progress in a short amount of time.

You can work on these lessons with or without a piano (an onscreen piano appears), though the use of a piano or keyboard is always recommended with any platform.

Simply Piano offers plenty of feedback in terms of voice, sounds, and onscreen cues. That makes it interactive and fun.

The song library can only be accessed after you upgrade to premium, but if you get tired of course material and you want to learn your favorite songs, it would be nice to have access to it.

User Interface

Simply Piano is simply laid out and easy to use. The menu resides on the left side of the screen, where Courses and Songs are the main points of navigation. On the right side of the screen is where you can choose from courses, songs, and other content.

Within in the menu, you can also click on the hamburger button to add a profile, upgrade to premium, and access 5-Min Workout, Sheet Music, and settings.

The interface’s design is slick, with a professional color scheme, flat vector style art, background gradients, translucent foreground elements, and more.

The lessons are clean, easy to understand, and progress in small bits, which can simplify the learning process greatly. And it seems to take after Yousician’s interface somewhat.

Despite the nice layout, swiping through course content does take time, especially if the course you’re looking for is on the far end of the screen. Simply Piano would benefit greatly from a search function in this regard.

Also, this is not a great choice for those who prefer online or desktop apps. If you like using your smart devices to learn, and like navigating within apps by swiping and typing onscreen, then you won’t mind.

Overall, though, this is an excellent app to get started with, and one that’s certainly worth a look if you’ve got a keyboard and a smartphone, and you’re ready to start learning.

9 Best Piano Learning Apps – The Verdict

So there you have it, some of the best piano learning apps on the market.

If you’re after a powerful piano training app regardless of your current skill level, flowkey is our recommended choice. If however you want a more gamified option where you can rack up points and badges the more you play and the better you get, Pianu is probably for you.

Give one a try and let me know how you get on.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you’ve learned will matter if you don’t know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career’ ebook emailed directly to you!

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