The 7 Best Online Piano Lessons of 2021

From classical to rock, these courses have it all

The Ultimate Guide to Online Learning at Home
The Ultimate Guide to Online Learning at Home
Introduction

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The Rundown
  • Best Overall: Pianote "Because you have online chats, forums, and weekly live sessions, it’s a good hybrid online lesson system."
  • Best for Beginners: TakeLessons "Both personalized and easy-to-use, and has taught millions of lessons to hundreds of thousands of students."
  • Best for Scheduling: Preply "Lets you set your lesson time based on your and the teacher’s schedule, not some arbitrary times scheduled by the service at large."
  • Best for Teacher Selection: Lessonface "Despite its wide teacher selection, there are customizable search terms which make finding the right teacher easy."
  • Best for Classical Piano: Piano Teachers Connect "Great for those who want a more traditional approach, but might not be pop-oriented enough for others."
  • Best Overall, Recorded Lessons: Flowkey "The service works in a way that’s more unique than just video tutorials—it’s more like a play-along app."
  • Best Value: Musika "Musika offers a risk-free trial lesson, which is more than you normally get with real lessons."

Best Overall: Pianote

Pianote

Pianote

There are two main categories of lesson offerings—live video chat sessions that work similarly to a real, in-person lesson, and recorded video lessons you can access at any time. Both of these have their pros and cons, depending on whether you value flexibility or live, human feedback.

Pianote is trying to straddle this line more than any of the other offerings we found. It works the same as any other pre-recorded collection of lessons, giving you access to hours of lessons from professional pianists. But they’ve also included weekly live sessions and Q&A opportunities. This is really helpful, because it doesn't require you to schedule one-on-one sessions, working around another teacher’s schedule, because you can just run video lessons whenever you want.

But if you do have questions or concerns, there will be weekly moments for you to interact. This isn’t quite as good as the attention you’ll get from one-on-one sessions, but for our money, it’s the best of both worlds.

They cover topics that range from general theory, building-block techniques, songwriting, and even improvisation. The whole thing costs $197 per year for a membership with the option to purchase separate lessons for $99 each. A few of the stand alone lessons they offer include Piano Riffs & Fills, Piano Technique Made Easy, Faster Fingers, and more. It’s the best year-commitment deal we’ve seen and because you have online chats, forums, and weekly live sessions, it’s a good hybrid online lesson system.

Best for Beginners: TakeLessons

Takelessons

 Takelessons

TakeLessons doubles as both a live private lesson service (for finding in-person teachers in your area) and an online lesson platform. The online option allows for both music lessons and language lessons.

The piano side of the platform is really helpful for beginners because it’s a really affordable price point (as low as $19.95 per month, which is discounted even further if you pay for the year in advance) and because it gives you a low-risk solution for learning basic keyboard skills.

It operates much like a classroom, where at a variety of times during the day, students log into the virtual classroom and take lessons with a live teacher over video. You can do this on Google Chrome or via the app, so it’s really flexible from a device standpoint.

You can start with beginner classes like “Fundamental Piano Techniques,” “Learn to Play the Piano with Both Hands,” or “Must Know Piano Chords and How to Play Them.” We really like this bite-sized format because it makes learning a new instrument not quite as daunting as it could be.

TakeLessons has taught millions of lessons to hundreds of thousands of students, and because the premium subscription offers progress tracking and direct teacher feedback, it’s both personalized and easy-to-use.

We’d prefer to see a few more direct private lessons, but we recognize the scale of that might be tough.

Best for Scheduling: Preply

Preply

Preply

Preply offers a really interesting, simple approach to one-on-one, online music teachers. Based on the homepage alone, the site seems more focused and tailored toward online language lessons, as that’s what is readily apparent on the navigation.

But if you search “piano” in the search field, it brings up over 100 teachers capable of teaching you. From this page, you can choose your teacher based on a variety of criteria including their rating, their specialty, their language fluency, and even the price point.

It’s the latter fact that impresses us the most here—most online lesson options tend to lean toward locking you in for at least a month. And while that monthly payment can tend to be less than some of these single-lesson payments, you can find teachers who charge an average of around $15 a lesson.

There’s a messaging system available for communicating with your teacher, and you can even select from a calendar of available times right from login. This customization is really important, in our opinion, because it lets you set your lesson time based on your and the teacher’s schedule, not some arbitrary times scheduled by the service at large. It’s a really tailored experience.

Best for Teacher Selection: Lessonface

Lessonface

 Lessonface

The Lessonface interface isn’t the most modern-looking of the interfaces we’ve seen. It appears a little clunky, and there are lots of guided popups through the process that actually serve to get in the way, rather than help.

But the service makes up for this in its breadth of teacher selection and the customizable search terms with which you can find the right teacher for you. You start by entering search terms, which can be as broad as just general piano or as specific as something like Gospel Piano or Piano Composition. We really like this format, because it helps to narrow down the task of searching for a teacher, which can be pretty daunting.

Once you’ve culled down your list, you can drill down and look more closely at specific teachers—the dedicated teacher pages on Lessonface are really detailed. They feature full bios, in-depth reviews, and more. From here you can choose to schedule a lesson, and though it isn’t quite as intuitive from a scheduling perspective as something like Preply, it does seem to give you some control over when your lesson will take place.

You can also tailor your search by price, which is really helpful if you just want to try a lesson or two before locking yourself into a monthly plan.

Best for Classical Piano: Piano Teachers Connect

Piano Teachers Connect

 Piano Teachers Connect

Piano Teachers Connect is less of a “lesson service” and more a general directory for piano teachers who are willing to do in-person lessons as well as lessons via Skype. That means that you won’t be able to participate in lessons via a custom-built platform, but this could be good if you want a simpler approach.

If you want to browse and find teachers, there are a couple of ways to do it. First, you can take the platform’s three-minute survey that will aim to pair you with a teacher based on your answers. You can also scroll down the page and find some filters to help whittle down the list. The filters are much more classically oriented than many other sites, offering music theory options, jazz piano options, or even filtering based on the Suzuki method of playing. This is great for those who want a more traditional approach, but might not be pop-oriented enough for others.

The pricing depends on how long you want your lessons, whether they’re online or in-person, and where you are located. Online classes start at $20 for 30 minutes and are $30 for an hour session. In-person classes range from $50 to $60 for an hour session.

It’s a solid option if you don’t want to have to subscribe to a service, and want a more classical approach.

Best Overall, Recorded Lessons: Flowkey

Flowkey

 Flowkey

Flowkey is one of the flashiest piano-centric platforms we found in our research, and that could be a great thing for you. The experience starts by asking you a few pointed questions about whether you’ve played the piano before, if you own a piano, and if you’d prefer to learn songs or piano basics. This points you in the right direction for lessons, but at its core, Flowkey is essentially just a big database of video lessons that you can access.

The prices for lessons were not readily available on the website. However you can sign up for one free lesson without having to provide a credit card.

The service works in a way that’s more unique than just video tutorials—it’s more like a play-along app that you put next to your keyboard. There’s a live feedback mode that hears your playing, the option for slow-motion, hand isolation, and even tutorials from some of the leading Internet piano teachers from YouTube and more.

It’s a pretty full-featured offering, provided you don’t want one-on-one video chats.

Best Value: Musika

Musika

 Musika

On the surface, Musika is just another typical online private lesson system that matches you with a teacher and has you connect with them via Skype to learn how to play. What sets Musika apart is its focus on budget-conscious players.

Because it’s an online lesson that you don’t need to travel to, you’re already getting an inherent savings. Musika offers a risk-free trial lesson, which is more than you normally get with real lessons—a trial is usually reserved for the monthly-plan services.

Online lessons cost $26 for 30 minutes, $37 for 45 minutes, and $48 for one-hour lessons.

With over 1,000 teachers, and more than two million lessons taken, Musika has a track record that speaks for itself.

Our Process 

Our writers spent 10 hours researching the most popular online piano lessons on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 15 different online piano lessons overall, screened options from 15 different brands and manufacturers, read over 50 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 2 of the online piano lessons themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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