Wednesday, 3 June 2015

JazzEdge Piano Basics

My girls were over the moon to review Easy Piano Basics from JazzEdge. Lilly especially has been bugging asking me for ages for Piano lessons but they've never been in our budget, so this one was a real treat.

Easy Piano Basics is a series of online piano lessons created by Willie Myette, a major from Berklee College of Music. He has a fun and friendly way of teaching and makes the concepts easy to understand. 

Easy Piano Basics is a series of 32 video lessons, they are fairly short ranging from 2-10 mins with each lesson building upon the last. The lessons include everything from learning the keys (starting with middle C), reading music, scales, low and high notes, sharps and flats, proper seating, playing with both hands, rhythm and more. In the latter lessons printable pages are provided along with sheet music for you to download - the sheet music is a real plus and we printed them out, laminated them and bound them into a little music book for practise sessions.

You will need a piano or keyboard but once you have one it's really easy to use (we used a standard electric keyboard) - you can either log on and watch a streaming of the video online or download and save to your PC. I used my ipad and propped it up on the music stand of our keyboard and away they went, this worked best for us because they could see the fingering and act on it at the same time. The girls watched on average 2 lessons a week (the moved through the early lessons very quickly and spent more time on the tougher lessons) and spent the remainder of the week practising for approx 10 mins a day. 

Lilly (12) has loved this and has already finished all the lessons and is requesting the next level of PianoWithWillie (thinking it would make a nice birthday pressie for her). 
Sunflower (10) and Tulip (8) are both working through this with no complaints : )
Rose (6) has required a lot of help from me and is less keen than her older sisters but is still trying. I have to admit that I've even been watching the lessons and practising for myself - more because the music I heard Lilly and Sunflower playing sounded really good.

I liked how the screen was split and able to show a number of keyboard views at the same time, this worked really well and made things much simpler when trying to sync fingers. I was very impressed with the content and by how much of an impact it had on the girls - they've been practising in their free time and with no hassling from me : )
It's been really nice to see how quickly they have picked this up, we were over at a friends house last week and Lilly disappeared into her dining room to play on their 'real' piano. It was a real treat to listen to and my friend even asked who she was having lessons with.

This is an interesting and hassle free way to introduce piano into your life - it's much cheaper than traditional lessons and really develops a strong foundation in playing and reading music. I think this is a fantastic way to teach yourself piano.

Easy Piano Basics is currently on sale for $59.95 (normally $69.95)  This is a one off, lifetime fee so can be used for subsequent children too. They also have some trail lessons so you can see how it works for your family.

You can see what my crew mates thought of this, PianowithWillie and DrumswithWillie over at the TOS Blog 

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