I have loved music for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my family was somewhat musical: my Dad plays guitar, Mom played keyboard a little, and I played the trumpet and French horn in the school band. Since having children of my own, I had always hoped that they would share my love for music, and for the most part, they do. When Rach was younger, she took Kindermusik classes for a few years and loved it. It’s always been a desire that my children would want to learn an instrument, especially piano. When I think of someone playing piano, I always thinks it looks so graceful. When the kids were younger, piano lessons were never in our budget, and as they got older, it was more of an afterthought that was pushed to the back burner. I was recently introduced to HomeSchoolPiano, and was immediately intrigued. We received lifetime access for up to 5 students to HomeSchoolPiano – Complete Set of Books. Subscription includes access to online piano lessons via video, plus 4 printable books ranging from beginner and on. Best of all, this curriculum is for all ages. The cost for the HomeSchoolPiano program is $299, or 3 monthly payments of $99.97, and includes lifetime access!
Videos are presented by Willie Myette, a graduate of Berklee College of Music who has toured the U.S. and Europe. The videos provide dual camera views: one view is Willie as he’s presenting, and the other is of his keyboard from the top, so you can see what keys he’s using and how to play. The beauty of this program, is that you can start wherever you want. If you’re a true beginner, you’ll want to start with CorePiano, which covers the very basics: how to find Middle C on the keyboard, how to press the keys, low and high notes, and even how to sit at the piano. Book 3 is the most advanced, so if you’re already an experienced player, you can learn music composition and syncopated rhythms. The videos can be watched on computers and tablets alike. During most of our review period, we used my Windows RT tablet, because it’s smaller and is easy to rest on the music stand of our keyboard.
Managing your account is very simple. Once you’re logged in, you can add up to 5 students with personalized usernames and passwords. This way, each student can log in and work at their own pace. The website automatically keeps track of where you left off, so you can continue watching a video that maybe you weren’t able to finish, or you can simply go to the next video in the series. You can also download and print the PDF books that go along with the videos. The lessons are fairly short at around 10 minutes or less, so it’s easy to work them into your day. You can do as many as you want at a time, but you don’t want to overwhelm yourself or your child. The only equipment you need is either a piano or keyboard with at least 49 full-sized keys, and your computer, tablet, or phone to watch the videos. That’s it! Nothing connects to your computer at all. HomeSchoolPiano utilizes a 6 step cycle method to teach piano: technique, rhythm, ear training, reading music, song, and improvisation. Each book contains 6 units, with each unit having 6 lessons within, plus a bonus lesson, which is a little more advanced. Several lessons also have quizzes to be sure you understand what you’ve learned.
During the review period, Rachelle and Lucas were the only ones who used the HomeSchoolPiano program. The other 2 boys didn’t really express interest in learning right now, but I love that we have that option down the road with unlimited lifetime access. Both Rach and Lucas started from the beginning. It’s been about 6 years since Rach graduated from Kindermusik, so she didn’t really remember anything music-wise, and Lucas has no musical training at all. For Rach, once she was logged in, she could pretty well find her way around the site once I showed her where to go, and she was able to work on her own. The website is pretty easy for older children to navigate on their own, but they may still need some guidance on what they should be working on. Lucas needed a little more help getting started, but he was able to watch the videos on his own. I wasn’t sure how well he’d do since he has the attention span of an ADHD squirrel. He keeps wanting to play the keys while watching the videos, so I have to stay close and remind him to pay attention. Once I saw how he was with the lessons, I really wasn’t sure how much he would learn. I was blown away with his recall, though. It’s also usually noisy in our house, so the kiddos would wear earpods while they did their lessons. Isn’t it great how you can customize school for your kids when you are in charge of their education?! The lessons aren’t long enough for you to experience any burnout, and you can do them when you want, so there’s no pressure with scheduling.
What Do We Think?
This is one of those rare things that we use that my kids actually ask to do. Early on in the review, the website was having some technical difficulties, so we weren’t able to watch the video lessons, and the kids were pretty bummed. You know something is good when your kids are bummed because they can’t learn! The tech team was great to work with the few times we had glitches; they were upgrading their website in order to give everyone a better experience. Yay! HomeSchoolPiano is great to learn to play piano, and even compose your own music without having to travel for lessons. If you really want to learn and will put effort into your studies, you can complete the lesson in about 18 months or so. This will depend on the individual, of course. It may take you more or less time, but Willie recommends that you don’t do too many lessons at once so that you really retain what you learn, and don’t overextend yourself. Willie has a great personality, and the videos are very clear and easy to see/understand. The website is so easy to use and is kid-friendly. The price is pretty great, too, especially when you consider the fact that you have lifetime access, and I love that a payment plan is available. If you or some in your family want to learn piano in a fun and easy way, be sure to check out HomeSchoolPiano!
Be sure to click below to read reviews from my fellow Crew Mates. we all received the same product to try. Have a blessed day!