By Tab Olsen
Have you always wanted to learn how to play the piano but never got around to it or can’t afford expensive lessons? Have you grown frustrated with trying to study the instrument using books, software, or cheap introductory videos that have little useful content? Did you try taking formal lessons at one time but lost interest? Being able to play the piano seems to be a deep longing in many people’s hearts, and yet most of us don’t have the time, money, or patience to spend years taking classical piano lessons. Do you have a secret desire to learn and master piano playing? No matter your age, now you can!
Learn & Master Piano is a masterfully produced learn-at-home piano course that can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of hiring a private piano instructor. Young people can jump right in and follow the techniques to learn how to play the piano for the first time. This would be a great elective course for which students can also obtain a music credit. Mom and Dad can learn to play the piano, too, and will find that piano playing is a great stress reliever. Wouldn’t you love to be able to come home after a hard day, sit down behind that piece of furniture that’s been gathering dust over in the corner, and relax by playing your favorite song?
Of course we all have our favorite styles of music, so it’s only natural that you’d be most interested in playing what you like. You will be glad to know that this comprehensive course covers a variety of musical genres, and you can study them all or just skip to the ones that interest you the most. Learn & Master Piano will teach you to play Rock, Classical, Ragtime, Country, Modern Pop, Boogie-Woogie, Blues, Jazz, and Latin. You’ll learn all of these while playing familiar melodies to some of the most classic and recognizable piano songs of all time.
Learn & Master Piano: Product Description
Learn & Master Piano is by far the world’s most complete video instruction course for learning piano. Designed to walk you through from start to finish, it is the only instructional tool you’ll need as you strive to finally learn this wonderful instrument – even if you’re sitting down to it for the very first time. Unlike the lessons many of us had as children, you will begin playing popular songs right away and then develop your skills using a simple step-by-step progression. The course consists of 20 DVDs, 5 play-along CDs, and a 100+ page lesson book, all crammed with step-by-step instruction, clear demonstrations, and popular songs you already know, such as “Let it Be,” “Blueberry Hill,” and “Moondance,” just to name a few. You also get full access to our free online student support site where you can question our instructors, post your profile, track your progress, chat with other students, and join in the fun as we all learn piano together.
Learn & Master Piano covers everything from the absolute basics through the most advanced techniques in an informal, fun-to-learn way. The number of lessons amount to approximately two years of instruction. This program is great for teens and adults – and even though it’s not exactly kid-oriented, it can still be a useful tool for children to learn piano, especially if working together with a parent or older sibling.
The lessons are easy to follow and don’t go too fast. You can pause and replay the DVDs as many times as you need to understand the concept. An onscreen keyboard also shows you which keys to play if you get confused. So the DVD lessons are really helpful because they enable you to see and hear what’s going on while identifying the finger movements and hand positions.
In addition, Learn & Master Piano comes with CDs that let you play along with a real band, how cool is that! The tracks are recorded both with and without the piano part, which means you can challenge yourself and improvise if you wish. You can even change the track speed to suit your style. Not only that, you will get a huge lesson book to read. So this course supports all learning styles and skill levels.
As with any piano lessons, regular practice is key to becoming proficient, so it will take effort and requires a time commitment. But you’ll be able to do it at your own pace on your own schedule. In addition to the convenience of being able to learn from home, this program is usable with multiple students. In fact, besides the basic set they also offer a special Homeschool Edition! If you plan to take the course as an elective credit, this is the one you should get.
Homeschool Edition: Bonus Resources
Learn & Master Piano: Homeschool Edition was created specifically with homeschoolers in mind. It’s a complete 2-year piano curriculum designed for home study. You will not only get the complete piano course but you will also get a 68-Page Teacher’s Guide (with full 2-year scope-and-sequence), plus reproducible Weekly Practice Logs, and 1 DVD Teacher’s Resource. You’ll be able to take your homeschool students (and yourself, if you like) through a comprehensive piano learning system, even if you have no musical skills and no previous experience.
“I decided to buy this item to continue my music lessons on the piano… I and my parents both agree that the packaging, the lessons and price are amazing and I really recommend this product to anyone keen to learn. The lessons are done amazingly by Will Barrow, a famous piano player. The best thing about it is [it’s] easy [to] learn. Additionally the online service is really friendly and helpful and also the CDs are fun to listen to… it is well done and nice and clear. The main thing is the DVDs and book, like everything else are perfect… as perfect can be. Over all this is an excellent product and now I am learning really fast. The only problem is some bits are a little bit repetitive… and I find I need a tutor to hassle me to practice.” ~Julie Brown
“My name is MacKenzie. I’m a thirteen year old girl from Rhode Island. My father bought me the Legacy Learning System, Learn & Master Piano after my sister started taking piano but I liked it more than she did. Here’s what I think: I like how you learn a lot and can choose your own pace for the lessons. I enjoy how I can sit down whenever I want and am not obligated to attend any regular lessons. I also appreciate that I can pause the program and take a break or have a snack in the middle of the lesson and come back later when if I’m with a teacher I cannot. I have not yet tried any other methods of home-schooling piano, but from what I have experienced, I hope to continue these lessons.” ~MacKenzie L.
About the Instructor
Piano teacher Will Barrow is a Grammy winning singer-songwriter, pianist/keyboardist, composer, musical director and educator. He has performed and recorded with an eclectic group of artists in a great diversity of genres including rhythm and blues, jazz, country, Americana, gospel, classical, rock, Brazilian, and other world music. Mr. Barrow’s music combines these genres with his own unique voice, pianism and writing style. Originally from Gainesville, Florida, Mr. Barrow studied Jazz Piano at Manhattan School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. He spent much of his career (14 years) in New York City where he played and conducted on Broadway. He has taught music for over 30 years, both privately and in school settings (he was adjunct faculty at Long Island University.) He has been in Nashville for 12+ years where he is an active session player and singer, a touring musician, and a performer at local venues like the Grand Ole Opry. Although he can come across as a little show-offish at times, keep in mind that’s just his style and remember he is a professional.
Learn & Master Piano can be used with any type of piano, digital piano, or electronic keyboard as long as it’s full-size (88 keys). If you’re in the market for a digital piano or electronic keyboard, look for one with weighted keys. They feel like real piano keys for a more satisfying playing experience. You will also want to have a DVD/CD player in the same room as your piano, or a portable one that you can bring in.
Learn & Master Piano has no MIDI / digital capabilities, so it’s fine if all you have is an old upright piano. We once bought a software program to learn how to play the piano on a PC with a MIDI cable connected to a keyboard. But we couldn’t get the MIDI interface to work with our keyboard which rendered it totally useless, a waste of money, and a huge disappointment. So I learned my lesson the hard way, that sometimes the less complicated something is, the better. That’s why I like Learn & Master Piano.
Learn & Master Piano is ideal for beginners who would like to get started playing the piano right away without having to waste time or money. It’s for anyone who just wants to learn how to play for personal enjoyment and is not interested in becoming a concert pianist. This program would be a great gift for the “piano player wannabe” in your family, perfect for someone of any age who always wanted to learn but never had a chance to take lessons or gave up because they weren’t having fun. So if you are in need of a music elective, and are ready to impress your family and friends by learning to play the piano – all while saving hundreds of dollars a month in the process (compared to traditional lessons) – then I would definitely recommend Learn & Master Piano.
DISCLOSURE: Please note that the above product was NOT provided for free or at a discount in exchange for a review. The items mentioned were purchased by a homeschooling family at their own expense. BUT this post DOES contain affiliate links. If you buy Learn & Master Piano through a link on this page, we will earn a much-appreciated commission for taking the time to write this review – and you won’t pay a penny more for the course. So thanks for your support and have fun learning to play the piano!
What types of activities and courses have you used as electives? Leave a comment and we may include yours in a future column!