Pianoforall Review – is the PianoForAll online piano course worth the money in 2020? Find out in this comprehensive feature review article.
Piano classes are expensive, to say the very least. Just as you need to shell out a pretty buck (sometimes a fortune!) to have a decent quality grand piano of your own, pretty much the same goes for classic, old time piano lessons from a good teacher. Which is why the online or remote piano learning programs make all the more sense—more than they do for other musical instruments.
Piano for All: In-Depth Review
So, let’s delve right into what Piano for All is and what it offers to aspiring piano learners. First of all, unlike many other piano programs, the present one is NOT a subscription-based program. You pay a one-time fee (pretty paltry compared to other places, not to mention real piano classes!) and you get access to all the materials as well as all subsequent updates in the future free of cost.
The course also does not offer any tiered programs (such as beginner, intermediate, etc.). There is only one basic course, you pay for it one time, and off you go. It is that simple!
However, that one course or program that you get is pretty extensive and it should take you a good bit of time to master all of that. However, before we go into the details of the course material and the method of learning the course promotes overall, here’s a little overview on the creator of the program.
Robin Hall: the man behind Piano for All
After all, you do want to get acquainted with your teacher, don’t you? Well, the course is created by the reputed piano master, Robin Hall. Mr. Hall started his professional career as a cartoonist but fast grew disillusioned with his job. He felt that the modern world has very little appreciation of the cartoons and the real spirit behind them and as such, he called a day to his career as a cartoonist soon after.
The reason we mention the above is to direct one’s attention to the fact that Robin is one of those persons who follow their heart and devote themselves only to things that appeal to them and which they are passionate about.
And thus began Mr. Hall’s journey as a piano teacher. And he came up with the idea of preparing this program after his years of experience teaching students on person. His one objective in building the course was to reach out to many more people than he could do through personal piano classes. And the good thing about the course is that all the experience and insights he had gathered as a piano teacher find their way into the course. So, although it is a remote program, it does include many subtle and nuanced instructions that will be valuable especially for beginners.
What you get from the course
First of all, the course is designed so that you can learn piano efficiently but also learn it fast. You must have often heard how difficult it is to learn piano. However, Robin has come up with a method that makes piano learning lot easier than it seems. You’ll find lots of useful tips and tricks and shortcuts (don’t take it in a negative sense) that will help you beat a number of initial obstacles that piano learners face and that can often lead to frustration and despair.
So, what’s on offer inside the course?
Piano for All (henceforth referred to as PfA at times))includes 9 interactive e-books that deal with the basics of piano learning, learning chords and chord transitions, how to use the chords to play attractive tunes or popular songs, playing different styles of music (such as Blues, Rock’n’Roll and the likes) and many more.
We said that the e-books are ‘interactive’ which means that the video and audio lessons included in the course correspond to different sections of the individual books. For example, when you start to read on a new or specific topic in the book, whatever is described there is also demonstrated via either an audio or video lesson (as is fit for that particular topic). This way you receive immediate, direct and hands-on experience on everything you learn and there is no scope for vagueness or ambiguity. You understand what’s being talked about.
The List of Different Sections
There are nine different sections comprising of nine e-books complemented with 200 video and 500 audio lessons/lectures.
- Party Time/ Play By Ear/ Rhythm Piano (46 lectures spanning 4hrs 31 mins)
- Blues and Rock ‘N’ Roll (11 lectures spanning 56 mins)
- Chord Magic (16 lectures spanning 1 hr 40 mins)
- Advanced Chords Made Easy (19 lectures spanning 1 hr 34 mins)
- Ballad Style (58 lectures spanning 3 hrs 42 mins)
- Jazz Piano Made Easy (82 lectures spanning 5 hrs 27 mins)
- Advanced Blues (47 lectures spanning 2 hrs 48 mins)
- Taming the Classic (44 lectures spanning 3hrs 16 mins)
- Speed Learning (37 lectures spanning 5 hrs 12 mins)
In addition, the latest update adds another section called ‘The Miracle of Mindfulness’ consisting of 1 single lecture of 55 mins.
What is special about the program?
Well, to begin with we are a huge fan of how the different sections are built in a well-planned and strategic order. Each book concentrates on a special concept and a special area of focus and then goes on to explain them in extensive details. This helps you to master that particular concept in a holistic manner.
So, you can see that when we talked about ‘shortcuts’, we didn’t mean that they let you bypass important concepts or understand them in a superficial manner. However, the little trips and tricks that Mr. Hall shares with the students are rather meant to remove the unnecessary complexities so that students can understand things in a simple and straightforward manner and then apply that understanding to their piano playing.
To give you but one example, in the third section, Chord Magic, Mr. Hall offers useful instructions on how to master a host of different piano chords with the help of your memory. In a later part of the book, you’ll also learn how to make use of inversions to be able to change chords fast. These are the kind of things (and the course is full of them) we like best since they make easy for beginners the things they commonly find most challenging.
Piano for All: the price factor and how they compare to others
As stated above, you simply make a one-time payment for the program and you gain lifetime access to all the present materials as well as future updates. You can access the materials online or you may download the lessons and use it on your PC, smartphone, tablet, iPad, iPhone and so on.
This is in stark contrast to most other piano learning programs that are subscription-based. In fact, beside Piano For All, three other similar programs we deem best (namely, Artist Works, Flowkey and Playground Sessions) are all subscription-based. No doubt, the above-mentioned programs are great and pack in a whole host of useful materials, for beginners as well as advanced learners. However, since they are subscription-based, in the long run they actually cost you way more than Piano for All.
Another thing is once you subscribe to any of those programs, you can access all the materials that are there for the time your subscription lasts. And, it really doesn’t help a beginner or intermediate level players to be able to access stuff that are beyond their skill levels at the moment. Instead, this actually leads to distractions and can interfere with your learning.
Piano for All, on the other hand, offers you a holistic, step-by-step approach to learn piano and this approach will stand you in good stead in the long run. To come to the costs again, at the time of writing this article the PfA program is available from their own website at $39 (sold at a discount, the original price listed is $79). Now compare this with $23.25 / Month for Artist Works or even $9.99 / Month for both Flowkey and Playground Sessions and you’ll know the difference!
What Others Are Saying
The verified users of this course have a whole host of good things to say about the course. Please check their comments at the Testimonial page of pianoforall.com here– https://pianoforall.com/testimonials.
So far, we only had good things to say about the program, and for good reasons, too! Still, isn’t there any downside to the program?
Well, for our money, we can detect only two. The first is that the video lessons could have been made in a more professional manner. Sometime, they have a rather roughshod look to them and this can be a little distracting for some learners. Not that the video has to be all flashy and everything, but making them somewhat more easy, nice and professional-looking won’t hurt!
Secondly, some learners (especially those who have already gained a good degree of mastery over the instrument) opine that the essential spirit of learning the piano is sometimes compromised for the sake of more practical instructions. So, we guess they are basically talking about putting your soul behind each note you play…and so on. While there is no way to contradict this point, we still have to mind the fact that the course is basically designed for beginner to intermediate level players and possibly not for someone whose one and only aim in life is to become a piano virtuoso (there are conservatories for that purpose?)!
So, all in all, we think Piano for All is a great program for everything that it has in offer and as such, we have little qualms to give it a 5/5 star rating.
George A. Smith received a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of Berkeley. George has been teaching music professionally for the past 8 years. George regularly contributes content to several music websites including LoadRecords.com.