Small People

Small People

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

PianoWithWillie Review

Soccer Girl started taking piano lessons this school year. She really enjoys playing the piano, and I love how much she has learned in just a few months. Her piano teacher takes the summer off, so I was excited to have the opportunity to review PianoWithWillie from JazzEdge. What better way for her to maintain, or even improve, her piano training than with online piano lessons.

JazzEdge  Review

About PianoWithWillie:

PianoWithWillie is an online streaming piano lessons website. One nice feature is that it offers lessons at a variety of levels. Younger students who have some piano experience can easily follow the lessons. If someone older than age 10 or so wanted to begin learning to play the piano, they also could easily follow the lessons. Younger students might have more difficulty if they have no piano experience because the lessons do progress quickly. You need to have access to either a piano or a full 61-key keyboard.

For this review, I received Studio Access for PianoWithWillie for one year. With Studio Access, you can access the PianoWithWillie site and stream the many available lessons via any device. You also have access to the community forum and can live chat with the support team if you have questions or issues.

After logging in, you arrive at your dashboard where you begin with Piano Start - a 5-step guide to get started. Step 1 contains a video that explains how to begin and downloadable resource that is emailed to you.

Step 2 is the 30-Day Success Playbook. Each day in the playbook contains a video lesson that has an accompanying page from the downloadable resource. Each day, I just printed the page that Soccer Girl would need for that lesson. None of the lessons are time-consuming; lesson lengths ranged from 5 to 12 minutes with most being in the 5 to 7 minute range. Another feature that we liked was that the suggestion is made if the first few lessons were too simple to skip to Day 21. Because of Soccer Girl's training this year, she did the first 3 lessons and then skipped on to Day 21 where it was more appropriately challenging for her.

Some of the topics covered in the 30-Day Success Playbook include

  • Rhythm
  • Technique
  • Reading (music)
  • Improvisation
  • Chords
I really appreciated how the videos were set up. In the bottom corner, you have the instructor teaching the lesson. Above him, across the screen, it shows his keyboard so you can see where his fingers/hands are. Above that it shows another keyboard where the keys he has pressed light up and it shows the name of the note being played. What a great feature for those students who struggle with reading music or who forget which notes are which!
JazzEdge  Review

Step 3 is Piano Foundations - Three 20+ minute lessons for beginners and one for advanced learners.

Step 4 is a video tutorial on how to use the PianoWithWillie site.

Step 5 takes users to the Next Steps - how to make the most of their PianoWithWillie experience.

There are also bonus downloads and activities for subscribers. One download was a set of printable flashcards for learning to read music. Although Soccer Girl already reads music well, we downloaded these and she used them to start teaching Sassy how to read music. I'm a firm believer that one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to someone else, so I know that her working with Sassy will benefit both of them.

Soccer Girl's Thoughts:
The first few lessons were kind of easy. I think that using the later lessons will help me to not lose what I've learned during the summer. The videos are helpful because they help show where your hands should go.

You can find out more about PianoWithWillie on Social Media:

JazzEdge Review

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