Well, I finally started digging into those Piano for All e-books. Because we have a relatively mediocre Internet connection (at best), I had to connect my laptop to free WI-Fi at a local establishment in the city to download the books (there are video and audio clips within each book).
This chord-based piano method gets you playing piano in the first lesson. That, to me, is pretty fun! I am a piano teacher who teaches note reading, but honestly – – this method will get you playing piano that really sounds like something recognizable. There is something to be said for that! (Instant gratification comes to mind).
As far as living up to its name, “Piano for All”? Well, not exactly. I’m thinking that it is more geared toward adults who want to get playing the piano right away. There is nothing “cute” about these books, just great material – – but because of that, they may not be appealing to a younger child.
So far, I have gone through Books 1-4. The approach of teaching chords in relation to rhythm is not something I would have thought of teaching my students unless they asked.
Here are just a few examples of chord rhythms included:
- Straight Beat
- Left Hand Note/Right Hand Chord
- Split Chord
- Half Beat Bounce
- Twist Rhythm
I think what I find fun about this way of learning is that after the new rhythm is introduced, (watch, listen, & read) there is a familiar song (folk song, rock song, ballad, or other) that you can apply specific chords and new rhythm you just learned!
To read some of the testimonials of those who have used Piano for All, scroll down toward the bottom of the page when you visit their page. Spectacular!
I guess it is the concept of watching the video for instruction, listening to the audio clips, and looking at the music and symbols displayed on the page that really hits several senses at once, thus really soaking into our brain.
Pretty deep, huh?
I am familiar with the idea of using chords in different ways because although I am a classically trained pianist, I have dabbled throughout the years as a keyboard player in local bands in WI, NV, AZ, and CA playing blues/rhythm & blues, variety bands, oldies and classic rock. Playing in a band requires the knowledge of chords, different rhythms, inversions and the like.
Robin Hall’s approach is a simple one. Get playing now, don’t get hung up on all the terminology and the “why’s” of every little thing you are going to experience in the book.
So far – the negatives (not anything major) include:
- If you don’t have a fast Internet connection, the downloads take hours (may want to consider purchasing the DVD version, costs $10 more $49 instead of $39).
- Some people may be bothered by his English accent (I wasn’t, but it caught me by surprise.)
- Some of the terminology that he mentions are terms not likely used in America such as: Crotchet – we say quarter note, Quaver – we use eighth note.
- Something slightly annoying – after you have viewed the video, the “X” to close the video is barely visible, it is soooo tiny! (Yes, you guessed it, I AM over 40 years old).
- Because it is from another country (I am just guessing England) words like, “memorise, colour, or favourite” we are used to seeing spelled “memorize, color, or favorite.” Again, no big deal – just pointing out some oddities that I found. . .
So – let me recap my positives:
- Piano for All is a fun way to learn.
- The melodies are recognizable. You are playing cool tunes in no time! And there are many!
- You begin playing from Lesson One.
- The books are well structured and logical.
- Video and audio clips are within the books to easily click on and listen to.
- Explanations are in writing as well the audio, so you can refer back to it time and time again if needed.
- The lessons are in bite-sized pieces, leaving you wanting to learn more and more.
- Can be used on any device – PC, Mac, iPhone, ipad, any android tablet or smartphone
- I think the system is affordable ($39) for the amount of materials received. As a piano instructor, I charge $40 per hour for one lesson and a new student’s books (lasting a few months) are an additional $40. So comparatively speaking, Robin’s lessons and his plethora of books/styles is a steal at only $39!
Try Piano for All today – risk free for 60 days. If you are not completely happy with it, they will gladly refund your money, no questions asked.
I hope you enjoyed this review (so far – come back soon to read the rest as I complete the course). If you have any questions about Piano for All or want to leave your own personal review, please leave a comment below.