Does the thought of attending piano lessons week after week bore you? Perhaps you took piano lessons as a kid and still have nightmares about scale drills and mind-numbing exercises. Or maybe you’d love to learn piano but don’t have time for regular lessons.
If you fall into any of these categories, I’ve got exciting news! Gone are the days when you could only learn piano from the crotchety old teacher down the street. Thanks to technology and a little ingenuity, you can take charge of your own learning!
Enter with me into a new era of apps, online programs, and an array of online resources, all accessible from any location with reliable WiFi.
Stick with me as we explore a couple of unconventional ways to learn piano. And make sure to stay with me until the end for a special discount and bonus practice tools to ensure your piano journey gets off on the right foot!
This post may contain affiliate links. As affiliates of Amazon, Modacity, Piano Marvel, Musicnotes, and Dr. Josh Wright’s ProPractice course, I may receive a commission at no extra cost if you purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information. I take no credit for the images appearing on this page. All images courtesy of Canva.
Do unconventional ways to learn piano actually work?
Absolutely. With a few caveats.
If you have aspirations to become a concert pianist, I highly recommend finding a piano teacher. It’s challenging to grasp the nuances of technique you will need to master to achieve this goal all on your own.
And if you are a complete beginner, it can also be very helpful to find a piano teacher to guide you in the beginning stages of your learning.
But I also understand trying to juggle a hobby with life. Ideal and realistic are often very different things.
Learning from an app is often the most realistic option. Especially if it means the difference between getting started today or putting it off indefinitely.
If you’re looking for a piano teacher, check out my Resource page for an array of online teachers accepting new students.
Unconventional Ways to Learn Piano: Piano Marvel
Looking for a program that teaches you the basics of the piano? Basics that will get you up and running on the keys quickly? Then Piano Marvel just might be for you.
Designed by a piano teacher, Piano Marvel helps you master essential fundamentals like music theory, sight-reading, and ear training. And did I mention that it also teaches you HOW to practice?
Let’s dive into specifics.
As Addicting as Netflix
Do you know that feeling when you’re bingeing your Netflix guilty pleasure, and the episode ends? That moment when you’re forced to choose between resolving the cliffhanger or cleaning the bathroom?
How many times does the desire to scrub your nasty sink win over a plot twist?
What if I said that you could have a similar level of addiction to your piano learning?
Like Netflix, Piano Marvel has mastered the art of keeping you motivated and engaged. Through various levels and trophies, acing the next concept becomes a no-brainer. At stake are bronze, silver, or gold trophies depending upon how skilled you become at the songs in each level.
As Efficient as a Prius
Travel back in time with me to your favorite high school or college class. Was it gym? Or maybe you loved band.
What did strolling into that classroom feel like? Do you remember how time seemed to magically fly by? And yet somehow, you always seemed to walk out of that class having learned something new.
Time sailed by, and you were a bit sad when the bell rang. Learning felt effortless. And your energy level at the end of the class felt higher than at the beginning.
What if learning piano could feel as efficient as time spent in your favorite class?
It can, thanks to Piano Marvel! The app chunks learning into small pieces, making each lesson easy to remember. There’s no wasted fluff material that you’ll never use again.
Piano Marvel packs only the most relevant information into your learning. Efficiency at its best.
As Motivating as Accomplishing Your Goals
Sometimes it’s not a fear of failure that holds you back from goals but rather a fear of starting something and losing motivation halfway through. It’s happened to everyone at some point.
You sign up for that shiny new course promising all the answers. And at first, you’re super excited. You put in the time and the work and feel the warmth of accomplishment.
But at some point, your motivation starts to fade. You wake up one day and realize that it’s been months since you’ve even logged into that course.
The sting of disappointment takes over, and your motivation sinks lower than ever. You’re now more hesitant than ever to set new goals.
Motivation is counterintuitive. Many people believe that you must FEEL motivated to ACT.
But the truth is actually the reverse. In most cases, you will only FEEL motivated AFTER you ACT.
Action comes before feeling.
And the more progress you make toward your goals, the higher your motivation.
Piano Marvel helps you attain a series of small goals that fuel your motivation to keep learning. Through bite-sized lessons and incentives to continue your piano journey, learning to play the piano has never been more motivational.
The Nuts and Bolts
There are many apps designed to help you learn piano. But if you want a solid foundation in music theory, Piano Marvel is the best. It also guides you through chords, arpeggios, and scales. Once you learn the basics of theory, playing becomes more effortless. It also opens up a whole new world of improvisation and playing by ear.
And if you connect your device to a MIDI keyboard, the program will give you feedback on note accuracy.
Other apps and programs give feedback as you play. But Piano Marvel waits until you’re finished with the song to provide feedback. One huge advantage of this type of feedback is that it eliminates distractions while you play. Yet by giving timely feedback, you have an opportunity to correct mistakes in a more effective way.
And did I mention that Piano Marvel comes with an extensive library of songs to learn? It even includes several popular lesson books, including Alfred’s premier and adult all-in-one books. Songs are graded by difficulty from 1 through 18, so you can gradually advance your skill level without the frustration of playing something too challenging.
It’s yet another way that Piano Marvel’s system encourages consistent learning over flashy gimmicks.
If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, use promo code OGBB22 for $3 off the monthly fee. And at $12.99 a month, you really can’t go wrong! Click here to go to the Piano Marvel website.
If you’re interested in learning more about music theory, check out this post!
Unconventional Ways to Learn Piano: ProPractice
And if you’re looking for more unconventional ways to learn piano, you need to hear about ProPractice! Also created by a piano teacher, ProPractice is a phenomenal resource for people who aspire to play classical piano.
ProPractice was created by Dr. Josh Wright. It can successfully be used alongside traditional lessons or all on its own.
The program is designed to be helpful for either complete beginners or people who have prior playing experience.
My ProPractice Story
As a music major grad, I have a massive bucket list of classical pieces I want to tackle eventually. But between working full-time and having a husband and 3 kids, I simply don’t have the time to make weekly lessons work.
I discovered Dr. Josh Wright one day while listening to a podcast and started following his YouTube channel. And a few videos later, I was hooked on his teaching style and depth of knowledge.
I began to see positive changes in my playing and how I thought about the instrument. And so I decided that if I had taken so much away from his free content, how much would I take from his paid course?
I invested in ProPractice and have only seen improvements in my playing ever since!
In fact, I was so impressed with the course that shortly after joining, I became an affiliate.
The Nuts and Bolts
ProPractice is currently set up on the Teachable app. You have the option to start at the beginning and work your way all the way through lessons. Or you can pick and choose which pieces you would like to learn.
Dr. Wright started the course because he found students asking the same questions as they learned various pieces from the classical repertoire. He, therefore, decided to record video lessons to address common questions and problem areas for these pieces.
The course is separated into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. He further subdivides material into repertoire and technique.
Dr. Wright is constantly adding new pieces to the course, so it will only continue to expand.
As mentioned previously, the course is almost exclusively classical repertoire, so if that’s not your jam, you may want to explore other options. But it is designed to be used as a complete beginner, so whether you’ve never played a piano in your life or spend your free time expanding upon your repertoire, you will find value in the course.
If you’re interested in checking it out for yourself, click the link here.
Bonus Unconventional Ways to Learn Piano
Aside from the two programs listed above, I have a couple more tools up my sleeve to skyrocket your piano playing!
The Art of Practice
One key component of learning any new skill is practice. Although we love to think that talent determines how proficient someone becomes at a skill, the truth of the matter is that quality practice wins over talent every time.
And if you don’t believe me, check out this book! It’s a fascinating exploration of some of the world’s most “talented” people and how they became the best at what they do.
Quality practice is key to making progress, but what does that actually mean? Is it mindless repetition? Or is it something else entirely?
Wouldn’t it be great if there was an app that helped you understand how to effectively practice? Luckily for you, there is!
It’s called Modacity, and I credit this app with my progress in piano playing over the past few years.
The app helps you identify your trouble spots and generates ideas about fixing these areas. It also has a “day streak” practice counter. And there’s nothing more motivating than building on your practice streaks!
If you’d like an in-depth review of the app, check out this recent post.
And if you’re ready to give the app a try for yourself, click here to take advantage of 35% off the price of an annual subscription. With the discount, you’ll still pay less than the cost of a single higher-end piano lesson. It’s a valuable investment into your growth as a pianist and one of the best unconventional ways to learn piano!
Find Music You Love
Nothing motivates me to practice more than finding a piece I love.
While listening to Pandora several years ago, I heard a song that I fell in love with. It was hauntingly beautiful, and I just HAD to get my hands on the sheet music.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it on my usual go-to place, Amazon. So, I started looking around for other sources of sheet music.
I stumbled upon Musicnotes and struck the jackpot! I found the exact arrangement of the piece I was looking for, but I found a treasure trove of just about any song at any level you could ever need.
Due to its larger size, music is best viewed on an iPad. And as someone who regularly plays paid gigs, I’ll tell you that bringing an iPad is a lot more convenient than dragging a bunch of music books! Musicnotes has an app downloaded on my iPhone, so I can access my purchases any time and anywhere.
One of the features I appreciate most about Musicnotes is the ability to mark up the music within the app. This feature allows me to interact with the music exactly the same way I would if it was a piece of paper in front of me.
You also can print out the music if you prefer paper to electronic.
But the best part of this app has to be the ability to instantly access anything you could ever want. It’s an incredible tool to add fun and variety to your playing!
And in case you’re curious, here is the piece that led me to Musicnotes in the first place.
Click below to browse some of Musicnotes’ most popular downloads!Browse the Most-Popular Sheet Music Downloads
It’s Your Turn to Try Unconventional Ways to Learn Piano
And there you have it! I hope this post has inspired you to try a few unconventional ways to learn piano.
In case you missed them, here are links to the various products mentioned in this post.
Piano Marvel: Use promo code OGBB22 for $3 off the monthly fee. Find the website here.
ProPractice: Find the website here.
Musicnotes: Browse the Most-Popular Sheet Music Downloads
Modacity: Click here to take advantage of 35% off the price of an annual subscription,
And for more piano inspiration, check out the following posts:
- A Complete Review of ProPractice by Dr. Josh Wright
- The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Kids to Practice Piano
- Why You’ll Never Regret Enrolling Your Kids in Piano Lessons
- 5 Simple Reasons You Should be Calling Yourself a Pianist
- Easy Brain Hacks to Upgrade Your Piano Practice
- 5 Simple Tips to Help You Be More Productive
- The ONE Thing: A Case for Narrowing Your Focus
- 5 Powerful Ways to Halt Limiting Beliefs in their Tracks
- An Authentic Review of the Modacity App
- How to Dramatically Improve Your Mental Focus
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Thank you so much for stopping by, and I wish you all the best in your piano journey!