They say music is the oldest form of language, and for sure there is a certain sense of awe that one experiences when seeing a piano maestro in action; in full flow, playing sheet music flawlessly.
The piano is perhaps the most versatile music instrument today. It can accompany different types of music including classics, blues, jazz, reggae, and even rock. It is also one of the most daunting instruments to learn for many people, especially those new to music concepts like scales, keys, chords and so forth. It is also true that being a good pianist needs good foundational skills and lots of practice.
In the past, it was a bit hard to learn the piano if you didn’t take the lessons in your younger years. This is because many pianists took face-to-face lessons, that needs lots of convenient free time, which many people can’t get in adulthood because of career and family demands.
But the internet has made it possible for anyone to learn the piano at their own convenience, and from some of the best pianists today. Online piano lessons are offered by several music learning platforms, in different forms and variety. Here are some of the top piano lessons for adults available today.
15 Best Piano Lessons for Adults Review
1) MasterClass - Herbie Hancock Teaches Jazz
In this series of 25 lessons, Jazz legend takes you through composition, improvisation, and harmony. Herbie is one of the most celebrated jazz pianists in the world. In his piano lessons, Herbie offers more than 10 original piano transcriptions, and 5 exclusive solo performances as teaching aids to the student. These lessons cover the basics of piano playing through more complex subjects like recomposing, rearranging and reinventing a song. Here are some of the subjects you can expect to cover in these lessons;
- Introduction to Piano Basics
- A Human Approach to Music
- Learning by Listening
- The Two Basic Jazz Forms
- Expanded Improvisation Techniques
- Recomposing, Rearranging, Reinventing
- Chord Voicings
- Introduction to music composition
These lessons vary in duration of 2-18 minutes. Herbie uses his original compositions in these lessons including Oleo, Watermelon Man, Round Midnight, Maiden Voyage, and Actual Proof. Herbie Hancock’s piano lessons are available on Masterclass.
2) ArtistWorks - Piano with Christie Peery
How would you like to learn from one a classical piano virtuoso? Christie Peery offers hundreds of lessons to the piano of all levels; beginners, intermediate and advanced. Christie’s lessons have a bit of a difference.
A student can upload a video at piano practice, which Christie reviews and then walks the student through with a video of her own explaining mistakes made and how to avoid them. All these videos are uploaded to the Video Exchange Library, which is accessible by all students. She has named her way of teaching the piano the ‘Peery method.’
Christie is a true master of the piano, having started to play since the age of 13. She studies at the prestigious Gnessin School of Music in Moscow and later joined the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She has also been the winner of several national and international awards including the Lillian Guthman Memorial Prize. Her lessons are available online on the music learning platform ArtistWorks.
3) Udemy - Pianoforall by Robin Hall
This series of lessons is offered with a promise of making the learner a good player in a duration of weeks, unlike the years needed in traditional learning. Robin Hall has adopted a unique method where the student learns by practicing on contemporary real music.
The lessons are designed for all people, even absolute beginners. Students can learn sheet music as they also learn to play by ear. The student goes through different sections;
- Introduction to blues and Rock ’n’ Roll
- Introduction to Chords and Inversions
- Improvisation and Ballad Style piano play
- Piano play for jazz
- Piano for advanced Blues
- Speed piano learning
There are 362 lessons in the series offered in 600 pages of eBook and approximately 30 hours of video. They have been designed such that the learner can take them in an average of 20-minute chunks.
The learner starts with easy rhythm style popular music by artists such as Coldplay, The Beatles, Elton John, and Lionel Ritchie, and then proceeds to more complicated ballad style music like Blues, Jazz, and Ragtime, and finally graduates to playing complex classical pieces. These lessons can be found on Udemy.
4) Udemy - Piano Playing: Reading and Playing Classical Tunes Vol.II by Ilse Lozoya
Do you often wish to improve your piano repertoire to include the classics, but are held back by poor music reading skills? This course is designed for you. The lessons are designed to help the learner read music in a progressive way, and develop an effective study routine so that at the end, he/she can capably handle reading and playing classical sheet music. The lessons use easy-to-follow popular classical arrangements including;
- The traditional hymn, Amazing Grace
- Dark Eyes, a Russian folk song
- The popular Christmas Carol Holy Night
- When the saints go marching in, another popular traditional Gospel Hymn
The lesson instruction is offered in video, while the sheet music is in downloadable PDF files. There are 17 lectures totaling one and a half hours. The lessons are self-paced although the learner is encouraged to follow and understand each step. This course is suitable for beginners, and people who have been playing the piano for some time, looking to improve their progressive reading skills.
Ilse Lozoya has been teaching the piano for over 22 years and is a Certified Suzuki Piano Teacher. She has taught over 46,000 pianists from all over the world. These lessons are available on Udemy.
5) Udemy - Pianoforall - 'Classics by Ear' - Erik Satie by Robin Hall
This series of lessons builds on the Pianoforall lessons by the same teacher, Robin Hall. if you can read a little music but would like to improve, and also develop an ear for the classics, this lesson is designed to help build those skills.
At the end of the lessons, you can expect to deconstruct classical in an easier manner, which will help reduce your performance anxiety. These lessons differ from traditional piano learning in that they help the learner see the music bar by bar and section by section as opposed to the conventional reading one note at a time. This is especially helpful for visual learners, who are able to absorb visual images faster than text.
It is encouraged that the learner first goes through Section 1 to 5 of the first Pianoforall lessons by Robin Hall, so as to have an easier time here. The lessons use more complex classical pieces rather than the usual pieces ala Fur Elise.
The bigger aim of these lessons is to help the student overcome reliance on muscle memory, which tends to fail, and thus a big cause of performance anxiety. The student is instead encouraged to see music from different aspects; memorable elements, repeating sections, and patterns.
This is more like the way a child learns language, which is by listening, and imitating the speaker. This course is offered in 36 video lectures totaling approximately 4 hours. You can get it on Udemy.
6) Udemy - PI-101 Top 10 Classical Piano Pieces for Beginners by Dan Hegelund
Do you wish to learn the piano by practicing on the classics? It is true that many people get drawn to playing the piano after listening to classical music, and dream of playing like the masters.
This introductory course helps the absolute beginner step into the world of classical music by basing the lessons on classical pieces by Bach, Beethoven, and Dvorak among others. It starts at the absolute beginning; notes, clefs, scales, chords, and keys.
You will learn to play with each hand in turn, then both hands at the same time. The course goes through 12 weeks starting with the easy pieces and proceeding to pieces that require more complex two-handed operations. There are 38 lectures in the course with approximately one and a half hours of video. You can expect;
- Week 1: Introduction to the basics e.g. Notes, Clefs, Scales, Chords.
- Week2: Allegro (Alexander Reinagle)
- Week 3: Minuet in C (James Hook)
- Week 4: Prelude No. 1 (Johann Sebastian Bach)
- Week 5: Minuet (Johann Sebastian Bach)
- Week 6: Fur Elise (Ludwig van Beethoven)
- Week 7: Ninth Symphony (Ludwig van Beethoven)
- Week 8: Vivace (Cornelius Gurlitt)
- Week 9: Gentle Plaint (Johann Franz Burgmüller)
- Week 10: Finlandia (Jean Sibelius)
- Week 11: New World Symphony (Antonín Dvořák)
- Week 12: Piano Exercises
You can get this course on Udemy.
7) Udemy - Piano Boot Camp 1 - Master the Basics of Beginning Piano by Piano Keys
Developing poor technique at the foundation stage is the biggest hindrance to becoming a great pianist. While there are many courses that promise quick results, there is an irrefutable fact, that to become a good pianist, you must internalize the basics.
This course is designed to emphasize the basics, for example, reading and playing flats and sharps, reading and playing with both hands in bass and treble clefs, reading and playing different rhythms by being able to read different notes and rests quickly.
This course is designed for the absolute beginner who would like to lay the correct foundational skills in piano. It is also ideal for self-taught pianists looking to fill knowledge gaps.
The boot camp is designed to ensure that the learner gets the basics of music theory, and more importantly, how to read sheet music properly. This is the foundation to build on other skills like playing-by-ear. This course is offered in 46 lectures covering almost 3 hours. You can get it on Udemy.
8) Udemy - Piano Lessons for Beginners: Learn Piano Quickly and Easily by Mantius Cazaubon
How often do you hear a song on the radio and wish you could entertain your friends by playing it on the piano? This course for absolute beginners is designed to help the learner, get the very basics of a piano right. You will learn how to read notes, play with each hand, and finally use this knowledge to play popular songs.
Unlike conventional courses, this one has a focus on ease of understanding musical concepts so as to internalize foundational skills. In many piano courses, sheet music is introduced early in the course, which is a bit intimidating, but in this course, it is among the items at the end. Examples of lessons in the course;
- Introduction to the piano keyboard; The names and patterns of white and black keys, finger numbers.
- Introduction to major scales: C, D, E, F, G and A and how to finger them for right and left hand.
- How to form basic major and minor chords.
This course is offered in 56 lectures of approximately 3 hours. Get it on Udemy.
9) Piano Lessons: Teach Yourself to Play by Gale Kowalchyk and others
Becoming a good pianist demands getting the basics right, practice and building the confidence to face those 88 keys. This course is designed to teach these absolute basics. It sets itself apart from other piano beginner courses by going beyond the piano itself. You will learn things that can contribute to good playing, for example, sitting posture, or positioning the hands. This is a course for absolute beginners and includes easy but crucial foundational lessons;
- Sitting properly at the piano
- Positioning the hands and proper hand technique; right-hand C and left-hand C positions
- Introduction to melodic intervals, and harmonic intervals
- Introduction to B for the left and right hand, and A for the left hand
- How to use the damper pedal
- How to move g up and down the keyboard in 6ths
- How to measure half steps and whole steps
- Introduction to progressions and triplets
This course is taught by 4 experienced pianists; Gayle Kowalchyk, Willard A. Palmer, Morton Manus, and Thomas Palmer. The course is divided into 6 major sections and lasts approximately 2 hours. You can get it on Lynda, which is now LinkedIn Learning.
10) Piano Lessons: 3 Sight Reading & Classical Pieces by Hugh Sung
Sight-reading is a requisite skill if you plan on being a good classical pianist, but it is a skill that confounds many pianists. This course is designed to help the learner build skills in sight-reading sheet music.
The lessons are based on some of the most popular classical pieces including "Gymnopédie No. 1," "Minuet in G Major," "Moonlight Sonata," And "Prelude in C Major.” The lessons have been arranged for ease of learning, building skills as you go along, and play more complex music. Some subjects covered in this course include;
- How to read sheet music: staff, bars, notes, rests, and important symbols
- How to break songs down into sections and lines
- How to play each hand separately and together
- How to use damper and sustain pedals
- How to play at different tempos
The video lessons are shot in HD and at different angles to help the learner follow each step perfectly. The course is in 4 sections, starting with sight-reading, and lessons on music theory using 3 classical pieces in the other 3 sections. This course is available on Linked Learning (formerly Lynda).
11) Learn Piano in 30 Days by Mark De Heide
This course is heavy on one aspect that most piano courses overlook, which is developing skills for each hand, and then combining the hands to make perfect music.
It also teaches the absolute basics, because, without a fundamental understanding of music theory, a pianist will have nothing to apply. This course is designed to also build skills to enable the learner to play chords, scales, and compose music as well as play-by-ear.
By building these skills, you will learn how to play new songs quicker. Practicing good use of both hands is useful even to performers using other musical instruments like drums and the sax. Some of the basics covered in this course include;
- Introduction to piano keys
- Introduction to scales and octaves
- Introduction to chords and chord mastery for left and right hands
- Combining hands in play
- How to play by ear
- Introduction to song composition
- How to read sheet music
This course is quite lengthy and detailed; it is in 77 lessons totaling about 7 hours. It is taught by Mark de Heide, who also runs the YouTube channel PGN Piano. You can get this course on Skillshare.
12) PIANO: A 'shapes'. by Simon Glenister
Is it possible to learn how to play the piano without knowing how to read sheet music? Many pianists would say it is impossible. Yet this is what this course promises.
This claim is based on the premise that since music is made by blocks of chords, it is possible to take a shortcut in learning the piano by focusing on how to read chords in patterns and shapes, which is easier. This is because visual learning is easier for many adults than text input. The course aims at teaching the learner the basic 48 chords, which the learner can use as building blocks in making music.
This is a short course of 267 lessons in a total of one and a half hours. Some of the basics in this course include;
- How to identify all notes
- How to play chords
- Introduction to playing Major, Minor, Sharp, Flat and 7th chords
- Playing with the left hand
- How to read a chord chart
This course is taught by Simon Glenister, who is a professional musician. It is available on Skillshare.
13) Music Composition with the Piano by Jack Vaughan
Many people can play the piano, but few can actually make good music on it. This is because composition and songwriting are skills that many pianists, even good ones, lack. This course is aimed at beginner and intermediate pianists who would like to become composers in their own right, rather than mere piano performers. The course is in four segments that teach the basics of composing and songwriting;
- Introduction to music theory, arrangement, and piano technique,
- Introduction to fundamental and advanced harmony
- Introduction to compositional techniques and strategies
- Introduction to piano chords, progressions, and songwriting
This course is designed to help the learner;
- Internalize extended music theory and reduce dependence on reading music
- Translate ideas to fluent music the keyboard and DAW
- Have a fundamental understanding of harmony that will be useful in making different styles of music; classical, jazz, blues, etc.
- Have the ability to build chord progressions
This is a detailed course with 106 lessons in almost 8 hours. It is taught by professional musician Jack Vaughan, who also runs leanmusician.com. The course is available on Skillshare.
14) The Fundamentals of Piano Playing Part 1 by Elvire Boelee
Would you like to try out the very basics of a piano, to gauge whether you like it or not? This course is designed for the absolute beginner who would like to sample the basics of a piano to get the feel of the instrument. It starts with the absolute basics in musical terms, rhythm and fingering techniques. You will learn the very basic 7 keys, which you can use to play the 2 demo songs that are attached.
This is a very short course of 6 lessons in about 20 minutes. It is taught by Elvire Boelee, who is a professional piano teacher at Music School Kunst&Coo (Art&Co). She is an experienced pianist who has been playing since the age of 9. This course can be found on Skillshare.
15) Piano Technique 101: Class #1 - 7 Min Routine by Ilse Lozoya
Many pianists struggle to make good music because of fundamental mistakes in hand positioning, and lack of sound control. Developing these fundamentals can help you absorb piano techniques faster, and become a good pianist. This course is designed to help the player develop good positioning, which can be used in regular practice.
This is a short course offered in small chunks of 7-10-minute routines, that the learner will find easy to practice and incorporate when developing more advanced skills. The course is aimed at the beginner or self-taught pianist who needs to lay the correct foundational skills. It is offered by Ilse Lozoya, who is a piano teacher on several online platforms. This course is available on Skillshare.
Choosing the Best Piano Lessons for Adults
While learning to play the piano in your adulthood, maybe a bit challenging, it is undoubtedly one of the most satisfying tasks you can ever attempt. The good thing is that unlike before when you had to struggle to find a good face-to-face piano teacher, you can find all piano learning resources you need online. The lessons piano outlined lessons are useful for all levels of piano players; pick what works for you. Develop the correct foundational skills, practice diligently, and you will be on your way to being a maestro who makes people stop and listen to your beautiful music.