My children can be pretty artsy. They would sit and do something art or music related all day long if I let them (and many days I do!). While I can give them some of my interest in art and art history, I have no background in music to lean back on. That, of course, doesn’t keep my children from being very interested in music. So, when I got an opportunity to do a review for HomeSchoolPiano, my children were very excited about getting started.
We received a lifetime subscription for HomeSchoolPiano — Complete Set of Books. This subscription is $299 and you can make accounts for up to five students to track their progress and quizzes as they complete the lessons. Although this product is meant for all ages, it is mostly my nine year old son and seven year old daughter who have been using the lessons. I have been listening in though and work through an occasional practice session myself.
There is very little by way of necessary equipment. All you need is:
- a phone, tablet or computer to stream lessons on (The lessons are also downloadable, so you can download now and watch later if you need to.)
- a 61 key keyboard or a piano
- you’ll also need printer ink and paper to print off each book of music’s piano book. It will take a while to work through each book, so you can also choose to have these printed off and bound. The book we used for Core Piano was around 50 pages long.
When you order the complete set of books, what you receive access to is:
- Core Piano–This is for the absolute beginner, and he covers the basics of reading music, the staff, the five finger scale, skips, steps, how to sit at the piano, and how to play the keys.
- Book 1–This is also beginner level and is where you’ll learn to read music, play simple pieces and create some of your own music.
- Book 2–This is more of an advanced beginner to intermediate level, and will pick up where book 1 left off and begin to incorporate more advanced techniques and improvisation ideas
- Book 3–This is a book for an intermediate player and begins to touch on some challenging concepts for playing
My nine year old has had piano lessons before, but my seven year old has had very little by way of music theory, so we elected to start with Core Piano, and although they are progressing at different rates, both children are still working out of the Core Piano book at this time.
It couldn’t be easier to use this program. All you have to do is go to the log-in screen and enter your log in information. From there you can access all the lessons or go to the last lesson that you were working on. We would always click the screen with the last one we were working on. Then we could review that lesson or go on to the next lesson easily. Most lessons that we watched were about 7-10 minutes long. They included explanation from Willie, (who my children feel as if they know personally after listening to him for several weeks now) and often an assignment of something to practice on the keyboard. Sometimes the children would go straight into the next lesson the next day. Sometimes they would take a few days to practice a new concept or to play around on the keyboard before they would move on.
Core piano doesn’t include any tests, and it moves on in topic quickly. In Core Piano, Willie is giving you a basic musical knowledge that you’ll be able to refer back to as you continue on with the program. Once your student is in book one (or if you start in book one), HomeSchoolPiano is divided into units and the lessons have tests on them that your student will have to take before they can move on to test what they have learned.
Book one also begins the six step piano mastery system that will make your child into a proficient pianist and begin to help them with their composition skills. Each unit is sectioned off into: (1) learning a new technique, (2) working on your rhythm, (3) training your ears to hear melody, rhythm, etc., (4) reading music, (5) playing a song, and (6) using those songs to create your own music. In this manner, as your child develops a strong foundation and technique for playing the piano, they’re also allowed to express themselves creatively and build their skill and confidence as artists at the same time.
So far, we are thoroughly enjoying our experience with HomeSchoolPiano, and I know that as we get into book one it’s going to be the perfect blend of beginning piano lessons for Rose with the idea that she will learn to improvise too. After all, she’s already using the lessons that we’ve learned in Core Piano to attempt to create her own music and songs. If you have a child who likes to make up her own songs and music, then there’s probably no better piano program to start them off on than HomeSchoolPiano.
I also wanted to mention the price again in passing. The price for the complete program is $299 for the whole family. When Firecracker took piano lessons, it was $400 for a year plus books. So, if only Firecracker and Rose were taking piano lessons this year, we’d be talking about at least $800 a year plus books. HomeSchoolPiano is a 2-3 year program, so we’re talking about at least a $1300 savings in our home. This is a great deal!! However, I also know that $299 is a large chunk to pay at once, so HomeSchoolPiano also offers a payment plan of $99.97 over the course of three months.
I look forward to being able to continue to progress and to learn how to play the piano with the children as we continue to work through this program. After all, this Momma finds learning the piano through HomeSchoolPiano to be just as fun and as exciting at the children do!
We love it! It’s a great deal! I think you’d like it too! If you’re undecided and looking for more reviews, make sure to click on the banner below. There are 90 reviewers for the Schoolhouse Review Crew on this program. You know that means more information for you on all the different levels of HomeSchoolPiano and how it works in different families.