I never played an instrument growing up unless you count the rhythm sticks. But, it was a dream of mine to have my kids take some sort of instrument. Skylar played violin and Mahala is our piano player. She started lessons several years ago, but after a year or so we had to stop taking her due to the long drive, short class time, long wait in the car with Kaden for her and the cost to do it all. Last year I was Blessed to have the opportunity to Review a Piano Program called Homeschool Piano. And this year JazzEdge has given us a Studio Access Membership to Review for a full year to Willie Myette's amazing Piano program called PianoWithWillie. ($49 a Month or $99 Quarterly or $399 Annually)
This program is for people who have had the basics and who need to move on to the next step. There are other programs available for beginning learners and for the Drums.....I encourage you to check them all out. Willie attended and graduated from the Berklee College of Music. Both of my Kiddos found it exciting to learn that he toured and preformed across America and Europe. And that his music has been played on almost 100 different radio stations across the country. Mahala loved the Homeschool Piano program and Kaden still uses it today, but she needed more of a challenge. And this program absolutely delivers just that. First I'm going to share what I love as a parent about Piano with Willie and then I'm going to let Mahala speak a little about what she thought.
First of all I love that Willie is the Instructor, he is Amazing. You can feel his passion through the computer screen. He has excitement in his voice and he beams with enthusiasm when he teaches. For me that's great for both the experience musician and the beginner. Kaden needs the motivation and encouraging words. And to me Mahala seems to respond nicely and has a desire to learn because Willie is so engaging with his students.
I Love the ease of using the program, he offers a tutorial that takes you through the basics and where to get to everything at your initial set up. I will admit I had to watch it and go through it twice. :) But, once I got situated it was a breeze and with each lesson it's just click click click boom....all done! :)
I super Love that you can access the lesson from your computer, phone or tablet. I can not tell you how awesome that little feature has been for us. We were over at a friends the other day and we might have stayed a little longer then what I thought we were going to. And the kids were bored. I said to the kids to take their tablet and head out to the sunroom where they have their piano and take turns doing their piano lessons. My friend was so impressed that both of the kids didn't complain, knew how to log in and get themselves all logged on and the music was beautiful.
I Love that you have over 3,000 lessons to pick from and you can learn something new every single day! And the Forum, It's a nice addition, we didn't really use it during the review period. But, as Mahala continues on it may be a great additional tool for her to use.
I asked Mahala to comment on the things that she Loved about PianoWithWillie. She said there were three main things she Loved the most.
1. The Split Screen!!! She said that it feels as close to a live one on one practice then any other online program because you get to see Willie up-close and get an aerial view of his keys as he is playing.
2. The sheet music is right there and available to print or just bring it up and download on your tablet or computer and follow along.
3. The ease of keeping up with the lessons you have worked through already and feeling confident using the site. It's very user friendly and you don't waste time clicking through lessons trying to figure out where you were last.
We, used this program 3-4 times a week. We wanted to use it more often, but with the way things have been lately we decided up front to stick with 3-4 days a week. It worked our beautifully and without any stress. I set it all up in a matter of about 10 minutes and then included Mahala in everything afterwards. She went through the Getting Started, Using the Site and Next Step sections all by herself. There is a Piano Foundations section that she did also, before she started on the 30 Day Success Playbook. That was where all the fun began and the music started to flow from her fingertips. Next will come the individual lessons, she has done a few of the 300+ already, but wanted to complete the 30 Day Success Playbook 1st before she went too deep into that.
Every day that we had piano time scheduled she basically logged on and did her thing. Even Kaden who is much younger then her that is using another piano program with Willie does the same thing. It's very user friendly, great for independent learning and I would definitely say it is a huge success in our home. I will go in every now and then to the dashboard and check on their progress. But, other then that it's great for independent learning.
So, would I recommend this Piano Program? Absolutely, and if you can't use it because you don't have a piano I urge you to go out and at least look into buying a new or used 61 Key keyboard. Piano can encourage self esteem and creativity while creating beautiful music that relaxes the soul. I think any Homeschool Family or Non-homeschooling Family would benefit from this Piano Program. It's affordable and a blessing to be able to have a quality teaching experience in the comfort of your own home during a flexible time that is convenient for you! Check them out, you wont be disappointed.....I promise!