Pianote – An Honest Review (2021)
Pianote is an online piano teaching platform that offers a comprehensive curriculum for students. It is particularly useful for beginners and intermediates looking for an effective way to quickly improve their playing. The program is facilitated by a variety of instructors, so you can pick and choose what you want.
After spending some time using Pianote, I’ve written my thoughts, which should help determine if it’s for you or not.
Please note that Pianote provided me with a free membership in order to evaluate the service. However, my opinions are my own and I am honestly explaining my thoughts in this review.
- Is Pianote Worth It?
- Courses and Teachers
- The Pianote Method – 10 Level Course
- Live Lessons & Student Focus
- Pianote vs Private Lessons
- Pianote App
- Pianote – Pros
- Pianote – Pros
Value for money9.5/10
Course content quality9.5/10
Website and App usability9.5/10
Frequency of new content8.0/10
Pianote is a really impressive platform with devoted instructors and thorough lessons. It’s particularly useful for beginner and intermediate piano players. It’s easily accessible and a great place to learn to play the piano. It’s also quite affordable for what it offers.
- Very experienced and enthusiastic teachers.
- Relatively affordable based on what it offers.
- Great for beginners and intermediates.
- You can send in a video of yourself playing piano to get feedback from an instructor. There are also live Q&A sessions, as well as lots of other content available in the subscription.
- Pianote is very well-designed and can be used across web browsers and mobile devices, where you can pick from where you left off across devices.
- No immediate feedback on student review submissions
- Relatively small song library
- There is currently not a massive amount of content for advanced players.
If you’d like to give Pianote a try, then you can get a free 30-day trial using this link!
Pianote offers hundreds of video lessons and specialized courses for particular styles and techniques. The lessons can be watched on the web browser on your computer or via their mobile apps (iOS or Android) and you can resume lessons across devices (e.g. similar to video streaming services like Netflix).
The Pianote Method is a great section to get started on this platform, as it offers a well laid-out, 10-level course that you can work through and track your progress. This is perfect for beginners, while also being useful for intermediates that want a refresher.
They have a student focus section, regular live sessions, and a podcast, which sets Pianote apart from standard online video courses. You can keep track of your schedule as you start and progress. There are also many quick tip lessons included to spice it up and take a break from conventional lessons.
A good part of the platform is the songs section, where they have more than a hundred video tutorials on how to play individual songs across different levels. They also come with downloadable sheet music for these songs. The amount of song tutorials available is not amazing (over one hundred), but the quality of them is superb.
The energy surrounding this whole platform is friendly and welcoming to say the least. Lisa Witt immediately gauges your interest with her enthusiasm and down-to-earth attitude.
Pianote is made by Musora Media, which is the same company that built the popular Drumeo, Guitareo, and Singeo platforms. If you have subscribed to any of these before then the layout of Pianote will look quite familiar to you.
Is Pianote Worth It?
Pianote is definitely worth it for beginners looking for a comprehensive method to get playing quickly. It would also be very useful for intermediate players that feel like they have plateaued in their development and need some new challenges and focus.
However, there is not a massive amount of content for advanced piano players on Pianote. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if they branched out to include a lot more of this level of content in the future, particularly as their members improve in their ability.
It’s certainly not the perfect learning experience, as it’s very difficult to replace in-person lessons, but it does a decent job of making up for this with their student reviews and Q&A sessions.
Courses and Teachers
Pianote includes step-by-step video courses, which are based on different skill levels and each course contains multiple lessons.
Their courses include filters to help narrow down the choice of the student.
You can choose your level of experience, pick an instructor, and filter by specific topics that you want to work on.
The topics include different musical genres, techniques, and even songwriting and composition lessons. This helps pinpoint the search since after covering the foundations, you may want to jump to specific areas that you would like to work on.
Each lesson has a comment section for people to discuss or share their experiences. Also, it allows the student to track their progress for each lesson completed. The layout is very simple to use. When you finish you can “mark as complete” and move on to the next.
Lisa Witt is the main instructor on the platform, along with a bunch of other very experienced pianists, as you can see below:
The Pianote Method – 10 Level Course
The Pianote Method includes a step-by-step walkthrough involving 10 levels to get you started (or to serve as a good refresher). Each level is broken up into sections with multiple videos in each section, so they are quite comprehensive.
The Pianote Method would be really useful for beginners, as it’s great to have a full curriculum laid out for you rather than watching random Youtube videos!
For example – Level 1 currently has 16 video lessons broken up into 3 different courses.
Starting off, their main instructor Lisa Witt guides you through the fundamental skills that every beginner should know. This includes establishing your practice area, defining the notes on the keyboard, and beginning your piano lesson journey.
She explains how scales work and starts with basic scale practice. She also teaches you how to read and write music, which can be scary at first, but once you get the fundamentals down it gets easier.
The content doesn’t have to be just for beginners, as higher-level students can also benefit. This takes you back to some of the fundamentals on which every instrument is based on. Therefore, sharpening that knowledge can benefit players across all skill levels.
There is also Pianote Foundations, in addition to the Pianote Method. The difference here is that The Method takes you over everything you need for a good start. It focuses on the fundamentals that every beginner needs to successfully learn to play the piano. Pianote Foundations, on the other hand, dives deeper into specific components like scales, chords, and also gives you tips on how to improve certain elements like learning to read music notation and help your improvisation.
Live Lessons & Student Focus
Pianote offers Live Lessons for students to watch and learn certain aspects. It’s also a good place to virtually meet and interact with other students. Live Lessons include quick tips, student reviews over recent student video uploads, and Q&A videos. It’s a great chance to get the answers to questions you might have.
Their student focus contains content such as Q&A’s where they have weekly sessions focused specifically on any questions the students might have.
The student reviews section is an interesting one. You can submit a video for review and expect feedback from one of the teachers. This is a great way to see if you’re on the right track. I think features like this really do improve a student’s skill set since they get a personal opinion from their instructors.
Of course, getting direct feedback from a quality local piano teacher would be superior to this. However, Pianote’s instructors are very experienced and the feedback is generally constructive and friendly, so it’s a good place to get quality feedback.
Here is how you submit your video for feedback on Pianote:
Pianote vs Private Lessons
Pianote would likely work out as a lot cheaper than private lessons and it also offers a range of other advantages. On the other hand, private lessons offer much more immediate feedback and dedicated instruction from the teacher.
Pianote has a very in-depth program structured for a complete learning experience. However, private lessons with an experienced teacher tend to focus more on the individual. A very good piano teacher can also keep you more accountable and be a mentor to you as you develop, which will always be lacking on online platforms.
What Pianote offers is better in terms of going at your own pace and not having the stress of someone looking over everything you do each moment. Having the option to replay lessons and even pause at certain moments has huge benefits. Pianote also offers sheet music, play-along songs, and a good online community.
Pianote also has a ‘gamified’ type system of XP and levels and you build up as you keep progressing through the courses. That can be a nice way to keep you motivated when you don’t have someone looking over your shoulder!
If possible, I think if you’re very serious about learning the piano, then a combination of private lessons and Pianote would be a very solid option. You would get the best of both worlds.
Pianote has a vast community from all over the world. They have almost 1 million subscribers on YouTube and they also have a pretty busy forum on the Pianote platform.
Due to the fact that the users of the forum are members who subscribed to the platform, I think the overall quality of it is much higher than other standard forums that you will see online.
Getting to hear different opinions from other students might keep you motivated to pursue this journey even more.
Also, Pianote’s YouTube account is filled with lots of helpful content, spanning from beginner to intermediate level.
Pianote has a modest song library at the moment, with over a hundred songs. These songs span from beginner to advanced levels, though there are currently more songs within the beginner to intermediate levels.
Beginners do have lots of options for songs to start with. You can start off with something easy and then you move on from there. They have the option to filter songs by skill level, artist, and style of music.
A great addition, which I found really great, was that you have “Easy Version” of certain songs that you like to learn, as a way to progress that song even further down the road. This is a great element that is implemented for beginners.
Among the video tutorials on songs, I was pretty impressed to see that these are actually full-blown tutorials rather than just simple play-throughs. The instructors give practical tips on how to actually play the songs and it shows a good view of the keys being played within videos, while it shows the sheet music on screen.
Downloadable sheet music is also available for the songs so that you can print them out (as it’s nice to disconnect from the digital world sometimes when playing the piano!).
Although there is currently not a massive amount of songs available, the selection is very decent and covers a bunch of different styles. For example, level one contains classics from the likes of The Beatles and Bob Dylan, but it also contains a tutorial on how to play the Stranger Things Themes (which sounds great on both piano and retro-sounding synths!).
I think the focus here is a lot more on quality rather than quantity, and they are trying to give you very decent tutorials on the ones that they have decided to cover so far.
The Pianote App is available for iOS and Android. You don’t have to use the app to access the platform, but it is very handy to use and you can pick up from where you left off on another device.
I think the Pianote app would be particularly useful on an iPad or other type of tablet to play along with.
The app itself is easy to use and it has a nice, simple, and functional design. It is a great way to follow up on any lessons while you’re on the move. You can listen to a podcast while going to work or riding the bus.
I think the price of Pianote is very fair for what they are offering, seeing as the content quality is very high and they are regularly adding updates.
Pianote provides both a monthly and annual plan. The annual plan offers a bit more value, but it’s best to go for the best option that you are willing to commit to.
There is a 90-day money-back guarantee, which means that if you’re not happy with the program for any reason within 90 days, you can just cancel it and get all of your money back.
If you want to take the learning even further, Pianote also offers separate packs with even more video course content. Most of the current ones were created by Lisa Witt and they are very nicely put together.
Pianote – Pros
- Access to consistently high-quality piano courses and content.
- It’s affordable.
- It’s an evolving platform with new content and instructional videos being released regularly.
- It has a very well-designed interface for using Pianote on your computer, along with great quality apps for iOS and Android that you can resume progress on whenever you want.
- An overall high level of enthusiasm from the instructors. It’s simply a lovely online space that encourages learning.
- Targeted filters and learning categories, which allow you to focus on a certain aspect of your skill-set when you want to take a break from normal lessons.
- Their community is really positive and really helpful because everybody is working together and involved in the process.
Pianote – Pros
- You won’t receive immediate feedback on your student video submissions.
- The song library is not massive. That said, it has over 100 songs and they are certainly of good quality.
- There is not a massive amount of content for advanced players.
I think Pianote is a great resource to learn how to play the piano. The instructors are passionate and enthusiastic. Getting around the platform is easy to use, and the level system that they use is great to keep students motivated to keep going.
Becoming a member is simple. Once you’ve done so, you’re granted full access to their material. New content is added very regularly, which keeps the platform fresh and keeps members involved.
If you would like to give it a go, then get a free 30-day trial of Pianote using this link!
The piano courses are suitably comprehensive. I like their step-by-step approach since it allows everyone to proceed at their own speed without having to worry about rushing or forcing things. You are also free to explore whatever areas you want to work on.
Pianote’s overall community is very positive and they have a lot of content that can help keep you motivated and engaged, outside of following along with their regular courses.