Today's Wisdom

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Review of PianoWithWillie

JazzEdge  Review

Today's review product is one that I am excited to share. We were given a Studio Membership of PianoWithWillie by JazzEdge. PianoWithWillie is an online piano course created by Willie Myette. You can access the course on multiple devices that can be connected to the internet including mobile phones, iPads, desktops, tablets, and more.  We mainly accessed it using a laptop.

In this course, Willie has created a wonderful variety of piano lessons from basic to advanced. If you have never had any piano experience whatsoever, he recommends you not to begin with this course but rather to start with Easy Piano Basics.

I decided to start with PianoWithWillie because my children have been taught some basic piano skills by their Grandmother. We ran into a few problems while my children were learning to play with this method. One was the children would forget what they were suppose to be practicing each day so come piano lesson day, they were not where they should be or they were practicing incorrectly. I had no piano experience at all so I couldn't help them or try to correct them. Willie states that is one of the reasons he designed PianoWithWillie because the students he was teaching had the same problems. With this course, they could go anytime and practice along with the videos in the comfort of their own homes by themselves and know that they were practicing correctly.

My daughter, Sarah, who is 11, decided to take this course. There are many different options and courses available to you so navigating your way around can be very overwhelming at first. Thankfully, Willie has taken the time to show you the steps you will need to complete to get started. 

When you log into your account, you are brought to a screen where you will begin with the Piano Start Tab. Under that tab, you will then go through the various steps available beginning with Step 1: Getting Started.  After watching a video on how to get started, you can then choose if you would like to start a 30-Day Success Playbook or dive right into some other lesson plans.  I would also suggest you watch Step 4 right away as it is very helpful in showing you how to navigate the site.

Lessons available can be filtered and searched for according to what you are trying to find. Some of the genres available are Blues, Classical, Funk, Gospel, Jazz, Latin, Rock, and Universal. Lessons also follow 2 distinct paths - Foundational or Fun'dational.

Foundational lessons focus on rhythm, technique, and reading which are typically known as the not so fun lessons but are necessary for long term success. Fun'dational lessons focus on song, style, and concept which are considered to be the more fun lessons where you can dive straight into learning how to play a song.

For Sarah, it had a been a while since she took her lessons with her Grandma, so I decided to let her start on the 30-Day Success Playbook which contained 30 lessons equaling 1 per day. The lessons were all short and less than 10 minutes with most being around the 5 minute mark. They were a little challenging for her but I think she did well with them. She would take more than a day to practice a lesson if she needed to which is truly the beauty of the program. It allows you to go at your own pace which can be as slow or fast as you like. If she felt herself stressing out, she would go slower.

During the lessons, you will see a screen similar to the one below. Willie will be teaching you and you are also able to see his hand movements along with an animated keyboard showing which notes are to be played. With the lessons and the playbook, you can also download any sheet music or worksheets to go along with the lessons.

JazzEdge  Review

Sarah really enjoyed the lessons and said she would recommend them to piano students who already know a little about the piano. I watched the lessons and tried a few myself and I have no piano or music experience whatsoever. The lessons were hard for me but doable. I do agree with their recommendation that I would rather begin at an easier level such as Easy Piano Basics.

Here is a little of what she learned in some of the first lessons - as you can see she was pretty proud of herself.  I think this course really helps students gain confidence at their own pace and timing!

Find out more about JazzEdge:

JazzEdge also offers drum lessons. Be sure to click the banner below to see what my fellow crewmates thought about PianoWithWillie, Easy Piano Basics, and DrumsWithWillie.

JazzEdge Review
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