Piano for all is one of the most popular piano courses. It became huge on Udemy, which is an online platform for people to create and share courses of all different sorts, so why is this course so sought after? Does it live up to expectations and have the 300,000 people who have downloaded it got value for money?
This is a relatively affordable way of learning how to play the piano. Some people are skeptical about the merits of learning in this way. A lot of the popular current methods involve apps, whereas pianoforall is more based around eBooks. There are nine bitesize books to help you to learn the different aspects of piano.
The creator of the course, Robin Hall, describes it as a way to “play piano by ear, improvise, create compositions, and then eventually read piano sheet music,” as it starts with learning by listening and spotting patterns before switching to some of the theory involved in piano lessons.
Piano For All Course Price
Piano for all, sometimes referred to as “pianoforall”, has one of the simplest pricing structures you will find! You pay the money and get access to the course. That’s it! With a lot of the apps we have reviewed on the site, you will have to pay a monthly fee in order to get continued access. This is fair enough in some instances, but it definitely counts as a big plus point that paying for Piano for all means you have access for the duration of the course being in existence.
The cost of the course is $89. This is subject to change, and there are sometimes sales and promotions, but at the time of writing this is correct.
As well as having access to the whole course, you continue to have access to updated downloads as the course gets updated. New lessons might be added by the makers and luckily, you can still get access to all of these, as long as you have paid for your membership you can continue to get the new material they put out.
What Do You Get For The Money?
What is included within the course for the price tag? How is the course structured?
The course itself is built around the nine different eBooks which provide you with the information required, and are meant to be done in order (generally). The first course takes you through the basics, and more advanced techniques and new styles are included as you progress.
500 different audio lessons and 200 video lessons are embedded within the eBook structure. This makes it easy to follow them in order. The video and audio don’t take any specific players or anything, as long as you have a PDF reader you should be fine and able to listen to the audio within.
On top of this, you get the free updates we’ve already mentioned, and email support in case you have any technical issues with the course.
All of this for a one time payment is quite impressive.
Who is Piano For All Best For?
Who is this course for? All of the different courses on the market have their pros and cons, and a specific target audience who will get the most out of the course. Who is pianoforall aimed at?
According to their website tagline, “Pianoforall will take complete beginners to an intermediate level in a very short space of time”.
This sums it up nicely. The sort of people who will probably get the most out of this are those who want to learn piano from scratch. You don’t need prior knowledge of the piano to get started, and you can sit alone with a keyboard or piano and learn to play with piano for all.
The course has a nice beginner feel to it, but it doesn’t focus too much on the technical information to start with, getting you to play by ear before you have to think about what reading music entails. If you don’t want to learn how to read music yet, or you never want to learn, you can find that this is a great course for you, as it teaches chords, scales and more without actually having to learn the musical staff.
The course is also good for those who are on a budget, paying a one-time fee for the course instead of continuously having to pay a monthly fee means that you will get good value out of it even if it takes you a long time to complete.
How Long is the Piano For All Course?
Many people who are going through this course play for 20-30 minutes each day. This is a really manageable way to start to learn chords and play along with songs.
There is plenty of info in the course, but learning all of what is in the books can realistically be done in 3-6 months of regular practice. This means you can go through the beginner stage of piano and start to call yourself more of an intermediate. Without having to focus too much on the reading music and theory aspects, you can get through the course relatively quickly.
This is a really rough guideline. You might do it much quicker or it might take you much longer, it really depends on how much time you dedicate to it and how quick you are as a learner. The “speed learning” techniques get you to the point where you can play piano songs fast, and then fill in more of the technical knowledge later.
Piano For All – The Course Structure and eBooks
As we’ve already mentioned in this review, this piano course is broken up into nine eBooks. A brief description of them can be found below with information on what you can expect to learn in each.
Party Time – Rhythm Style Piano
This is the first book which gets you used to the layout and how everything on the piano works. There is some practical knowledge in here and it even builds up towards playing a song. There are some bits and pieces about notation and music theory but actually, learning by ear is a bit of a shortcut.
The course has 11 chords in this book, and once you understand all of these and how to play them you can start playing melodies and songs.
Blues and Rock and Roll
Genre is introduced here! The main goal of this book seems to be getting you to play with two hands but it does so by teaching some rock n roll and also some blues rhythms. It has a section dedicated to the 12 bar blues and this is a good grounding for your knowledge, it also has some pretty simple songs to focus on. This means that you can stay interested by learning actual songs rather than having to sit through boring piano lessons with no end goal in sight.
You can’t learn the piano without knowing a fair amount about chords, so this is the focus of the third book. It has got a lot of info in it so you can keep going back to it as you go through the rest of the pianoforall course.
Chords are taught in quite a clever way here, as once again Robin Hall shows us a really good “shortcut” method in something he calls the all chords memory trick. It’s a good way to learn how to play all piano chords and remember them if you get stuck.
All piano chords are in this book and if you learn it you can start to play other people’s songs too. It’s a good book for those who want to play piano or keyboard as an accompaniment.
Advanced Chords Made Easy
More chords in the fourth book, with some of the different knowledge on advanced chords and different styles like diminished chords. There is even a list of songs by the Beatles which is a fun way to learn more about chord progressions.
A song called “Manilow Mood” is a clever way to teach you how to come up with your own ideas and play a Barry Manilow style piece of music on the piano.
This sounds like more of a specialist ebook, and it is, but you don’t just have to be interested in ballad style music to get a lot out of the lessons in here, and you shouldn’t skip it when you are completing piano for all. The course has a lot more on playing with two hands and combining chords with melodies.
Ballad style also introduces some info about scales and improvising, so whether you like ballads or you hate them, it is worth learning the info within.
All That Jazz and Blues
Jazz and Blues are quite intimidating styles for those who have never played the piano before. Piano for all does a good job of making them feel quite accessible and gives you a basic overview of the knowledge needed.
More improv and scales are taught within this ebook, as well as “seventh” chords which are very popular in these genres and can give a bluesy feel to the music you are playing. Once again, it doesn’t really matter what genre you are focusing on, the point is that you are playing more advanced techniques.
Advanced Blues and Fake Stride
There are more blues styles in here such as “tremolo” and “turnarounds”. These techniques can help you to play in this style, but might not be important if you are playing other genres.
One of the coolest things about this is the “fake stride” and it also teaches you how to play “The Entertainer” which is one of the most popular pieces of music. This is used as a way to get you more used to playing with two hands, and more complex two-handed techniques are covered. This is one of the more tricky ebooks, but we are approaching the end of the course here!
Taming the Classics
This is where a lot of the more technical and classical knowledge is introduced. The course has a bit of a “fake it until you make it” outlook. This is where some of the gaps in this knowledge get filled in and turn you into more of a rounded pianist.
This book can take the longest out of all of them. It focuses on both reading sheet music and sight reading, which is not easy. Learning how to play some of the more classical pieces might require these skills and knowledge in this area, so if you have ambitions of ever being a concert pianist then this might but the eBook to spend the most time on.
The lessons within allow you to learn how to play some pieces by Chopin and Beethoven, which can definitely give you a confidence boost as you learn some of the true greats of piano.
This teaches how to practice things like scales and triads. It is a good “bridge” eBook to take you from the beginner and intermediate knowledge you have learned in books 1-8 and teach you how you can advance with this.
There are also some activities and memory techniques within to help you to keep it relatively simple even while you are playing some more advanced pieces. Some of the other piano for all reviews have picked up on the fact that these techniques might be useful earlier in the course than book 9. Luckily, we’ve given you prior warning so that you can skip forward if you feel you might need the extra help.
In general, you might want to skip back and forth a little through the books. However, pianoforall is laid out in a pretty straightforward and sensible way. Don’t be fooled by the names of the books, even if you have no interest in rock n roll or ballads, or advanced blues, the lessons learned within can still be helpful. We recommend seeing the course through either way.
Pros and Cons of Piano For All
Every single method of learning piano has its pros and cons. Plus, you can always combine multiple methods together. Once you’ve completed this, there is nothing wrong with having lessons elsewhere or signing up for an app such as Yousician. Learning the piano alone isn’t easy, so the more tools you have, the better.
So, what are the pros and cons of piano for all?
- Affordable, one-time pricing so you don’t have to pay a monthly fee.
- Lots of video and audio content within the eBooks.
- The course is set out in a logical way that allows you to build on your previous knowledge.
- Over 600 pages of information in total.
- Can be accessed offline and on almost any device, though you will need a reader of some description.
- There aren’t that many songs in the course considering its size, compared to some of the apps that have hundreds or even thousands of songs included, this can be a bit of a letdown, though you can learn songs elsewhere using the knowledge.
- The course doesn’t have an interactive nature. Some of the other courses use USB or even just the microphone on your device to detect whether or not you are getting it right.
- Some of the information on hand positions and more technical info that beginners might want is lacking in some areas.
Starting to learn piano is quite an intimidating activity. You are probably aware of just how much there is to take in, and seeing the 600 pages of the piano for all course will do very little to help you with this intimidation. However, the amount of information within these piano lessons, and the fact they are logically laid out, makes it one of the best choices for beginners and even intermediate players.
The value for money is exceptional when you consider the fact you are only paying once for this course, a further reason to use the piano for all lessons as your first dive into playing the piano.