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The 9 best online piano lesson apps and platforms in 2023

Learning to play the piano online has never been more popular, but with no shortage of online courses, choosing the best one is no easy task. I decided to find the best online piano lesson platforms in 2023 to make your choice easier.

This list of the best piano learning apps has something for all ages, experience levels, and budgets. There are no more excuses; start learning to play piano now!

About the author

I’m a producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience in the music industry. Having studied composition as a pianist, I have experienced and understand the difference between traditional music education and online lessons. I have worked on many education-based projects and continue to put online piano lesson platforms to the test.

testing the best online piano lesson apps
Image: Higher Hz

How I chose my top picks?

Before I added any platforms to the list, I joined each and every one of them. More importantly, I spent time playing through lessons and courses in every skill level these platforms offer. I chose the best platforms based on my own experiences as a member.

While reviewing each platform, I highlighted the good, bad, and everything in between to ensure you find the best way to learn piano online. For more information on how I tested each platform, see bottom of the page.

testing a popular video-based piano learning software
Image: Higher Hz

These are the best lesson apps for learning piano online, according to a pro pianist and educator:

  1. Piano Marvel
  2. Playground Sessions
  3. Hoffman Academy
  4. Pianote
  5. Flowkey
  6. Yousician
  7. Simply Piano
  8. Skoove
  9. Pianoforall

Piano Marvel 4.9

The best platform for all levels (even pros)

Piano Marvel is a remarkable online resource for students of all ages and experience levels. It might be the only platform with something to offer professionals, whether as a teaching or practice aid. The only slight criticism is that it might be too grown up for some younger students, but it will take serious learners as far as they want to go.

Piano Marvel learning app during the test
Image: Higher Hz

Piano Marvel offers over 1,200 lessons and over 26,000 songs across the most popular genres. The vast content includes video lessons, PDF books, and printable sheet music. Piano Marvel delivers a sensible progression path, and a strong focus on ear training and sight-reading puts it ahead of the competition.

The interface is very clean and professional. It lacks the playful charm of some others, but it’s beautifully efficient. The professional image of Piano Marvel software is likely to be more engaging for adults, but if younger students stick with it, they will see incredible results.

The Music Library is huge, but the most impressive thing is the quality of the arrangements. Too many piano learning apps provide clunky, clumsy arrangements that have no sense of expression at all; not Piano Marvel. After a little use, it’s hard to believe that Piano Marvel is one of the cheaper platform memberships on the market. It’s incredible.

Read my full Piano Marvel review to find out more.

What I like

  • Well thought-out lessons.
  • Sensible progression path.
  • High-quality arrangements.
  • Efficient, easy-to-use interface.
  • Great value for money.

What I don’t like

  • Might be too professional for kids.
Piano Marvel: Get started

Playground Sessions 4.8

The best all-around piano lesson platform

Playground Sessions is the best all-around platform because it delivers high-quality, professional content but maintains enough playful charm to appeal to younger kids. It could use some more advanced lessons, but it’s hard to fault, which isn’t surprising when it comes from the creative mind of Quincy Jones.

Playground Sessions app during the test
Image: Higher Hz

Playground Sessions has a clear and direct progression path, and that’s a big part of what makes it one of the best apps to learn piano. While it lacks some advanced content, the structure of the course is impeccable.

You can’t use an acoustic piano, which might be an issue for some, but I recommend using a MIDI keyboard anyway. Another key selling point of Playground Sessions is that it features some iconic teachers, like Harry Connick Jr.

The interface is extremely user-friendly, making it suitable for students of any age. It also provides the best instant feedback out of any platform on this list and has a forum where you can connect with other students.

The song collection is diverse, featuring material from popular genres, including pop, rock, jazz, and classical. Playground Sessions offers exceptional value for money, especially if you subscribe to an annual plan.

Read my full Playground Sessions review to find out more.

What I like

  • Clear progression path.
  • Best instant feedback.
  • Iconic teachers.
  • Gamified learning.

What I don’t like

  • You can’t use an acoustic piano.
Playground Sessions: Get started

Hoffman Academy 4.9

The best online piano lessons for kids

Note: I’ve rated Hoffman Academy higher than Playground Sessions yet placed it lower on the list. I did this because Playground Sessions is better overall, but Hoffman Academy is almost perfect in its niche.

Hoffman Academy is the best piano lesson platform for kids, and there isn’t a close second place. Everything from the imagery and language to the functionality and lesson delivery is tailored for kids. Joseph Hoffman is a piano lesson rockstar, and his delivery is a massive part of why Hoffman Academy is so successful.

Hoffman Academy piano lesson platform during the test
Image: Higher Hz

Hoffman Academy has something to offer everyone, but it’s primarily aimed at younger kids. One of the things I love most is that it encourages parents to get involved in their children’s musical journey.

Along with fantastic video lessons (over 300), Hoffman Academy features lots of interactive games that keep kids entertained while they learn. It also has a very supportive community that can be a helpful resource for parents.

The interface uses a lot of cartoon imagery, but it does so while delivering a professional-level service. It’s straightforward enough for kids to use by themselves and offers printables that will serve as trophies and look great on the fridge.

The song selection includes traditional tunes, nursery rhymes, pop songs, cartoon and game themes, and more.

There are better platforms for older students, even teenagers, but it’s excellent value for money for younger kids.

Read my full Hoffman Academy review to find out more.

What I like

  • Perfect for kids.
  • Outstanding content.
  • Interactive games.
  • Supportive community.

What I don’t like

  • Some elements might feel too childish for older kids.
Hoffman Academy: Get started

Pianote 4.5

The best video-based lessons

I love so many things about Pianote! I love the enthusiastic lesson delivery, the live streams, the community, the design, and the list goes on. The one thing I don’t like is that it doesn’t offer interactive lessons, but if you can get past that, it’s amazing.

Pianote learning app during the test
Image: Higher Hz

Pianote is a video-based piano lesson platform with a thriving online community. Unlike most other platforms, Pianote streams regular live events where users can communicate directly with teachers. My experience of live events left me feeling like Pianote had the most encouraging community of students you could ask for, and that’s valuable.

I like the approach that Pianote takes to teaching. It’s a modern approach that aims to build a healthy balance of music theory and practical skills that you don’t always learn from books or traditional lessons. The teachers are awesome and know how to motivate their students.

Pianote boasts a huge song library with some of the best arrangements I’ve encountered. Although I wish Pianote offered some interactive content with instant feedback, video-based content has some benefits, such as an easier transition between desktop and mobile devices.

The Pianote interface resembles YouTube in many ways, and the user experience is the same whether on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. If you want to learn at your own pace and engage regularly with other students, Pianote is worth every penny.

Read my full Pianote review to find out more.

What I like

  • Enthusiastic lesson delivery.
  • Great song arrangements.
  • Awesome teachers.
  • Consistent user experience.

What I don’t like

  • No interactive lessons.
Pianote: Get started

Flowkey 4.3

The second best all-rounder

Flowkey gained a very respectable score, but it’s a frustrating platform because it could be so much better. It has some irritating flaws that it doesn’t need to have, but it also does many things exceptionally well. Right now, it’s my second favorite all-rounder, but with a bit of work, it could compete for the top spot.

Flowkey piano learning app during the test
Image: Higher Hz

Flowkey ticks most boxes that you’d want a virtual piano lesson platform to tick. It delivers excellent content for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players. In fact, it offers better advanced lessons than most alternatives, and even if you’re a beginner, it’s good to know Flowkey can take you that far.

Another thing I love about Flowkey is that it actively encourages improvisation. Improvisation is fun for younger players and develops a freedom in piano playing that every student deserves.

The irritating flaws I mentioned include a less-than-perfect structure and a lack of detailed feedback. With such high-quality content, these issues shouldn’t exist. One of the things that Flowkey does exceptionally well is deliver a consistent experience across all devices with a very user-friendly interface.

Students can access over 1,500 songs in various arrangements to suit beginner, intermediate, advanced, and pro players. Flowkey is already outstanding value for money but could be even better with a few simple fixes.

Read my full Flowkey review to find out more.

What I like

  • Genuine advanced content.
  • Encourages improvisation.
  • Consistent experience across all devices.

What I don’t like

  • Lacks quality feedback.
Flowkey: Get started

Yousician 4.2

The best multi-instrument platform

I can’t help being a little disappointed by Yousician because I had such high expectations. It’s a pretty solid choice that offers a wide range of content, but I’d prefer to see it go more in-depth in certain areas. It might be ideal if you’re an aspiring hobbyist musician because you can learn up to five instruments from one account.

Yousician piano learning app during the test
Image: Higher Hz

Yousician Piano is a platform that tries to do a bit of everything and falls short in some areas. However, despite not going as in-depth as I’d like, the content it offers is very good.

One of the things that I like most about Yousician is that it helps students develop strong relative pitch from an early stage. Relative pitch is a must-have for aspiring musicians and a skill that will serve you well for a lifetime.

The interface is lovely, it’s straightforward, and nothing is needlessly convoluted. It takes a gamified approach to learning, and I think that’s beneficial to students of any age. It also introduces new challenges periodically when you can compete against other students.

Yousician has a mix of Yousician originals and songs from established artists (you need a Premium+ subscription to access well-known artists). The library is huge, and the song selections are great.

Yousician is worth the money, especially if you want to learn multiple instruments or need a family plan.

Read my full Yousician Piano review to find out more.

What I like

  • Gamified learning.
  • Ear-training games.
  • User challenges.

What I don’t like

  • Not enough advanced material.
Yousician: Get started

Simply Piano 3.9

The biggest underachiever

I use the word underachiever with some level of affection because Simply Piano has much potential. Sadly, there are too many things that it almost does well but not quite. It’s one to keep an eye on because a few impactful tweaks could see it shooting up this list.

Simply Piano app during the test
Image: Higher Hz

Simply Piano isn’t entirely on the wrong track, it has some fantastic features, including a free trial, so you can try before you buy. The platform delivers the right content, for the most part, although it oversimplifies much of it.

On the flip side, the simplified content might prove to be a good starting point for early beginners before moving on to something more substantial.

The interface is basic (in a good way) and easy to use, and it looks great. It lacks advanced features, but, again, that might appeal to the right student. Lessons provide instant feedback, and while I’d like to see more, some platforms don’t offer any.

Despite any negatives, the song selection is outstanding. It has something to offer every personality and is not too dated.

Simply Piano offers a range of subscription plans, and ironically, it’s the one area where things are too complicated. The right deal could make it worth the money, but I hope to see changes that unlock its true potential soon.

Read my full Simply Piano review to find out more.

What I like

  • Great song selection.
  • Instant feedback.
  • Good for early beginners.

What I don’t like

  • Oversimplified.
  • Questionable progression path.
Simply Piano: Get started

Skoove 3.5

The popular starting point

Skoove is among the most popular first choices for beginners because you often get lengthy free trials with keyboard/MIDI controller purchases. Overall, Skoove has a lot of work to do, but it is a solid choice for newbies, and I think that’s where the platform should focus most attention.

Skoove online lessons during the test
Image: Higher Hz

Skoove is an online piano lesson platform aimed at students of varying levels, but it’s best suited to complete beginners, and that’s a good thing.

I’d give Skoove a much higher score if it dropped more advanced content and focused purely on beginners because that’s what it does best. The issue is that Skoove misses some essential elements of music when it reaches the intermediate level and beyond. But, the beginner lessons are very good and should appeal to most age groups.

The interface and overall design are lovely. It’s simple, easy to understand, and looks good. I’d like to see more feedback and accountability for students, and I hope that will come soon. I’d also like a more consistent user experience between the browser and app versions.

Skoove has a solid selection of songs with perfect arrangements for beginners. Given the level of competition now, I think Skoove could use a price drop, but it’s still good value for a beginner.

Read my full Skoove review to find out more.

What I like

  • Straightforward design.
  • Some fantastic content.
  • Great for complete beginners.

What I don’t like

  • Lack of accountability and structure.
  • Many important techniques/concepts missed.
Skoove: Get started

Pianoforall 2.8

The best collection of PDF content

As the score suggests, I had a hard time with Pianoforall and didn’t enjoy it very much. It would have been easier to understand if the content was terrible, but it has lots of great material; it’s just too dated. It needs a complete refresh and fast.

Pianoforall course during the test
Image: Higher Hz

Pianoforall has been around for years, and it shows. For a one-time fee (often cheaper via Udemy), students get access to a mass of content; I mean a lot! The content comes in the form of PDF lessons, many of which are accompanied by a video.

The upside is that there’s some awesome stuff in there; the downside is that the structure is terrible, so unless you know what you’re looking for, you’ll end up learning the wrong things at the wrong times.

For me, the content delivery is too old-fashioned. The video lessons/guides have a very early YouTube feel, and the PDFs often look like 1980s educational manuals.

The song selection is also dated, although it includes some excellent jazz tunes from greats like Thelonious Monk. Younger students will struggle to get enthusiastic about the music.

Despite everything I’ve just said, I think Pianoforall is worth the money and more to existing players (intermediate upwards) because the content has some real hidden gems. Unfortunately, the lack of sensible structure provides too many potential pitfalls for beginners.

Read my full Pianoforall review to find out more.

What I like

  • Some great content.
  • It’s cheap (one-time fee).

What I don’t like

  • Confusing structure.
  • Not engaging enough.
Pianoforall: Get started

How I tested the piano lesson platforms?

As I mentioned, I joined each platform and worked through lessons and courses like any other student. Learning to play the piano is a long-term commitment, and finding the online lessons that suit you best is important.

While I can’t become a long-term student of every platform for review purposes, I am absolutely sure that I can help you make the right choice because:

  • I’m an experienced pianist who can complete lessons much faster than I could when I was a beginner,
  • I completed courses in all difficulty levels from every platform/app,
  • my prior experience as a student and educator helps me quickly identify potential pitfalls and problems.

Although I won’t be an ongoing student, I took no shortcuts while I was. I formed my opinions only after extensive use and participation in every area of any given platform/app (including live streams, blogs, forums, and everything else on offer).

explaining the piano lesson apps testing process
Image: Higher Hz

Now that you know I put the time in, here’s a little about what I look for in the main judging categories.

Interface

I want to see a user-friendly interface that provides the same or similar experience across all compatible devices. A good interface should be easy to navigate for all target students; if it isn’t, I’ll let you know.

Lesson interface

Here, I focus only on what students see during a lesson. First, I look for clarity: I want clear notation/instructions and no unnecessary distractions. Secondly, I look for additional features and instant feedback where applicable and assess functionality and accuracy.

Teaching method

In short, I identify the learning process, which could be as simple as: Look, Listen, Repeat. But, I also look for appropriate delivery of content. For example, if a video lesson is aimed at kids eight to ten years old, I expect the teacher to be appropriately engaging and make it fun.

Students of different levels and ages need different types of motivation, and a good platform/app will deliver that.

Courses and content

I ensure that the content matches the advertised difficulty level. I also identify any particular lessons that are exceptionally well-crafted.

Progression path

After establishing the start and end destination, whether beginner to intermediate or beginner to advanced, I make sure the platform/app takes you there in a sensible way. I look for a well-structured lesson plan that doesn’t take shortcuts or expect you to run before you walk.

Value for money

I want to see high-quality content and be confident that students will develop the skills to justify the fee.

Conclusion

There are positives and negatives with every platform that I can confirm as fact, but not everything. It’s important to remember that opinions are subjective, and what’s good for one person might not be good for the next.

Use the scores as a guide, but be sure to read the full reviews before deciding because even the lowest-scoring platforms can be perfect for some students.

Happy learning!

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