Review: Simply Music

Raine has been learning to play the piano for over a year now, and she's raring to play pieces that aren't in her beginner's piano book. That's why I was intrigued by the Music & Creativity - Foundation Course created by Neil Moore of Simply Music .

Simply Music is perfect for those who want to play the piano but are not up to studying it the traditional way, or those who want to get straight to playing actual songs rather than learning how to read notes and practicing scales and the like.

This is a self-paced online video course--you will need a decent Internet connection to use it (ours has been spotty lately, so we had the frustration of waiting for the videos to load), as well as a 48-key keyboard. Aside from the video lessons, you also get downloadable materials:

  • a reference book, with lyrics, the chords, and graphic representations of the hand motions;
  • a practice pad, which is actually a printable file that you assemble into a paper keyboard;
  • all the soundtracks of the pieces that you will learn how to play;
  • and a pretty comprehensive ebook Music and the Art of Long-Term Relationships: The Key to Staying Committed

There are 19 lessons in all, some with a single video lesson, others with more. The accompanying soundtrack is also listed, along with the links to the reference book and practice pad (in case you haven't downloaded them already). You can take go as quickly or as slowly as you'd like (or need). However, you cannot go to the next lesson unless you have marked the previous lessons complete.

This is your lesson screen
There are fairly straightforward instructions on how to assemble your practice pad
I haven't read this book yet (it's 84 pages!) but I skimmed through it, and it looks well-written. Plus colored graphics! You never outgrow pictures in books.

Neil Moore, creator of the program, presents the lessons in a very conversational, non-intimidating manner. I appreciated the clear shots of his hands going through the proper motions, which make it easier to understand the lessons.

Raine went through the lessons quite quickly, and was able to pick up the techniques that were being taught. However, we realized that you need to play along with the soundtrack, otherwise it won't quite sound like the song. This frustrated Raine quite a bit. She is used to playing full pieces (albeit beginner ones, other than Fur Elise, which she partially memorized) and this style of learning wasn't working out for her.

I think this would be better suited for someone who has zero piano background and just wants to get into playing something that sounds nice. It's a very pressure-free way to get started, and in case you don't have any interest in learning how to read notes, at the very least you have a sort of party trick you can perform.

The Music & Creativity - Foundation Course by Simply Music is free for now, so you can sign up and instantly access all 19 lessons. And if you enjoy it, the next level is available for purchase.

Other homeschool families tried out Simply Music too. Click below to read their reviews.

Learn to Play the Piano with Music & Creativity - Foundation Course {Simply Music Reviews}
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