A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

HomeSchoolPiano - Teaching Music When You're Not A Music Teacher

Our family was selected to review HomeSchoolPiano.  Brianna has taken some online piano lessons in the past, and I thought this would be a good way to further her music learning.  While I took a few piano lessons as a junior high school student, it would be a stretch to say that I play the piano.  I am grateful that Brianna has the opportunity to go further than I did, from the convenience of our own home.  

HomeSchoolPiano will work with a piano or an electric keyboard of at least 49 full sized keys.  You should have a stand with your keyboard, and of course, you'll need a stool, bench, or chair of some sort for you student to sit upon.  You'll also need a way to connect to the internet, and a computer, tablet, or smart phone.  You're all set!  

Homeschool Piano Review

The levels for HomeSchoolPiano are:
     CorePiano, for the absolute beginner
     Book One, for someone new to piano or returning to piano after not playing for a while
     Book Two, beginner to intermediate
     Book Three, intermediate

Brianna can read treble clef music and play with her right hand, but she has a mental block against playing with both hands.  Because of this, we started her in Book One.  

Click here for an overview of the 6 units in Book One.  There are seven lessons in each unit.  Each lesson took Brianna between 5-15 minutes to complete.  She said she liked that there's a test at the end of some lessons so you can be sure that you're mastering the material.  She mentioned that the instructor seemed friendly, which she also liked.

To work on a lesson, I would let Brianna use my iPad to watch the lesson at her keyboard so she could play along with the instructor and complete the exercises.  You can also use HomeSchoolPiano on a smart phone, laptop, or desktop computer, but the iPad worked best for us.

You have the option of printing the books for practice, as well.  Brianna didn't feel like she needed the book printed yet at the level she's working at, since she's able to follow along with the instructor just fine.  What she did print, however was blank sheet music paper!  She was so very excited to find this available on the website.

I asked Brianna to work on HomeSchoolPiano 3 days/week.  She would often complete more than one lesson at a time.  On the in between days, I hear her playing from her Disney piano book, which was a Christmas present, or from various sheet music she's printed from online.  

My student is 14 years old, but HomeSchoolPiano is designed to be used by children and adults of all ages.  Brianna liked the pace that the program moves at.  I liked that it didn't feel "juvenile" to her, which kept her interested.

Homeschool Piano Review

HomeSchoolPiano has two payment packages and the pricing is very reasonable when compared to live piano lessons in person:

1. Success Package (One payment of $299)
Unlimited life-time access to HomeSchoolPiano along with all bonuses (downloads, jam tracks, sheet music) for up to 5 students.
2. Payment Plan (Payments of $99.97 per month for three months):
Unlimited life-time access to HomeSchoolPiano along with all bonuses (downloads, jam tracks, sheet music) for up to 5 students.

You'll notice that each plan covers up to five students.  You can set each student up with their own log in so that HomeSchoolPiano will start up where they left off playing the last time they practiced, which I thought was a great feature.  As the parent, you can keep track of student progress and quiz scores.

You can connect with HomeSchoolPiano on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

If you're interested in what other Crew families, with kids of different ages and playing levels, have to say about HomeSchoolPiano, please click the box below:
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  1. This looks like a really great program. My oldest is probably still a bit too little to start, but I'm definitely going to keep this in mind for the future.

    1. :) If you have a little one, you might be interested in the Trebellina DVD we reviewed. Basic introduction to music and instruments for the preschool set.

  2. From all of us at Jazzedge, we thank you for your unbiased review. Hope you enjoy the lessons!

    1. It was a pleasure! I enjoyed watching Brianna get inspired again.