Would you like your children to have piano lessons? Perhaps you live too far to make it practical to attend, or maybe the schedule doesn’t fit well for your family. HomeschoolPiano may be what you are looking for. We’ve received access to the HomeschoolPiano – Complete Set of Books and have been using them for the past few weeks.
HomeschoolPiano consists of 3 books with 6 units in each. Each lesson is also complete with a video of Willie Myette leading you through everything you need to know. Each unit has 6 lessons focussing on:
- Ear Training
- Reading Music
- And some units have a bonus 7th lesson.
To start, you can either dive right into Book 1, or you can learn more about the basics with CorePiano. CorePiano is a series of 30 ‘mini lessons’ on specific things you need to know. We did a little dabbling back and forth. The kids wanted to get right onto the lessons, but without much prior piano knowledge they also needed to learn more about techniques; how to sit at the piano, how to ‘grab’ at the keys, and learning about the notes. We will continue to work our way through the CorePiano as well as return to it for a refresher of techniques when needed.
All you need to begin HomeSchoolPiano is a keyboard with at least 61 keys, a way to watch the lessons (PC, iPhone, tablet, for streaming, or you can also download the videos to take with you to the cottage if you don’t have internet access there), and a printout of the work you’re currently doing. Each of the 3 books consists of 50 pages, but if the cost of printing is worrisome, you can print them double-sided in booklet format.
One thing I like about HomeSchoolPiano is that the students start using the keys in the first lesson of book 1. Willie is all about giving students lots of hands-on time and learning to improvise and have fun. He’s not just about scales and repetition. I think his confidence in his students comes across well. He’s very enthusiastic and he doesn’t talk down to his students. Whether you’re 5 or 75, Willie has faith in your abilities.
The video lessons are set up on-screen so that you’ll watch Willie Myette in the bottom left quadrant of your screen. Across the middle third of your screen you’ll see him playing his keyboard. On the top portion of your screen you’ll see another keyboard that will show the keys highlighted and the notes played as Willie plays them. I think this is a unique way to format the lessons and it works for us. A brand new feature just added this month is the ability to speed up or slow down the videos, what a neat option!
When you log your student on next time the lessons will continue where they left off, but you can also move to another one if desired. Each lesson also has a quiz for the student to take (they can only retake each quiz 2 times. What I do is go over it with Tristan in advance to see if he’s familiar enough with the materials to take it on his own. If not, then I’ll play the video again and spend some more time with him going over the lesson. The only drawback at the moment is that if more than one child is working on the same lesson at the same time there isn’t a way to link the videos. They must each watch the video under each log in to get the credit for watching it. On the other hand, an extra watching of a lesson isn’t a bad thing.
The videos and lesson books are well laid out and easy to follow. Willie leads the way for young children to learn the value of notes with voice sounds, and there’s lots of room in each lesson for both simplicity and for those students who learn quickly and look for a bit more of a challenge. I love that so many different aspects of music are included all in one package. I only learned theory and songs when I took piano for a while as a child. We certainly didn’t learn rhythm, ear training or improvisation. It’s great that children are encouraged to play around on the keyboard just to discover what it does and what it can do; that they shouldn’t be scared of it, or scared to make a mistake or to try their own thing.
My four-year-old daughter, Kallista was excited to find the C notes and was already counting the beats like Willie within a week, “1, 2, 3, rest. I’m good at it!” Sometimes it didn’t seem as if she was paying attention to the videos but yet she picked up the knowledge quickly. Tristan really concentrated during the lessons but his brain and fingers didn’t always coordinate as well, but he’s really trying hard and is keen to continue his lessons.
Your lifetime subscription to HomeschoolPiano includes all 3 books plus the CorePiano lessons and all the video content for streaming or downloading to your own device for $299.00USD. You also have the choice to pay with 3 monthly payments of $99.97. This will allow up to five students in your home access to everything. Although this seems a lot, you do have the lessons at your fingertips for a lifetime. You don’t need to worry about monthly payments or deadlines.
HomeschoolPiano lessons are geared for any age, from the young to the not-so-young who want to learn to play the piano in the comfort of their own home and at their own pace. To be honest, this has really been a benefit to us. We’ve spent more time fighting virus’ over the past 6 weeks than anything else. But I don’t have to worry about the kids missing expensive lessons as well as having to work hard to try to catch up to the rest of the class. Once we’re all done the current bug that’s knocked us down, we’ll start right back where we left off. Absolutely fantastic.
To read more reviews about HomeschoolPiano by the Schoolhouse Crew, click on the graphic below and follow the instructions, you will find lots of reviews for every age group. If you’d like to know more or would like to follow Willie and HomeschoolPiano, you can connect with him through his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.