Friday, May 29, 2015

JazzEdge Easy Piano Basics Review

My family had the privilege of trying JazzEdge Easy Piano Basics for this review to use in conjunction with my own homeschool curriculum. This is a Schoolhouse Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

JazzEdge was founded by by Berklee College of Music graduate, Willie Myette. This educational music program now provides lessons in piano and drums, with styles in jazz, funk, Latin, rock, gospel and blues. It also now caters to homeschoolers as well. These music lessons are great for families who have not had the time or chance to get lessons outside the home. They are perfect to use for busy schedules because you can do these lessons at any time from anywhere. All you need is internet access for the helpful videos (view them on any smartphone, tablet, or computer) and preferably a way to print out the sheet music that is provided.

Easy Piano Basics is the music program I got to try out with my family. It is a collection of 32 lessons that are broken down into small (about 2-10 minutes each) workable streamed videos that teach the fundamentals of piano/keyboard. It is essential to go through these lessons in order and not to skip any of them, even if you think you know the information being taught, so that you stay on course. Each lesson builds upon the next. Willie recommends mastering each concept before you go onto the next and not to rush through the whole course too quickly. You will have an ample amount of time to use this program. The purchase of this program is a one time payment, not a subscription or auto-renewal, so once purchased you get an unlimited access to all the material at once so you can work at your own pace freely. Ideally it is best to practice with this 5-15 minutes per day, 4-6 days a week. You can also use it for more than one child or adult over the years. It is great for any beginner at any age (preferably 7 or older) with access to a piano or keyboard. It is great for homeschoolers or adults that either never learned piano or have taken it in the past and need a refresher.

I have had a fair bit of music instruction in my past. I played the violin since 6th grade and I tried to learn how to read the music, but I failed at that miserably. At least I was good at playing music by ear. My mother sang at home and church, so as a child I was in various choirs. I also had a little piano taught to me when I was a child. I actually won some lessons for keyboard and that was fun, but I had to go in to the piano store at a certain time and day to practice with an actual instructor and sit down with them to learn out of a book. It was OK, but I really didn't retain the information that I was taught. I also tried taking a beginner class for piano in college, but it didn't seem like it was for beginners to me.

Jaedan learning Easy Piano Basics

As a family with 4 kids I have found it very difficult to add music to our homeschooling even though I deem it very important. Ever since my boys were small (now they are teenagers) I have always wanted to get them music lessons. We have tried numerous times to have them learn piano or keyboard with little success either because of the way the lessons were presented, how they were taught, or our time constraints as a family. Easy Piano Basics is much easier to learn with. Even my 7 year old daughter can learn simply right at home. We love this program! We watched a lesson/chapter and focused on it until we mastered the concept completely, like Willie told us to do. Some lessons took longer because of this.

What the videos look like.

The lessons are easy to access and I can vouch that you do not have to have fast internet to watch the videos. The sheet music (46 pages) is easy to follow and comes in PDF format for easy download and printing. Navigation is very straightforward. Once you log in you can see all of the lessons right in front of you in the dashboard and you can go back to this easily with the link at the top. For each lesson the screen shows the number and name of the lesson at the top, the video of the lesson below that, a practice routine below the video, and lesson details (level, video time, and a summary of what you will be learning) on the right with buttons below that to download the video, see previous lesson, and go onto the next lesson.

Jaedan accessing the dashboard of lessons.

Since we have started we have all learned a lot and I have realized that there were a lot of holes in my instruction I had when I was younger. The Easy Piano Basics fills the holes and teaches the basics thoroughly in a well rounded way. I love that you can learn to play piano from the ground up. I like that I can teach myself piano too. These online piano lessons are wonderful and we are very thankful we got to review it. Practice does make perfect!

Purchase an unlimited access to JazzEdge Easy Piano Basics for a one time fee of only $59.95 (normally $69.95). PianoWithWillie is a more advanced program that you can use after you teach yourself or your student piano with Easy Piano Basics. Also there is a 30-day, no hassle guarantee. So, if after 30 days you feel Easy Piano Basics is not right for you, simply contact them for a full refund. Although, I personally think you will not be using this because you will love the lessons too much.

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