As the title implies, Piano for All seeks to take the piano and make it an easier instrument for people to learn. It essentially is a computer-based multimedia course that integrates text lessons with visual and audible elements to create a better learning experience than what’s commonly available through traditional mediums such as books and manuals.
One of the biggest pluses of Piano for All is that it gets you playing popular music extremely quickly. True, the tunes may not be terribly complex, but they’re definitely not “Twinkle, Twinkle” either. As a student, being able to play songs you actually enjoy makes the learning process more engaging, more fun and gives a greater sense of satisfaction.
Robin Hall, the mind behind Piano for All is an Irish piano teacher and artist. Interestingly enough, though we couldn’t find all that much about his musical background and qualifications, we found out a bit about his career as an artist. Robin Hall is actually a proficient cartoonist who has managed to publish multiple well-received books on drawing cartoons. Piano for All customers will even get to see some of his original artwork as some of it makes it into the course (more on that later).
Course Contents: The Piano for All course package contains 10 different eBooks. Linked to these eBooks are 200 video and 500 audio demonstrations, examples, and exercises. When downloading the course, you’ll discover the course size is almost half a gigabyte at 431mb. Note: People on slower internet connections do have the ability to download the course one eBook at a time. So yeah, if you weren’t sure, this is actually a pretty large course.
After basic orientation to the piano, the course begins by teaching how to play basic chords to a variety of rhythms to make popular songs. Gradually, the rhythms become more complex and the chords become more sophisticated. The eBooks are designed to be followed in order and introduce genre-specific piano chords and rhythms as you move through the course. Robin also helps quicken your progress by introducing various memorization techniques and shortcuts along the way. As mentioned, the lessons do use some popular songs in the lessons, but due to licensing fees and legal issues typically aren’t included in their entirety. Unlike most traditional lessons, Piano for All waits until you have a good grasp on ear-playing before showing how to sight-read.
Whereas the first 9 eBooks do the actual teaching of the course eBook #10 is a piano resource depository with a load of tips, tricks and helpful information. You’ll find information on how to setup and connect a MIDI keyboard to your PC, book reviews, as well as lists of songs that make use of the different rhythms taught earlier in the course. Also included with Piano for All is a bonus eBook titled, Increase your Creative Ability by 400%. At first glance this Bonus eBook seems a little out of place but basically it shows you how you can increase your creativity by reducing the stress and other negative emotions in your life. This eBook makes a great read for anyone, whether or not they want to play piano. It reads rather like a self-help book and is filled with original cartoons that Robin Hall created which makes for an entertaining read.
Where Piano for All’s piano lessons really shine is in their ease-of-use and interactivity. Whenever the eBook says you need to see or listen to an external multimedia file (sound or video), all you have to do is click on a little icon embedded within the actual lesson page and the relevant file will begin playing. I can’t tell you how much easier (and quicker) this is than having to dig through a whole bunch of files and folders on your computer to locate the exact file. Other multimedia piano courses such as the popular Rocket Piano course would have really benefited from having a feature like this in their software. Try out Piano for All here.