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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Review: Jazz Edge: Easy Piano Basics.com (TOS Review)


My kids were super stoked to try out Easy Piano Basics from JazzEdge.  JazzEdge offers two other courses, DrumswithWillie and PianowithWillie.  Since my kids have no prior piano experience, we opted for the Easy Piano Basics course.

Easy Piano Basics is a video based (streaming) piano instruction program.  This is the very basics that are introduced here.  What keys are what notes, stepping and skipping notes, reading music, basic scales, etc…

My kids really enjoyed the program at first, but I think they may be a bit young for it, or maybe piano just isn’t their thing.  They got bored with the lessons after several weeks.  The two kiddos that were trying this out were ages 6 and 8.5yo and are boys.  I enjoyed the lessons myself, but have prior piano experience, so they were very simple for me.  These are really designed for someone with zero piano experience.  Lessons begin with Middle C, C and F notes, scales, low and high notes, and goes into G and F Clef (Treble and Base), Sharps and Flats, playing with both hands and basic rhythms.  Reading music is also taught.  All important things for beginner players to be able to build a strong foundation in piano music.

JazzEdge  Review
We just used a keyboard for the lessons, and we streamed the videos from our iPad.  It was super easy to prop the iPad up on the keyboard.  We scored a keyboard at a yard sale for a VERY reasonable price.  A smaller keyboard would even work for these lessons, so you need not make a huge investment in a keyboard or piano.  The lessons are short (like 5-10mins), and each lesson covers one basic concept at a time. There is a lesson about pedals, which if using a keyboard does not really apply, but still good to know information.  He also covers how to sit properly at the piano, which required us to move the keyboard to a smaller table/chair set up for my 6yo.  Honestly, I'm not sure how you would work that scenario, if you were at an actual piano, foot stool to rest your feet, perhaps.

We used the program about 3-5 days a week, including practice time.  You can sign up for the first 10 lessons for free to see if this is something that interests you or your child.  The instructor, Mr. Willie, is enjoyable.  He teaches in ways that make sense.  The views of the lesson are very helpful as well.  As you get further into the lessons, printable pages are provided, and I recommend you print them. 
As I mentioned my kids sort of grew bored of it, I don't think this has any reflection on the program (try the free lessons to see for yourself), but just that my kids weren't as interested in playing as they had thought.  I plan to revisit these lessons later with them.

For $59.95 you can lifetime access to this program, so it can be used on subsequent children.  It's quite a bit cheaper than piano lessons and could help your child decide if this is something they really want to pursue or not.  It's an easy, inexpensive way to work music into your homeschool, or to introduce your children to piano!

Scales


JazzEdge Review
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