Friday, May 29, 2015

Easy Piano Basics by JazzEdge (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

Pick up any journal of child psychology today and you'll see the recommendation of getting children to learn to play a musical instrument at an early age.  Studies show that children who receive a music education are generally smarter than their non-musical counterparts and do better in academics, helps students to relieve stress, helps builds the students self confidence, and helps to foster creativity, self discipline and patience while improving memory.  However, unless we as the parent are musically inclined ourselves, music lessons require an instructor which may be a bit difficult to find.

I was given the opportunity to review the Easy Piano Basics program provided by JazzEdge, an online program that provides 32 lessons designed to take a student who has never touched a piano in their life and have them reading music and playing in a short period of time. Taught by Willie Myette, this program helps to develop a foundation in the fundamentals of piano to build upon.  Starting from the finding of "Middle C",  progressing though the musical alphabet, and continuing to learning to play basic rhythms, each lesson runs about 5 to 10 minutes long and concentrates on one particular skill as it builds upon itself.

JazzEdge  Review
How We Used It

When we found out we would be reviewing Easy Piano Basics, the kids were pretty excited to find out they would be learning to play the piano. My oldest daughter is self taught and the kids have often wanted to learn to play as well.

Perfect Portability
The only inconvenient part of Easy Piano Basics was moving the keyboard from my oldest's room to either the living room or my room for the kids to do their lessons (it's a big keyboard).. However, the portability of Easy Piano Basics was completely opposite. I could play it on my computer, my kindle, my phone and my Smart TV. I could download it to my devices to play later if I knew I wouldn't have internet access and maybe wanted the kids to review while we were in the car.

The ability to play the lessons on various tablets and smart devices is one we found very hand, as we could do a lesson in the bedroom by just putting the Kindle in the music tray of the keyboard so the kids could watch and work on keyboard fingering at the same time.

The kids have really enjoyed using this program. After completing each lesson, the smiles on their
Garrett working hard on proper fingering
faces knowing they were learning and progressing was evident. Both Garrett and Ashleigh were driven to practice during the week and Ashleigh could be heard on a number of occasions reciting the musical alphabet both forward and backwards and practicing scales.  Out of both kids, while Ashleigh was more quick to want to "practice", Garrett was the one who was extremely precise and wanted to get things perfect..  They both seem to love the piano and adapted well to the Easy Piano Basics style of learning and while we have not finished the 32 lessons as of now, I have no doubt this is something they will continue with until they master all that is offered in the program.   The even better thing is that there's no time limit for the program;  if something happens and they need to take a break, they can come back to it whenever they want to and pick up where they left off or even start over again for a refresher.   This is a great self paced program for any age trying to teach themselves the piano.

But what happens when they finish this program. Obviously, this is a basics program and they will not be playing the Liszt Sonata once they are finished with it.  However, JazzEdge offers another subscription, PianoWithWillie which offers much more difficult lessons for those who are beyond the basics.  Considering the kids would already be familiar with Willie and his style of teaching, this would be a great option to move beyond and apply the skills they will have learned upon completing Easy Piano Basics.

If piano is not your thing but you have a desire to grab a pair of drumsticks and bang around like Rick Allen, then JazzEdge offers DrumsWithWillie to teach you to play the drums as well.

The Excitement of a Lesson Completed

Jazzedge and PianoWithWillie can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Vimeo.

Want to learn more about each of the three programs offered by JazzEdge?  Click the banner below for more information and to read other's reviews of each program.

JazzEdge Review

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