I sat down at the piano and tried out eMedia Piano and Keyboard Method for Beginners, in my search for useful piano software for beginners.
My conclusion is that it's an effective and affordable piano learning software (I would never recommend it otherwise! ) for adult learners. Here is my review to help you decide if this might be useful also for you.
Emedia piano and keyboard method software has step by step lessons that will help you get playing with both hands and reading notes in quite a short time. (I use it for sight reading practice with my students!)
It gives you a first introduction to how to play the piano, and it's great as a supplement for adult beginners.
Do You Need an Acoustic or a Digital Piano to Use This Software?
Although it is fine to use the software if you have an
acoustic piano, you can if you like connect it to your electronic piano keyboard or
digital piano so that you can get instant feedback just how accurate you play.
If you do, it will show you if you played the wrong note, on
time or if you were a bit late immediately after you played.
What I also like about the eMedia Piano and Keyboard Method is that each melody has
accompaniment. Of course it is a midi file so depending on your sound card, the
sound can be a bit «plastic».
But still it’s a fun thing to have as you play
I discovered by accident that if you right click, hold down and
select (like highlighting), a part of the staff, you get a blue square around
it. Then when you listen and play along with the melody or accompaniment, it
loops over and over that same section only.
This is terrific if you need to practice one section a bit
extra and not the whole piece from the beginning. So just select a part that
you have difficulties with, and it will loop again and again while you play
along until you really can play it!
The piano accompaniment has a controller with which you can
change the speed, so you can play it as slow or fast as you want, which is
another great feature.
In between the lessons there are small interactive ear
training exercises that are great.
You will practice to hear if the melody
moves up or down, steps and skips and such. A simple but effective way of mixing in some ear
Does eMedia Piano and Keyboard Method Work?
I find that after just a few lessons, you play and read
notes pretty comfortably. With just a little time each day you can actually
learn to play the piano and read notes.
So all in all, the course is a good
introduction to piano playing and note reading.
The cons are that I find that although many lessons have a
video that shows different aspects of playing with a nice piano teacher showing
how to do it, basic piano technique is not well represented at all.
For example the lesson about the correct hand position shows
the fingers to be a bit «over curved», and the hand doesn’t look relaxed. This would
need to be explained more to avoid tension.
I would have liked to see more examples in the videos about
basic arm and hand movements, how to press down the notes first non-legato then
legato, arm weight, wrist movement, weight transfer and so on.
This is very
important basic technique to learn early so students don’t develop bad habits
from the start.
So, What's The Verdict?
For a price that is less than two regular piano lessons
(with me :), with eMedia's Piano and Keyboard Method for Beginners you actually get to learn from scratch how to read notes, play with both hands
some well-known pieces, and there is even some chord piano practice with basic
You will learn simplified arrangements like Bach’s Minuet in
G, The Entertainer by Scott Joplin, Brahms’ Lullaby, and many more well-known
The course finishes with a ‘tour’ in different styles from Baroque to Jazz,
with small simple arrangements that are easy to play and sound really great.
I find eMedia Piano and Keyboard Method is good
quality piano learning software at a very affordable price. Plus- you can download it immediately and start learning today!
Music sight reading or "a prima vista" means to be able to read music as you play it "at first sight". But, knowing how to read piano notes does not necessarily mean that you can sight read well... He…