Youtube piano lessons

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Best Free Piano Lessons: Everything You Need to Get Started

Here on Piano Dreamers, I’ve taken an in-depth look into several of the best online piano courses out there. While these online methods are a fraction of the price of traditional in-person lessons, they still require a financial commitment that may put off first-time pianists on a budget.

That’s why I’ve put together this list of free piano resources that will send beginner pianists off on their piano journey without making them dig into their pockets.

When compared to paid methods, whether online or in-person, free lessons do have their drawbacks. These include less structure, lack of teacher support, and fewer available options.

I selected the resources on this list because they manage to avoid some of these shortfallings, but we have to keep in mind that a $0 price tag necessitates a bit of compromise on our part.

Nonetheless, whether you’re looking for a main learning method or something to supplement the weaker areas of your current piano course, these free piano resources are worth looking into. Here we go!

Youtube Channels

YouTube is a great place to start for free piano lessons, but make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of learning how to play songs through imitation without actually developing any real musical skills or knowledge.

Channels like the two below deliver solid piano know-how in short video lessons.

Creative Piano Academy

This channel by Josef Sykora has over 100 video lessons, starting with content for beginners and moving into intermediate techniques as well. The videos are organized into playlists with names like “New Here? Check These Out First” and “Left Hand Piano – Videos to Improve Your Left Hand”.

The playlists provide a bit of structure so that students aren’t at a loss about where to start and what to be practicing.

The video lessons have a high production value, with overhead keyboard views, displayed staff, and highlighted keys just like in many paid online methods. Josef has a clear, enjoyable way of teaching, and the comments are overwhelmingly positive.

The lesson topics are many and varied, including pedaling, rhythm exercises, adding emotion, finger exercises, and scales. However, the overall focus is on chords and improvisation with the intent of playing popular music.

Josef teaches tips and tricks for chording, creating melodic patterns, harmonizing, and more. Unlike other chord-focused courses I’ve seen where it’s assumed that you’ll want to accompany yourself while singing the melody, all the song examples are piano-only.

In addition to the video lessons, Josef has created free guide sheets to go along with some of the lessons, such as a rhythm exercise sheet and a beginner finger exercise sheet. Creative Piano Academy also offers paid courses with more structured lessons and “practice routes”.

This channel’s target audience appears to be adults and teenagers interested in playing popular music.

What’s done right: Wide variety of interesting lessons, clear instruction, and examples that are a joy to listen to and play. The lessons are designed to get students playing right away.

What’s missing: While notes are always shown on the staff during the lessons, reading music is not a focus of Creative Piano Academy, nor is theory. Also, though playlists offer some structure, there is no clear lesson or level progression.

Piano Lessons on the Web

Piano Lessons on the Web is a YouTube channel dedicated to teaching beginner pianists useful strategies and exercises for learning how to play the piano, as well as pieces and music theory.

The lessons are taught by Tim, who does a good job of explaining concepts in an easy-to-follow manner.

This channel is comprehensive, with hundreds of videos covering topics from posture, rhythms, and finger dexterity to troubleshooting, pop chords, and ear training.

The earliest beginner lessons are arranged into playlists in order to help students progress logically, and Tim goes the second step of dividing the playlists into three levels. However, after this stage, the lessons have not been organized into any sort of order other than the order in which they were posted.

Unlike Creative Piano Academy, the lessons focus heavily on reading music, theory, and technique. They don’t get you playing within the first few videos, but they do make sure that you develop a solid foundation in theory and will be able to learn pieces from sheet music.

This is perhaps why Piano Lessons on the Web has fewer lessons that teach a specific song — it’s expected that you’ll be playing pieces from external sheet music.

If you’re a fan of classical music or have the goal of learning how to read music, this channel is a good place for you to start. It is best suited to adults and teenagers.

What’s done right: The lessons are detailed and strong on theory, reading music, and technique.

What’s missing: There are not many lessons on chords or improvisation, and you’ll need to look for additional sheet music.

Piano Websites

For those who prefer reading their lessons to watching them, these websites present a solid option. Web pages also lend themselves better to a structured lesson plan than YouTube channels, so there is no guesswork in what to practice next.


This award-winning website has been offering free online piano lessons since 1994. It has starter, intermediate, and advanced studies, with 9-13 lessons each.

The lessons are text-based, with images and audio files to demonstrate the concepts on the piano. The starter and intermediate sections deal almost entirely with theory, reading music, and technique rather than teaching pieces, but students should be able to apply concepts learned in the lessons to external music.

PianoNanny takes a “learn first, then play” approach that doesn’t get students playing their first song until lesson 8, but it is certainly comprehensive.

The advanced studies veer away from reading sheet music into jazz and improvisation. Students learn about chord progressions, improv patterns, the blues scale, and other jazzy concepts.

This makes PianoNanny a well-rounded course suited both to those that wish to learn how to read music and those interested in improvisation and chording.

PianoNanny is best for adult and teenage learners, as the format is heavy on information and light on more fun features like songs and visuals.

What’s done right: PianoNanny digs in deep on theory and makes sure that students get a good education on reading music as well as improvisation.

What’s missing: Students don’t actually touch the piano until nearly the end of the beginner section, and will definitely need to source pieces elsewhere.

Zebra Keys

Zebra Keys is an old-school site that provides 50 beginner piano lessons free of charge. The lessons are divided into four levels: preparation, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Each level is further divided into lessons on songs, chords, music theory, improvisation, and technique.

The lessons are text-based and accompanied by animations that demonstrate the concepts, including hands playing chords/scales or key parts in songs.

*Make sure Flash is enabled in your browser to be able to see all the illustrations.

This lesson plan starts out with the piano basics but doesn’t take long to start putting them into practice with simple songs. By the end of the advanced section, students will know how to play the blues scale and advanced chords. More lessons on concepts like modulation and transposition are coming soon, according to the website.

Two additional Zebra Keys features are a sheet music library with 35 beginner and advanced pieces in the public domain, and ear training and note-naming exercises.

Zebra Keys also has a YouTube channel with video lessons that correspond to the lessons on the website, as well as many song and scale tutorials.

One misgiving I have about this program is that it seems to provide a surface-level understanding of concepts. For example, it teaches how to play certain advanced chords, but not in which scenarios they would be used. For this reason, I see Zebra Keys as a once-over-lightly piano resource.

Zebra Keys recommends their program for learners ages 13 and up, though also say that a parent could use the lessons as an aid to teach their children how to play the piano. Students who are interested in a quick intro to reading music, chording, and improvisation are best for this course.

What’s done right: The lessons are well-rounded and logically structured, and it’s nice to have a free source for sheet music.

What’s missing: The lessons are not particularly in-depth, especially those on music notation, and the website could be sleeker and more user-friendly.

Free Piano Apps

There are plenty of free piano apps for both iOS and Android, but most of them make use of an on-screen piano, and teach little, if anything, in the way of theory and practical piano skills. Apps such as these are best thought of as games — they’re fun but don’t actually translate to real-life musical knowledge.

Another common type of free piano apps are those associated with programs like Flowkey, Simply Piano, and Skoove, which are free at first but require payment to access most content.

I was not able to find a free app that could be used as a main piano course, but that’s not to say that there are no piano apps that are both free and useful.

Below are some great piano apps that cover just one or two aspects of learning to play the piano. These apps are fantastic supplements to other learning methods, whether those be in-person lessons, paid online courses, or free online lessons.

Music Tutor

Music Tutor is sight reading gamified, helping you to painlessly develop your speed and accuracy in reading music.

Using either your midi-connected keyboard or the on-screen keyboard, you race against the clock to identify notes on the staff.

The app keeps track of your times and accuracy so that you can monitor your progress.

Music Tutor is available for iOS and Android.

Perfect Ear

This ear-training app is designed to help you develop your aural skills and sense of rhythm.

It includes interval identifying exercises, rhythm clapping and imitation, solfege exercises, and chord and scale identification. The app listens to you via your device’s microphone and keeps track of areas that need more practice.

Ear training is an important aspect of developing musicality that is often overlooked by online methods, so it’s great to have a supplementary resource that addresses it.

Those interested in improvisation in particular should give this app a try.

Perfect Ear can be downloaded on both iOS and Android devices.

A Budget-Friendly First Step

By now you know that there are some great free piano resources out there for those on a budget.

It will likely take a bit of trial-and-error to figure out which free resource is the one for you, or more likely, which few resources are the magic combo that will cover all your bases.

As always, it’s important to figure out what your piano goals are before committing to any one course so that you can be sure that a method is going to take you where you want to go.

You may end up deciding that you need a more structured, all-inclusive piano method to really make progress, whether that means an online course or in-person lessons.

But should you go with an alternate main piano course or not, I recommend taking the time to check out the resources on this list — you can’t beat the price!

About the Author – Giselle Sproule

Giselle Sproule

Giselle has been playing the piano for nearly her whole life. She has her grade 10 piano certificate from the Royal Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s degree in English.

Giselle has worked as a piano teacher, but she is currently a freelance writer and editor. You can usually find her at home in Calgary or on a travel adventure with her mandolin.


Six Great YouTube Channels for Learning Piano

It’s possible to learn just about anything on the internet these days, and playing piano is no exception.  In fact, there are so many how-to videos about piano playing online that it can sometimes be hard to sort through them all to find the good ones.

That’s why we put together this post about six of the best YouTube channels for learning piano.  The channels we recommend below represent a variety of instructional techniques, styles of piano playing, and personality types of instructors.

Do you want a serious traditional musical education that includes theory, formal lessons, and practice routines?  Perhaps you’d rather just quickly learn to play popular songs on the piano to impress your friends.  Either way, you’ll find a YouTube channel on the list below for you.

So, read through our list, watch some of the intro videos for the various channels, and then pick one that will help you accomplish your goals for becoming a better piano player.

Piano Hero

The Piano Hero YouTube channel was started by a music producer from France who goes by the alias “The Gadget”.  On his Facebook page,  he describes himself as a “dreamy-catchy-punchy melodic bass music producer”.

His videos focus on teaching people individual songs on the piano.  Each video is rated according to difficulty, ranging from “easy” to “legendary”.  Sheet music is provided in the description of the videos, and the video itself consists of an animation of the song being played on a keyboard while the music plays in the background (see example below).

Some of the music in the videos is original compositions, while other videos feature modern music of various types. “The Gadget” himself doesn’t appear in the videos, and other than demonstrating the songs being played, there is no instructional component to the videos.

In summary, this YouTube channel would be great for someone who already knows the basics of piano playing and wants to learn individual songs.

Andrew Furmanczyk is the owner of Furmanczyk Academy of Music.  According to his bio, he lives in British Colombia and has been playing piano since the age of 5.  He seems to have a great passion for teaching others about music, and that passion definitely comes through in his videos.

He offers several free courses both on his YouTube channel and on his website on music theory and how to play piano.  All of his videos are free, and there are quite a few of them.

You’ll quickly get a sense of what Andrew’s channel is about as well as his personality by watching his intro video below.

Andrew’s YouTube channel would be a good option for people who want to learn music theory in addition to learning piano, and who enjoy his enthusiasm and his personality.

Instant Piano Genius

Piano Genius, created by Tim Gross,  seeks to shortcut the “unnecessary and confusing typical ‘piano teacher’ curriculum” by teaching you how to how to “play chords and songs immediately without all the memorization and frustration” (according to the description on his channel).

It’s safe to say that Tim’s approach to piano playing and instruction is almost the polar opposite of Andrew Furmanczyk’s.  Not only does he not cover any music theory, he also charges for access to most of his content–that’s why you’ll only find a few ungated videos on his YouTube channel (you can visit his website to request a password to access more videos).

Tim is focused more on teaching the style of piano used by rock musicians, with a lot of focus on chords and improvisation.  His channel would be great for those who aren’t interested in learning how to read sheet music, don’t want to learn music theory, and just want to get right to playing piano.

You cant watch Tim’s intro video to his channel below.

Piano in 21 Days

Jacques Hopkins, the founder of Piano in 21 Days, claims his method is great for “regular people who want to learn to play popular songs on the piano as quickly as possible.”  His approach is similar to that of Tim Gross, with a heavy focus on chords, but also incorporating some elements of traditional piano instruction.

Like Tim, he also offers paid courses, but has more free content on his YouTube channel, including a playlist with 34 videos teaching you how to play just about every possible chord on the piano.

Here is Jacques’s intro video:

This YouTube channel is great for people interested in quickly learning popular modern songs on the piano, or those who want to learn chords so they can do improv on the piano.

Become a Piano Superhuman

Zach Evans has created an online course called “Become a Piano Superhuman” which he says will take you from “zero to hero” as quickly as possible.  The course focuses on skills like sight reading, right-hand/left-hand coordination, and others that are essential to becoming a better piano player.

Below is the intro video for the course, which you can sign up for here.

Zach has a number of great videos on his YouTube channel, but he saves the best content for his course, which is free for now but might not always be free.

This course would be good for people who want to learn specific piano skills but aren’t interested in music theory or an overall music education.

Hoffman Academy

The Hoffman Academy, in contrast to the last three channels we listed, takes a very traditional approach to piano education.  It claims to “offer the most complete foundation in music you can find online”, and covers everything from sight reading to technique and music theory.

Appropriate for both kids and adults, this paid course has over 100 videos and is a great option for those who want a complete education in piano.

It would be great for music students or people who want to play piano professionally at some point.

While you have to pay for the full course, there are a number of very good free videos on their YouTube channel.

You can watch a video about the Hoffman Academy below:

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18 YouTube piano lessons for beginners

Piano teacher Tim Stein takes us through 18 in-depth piano lessons for beginners. Topics include how to sit properly, explaining the geography of the keyboard, how to start practising a piece, and how to play chords.

There is mountains of content here to get stuck in to. We recommend working your way through each lesson in order, however you can skip to the lessons that apply best to you if that suits your needs.

Good luck!


Lesson 1: Seating and Posture

This first lesson delves into the world of seating and posture at the piano. Tim demonstrates on the Roland HP-507.


Lesson 2: Hand Shape and Hand Position

Next we look at how to correctly position the hands on the piano, making sure to have the wrist and arm in the right position.


Lesson 3: Piano Fingering for Beginners

This lesson concentrates on easy fingering, taking fingers 1 to 5 and getting used to using them on the keyboard.


Lesson 4: Geography of the Keyboard

In the fourth lesson, we look at how to move around the keyboard with confidence and freedom, and how to put that into practice.


Lesson 5: Simple Warm Up Exercise

Learn about the importance of the fingers and hands doing warm-up exercises before you play the piano properly.



Lesson 6: Hand and Finger Independence

Hand and finger independence are incredibly important when playing the piano. This lesson includes exercises for coordination between the hands (legato in one, staccato in the other).



Lesson 7: Fingering for Scales and Arpeggios

Lesson 7 is all about finding the right fingering for scales and arpeggios.

Continue your arpeggio learning journey by downloading our All About Arpeggios cheat sheet. The cheat sheet includes everything you need to know about arpeggios, four key things to keep in mind when practising them, 24 interactive arpeggio exercises, as well as an all-important progress tracker. 👇🏽



Lesson 8: Piano Tone and Sound

In the eighth lesson, we look at how to produce a good singing tone from the instrument.



Lesson 9: How to Start Practising a Piece

Starting to learn a piece can be daunting. Tim Stein guides us through some advice on how to do just that.



Lesson 10: Sight-Reading

Lesson 10 focuses on sight-reading, and how to improve your skills.



Lesson 11: Aural Training

Here we delve into how to train your ears to really listen to what you play!



Lesson 12: Leaps and Large Intervals

Lesson 12 looks at how to get to grips with quick leaps and jumps at the keyboard.

Check out our Play Beginner digital special to continue your journey as pianist. Inside you'll find 18 full beginner scores ranging from Baroque to Romantic paired with teacher notes, step-by-step lessons on some of the scores, more advice from Tim Stein, plus plenty of beginner video lessons to watch! 👇🏽



Lesson 13: How to Play Chords

Being able to play chords is near the top of the to-do list for many beginner piano players. Thankfully, we've got the perfect lesson for just that.



Lesson 14: Chord Voicing

The previous lesson looked at how to play chords. Next, we're going to look at chord voicings, and how to train your ear and fingers in order to voice your chords.



Lesson 15: Strengthening the Left Hand

In most cases, the left hand is usually the weaker of the two. Here we look at how to strengthen that hand and get it up to speed.



Lesson 16: Slurs

Lesson 16 explores the world of slurs.



Lesson 17: Rhythm

In the penultimate lesson, we look at the importance of rhythm in your piano playing.



Lesson 18: The Thumb

In the final lesson, we take a look at the importance of the thumb and how to use it correctly. It can be tricky finger to master.


Want to continue your learning journey? We have hundreds more piano lessons waiting to be discovered by you. Visit our YouTube channel to keep learning!




About the teacher:

Tim Stein is a pianist and teacher based in London. He has contributed his teaching expertise to Pianist over the years through many exceptional piano lesson videos.


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Piano lessons youtube

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How to play piano: The basics, Piano Lesson #1

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