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HearAndPlay.com provides a play-by-ear method of learning piano. Anyone can access their first four lessons for free, plus there’s a video explaining the play-by-ear strategy. The site also sells downloadable courses and learning software, offers information on where to find training centers and more.
When visiting Hear And Play, your first task is to sign up to receive access to four free piano lessons. This won’t take long, and the lessons need to be watched in order. You can also download certain videos from the site, such as a free play-by-ear training video, which you can watch as often as you like.
Lessons frequently come in the form of videos, although you can also find written lessons and practices to try out. An active community of followers leave comments on the effectiveness of each lessons, which will give you some idea of what to expect, particularly in terms of difficulty and enjoyment levels.
Video lessons are longer than you’ll find elsewhere, allowing the creators to cover more ground with practical examples and music philosophy. This does, however, mean that covering a complete lesson can take a fair bit more time, but a decent amount of that time is taken up by simply listening to them talk about how to adopt a particular technique or consider a theory.
Learning software is readily available through HearAndPlay.com, although it will cost money depending on which courses or pieces of software you wish to use. The main system they recommend is Song Tutor. You can download a free trial for PC or Mac, or buy the full version to download for $47.00. This software allows you to find songs on the internet and then the notes and chords appear on-screen. A virtual keyboard shows you which notes are being played, and how long they’re played for, so you can follow along at home. You can also slow the songs so you can rehearse particular parts at your own speed.
If you’re at a point where you’d like some 1-on-1 tuition from a piano expert, Hear and Play provides a list of training centers for certain piano genres, such as gospel or jazz. You can also find out about their featured monthly music mentor.
Aside from the 4 free video lessons (which add up to around 2 hours in total), there’s not a lot of online content to the site. You can purchase groups of lessons depending on the style or level at which you wish to work. This has pros and cons: on one hand, it means that quick learners may be held back as they will need to focus on one group of lessons at a time, or purchase another quickly. On the other hand, it means that you only pay for those courses you’re interested in. Everything considered, this isn’t a bad system because it means you can exclude (and not have to pay for) areas you have no interest in.
The software and tools are available also cost extra, so it’s worth exploring those in some detail to find out which ones would best suit your learning needs. A little more information regarding each of these would be handy, although on the whole there’s enough to make an informed decision, and several packages include free trial periods.
HearAndPlay.com is a very useful resource for players of all levels. It offers courses and software which you can pick or leave, depending on your needs and budget. There are also some useful tools and package options, and the free video classes are worth checking out, particularly if you’re a beginner.
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