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PianoEncyclopedia.com is more than just an explanation of pianist terminology. It offers a comprehensive course for teaching yourself piano, plus a set of community features to help you through the process. This includes a 111 page piano lessons e-book which you can download or view online at your leisure.
The main course for sale through PianoEncyclopedia is The Logic Behind Music. This includes a virtual piano, showing you how to practice using your mouse and keyboard. Each lesson uses a step-by-step system which can be developed for all levels, from first time players to advanced pianists.
Training suites are interactive tools which train you to play by ear. They also improve your ability to sight read music and then continue on to create your own music, properly notated. More than 3000 animations are also included, helping you to understand core concepts and new techniques.
Aside from the personal (albeit self motivated) tuition, there are also community features you can access through PianoEncyclopedia.com. These include a blog, chat rooms and a forum. In these areas, you can chat to other members about any issues you have or any ideas you’d like to share. You can also share videos, which is a good way to check out someone’s technique, or listen to audio files of them playing.
If you prefer a fun approach to learning, you can check out the learning games which are designed to improve your skills with fun challenges. You can also check out more than 1,000 videos of world famous pianists performing, which can be a big boost to your enthusiasm if it’s waning.
The tools are available through a one-off payment, which gets you lifetime membership and access to The Logic Behind Music. This could work out pretty cheaply if you take the course seriously and follow through on all of the resources. However, the site doesn’t allow you to trial the lessons or videos, so it’s difficult to know how good any of the tools might be before you pay a fee.
At least there’s a free e-book to check out, although we weren’t hugely impressed with that because it wasn’t very interactive. If you want to learn through using digital tools, an e-book probably won’t do.
Signing up raised another slight issue. It took us a while to realise that you can only access the site’s content (other than the free e-book) once you’ve paid for the full package. There’s no way, therefore, to access individual lessons or the community features without first having paid full whack for The Logic Behind Music package (although you can pay this in thirds if you’re struggling to pay all at once).
PianoEnclyclopedia seems to offer good value for money and some useful tools, but they’re doing themselves a disservice by not providing more content or details of their lessons and features, making it something of a shot in the dark. If you’ve around $250 and don’t want to spend a bit more or less, with a view to having a life-long subscription, this could be a viable option.
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