Does taking piano lessons seem out of reach for you? Do you just not have the time to trek to and from lessons at least once a week? HomeSchoolPiano may be just what you are looking for. Willie Myette is a dynamic music instructor who teaches all aspects of piano to all levels of performers, whether you are just beginning or you have some years under your belt.
We have been using HomeSchoolPiano – Complete Set of Books and enjoying our time at the piano. The Complete Set of Books gives you access to:
- Core Piano
- Book 1
- Book 2
- Book 3
Price and Age Range
To purchase the Complete Set of Books, visit HomeSchoolPiano. There are two payment packages for you to choose from.
1. The Success Package is one payment of $299. This gives you unlimited life-time access to all of HomeSchoolPiano along with all bonuses (downloads, jam tracks, and sheet music) for up to 5 students.
2. The Payment Plan consists of payments of $99.97 a month for three months. This gives you the same benefits as the Success Package, which is unlimited life-time access to all of HomeSchoolPiano along with all bonuses (downloads, jam tracks, sheet music) for up to 5 students.
One great thing about this program is that it fits every age range and season of life. Whether you are the homeschooling parent of a single youngest or many of various ages; whether you are looking at this for yourself as a hobby; or if you are in your golden years and want to revisit your piano playing days or learn to play since you never did, this program will work for you! It doesn’t matter your age, this program has a lot to offer you and yours.
In Core Piano, you will find over two hours of instruction (33 lessons) on the basics to get you started. It is set up a bit differently than the other three books, though, with shorter video times and a single concept to work on in each lesson. Core Piano is where you will want to begin your instruction if you or your student is brand new to piano or returning after a bit away. It covers things like how to sit, how to hold your hands and fingers, the musical alphabet, rhythmic instruction, the different staves, and so much more. Even if you haven’t been away from piano long, this is an important section and it would be a mistake to skip it.
Books 1, 2, and 3
All three books are set up in the same way. You will find six units in each Book. Each unit has seven sections to it. Six of them are the six, overlapping skill areas for playing piano: technique, rhythm, ear training, reading music, song, and improvisation. The seventh section is a bonus lesson with material for the more advanced student that may feel they need a bit more of a challenge. Each Book has a downloadable and printable PDF file to go with it that includes all of the music needed.
Each lesson is a video of Mr. Myette sitting at his piano, talking directly to the student. One of the things that I really appreciated about every lesson I viewed was that Mr. Myette did such a fantastic, careful job of explaining difficult musical concepts in a way that even J, who is 5, could understand. This often meant that he described it in multiple ways. This was helpful to the giggly girls on more than one occasion.
On screen with Mr. Myette is a view of his piano keyboard AND a computerized piano keyboard that lights up each key he plays and shows it’s letter name. This is a valuable asset for the younger student. This allows them to feel like they have their teacher sitting right there with them showing them exactly which keys to play to be following directions and learning skills.
If you know much about our family, you know that we are a musical family. The girls knew a little bit of piano prior to beginning these homeschool piano lessons and they knew how to read some music, both rhythmically and melodically, on the staff. Because of this, they were a little bit hesitant to begin with. They didn’t want to go back to the beginning and feel like they were being talked down to. For the most part, they didn’t feel that way at all and enjoyed the piano instruction. They enjoyed putting rhythm and melody together on the piano and the technique exercises did not seem to bother them all that much. They seemed to find the technique exercises fun, which is saying a lot of good things about Mr. Myette’s HomeSchoolPiano. (I majored in music so spent a lot of time on technique exercises and I don’t think I would ever have said they were fun!)
Even having the background that I do in music and enjoying playing piano as often as I can find the time, this program stretched me and my abilities. I am a self taught pianist – yes, I took a few lessons when I was young and had lessons in college where my kind teachers tried hard to fix the bad habits I had developed. But, I learned many things in HomeSchoolPiano that no one had ever bothered explaining to me – for example, where to position myself in front of the keyboard and where your hands should be positioned (figured out that if I sit on a cushion to boost myself about 3 inches, I can play ever so much better – surprise, surprise!). I learned a lot of new things, strengthened my rhythmic abilities on the piano, and found some improvisation abilities that I didn’t know existed anywhere within my bones. Improvisation and me have never gotten along but with this program, I understood what I needed to be thinking and doing and I seemed to be making great strides with it.
What I Really Liked About HomeSchoolPiano
Really, the question is what did I NOT like about HomeSchoolPiano. This program is a hit with me and I am unreasonable picky when it comes to music instruction. I really, truly appreciate that Mr. Myette talks TO the student, not at them or down to them. He works with words and analogies they will understand and explains concepts in multiple ways. I am grateful that he begins at the very beginning with concepts that even the youngest need to know and that the older players may have forgotten or dismissed as unimportant (or even allowed to degenerate into a bad habit).
Another thing that is significantly important to me in music instruction for my children is terminology. I want the instructors to use the right terminology, even when it is in the very beginning and working with comparative terms. I want my girls to learn that it is loud and quiet, not loud and soft. This may seem like a little thing but it actually is important and is mistaught often. So, when I heard Mr. Myette using the correct terminology, my heart sang just a bit. If he starts them out right with those terms, I feel confident that it will continue all the way through the piano instruction he provides.
Bonus of bonuses: this program will play on the Kindle Fire just fine. We were able to just pull up the website using our Kindle Fire and login. Once logged in, it was easy to maneuver between lessons and such. Playing the video lesson on the Kindle Fire allowed the girls to be able to be seated at the piano and have the video right there in front of them, just like having their teacher sitting there showing them exactly what they need to learn. It was easy to pause the lesson for the girls to practice something and the restart the video and continue on. I am thrilled that it is so easy to use.
A Note or Two
It is easy to forget the nature of music instruction when using a curriculum like this. I did it. I found myself wondering why E was getting frustrated, why she wasn’t enjoying it as much as I expected her to and why she wasn’t making progress. Turns out, I forgot a major piece of the puzzle when it comes to music education. Practice!
Normally, in a lesson situation, you have a lesson once a week or twice a week, and in between, you practice every single day. Well, I had allowed her to go on to the next lesson a couple of times in a row in Book 1. She didn’t get enough practice with the technique and concept and exercises before she moved on. So, she naturally got frustrated. I missed the boat on that! So, we went back and tried again, this time taking several days between lessons to PRACTICE! This makes all the difference in the world.
Schedule this carefully and allow time for your student to view the video at least twice and practice for several days before moving on. And, don’t move on until they feel confident with the exercises. Many a time in college, I would get the same technique exercises and songs to work on week after week after week because I didn’t have the skill down to the point where I felt confident with it. So, allow your student the time she needs to work with the techniques and move on when she is confident and ready.
Just so you know, we will be continuing this. We will get pretty regimented with it in the fall and that includes myself! We will all continue with piano lessons from HomeSchoolPiano and pretty soon, the girls will be playing better than me! At Home.
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