Piano Marvel Review 2021: Is It The Best Online Piano Course?
This course has the most comprehensive and extensive material created for anyone who wants to take learning the piano seriously. It has lessons perfect for beginners, intermediate learners, advanced learners, and even teachers and schools who intend to use their course as a supplementary program. The lessons are categorized well and are very detailed. They are also quite interactive, providing exercises, quizzes, and flashcards that boost student participation. Things like music theory, techniques, and methods are all addressed in this piano course. It is no wonder that the students who have taken it are thoroughly pleased by the content.
This online course has the most complete curriculum I have seen by far online.
Value For Money
For an affordable price, you can gain access to a library full of lessons, exercises, and songs to learn. Considering the content of this online program, you will get so much more than what other piano lessons online offers.
This piano course is available online and can be accessed from your PC, MAC, or iPad. There are plenty of downloadable PDFs that come with this course that you can print to help you with your lessons.
Piano Marvel is one of the most popular and acclaimed piano lessons online. Many students who have taken it before seem to only have positive things to say about it. I have seen plenty of them recommend this course to others looking for great online lessons.
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With many online piano courses offering a rather mediocre or subpar content for their lessons, it is understandable that you have doubts before committing to one. However, Piano Marvel is one of those programs that will ease your worries the longer you read about them. Admittedly, this course is not perfect, it does have its weak points. Still, compared to other piano courses online, you can be sure that this one is the best out there. Keep reading this online piano lessons review to find out why.
What Is Piano Marvel & How Does It Work?
First, there are two Modes to choose from before proceeding to the lessons. This course has something they call “Book Mode” which applies to students with acoustic or grand pianos. For this mode, you have access to everything, from notes, video lessons, songs, hints, and more except for the feature that assesses your progress.
The second mode is something they call the “Assessment Mode”. This mode applies to students with digital pianos or keyboards that they can connect to the program. This gives them access to everything that acoustic piano players have PLUS the assessment feature.
This course’s strength lies in teaching the proper methods and techniques for piano players. Here is how detailed this course is:
Both Method and Technique have six levels. Each level has 30 sections with 20 bite-sized lessons for each. The lessons contain a printable book and a short video tutorial explaining what skills you will be getting from them.
This course has two modes while teaching its lessons:
As you progress through your lessons, this course records your progress and rewards you accordingly. You can easily check your progress by clicking on the “Reports” tab.
A great thing about this course is that you can start learning piano right away – for free! You can definitely give their curriculum a try before committing to purchasing a premium account. However, subscribing to Piano Marvel Premium will unlock more features, and lessons are not available with a free account. Here are their payment plans as well as the perks you will get for each plan:
Who Is Piano Marvel Suitable For?
That is one of the greatest things about this course, it is for everyone!
From beginner lessons to more advanced and even stylistic ones, Piano Marvel has everything you need. Another amazing aspect of it is the fact that it encourages its students to get a teacher. Instead of claiming that they are all you need in order to be a great pianist, they strongly suggest that the presence of a teacher could ensure that you are going through their exercises correctly. If you are in need of a teacher, Piano Marvel can help you find one here (1).
What Makes Piano Marvel Unique?
There are honestly so many things that are unique to the company and I cannot wait to tell you all about them in this Piano Marvel review.
First is the trophy and achievement system. This course provides each student with a “Trophy Case” that they can fill by completing achievements throughout the course. For a bronze trophy, a student will need to score around 80% to 89%. A silver trophy needs students to score 90% to 95%. To achieve a gold trophy, students will need to score 96% and above. This encourages students to finish their exercises with a perfect score.
Another unique thing about this course is the different modes in which they allow their students to practice:
- Prepare Mode – Moves at your own pace while scoring the accuracy of your notes.
- Practice Mode – Allows students to practice individual sections of a song.
- Assess Mode – Scores how well you play the notes and the rhythm.
Similar to Playground Sessions, if you get a note right, it will be marked green. If you get it wrong, it will be marked red. Their exercises also boast a handy “Play Controls” tab that allows students to change the tempo, enable a metronome, fiddle with the volume and accompaniment. You may check the playground sessions and piano marvel comparison to learn more.
You can also download any song from their library FOR FREE, starting from classical pieces to more modern genres, such as Movies and TV, Rock, Pop, Gospel, Jazz, and even Holiday music. Piano Marvel allows you to sort through their songs by difficulty: Beginner for Levels 1 to 3, Intermediate for Levels 4 to 6, Advanced for levels 7 to 10, and Professionals for levels 11 to 18.
This course makes practice effective and easy by providing students with something unique called the “Slicing Method”.
- Whole – Allows you to play the entire song with one hand at a time.
- Chopped – Cuts the song into shorter sections that you can play with both of your hands.
- Minced – Cuts the song into shorter sections that you can play with one hand at a time.
Many people are also happy about the goal-setting feature. Piano Marvel allows you to set your goals every month. This can be a great motivator and reminder for every student to keep up and monitor the monthly quotas.
However, the most unique feature of Piano Marvel is their Standard Assessment of Sight Reading (SASR). This handy tool tests how accurately you can play a song in just 20 seconds after seeing it. You can take the SASR test as often as you like to track how well your sight-reading is. If you would like to read more about Piano Marvel’s SASR tool, here’s a more comprehensive source (2).
Last but not the least, this online piano course creates contests and challenges for its student base every now and then. The rewards for the winners can go from cash prizes to iPads. All you need to do is upload a YouTube video of yourself playing the piano. These contests and challenges provide students with a taste of performing and create an atmosphere that allows them to challenge themselves.
Who Created Piano Marvel?
This online course was created by Aaron Garner, a piano teacher who got his Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Southern Colorado. Afterward, he proceeded to get his master’s degree in Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado.
After working as a piano teacher, Aaron noticed the way technology and games captured the attention of many people. After getting decent funding from those who are interested in seeing his vision created, he teamed up with a group of programmers to help make his piano course a reality. After testing out the program with his students way back in 2009, Piano Marvel was finally created and launched.
What Does the Program Consist Of?
The program has two important topics: Method and Training. Let us take a quick look at what these two topics are all about.
First of all, I would like to clarify that despite the fact that the songs in the library go up to Level 18, this only has 6 levels. However, these levels contain everything you need to know. The only thing left to do afterward is to practice until you can take on Level 18 songs.
Here are the things you will be learning for each level:
- Level 1 – Introduction, posture, finger keys, basic rhythm and notes as well as musical symbols.
- Level 2 – More hand positions, steps and skips, new notes, and conducting patterns.
- Level 3 – Intro to scales, major and minor scales, half steps, the sustain pedal, key changes, and blues.
- Level 4 – Pedaling technique, triads, and inversions, more musical terms, and additional scales.
- Level 5 – Advanced music sheet reading.
- Level 6 – An introduction to classical piano playing.
This section of the course is there to provide exercises for the Method sections. Things like flashcards, ear training exercises, and the like are to be expected here. The goal is to reinforce the lessons learned from Methods.
- Flashcards – Perfect for reviewing musical terms and symbols.
Ear Training – Allows a student to listen to a chord, note, or interval then identify it.
How Can I Know If Piano Marvel Is Not A Scam?
This course is one of the oldest, most acclaimed online piano courses on the internet. Not only does it have a huge online presence, it also has a huge number of students and no shortage of good reviews. If you would like to check them out online, you can go to their YouTube channel (3), Instagram (4), Twitter (5), and Facebook (6).
This course also offers a free account that you can use for assessment, a few beginner lessons and exercises, and their SASR testing tool. Even if you subscribe to a premium account and decide to cancel it later, you can easily do so. On the off-chance that you get problems with it, they have a very responsive and very helpful customer support system that you can contact to lodge your complaints.
Piano Marvel User Reviews and Testimonials
I scoured the internet for reviews regarding Piano Marvel so you do not have to! Usually, when I do this I often see a mix of positive AND negative reviews. However, for this course, I could not find anyone saying anything negative. Let us take a look at these reviews from their Facebook page (7):
According to a Facebook user.
According to a Facebook user.
According to a Facebook user.
In addition to these reviews on Facebook, I also found these reviews on their Twitter account:
According to a Twitter user.
According to a Twitter user.
Video Reviews & Results
My Final Verdict
I think Piano Marvel deserves a 4.5/5.
I am not lying when I say that this course is truly one of the best out there. All the fundamentals you need as well as fun and interactive exercises that will help you improve are all packed here. It helps a lot that they have a lot of useful tools that make learning much easier and interesting. Even its exercises are unique, as they are customizable as per students’ preference.
The trophies and progress reports, as well as the monthly practice goals, sets the students of this course up for success. These features encourage them to put some elbow grease on and keep practicing for higher scores.
The additional seasonal contests and competitions allow many students to experience the joy of performing even if it is only online. There is something about this online course that incites motivation and encourages students to continuously challenge themselves through playing the piano.
Admittedly, Piano Marvel does have some points that need improvement like a more friendly curriculum for people who are self-studying or more lessons for total beginners. I also noticed that the library could use more songs from different genres other than classical. Still, these are relatively minor if you compare them to the stability of the whole curriculum.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Piano Marvel really can track your sight-reading scores. This is one of the features that are unique to them – and one that they are rather proud of. All you need to do is sign up for an account – a free one is enough – and take the sight-reading test.
You can use any setup for Piano Marvel. Simply select “Book Mode” if you have an acoustic or grand piano and “Assessment Mode” if you have an electric or MIDI keyboard. However, you are likely to get more out of this course if you are using an electric or MIDI keyboard during the lessons, as it can give you an instant assessment of your current playing skills.