Playground Sessions Review 2020: Best Online Piano Course?

Playground Sessions
3.7/5

The course is definitely unique. The way it is presented is fun and exciting, almost as if you are playing while you are learning – it gives playing the piano a brand new meaning! The songs used for the interactive exercises are popular ones from Justin Bieber, Evanescence, David Guetta, One Republic mixed in with classical songs by Beethoven and Mozart. 

For people who enjoy playing games like Guitar Hero or Rock Band, they will definitely enjoy the lessons just as much. However, people who prefer to focus on studying techniques find the lessons rather mediocre.

Outline3

Course Outline

3/5

The courses cover the basics, however, it can get confusing for older people or those who are not very tech-savvy. The courses uncover themselves as you progress through the songs, much like quests in a role-playing game.

Money3

Value For Money

4/5

The price is justifiable and you get free songs to play monthly. However, the lessons are subscription-based, and once you cancel your subscription, you lose access to all the lessons on their website. There is an option to pay for lifetime access but it is quite

Platform

4/5

The lessons are available on PC, iPad, and MAC but not on Android. While you can access it offline, scores and badges related to your achievements during the exercises will not sync with your account until you get online.

Feedback3

Student Feedback

4/5

There is quite a lot of positive student feedback online. People who have taken the course seem to enjoy it due to its game-like nature, however, some people do

Pros

Cons

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Ever wanted to play the piano but feel unmotivated? Do you like rhythm games like Guitar Hero or Rock Bands? If your answer is yes to both questions, then this online piano course is perfect for you! It combines learning how to play the piano and playing a rhythm game, making it an interesting way to learn how to PLAY the piano. 

In this Playground Sessions review, we will take a look at this unique set of lessons and see if it is the best online piano course there is today.

What Is Playground Sessions & How Does It Work?

Playground Sessions is an online course that teaches you how to improve your piano-playing skills. It is a subscription-based digital piano lesson created by Chris Vance in collaboration with the legendary Quincy Jones. A lifetime access version is also available for a much higher price than the regular monthly subscription cost.

The lessons are taught by renowned pianists David Sides and Harry Connick Jr. Along with these lessons are fun and interactive challenges that you can do preferably by using a MIDI keyboard.

Who Is the Playground Sessions Suitable For?

These lessons are great because there is something in here for everyone. Unlike other piano courses online that teach people at a specific level, Playground Sessions provide you with lessons and exercises for everyone.

Once you register, you will find that the lessons are divided into three levels – beginner, intermediate, and advanced. This gives you the option to pick the level of difficulty you would like the lessons to be.

It is also important to note that the lessons are formatted for teenagers and adults rather than children and older people.

What Makes Playground Sessions Unique?

Playground Sessions is co-created by Quincy Jones, a legend in the music industry who is well-known for his composition and musical skills. This course is taught by other big names in the industry like David Sides and Harry Connick Jr. Similar to Flowkey, Playground Sessions is another music learning app that is promoted by Yamaha Music. You may check the flowkey and playground sessions comparison to see what makes them unique.

The teaching approach is one of the things that sets this course apart from other online courses. Unlike most piano lessons, Playground Sessions piano lessons are set up like a game that is similar to rhythm games like Rock Band or Guitar Hero. 

The songs in this course are categorized by level of difficulty and genre, and the list includes pop music, rock, symphonic, gospel, and classical. And while a MIDI keyboard is recommended for this online lesson, an electric keyboard and piano are also suitable.

Who Created Playground Sessions?

Playground Sessions Creator

This set of lessons and exercises was created by Chris Vance in 2010 and eventually co-owned by Quincy Jones in 2012 (1) Quincy Jones is a legend in the music industry who has worked with fellow legends like Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra (2). 

Talented Musicians Far Away David Sides Harry Connick Jr

The lessons are taught by talented musicians, such as David Sides (3) who is a renowned American pianist and Harry Connick Jr., a famous actor, singer, composer, and musician (4). 

Both musicians are amazing teachers, making the lessons easy to digest and comprehend.

What Does the Program Consist Of?

After a few lessons on sheet music, you will be thrust into playing simple notes on a music sheet almost immediately. Armed with your MIDI keyboard, you can turn on the “Instant Feedback” feature and play through the large variety of songs available on the website and application. While playing, the notes you get right will go green and the notes that are wrong will go red. This easily tells you which parts you need to work on specifically.

playground sessions training showing chords

There are a few options you can do during the lessons: you can either play with both hands or just one, listen to the lessons with or without accompaniment, or turn the metronome on while you play. 

The lessons are easily customizable to help you feel more comfortable as you progress.

Aside from the video lessons, this online course also comes with a huge library of songs from different genres. If you choose to pay for the lifetime membership, you will get 40 free songs instantly. For a very low price, you can add as many as you like to your library. 

For those who are interested in the monthly subscription, you get 5 free songs every month as well as the freedom to purchase more songs from the store to add to your library.

playground sessions song library

In between interactive exercises are video lessons by David Sides and Harry Connick Jr. Both teachers are very entertaining to watch, especially when you watch and learn on decent quality video and audio. 

Let us take a look at a quick summary of the lessons available for this course.

The lessons are divided into three sections: Rookie, Intermediate, and Advanced. 

playground sessions levels

Rookie Tour

Equipped with 84 lessons, this section is dedicated to beginners. In this part of the course, Harry gives you a lecture about notes, finger numbers, hand position, and postureall the basics you need to get started in playing the piano and tackling the rest of the lessons.

playground sessions rookie tour

After the video lessons, you will then be thrust into exercises that focus on reading notes, recognizing rhythms and patterns as well as encourage your musicality through playing by ear. You will not be playing full songs yet but you will be playing sections of familiar songs that focus on the points you need to learn. 

Unlike most online piano lessons that train you to use both hands as soon as possible, the rookie section of Playground Sessions will only require you to play with both hands around the 29th lesson. However, that is not to say you would not be getting practice for both of your hands as you make your way to lesson 29. Although not extensively, you will still get to practice switching your hands as well as both left and right hands separately.

Intermediate Tour

The intermediate tour consists of 61 lessons, 31 of them focusing on teaching you all about major and minor chords, their inversions, and progression. Initially, your left hand will be trained to play triads before you are given lessons and exercises for your right hand to add in the melody.

playground sessions intermediate tour

The way the lessons are taught is more hands-on than technical. It focuses more on musicality rather than technique. But overall, Playground Sessions sticks to their teaching style, which is providing fun, interactive exercises to students.

Advanced Tour

The advanced tour contains 21 lessons that are meant to teach students the final phase of the course. This section deals with 16th notes, texture, arpeggios, sevenths, rhythm, and even an introduction to improvisation, which any pianist would find useful when dealing with accidents and even personalizing the songs they play.

playground sessions advanced tour

Courses

In this online piano lesson, courses do not refer to the lessons you will be taking in order to learn how to play. Courses refer to bonus videos that you unlock as you play through the exercises provided in all three levels. 

playground sessions courses

For people who use their PC or MAC for Playground Sessions, they will see the course tab right beside Bootcamp. However, this does not instantly appear for those using the app on their iPads. Worry not though, as the tab will appear as soon as you unlock your first set of courses while progressing through the lessons.

Check out best online piano learning apps article to learn more.

3.7/5

Table of Contents

If you want to test out this course for yourself but are not ready to commit to a monthly subscription or lifetime access, you can give it a shot with this FREE 30-Day Playground Sessions trial (5)!

Is Playground Sessions A Reputable Online Piano Lesson? (Not A Scam)

Coming from several big names in the industry like Quincy Jones, David Sides, and Henry Connick Jr., you can be sure that Playground Sessions is not a scam. 

The company that created this online piano lesson has been around since 2010. They have a great refund policy that offers a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee if you find the lessons unsuitable for your preferences.  

They have a very active presence online, with accounts in various social media channels like Instagram (6), Twitter (7), Facebook (8), and even YouTube (9). They are also endorsed by Yamaha (10), an international Japanese company that is known to create amazing quality pianos and keyboards.

On top of all of this, there are plenty of reviews about them all over the internet, therefore, comprehensive student feedback is not difficult to find. Plus, you can take advantage of a 30-day trial for free!

Playground Sessions Real Unbiased Text And Video Testimonials:

In this section of the Playground Sessions Review, we will look at some positive comments taken straight from the review section of the course’s official Facebook page (11).

Playground Sessions Recommendation

According to a student on Playground Sessions’ Facebook Page.

Playground Sessions Recommendation from Facebook

According to a student on Playground Sessions’ Facebook Page.

Playground Sessions Recommendation from Student on Facebook

According to a student on Playground Sessions’ Facebook Page.

However, on some Reddit threads – where people are known to be more honest and straightforward with their opinions – not everyone is pleased with Playground Sessions. Many think that the lessons could be improved or that it would be far better to get a professional coach in person. Here are some of the reviews:

Playground Sessions Recommendation from Reddit Threads

According to a Reddit user from this thread (12).

Playground Sessions Recommendation from Reddit User

According to a Reddit user from this thread (13).

Playground Sessions Recommendation from Reddit User1

According to a Reddit user from this thread (14).

Now let us take a look at testimonials from Playground Sessions’ official website. Here are a few examples:

Playground Sessions Testimonials 1

Playground Sessions Testimonials 2

Playground Sessions Testimonials 3

Playground Sessions Testimonials 4

If you are interested in reading more reviews of Playground Sessions, you can check their testimonials page here (15). 

Video Reviews & Results

Our Rating:
3.7/5

My Final Verdict

I will give Playground Sessions a rating of 3/5.

Based on how enjoyable this course looks, you might think that I should give it a higher rating. But it all boils down to the lack of lectures and lessons about music theory as well as sheet music reading and techniques. At the end of the day, this online course is just a really fun, educational game. 

Still, you can learn a few valuable lessons from the online course. It is packed with lessons on the basics of piano-playing and contains techniques on how to develop your musicality. Apart from that, the teachers motivate you to keep playing. Overall, I consider Playground Sessions as a supplementary course rather than the main lesson. 

This online piano course is revolutionary in the way they present their lessons, however, the lessons need more improvements.  

Check out my playground sessions vs piano marvel review and find out what’s best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can use an electric keyboard that you can connect to your PC, MAC, or iPad. However, Playground Sessions recommend that you use a MIDI keyboard for their lessons. While you can do with a 66-key keyboard, I would recommend an 88-key.

Playground Sessions’ price for their subscription costs about $9.99 – $14.99. You can also purchase a lifetime membership for $349.99. Additionally, you can add songs to your repertoire by purchasing them for $1.99 each.

Playground Sessions’ price for their subscription costs about $9.99 – $14.99. You can also purchase a lifetime membership for $349.99. Additionally, you can add songs to your repertoire by purchasing them for $1.99 each.

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