Playground Sessions vs Piano Marvel – Find Out Why Neither is a Bad Online Piano Lesson
Piano Marvel and Playground Sessions are two of the biggest names in terms of online piano lessons. You often see students recommending these programs to anyone asking. With so many golden reviews, the question has to be asked. Which of these two programs is better than the other? That is what we aim to find out in this Playground Sessions vs Piano Marvel review.
Playground Sessions in a Nutshell
This course is very popular because it is co-created by the legendary Quincy Jones. Any musician worth their salt knows the legend that is Quincy Jones. He has won plenty of awards and nominations such as Grammys and Golden Disk Awards and has previously worked with other legends like Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra.
This company is filled with big-name musicians and is endorsed by Yamaha Music (1). Teaching the lessons are renowned pianists David Jones and Harry Connick Jr.
However, these are not the only reasons that make Playground Sessions popular. Playground Sessions is also at the forefront of music-teaching because it is one of the pioneers in using rhythm game mechanics and incorporating them into music lessons.
The lessons in Playground Sessions are divided into three: Rookie, Intermediate, and Advanced. Each lesson is created to help a student in different levels improve their piano playing. It comes with exercises and songs that students can use for practice.
I have already written a detailed overview of Playground Sessions. Give it a visit to find out more about the piano course.
What are the Advantages of Playground Sessions
- Quincy Jones is a co-creator. Despite not being the one to teach the video lessons, Quincy Jones had a hand in curating this course’s curriculum.
- Harry Connick Jr. and David Sides are teachers. There is something very exciting about learning from renowned pianists like David Sides and Harry Connick Jr.
- Rhythm game mechanics. Teaching lessons this way adds to student motivation.
- Teaches lessons through songs. After a few basic lessons, you are immediately thrust into making music with this course. Most of the lessons are taught using songs.
- Musicality is developed. This skill is important to any aspiring musician. It helps with rhythm prediction, sight-reading, and even improvisation later on. For this reason, courses need to help develop students’ musicality.
- Wide music variety. The library contains plenty of songs in different genres.
- Lessons are highly customizable. For each lesson and exercise, Playground Sessions allow you to loop, slow down, and even add a digital metronome. These features help in ensuring that you get the best practice experience.
- Backtrack on songs. This allows you to play your accompaniment and see what it sounds like to play with your favorite bands.
What are the Disadvantages of Playground Sessions
- Not enough video lessons. There are far too few video lessons that discuss music theory and technique. Most of the learning in this program is taught using popular songs.
- Not enough visual aids. The video lessons are quite bleak without the help of visual aids.
- Not focused on music theory and techniques. This course is great at improving students’ musicality. However, it lacks lessons in both music theory and techniques that are fundamental aspects, especially in beginner learning.
- Quite expensive. The price of subscription as well as lifetime access does not cost too much compared to other online piano courses. However, what racks up the bill for this program is the fact that you have to buy songs from their library. For a song, you will pay $1.99. The price starts to add up if you buy more.
Piano Marvel in a Nutshell
Piano Marvel is a fantastic piano course. It is one of the few courses online that truly focuses on music theory and techniques. It is also the only course I have seen so far that encourages the students to get an actual coach.
For Piano Marvel, you get two modes: Book Mode and Assessment Mode. Book Mode is for those who prefer to use Piano Marvel with an acoustic or grand piano. The downside for this, however, is that you will not be given assessments. On the other hand, Assessment Mode gives you access to the same features as Book Mode but with instant assessment and progress reports.
The lessons, songs, and exercises in this program are very customizable. It allows you to play slower than the regular tempo. You can also customize to play using one hand and with only a specific section of the song. You can even add a digital metronome.
Piano Marvel is also the first course that provides students with the Standard Assessment of Sight Reading (SASR) tool. This tool helps assess how well your sight reading has improved during the program. That is one thing that is unique to this course. Not only does it teach music theory and technique, but it also helps improve students’ musicality.
Piano Marvel is a course that leaves no stone unturned.
Its song library is also fairly decent. Even though the majority of the songs in it are of the classical genre, there are also those for lovers of pop, rock, jazz, and many others. You can read my review of Piano Marvel to find out more about this online piano course.
What are the Advantages of Piano Marvel
- Detailed lessons on music theory and technique. This is something most online piano courses tend to look over. Piano Marvel, however, understands the importance of these aspects to aspiring pianists.
- Fun and interactive exercises. This course provides you with song exercises and other features, such as flashcards and ear training.
- Highly customizable lessons and exercises. This aspect of the course is great especially when you find yourself stuck. It helps you practice and learn at your own pace.
- Affordable with great value. With the number of lessons, exercises, songs, and practice sessions included in this program, you would think it is an expensive course. On the contrary, the price is very affordable.
- Unique sight-reading tool. Have you ever been curious about your sight-reading skills? With Piano Marvel, you get to put your abilities to the test and get a clear and detailed assessment.
- Community-wide activity and contests. Piano Marvel produces a sense of community by providing activities and contests for their students to join. Winners are rewarded with exciting prizes from cash to iPads!
What are the Disadvantages of Piano Marvel
- Plain and boring lessons. One of the reasons why a lot of online piano lessons skip theory and technique is because it can get pretty boring. This is the price Piano Marvel pays for being all-inclusive.
- Lessons assume you have a teacher. Piano Marvel encourages their students to get an actual teacher. This can be disappointing to those who prefer to use this course for self-study.
- Song library is mostly classical music. Even though there are songs from other genres in Piano Marvel’s library, most of them are classical.
- Needs an electric or MIDI keyboard. You can use an acoustic or grand piano for this course. However, you will not get the full experience unless you use an electric or MIDI keyboard.
Playground Sessions vs Piano Marvel: Pricing
Now let us compare Playground Sessions vs Piano Marvel’s pricing. Which of the two has more payment plan options? Which one is more affordable? We are about to find out:
Piano Marvel Premium
As you can see, Premium Piano Marvel is slightly more affordable than Playground Sessions. However, Piano Marvel does not have an option to purchase lifetime access.
Playground Sessions vs Piano Marvel Comparison
Now we are going to compare Playground Sessions vs Piano Marvel. For this comparison, I am going to take a look at the quality of music theory and technique lessons, variation in genre, and songs in the library. I am also going to appraise the overall course quality, song teaching quality, affordability, and value of these two online courses.
Piano Marvel is a better overall course compared to Playground Sessions. It is a course that deals with both theory and skill. Its goal of providing students with the right amount of training, practice, and fun is met. The only downside is that Piano Marvel has more songs in the classical genre than any other genre it has. This leaves a feeling that the focus of the course is more on the classical side. Nevertheless, its library still has over 10,000 songs to teach!
Piano Marvel vs. Playground Sessions: The Verdict
For this comparison review, the winner is Piano Marvel!
The lessons about music theory and technique can be a bit boring. However, they are also very detailed and thorough and are easy to understand. Once you have a proper grasp of theory and technique, the songs in the library help improve your musicality.
The library itself is a rather impressive feature boasting over 10,000 songs. Each song has the same options for customization. You can play them at your own pace–the notes only move once you press the current one. You also have the option to choose a slower tempo or its normal pace when playing. You can even play it with one hand or both hands!
If you get it right, the note turns green. If you get it wrong, the note turns red.
For those who enjoy seeing progress reports especially when it comes to learning new things, then Piano Marvel is perfect for you. It provides you with your very own Reports tab so you can check on your progress any time you want. Additionally, it also gives you a useful tool to measure how well your sight-reading skills are. This SASR tool is unique only to Piano Marvel!
Another interesting feature of this course is its ability to help you set monthly goals. It has a very active online presence and often creates community-wide activities and contests. Often it encourages students to upload videos of themselves on YouTube while they play a specific theme on the piano. These contests give more than just exciting prizes. It also gives the students a feel of what it is like to perform in front of an audience.
Piano Marvel is not made by legendary musicians. It is not in collaboration with big-name companies. It is made by a piano teacher who wanted to use the world’s obsession with technology in games and turn it into a passion for music. It is simply known for the effectiveness and thoroughness of its lessons and exercises. Students who have tried this online piano course truly believe that this one is one of the best out there.
But despite losing to Piano Marvel in this comparison, Playground Sessions is not a bad course. Its teaching speed and focus on improving a students’ musicality makes up for what it lacks in technique and theory. Its way of teaching songs is almost just as detailed as Piano Marvel.
Playground Sessions is perfect for those who want to learn how to play songs. It does not require students to get a coach and is pretty easy to follow even when you are self-studying.
Indeed, neither of them are bad piano lessons.
If you would like to find out more about Playground Sessions and Piano Marvel, you can visit them on their official websites. You can find Playground Sessions’ official website here (2). You can also check out Piano Marvel’s official website here (3). You may click here, as well, to learn more.
Playground Sessions vs Piano Marvel – Find Out Why Neither is a Bad Online Piano Lesson