Don’t get me wrong, private lessons definitely have their place. As a former student, I know that reporting to my teacher and wanting to please her was highly motivating for me. You really need a good teacher/mentor to get a good polish as you become more advanced.
Having said that, private lessons can be very costly! Especially if you have several children. For the early beginner, the focus is on playing the right note with the right rhythm and gaining a general understanding of how written music works. You can do that without a private teacher. Adults may not want private lessons but still want to learn the basics on their own. Homeschooling families want to incorporate music into their curriculum. Young children may be too shy for lessons. Families may wish to have private lessons, but simply cannot afford them.
In no particular order, here a few online resources you can look into. These just scratch the surface of what is available, but they are the programs that have intrigued me. Disclaimer: I haven’t personally tried any of them, so I am not endorsing or vouching for them, just sharing what is available. Most of these programs are for piano lessons. They do represent an initial investment, but they are considerably less than private lessons, and can be used for more than one child.
Piano Online or DVD program for young children. Most lessons include coloring pages. My son loved their free 2-week preview.
Designed like a video game, lessons are done on an electric keyboard plugged into the computer. Colored stickers are placed on the piano. I have a friend who highly recommends this program.
Soft Mozart also has a video game element to it. Instead of colored keys, the stickers have pictures to help you learn solfege, ie, a door for “Do”, etc. Note that this teaches children fixed do, instead of moveable do, which is more often used in the states.
This product is not available yet, but I have been on the Beta testing team and I think it’s going to be great. This program will be geared towards babies, toddlers and preschoolers, and echos the philosophy of Glenn Doman.
Ear-training course that teaches young children perfect pitch.
Piano for Life
A DVD piano series for older children that mimics classical education. It is a theory-based course, where you learn how to build chords, and then how incorporate that knowledge into your playing.
A method that teaches you to play by ear first, then how to read music. The idea is that you should learn how to talk before you learn how to read. This program has won various homeschool awards.
Piano for Preschoolers
A color-coded piano course for young students. I love that it doesn’t involve putting stickers on the piano keys.
Free Homeschool Music Curriculum
You can also easily make your own music curriculum with the help of your favorite search engine and online videos. Supplement your unit studies with an era-composer. See if a favorite story has an opera to go with it. There is so much available at your fingertips!
Do you have experience with one of these programs? What do you think? Did I leave out your favorite? Share it with us in the comment section. 🙂
My child is special so I want to discover other learning possibilities other than going to school. I got a math tutor for him but your other suggestions would do him great, I think. I'll try those and thanks for letting me know about these.
Thanks, Tamsyn. I am especially intrigued by Piano for Life, and so appreciate your time spent to help others find things that work for them.