Are Piano Apps and Software a Good Substitute for Real Lessons?

With the huge rise in piano learning apps and software, many people are wondering if they’re a good substitute and even total replacement for in person (physical) lessons.

The truth is, many of the piano software companies definitely believe it, and their stats show they’re on to something.

I had the opportunity to speak with the CEO of one of the biggest piano learning programs on the market and the amount of usage their program is getting is quite remarkable. When people buy piano software and apps, then tend to use them a lot.

The days of going to music lessons are over. Many people feel this statement is true.

Let’s start with me personally. Naturally I love online music lessons, that’s why I operate this website. But I loved them before starting this site. They’re convenient, fun, and affordable.

I’ve spoken with a lot of parents on the subject and asked: “Can you imagine loading up your kids and driving them to piano lessons?”. Many parents can’t.

I understand that some people still like in person lessons, however so many people are making the shift to software and apps. It’s the world we live in now.

One of the major benefits is convenience.

Convenience & Quality

practice the c position with flowkeyYou can literally download an app like flowkey and start learning to play your favourite songs in minutes.

No driving to lessons. No paying per lesson. Practice when you want. Learn from home.  Save time and money.

These are the clear benefits of using software and apps, rather than taking real in person lessons.

If you have a world class teacher sitting beside you and your child, there’s no substitute for that.

But are they available in your area, and can you afford them? Many people just can’t access quality in person lessons.

And even if you found a great teacher, and you wanted to learn how to play a specific song, they might not be able to teach that to you.

So although online piano lessons (videos, software, apps) will never completely replace that one on one coaching, they do come very very close, and they have other benefits.

Here are some of the things that these offer which in person lessons may not:

  • Learn to play hundreds of songs
  • Track your progress and accuracy
  • Practice anytime you want
  • Get started within a few minutes
  • Pay a fraction of the price

You usually can't visit your teacher late at night, on the weekends, or literally any time you want. With online programs you can practice 24/7.

With a real teacher, you can't ask them to teach you 500 specific songs (they don't know how to play every song). With online programs, you have access to a library of hundreds of pre loaded lessons.

You can't pay your teacher a small monthly fee for 24/7 access 365 days a year. With online lessons and tools, you can usually pay 10 to 30 dollars per month for unlimited access.

What Are Your Options

The only downfall with using online tools is there are so many choices.

There are dozens of websites, apps and programs designed to teach you the piano.

playground sessions software

slow motion with flowkey

Fortunately I have researched many of them, and have outlined and compared my recommendations. I strongly suggest you visit the main piano page to find the top choices. Click here. 

Essentially there are 3 options that I found to be the best: You can learn from a complete piano software program, an easy to use app, or a set of eBooks.

They all have their pros and cons, and I have outlined them all here. 

My Top Picks: 

The most complete software: Playground Sessions

Best app which is the easiest to use: flowkey

Best set of eBooks with video and audio files: Piano For All

Final Thoughts

To answer the question.

Yes, software, online videos, and apps are all great substitutes for real lessons, and they will continue to grow in popularity.

I just can't an adult taking the time to travel to lessons, or see many parents taking their kids to piano lessons any more considering all the great learning options out there.

Again, to avoid the confusion over which tool to use, consider reading my full reviews here. 

About The Author


I'm Tyler, the webmaster here at My passion is music, and my job is to supply reviews and articles about all the different ways you can learn and produce music online. I hope you find this website helpful.