Two of the most popular and newer learning programs for the piano are Playground Sessions and Piano Maestro from JoyTunes.
They are quite different, so this Playground Sessions vs. Piano Maestro comparison can be very useful if you’re deciding on taking your piano skills to the next level.
Both tools are very convenient and have helped so many people improve and learn how to play better, but they have big differences.
Enter Piano Maestro
This is an app that teaches you how to play the piano.
It’s fun, cartoony, seems like it’s for kids, however many adults rave about it too.
Here’s a quick promo video:
The app is free to download, however there are In-App Purchases available and a membership fee which most people will opt in for. So you can try it for free, however if you want to use all the features and have unlimited access, you will need to make a purchase.
Piano Maestro is very convenient as you just need your iPad and any kind of piano. You don’t need to hook up your digital piano to the program, although you can. So you can use it with any kind of piano which is nice.
You can progress by yourself, or you can sign up through a piano teacher’s account.
The interface is really designed for kids. It’s very easy to see and use, and very cartoony as I mentioned.
The screen has a music sheet and keyboard. As the notes reach a certain line, that is an indication you need to play that note. If you have it hooked up to a digital piano and you play the wrong note, it will stop and will highlight the proper note in yellow.
What’s good about this app is that you can get corrected as you play, and right above is the actual music sheet, making a transition away from the app more realistic than other apps where you only see the keyboard, and you don’t actually learn anything about reading music.
There are exercises you can do, along with a large library of songs to choose from.
In terms of overall piano software, it’s pretty basic, but effective.
How the Subscription Works:
To move up to the more advanced levels, you will want to get a membership which costs $59.99 per year, or $11.99 per month (at the time of writing this). Frankly this is a must in my opinion.
With the upgrade, you will get the Journey Mode, which lets you progress through levels and earn points. You will also get access to the library of songs.
Bottom line, you can try it for free, however expect to pay if you want to use all the features.
Enter Playground Sessions
Playground Sessions is a way more advanced piece of piano software when compared to Piano Maestro.
Unless you're looking for a learning program for kids, I would highly recommend you choose Playground Sessions over Piano Maestro.
Here is a quick promo video:
This Membership is Actually Cheaper!
This is the most complete learning program, and its monthly cost is actually lower at $9.99 per month (when you purchase a full year).
One thing that separates it from other programs is the in-person HD video lessons. Not only can you use the software, but there are real video lessons as well.
You can watch someone play, have the music sheet right in-front of you, and have the piano keys highlighted for you. It comes with great learning applications, the fun of a "game" atmosphere, along with a scoring system and social integration.
It has the most advanced technology, best feedback, real video lessons, a great scoring system, and you can play any song you want.
If you're not teaching kids to play the piano, I would recommend you read more about Playground Sessions, and go over some of the popular frequently asked questions.
Bottom line, Playground Sessions is a better program.