15 Comments
Sep 14, 2023Liked by DanHonMusic

I just came here to thank you for suggesting Pianoforall. I'm super impressed with the quality of the course, really easy to follow and there are explanations for everything. After trying many courses, i found the right one thanks to you and I'm finally learning to play the piano faster and better. Also the price is so cheap compared to what you get out of it. Again, thank you so much Dan.

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Sep 11, 2023Liked by DanHonMusic

Thank you I agree Stephen price is too expensive. You can’t bypass music theory to become a full professional. He’s had traditional lessons and teaching short cuts.

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Apr 1Liked by DanHonMusic

I think it's deceptive to offer a 'free masterclass' and make folks think it's live - I did it last night and it was a total waste of time (wish I'd read your review first!) - so if they are lying about that (he kept saying it was live, but it clearly was not) - how can you trust anything about it? I recommend very highly the platform Pianote. But will now also check out PFA. Thank you!

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Feb 17Liked by DanHonMusic

I’ve studied, practiced for my entire life (over 40 yrs) & now teach piano. I can honestly say I am utterly appalled & fed up of watching Mr Ridley's strategically targeted ad’s & grandiose claims all over the internet. Curiosity made me watch his 90minute “webinar” (THIS IS PRE-RECORDED & plays on a LOOP; IT’s NOT LIVE!). I can find absolutely no evidence showing him performing ANY significant, complex piano repertoire. He claims to be an internationally renowned concert pianist, but he has no notable performances, I’d never heard of him before the insidious ad’s began playing everywhere, & having watched his brief demonstrations it’s obvious that he does not possess anywhere near the skill level to support this being the case. Even his demonstrations, which he claims illustrate increasing levels of difficulty involve him usually playing in C Major at ever greater volume by bashing the keys aggressively; focusing on 4 main simple root chords; & incorporating arpeggiated left hand accompaniments. Arpeggios can look impressive if you’re unfamiliar with piano, but they’re really not that difficult. The price that he quotes for his “Masterclass” is exorbitant! It also does not allow potential students any example or trial lessons. Most, if not all, reputable music teachers will offer new students an introductory lesson. I am unfamiliar with the other teaching course that you mention, but the price certainly sounds much more realistic. The only thing I’d question is the instructor having passed a Grade 10 level certification? The RSAMD & Trinity College exams stop at Grade 8, I wonder if you meant that the instructor has achieved his Diploma. There are several different Diplomas that both institutions offer, focusing on performance or teaching respectively. That makes more sense to me. Obviously I can’t comment on the Piano For All course, but I am glad that you, & many others by the sound of it, have found a learning experience that meets their needs without breaking their bank balances. I’m also really encouraged that it’s instructor has qualifications & can produce them for his students as bonafides: I really doubt Mr Ridley could claim to be able to do the same. The main advice I’d offer anyone thinking of beginning lessons, whether online or one to one with a teacher is: make sure you see & hear them play live, that they offer you an introductory/trial lesson; they can either produce qualifications, or if not can at least demonstrate sufficient previous experience & practical working knowledge to show competency to teach; if they have testimonials that they're from actual students not just anonymous comments that could be generated by a bot, or otherwise faked; have they presented any of their students for graded exams & if so what’s the success rate/grades achieved; that they can give you clear individual positive criticism that is individually-learning based to aid you improve, develop skills & technique but is not couched in jargon & meaningless ‘buzz-words’; any teacher should discuss what you want to achieve from your lessons & should then devise a lesson plan based upon helping you work towards those goals. Most importantly learning & playing an instrument should be an enjoyable, creatively satisfying experience. It takes effort, practice, commitment & time. If it sounds too good to be true it most definitely is, regardless of Mr Ridley’s assertions, there are no shortcuts. Good luck to all those who are seeking a teacher. I hope that you find someone who can fulfill your expectations. xx

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Thank you for posting this review. I have zero experience with piano or any other instrument. Honestly, the only reason i wanted to play piano was to sing to my wife of 33 years.

I was about t make the plunge, but couldn't find the price for Stephen's course.

When I tried looking up the price, I was brought here and OH was I grateful!!

Yup, going with Pianoforall.

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author

Hey Jaime,

That's such a sweet and thoughtful thing to do for your spouse. I'm so glad the review could help give you more insight. Just make sure to start from the beginning, practice daily, and you'll be playing the piano in a short amount of time.

Best of luck as you begin your piano journey - I'm sure your wife will love hearing you accompany yourself on piano after 33 wonderful years together. Let the music add to those lasting memories.

Please feel free to reach back out if you have any other questions!

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Feb 19Liked by DanHonMusic

Thanks! As al older man (hard to come to terms with that, LOL) who's decided to finally learn to play the piano, but with some time constraints, it's easy to fall for promises of quicker, more streamlined learning.

What are your thoughts on Yousician?

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author

Dear Carlos,

Based on my research and discussions with colleagues, I have some thoughts to share regarding Yousician. While I have not personally used the app myself, the general consensus seems to be that it provides a good starting point for beginners, but has some limitations in its teaching methodology.

Apps like Yousician, Flowkey, and Simply Piano heavily utilize technology in their instructional approach. While this can be engaging, particularly for children, this style may not suit adult learners as well, who often prefer a more intellectually stimulating and self-controlled paced learning. I have also heard some concerns about the ease of setup with these apps, in terms of device compatibility and optimal setup.

Adults seeking more advanced instruction would likely prefer working with a teacher directly or using written methods(ex. Alfred's books, Pianoforall, Bastien books etc.) that offer greater depth.

I hope these insights are helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Regards,

Dan

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Dec 27, 2023Liked by DanHonMusic

Thank you for a very thorough review of Ridley academy. I've invested in the PianoForall and find it very attractive. If I can follow all the instructions is another question.

Best regards Carl Bruhn

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I found this post upon searching for reviews on the Ridley Method.

The guy must be making millions on this course, which is obvious from the heavy marketing and knowing how much a productive business typically spends on advertising and marketing. When you sign up for the "live masterclass" you get Facebook Messenger and text message reminders, emails, and even phone calls.

He's just a ball of energy bursting with enthusiasm, who took the time to develop a simplified structure that promises to make learning piano easy with "secrets" and "shortcuts". I have no doubt that it works for some, but for that kind of money I'd rather pay a real human for private lessons.

I also find no credible evidence that he is an established musician and/or recording artist.

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Thanks, Dan!

I realized that I actually got Pianoforall from Udemy a while ago, AND, I've been using Yousician for a few weeks to learn guitar. So far, with the guitar, I'm loving it. It's certainly been very helpful with breaking the ice, and with establishing a daily routine with personal challenges. The gaming aspect of it works wonders for consistency and to train one's mobility. However, you're right. The best thing for me is to combine it with something else that doesn't feel like I'm at an arcade. I also need a more intimate and less "connected" approach (especially if you spend your day behind a computer screen) to create a closer connection to the instrument; something that is just me and not a competition or video game. I also enjoy delving into the many details of the instrument, how it works and why it does what it does.

We'll see how it goes with the piano :).

Cheers,

Carlos

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I'm very thankful to Stephen I think he does much more than the course itself, every word he pronounces is a brilliant, and the main point is not the course but the will of starting that journey, and Stephen Ridley is a powerful force for so many people. I paid the price for his course for that he already given more than any teacher I ever met, he gave me the passion to go for it and it's the main force behind every dream, I'm very thankful to Stephen! God bless him!

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Dan, I sat thru Mr. Ridley's 90-minute sales pitch. I was actually expecting an intro lesson, which I didn't receive. However, I did learn "finger yoga". Otherwise it appeared to mostly be an enticement to purchase the full course @ $1400. Add interest to a payment offer if you wanted to pay over time, or three interest-free payments. Too much for this retired guy.

I see you've recommended PianoForAll. Please tell me you don't have a biased opinion based on a financial kickback for referrals. It's a question that had to be asked.

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author

Hey Larry,

About PianoForAll, I recommend it genuinely based on my positive experience and also many people that i know. It's been a game-changer for many based on the thousands of real reviews online. It's also one of the easiest piano courses to follow, but you also need to put time into it, like everything else. Let me know if you want more details.

Cheers,

Dan

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