Can I have a new favorite website again this week? Because OnlinePianist.com has got to be one of the coolest sites ever! Do you have students who love to learn songs by rote or by ear? Or perhaps students who want to learn a favorite song from a movie, but don’t have the skills to learn it on their own? Then you must check out this site!
OnlinePianist.com is an animated piano tutorial that you can watch to learn how to play popular songs. Just search by song title or artist and see if you can track down the desired selection. Check out He’s a Pirate – a favorite from Pirates of the Caribbean – to get an idea of how this works. Notice that you can adjust the tempo of the piece (without affecting the pitch since it’s a midi file); you can select either right hand, left hand, or both hands. You can also expand the keyboard so that it fills the whole screen.
In order to view/learn more than two tutorials per day, you have to register and sign-in. However, registration is free and is a very simple process. Once you’re registered you can upload your own tutorials. This process, too, is amazingly simple. Just upload a midi file according to the guidelines and within 24-72 hours it should be approved (assuming they don’t reject it for some reason). You can also submit a request for a tutorial, which apparently goes into a pool that is voted on by other users in order to determine which requests will be produced.
The website also includes a wonderful animated chord keyboard. Just select the key name and quality and the keyboard will play the notes of the chord – blocked, then broken, then blocked again. There are several other parts of the site that I haven’t even fully explored yet, but I just keep uncovering more great material (and some not-so-great material, too, as one might expect with a focus largely on pop music…).
According to an e-mail I received from the developing team, “In the upcoming months we are looking to develop our website with more theoretical features and games that will improve the playing skills of our users.” Sounds fabulous! This will be a perfect resource, especially for students who love doing the Any Song Assignment!