Christie Peery teaches classical piano

ArtistWorks Classical Piano Review: Can It Replace Traditional Lessons?

October 31, 2020 Selin Gökova 9 min read 4 Comments

This post is all about ArtistWorks classical piano review.

Did you know that you could learn classical piano nowadays without going to a conservatory or struggling with though traditional lessons?

Well, times have changed. ArtistWorks is one of the first platforms that utilized the technology by adapting classical piano lessons to an easily digestible online course format.

What is ArtistWorks Piano with Christie Peery? 

Piano Lessons with Christie Peery is a highly comprehensive video-based piano program that takes you through classical piano education step by step. There are hundreds of video lessons for each level inside the program to ensure you acquire every skill that you need to become a good classical piano player.

What makes this program unique, however, is its video exchange library. This library is where you can ask your questions to Christie Peery by shooting your playing and receive feedback in a couple of days again by a video response.

The features of the program are certainly promising, but can you really become a decent classical piano player after completing the program?

Let’s dive deeper to see everything this course has to offer.

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Pros and Cons

Let’s have a quick look at what I like and don’t like about the ArtistWorks classical piano course.

Pros

  • Personal feedback from a world-class pianist with video exchange
  • Covers every aspect of classical piano playing (theory, technique, and musicality)
  • Unlimited access to all lessons at any level anytime
  • Much more affordable than traditional classical piano lessons
  • Engaged forum and interactive community to assist and keep you motivated

Cons

  • No midi-compatibility feature
  • Might get exhausting for beginners who want to start playing songs right away
  • Extra costs to get supplementary materials ($40-$120)

Getting Started

Membership Plans

ArtistWorks has 3 types of membership plans where you can choose between a 3-month plan for $105, a 6-month plan for $179, and a 12-month plan for $279.

Before you decide to pay for a membership plan, you can sign up on their home page to get free sample lessons along with a free sample of video exchange to see how it works.

I highly recommend that you first take a look at the sample lessons before deciding, because it will help you have a better idea about the format of the lessons and what you should expect from the curriculum.

When you sign up for free lessons, you get a discount of around %25 if you decide to continue with a membership later, which is really awesome.

One thing to be careful about is the auto-renewal policy. ArtistWorks automatically sets every new member to renewal to keep your learning uninterrupted.

If you decide to sign up, you should make sure that your subscription doesn’t renew. Once you are in a membership plan, go to your account and click on “Welcome, (username)” on the top of the page. Click on My Account and scroll through the Memberships section. Find the “cancel auto-renew” option to cancel the auto-renewal. If you will pay through Paypal, you need to cancel auto-renewal there as well.

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Requirements

Unlike other online piano learning programs, there is no need to download any app or deal with MIDI connections from your digital piano or keyboard.

All you need to have to start learning with this program is a digital or an acoustic piano, and a device that you can shoot your videos with for video exchange. You can access the lessons with either your cell phone, tablet, or laptop.


Highlights

Video Exchange

As I mentioned before, video exchange is the most unique feature of ArtistWorks. You can see how it works in the video below.

 

Simply, you share a video of you playing a piece or asking a question, after which Christie Peery gives feedback, answers your questions, and offers practice tips to help you improve your piano skills.

Another really cool feature of video exchange is that you have access to the video exchange archive once you sign up. You can see what other students asked Christie Peery before and how Christie Peery responded to them.

I think the video exchange archive makes the learning process much more effective because you see the mistakes made by other students along with examples of correct playing. This way, you can learn all the concepts with a much more solid foundation, because you don’t have to wait for making the same mistakes to learn their correct versions.

It also speeds up learning since you don’t have to wait until the next lesson to ask your questions to your private teacher as you would do when taking traditional piano lessons. With ArtistWorks, you can progress much quicker thanks to the video exchange feature and a very active forum.

Equal Emphasis On Technique and Musicality

christie peery showing classical piano technique

Most online piano courses and apps fall short of the technical aspects of piano learning such as hand positions and posture. Those courses tend to skip covering the correct technique for piano playing in favor of quickly teaching you how to play songs.

ArtistWorks piano program has specific “muscular” sections for each level at which all the fundamental and necessary technical piano skills are taught and supported by assigned exercises.

This makes the course suitable not only for people who want to learn classical piano but anyone who wants to learn the piano with a solid foundation from the scratch.

My biggest frustration about my piano journey is that I didn’t have a good teacher at the beginning who taught me the correct piano playing technique. I still struggle with learning a lot of pieces because of my poor technique. Although I later switched my piano teacher, I still needed to practice for 5 or 6 hours a day to fix everything I was taught incorrectly at the beginning.

Learning the correct version of something is a lot easier than unlearning the wrong version later, and piano learning is the best example of it. I can’t emphasize enough the significance of starting your piano education by acquiring a good technique. Doing so will provide a solid base that will help you learn and play any piece with ease in the future.

Placement Video

There are lessons for 3 levels at ArtistWorks piano course, which are beginner, intermediate, and advanced. However, you may not be sure which level you’re at. You may have some prior experience and not want to learn the beginner concepts which you already know. 

In this case, you can send a placement video of you playing a piece to Christie Peery. After evaluation, she will decide your level and suggest which level you should start with.

Forum

Artistworks has a really engaged forum where you can ask any question and get replies from other students and instructors. You could also see the latest video exchanges posted on the dashboard and provide feedback.

I think this interactive environment is another important factor for setting this program apart from traditional lessons. When you are taking traditional lessons, you are mostly practicing alone. Plus, the only person you can ask questions and share the joy of playing the piano is your private teacher, which makes you feel lonely and unmotivated sometimes.

Having spent some time on the ArtistWorks Forum page, I really wish I could be in such an interactive and supportive community when I first started. Being surrounded by people with the same goals and motivation is incredibly conducive to effective learning.

The Instructor

Another notable aspect of the course is instructor Christie Peery, who is a world-class pianist and piano teacher.

She started playing the piano at the age of 5, and she was already giving lessons at 9 years old!

Related: 5 Famous Pianists Who Started Late

While Christie Peery is a professional pianist who has won numerous competitions and awards and performed at the most prestigious halls and venues around the world, she is also the founder and the master teacher of the Peery Piano Academy.

Moreover, she is the creator of the widely acclaimed “Peery Piano Curriculum”, a piano learning and certification system which she also incorporates into the ArtistWorks program.


The Curriculum

As you would expect from a classical piano course, the lessons are highly structured and each section is divided into many sub-sections that cover everything you need to know about classical piano playing.

artistworks piano curriculum

The lessons are provided under the 4 main categories: fundamentals, beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

See the whole curriculum here

Fundamentals

This section is designed to be an introduction to the course. Here, you will get introduced to the Peery Piano method which is the core teaching practice that shapes the whole program.

Other lessons in this section briefly cover the correct piano posture, practicing tips, and the adult learning process.

Beginner

Beginner lessons are divided into 4 parts: fundamentals, muscular, practical, and musical.

The fundamentals part is a general guideline for the learning system of the beginner level, which explains the process of certification for that level and how to practice the beginner materials.

The muscular part teaches you how to build strong muscle memory as well as how to maintain it with effective exercises.artistwork piano learning

The practical part is where you learn everything about reading sheet music and the fundamentals of music theory.

In the musical part, you finally apply everything you learned in the previous sections to your playing. This is where you learn how to musically and correctly perform classical pieces.

Intermediate

Intermediate lessons are also divided into 4 parts: how to practice piano pieces for skilled players, musical, muscular, and supplemental.

How to practice piano pieces for skilled players– this is where you are provided with a detailed guide on how to effectively practice pieces with 3 core frameworks that you learned at the beginner section: musical, muscular, and practical.

The musical part is where you learn to perform and master more complex classical pieces from various composers such as Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven.

The muscular part covers all the minor, melodic, and harmonic piano scales, arpeggios, parallel motion scales, triads, and inversions.

At the supplemental part, you are taught all the additional concepts and the special techniques that will fully prepare you for the more demanding and complex lessons at the advanced level.

Advanced

The advanced level is divided into two parts: musical and muscular.

The advanced section is where the program fully concentrates on the perfection of the performance and mastering the advanced classical repertoire including Beethoven Sonatas and Chopin Nocturnes.


Who is This Course Best for?

ArtistWorks piano course is recommended for the ages six and up, and there are a lot of adult learners as well. Overall, the curriculum is designed to include all ages except the very little kids.

However, the strict lesson schedule requires the learners to have self-discipline, which may be more difficult for child learners to maintain. In this case, parents can follow the materials together with their children to monitor their progress, make them complete the assignments, and shoot the necessary videos.

The main goal of this course is to teach you everything about classical piano playing and fully prepare you for further classical piano education if you consider doing so.

However, even if you are interested in playing other genres such as jazz, rock, or gospel, you might still want to enroll in the course for learning the correct piano technique and theory.

Playing with the right technique and understanding the core music theory are fundamentals of piano playing no matter which genre you are in, and you won’t probably find any other online course that covers those in such detail along with a highly interactive and structured approach.


Conclusion

 
artistworks online music lessons

Overall, I’m really, really impressed by the Artistworks Classical Piano Course, especially by its curriculum and video exchange feature. While I was trying out the program, I couldn’t stop thinking about how things would be very different for me now if I knew this program before.

The highly structured and personalized content of the course makes classical piano learning a much easier, inspiring, and motivating experience.

The program is so comprehensive that you get all the tools to become a good classical piano player once you join, which is really awesome.

Indeed, those tools are not only helpful for classical piano players but any piano player who wants to improve his or her fundamental piano skills such as good technique and the basic application of music theory.

I should mention though that you shouldn’t expect to play songs right from the beginning, because it ensures that you have the necessary skills and knowledge of basic theory before you even get to press any key. So, if you don’t want to deal with too many classical piano concepts and just want to play songs right away for fun, I recommend you check out Skoove.

Selin Gökova

Selin Gökova is a neo-classical composer and pianist from Istanbul, Turkey. Holding an ABRSM certificate on piano performance, she's been playing the piano and composing for ten years. Wandering Tunes is her side project where she combines her two passions: writing and music. Whenever she doesn't have assignment deadlines approaching at university where she's majoring in psychology, you'll likely find her here researching everything about piano playing to help other piano players alike.

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4 Comments

  • Emily June 15, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    Thank you for your thorough review of Artistworks and the Christie Peery Classical Piano course. Your words and details have been so helpful!

  • Joseph January 22, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    Good evening,

    Thank you for your blog post. I am looking to do online lessons (lockdown as ruined all the rest of life so why not?). I am currently using Piano marvel, which is great for getting going. But I think being able to get my basic skills right the first time is essential. So this curse looks right for me. Your blog post has really helped, thank you. Shame as the MiDi function was so useful and fun for me! But I do want to be actually good at the piano.
    All the best.

    • wanderingtunes January 22, 2021 at 11:32 pm

      Good evening Joseph,

      I think Piano Marvel is excellent, but you would get the most out of it by working with a piano teacher at the same time, who can teach you a proper technique from the beginning. If you don’t have the chance to physically work with a piano teacher right now, then the ArtistWorks piano course will be a good supplement for this.
      I think learning the proper technique the first time is crucial because it will affect your playing even after many years. It’s quite hard to unlearn the wrong technique later, and I know it well from experience. I think ArtistWorks does a really good job in this.

      Best wishes,
      Selin

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    Hi, my name is Selin. Playing the piano and composing are my biggest passions. I've founded this blog to share everything I've learned throughout the years about piano playing and learning. I hope you stick around! Read More

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