The first month of the Beginner Classical Piano course is a free complete course that provides learners with a package of high quality basic skills for a beginner pianist. Everything is explained in detail and based on proven scientific theories and approved teaching methods. Give it a try to prove it works for you, and get all the basic knowledge for free. Accomplishing the free course enables to continue studies in the follow-up course.
What People Are Saying About Jaak Sikk’s Beginner Classical Piano Course:
Hi Jaak, I’m from Spain. I’ve been learning on my own for a year and a half or so… but not really in a constant way, first mistake I guess. I’ve been trying to learn some songs by heart, trying to learn some music theory, I’ve been using Musiah software and Piano Marvel software, following an online course about the Beyer Method, practicing some Hanon and Schmitt exercises… and so on.
I’ve realized now that my technique is very poor, and that I’m having some problems with my right index finger, it looks as if it wouldn’t have enough strength to play and most of the time it collapses, makes me do strange and bizarre things with my hand. I found out about your course in a piano forum when I was asking about my finger issue, and I think I’m gonna give it a try.
I know what I need is a teacher by my side who corrects and finds out what’s wrong with my finger and my technique but I can’t afford it for the moment, so I am gonna try to follow some of your classes and focus on your lectures about hands position, finger technique and so on.
I like the way you explain things, carefully and slowly, and the importance you give to the hands, the pressing of the keys, and so on.
The first month lessons are a very useful beginner course, well explained, focused on technique and musicality, can’t wait to follow the rest of the course!
Just Finished the Whole Program.
Right Now – I am consolidating and polishing Fur Elise. I am almost there. Section A is complete, Section B needs a bit more work and section C is almost there. Then I need to take it all to a deeper level. Before the program I tried to play this. First section was rough and the rest was a mess. Now it is well within my grasp to complete effectively.
The Ultimate Test – Jaak promises that at the end of the program you will be able to learn new pieces on your own. I have already done this with a number of pieces. Jesus Joy Of Man’s Desiring. is a work in progress but is now easily within my capability to master. Thanks Jaak!
Approach – there seems to be hundreds of different approaches to play the piano. What is important is to play with one system and keep to this. Jaak’s approach I have found highly effective in fusing technique with musicality.
Learning – Learning music is ‘holographic’ or ‘multi-dimensional’ – mind, all senses internal and external, technique and musicality, whole body and mind, relaxed no stress or tension, flowing, slow play, notes into phrases into music and more …. Jaak constantly stretches you into your own holographic approach to music. Bit by bit you are stretched to new ideas and techniques – with minimum pressure. I found his advice to just naturally learn without putting yourself under any pressure whatsoever to be highly effective as my tendency is to put myself under pressure.
Learning Bells Ring! – I believe in the saying ‘When the student is ready the master appears’. When I have been struggling with an area along comes a lesson from Jaak that is just what I needed. This seemed to happen a lot for me doing this program.
Mental Abilities – I have struggled a lot with applying my mind to music. At the start of the program I could not memorise a piece or use mental rehearsal. I have these mental skills in other contexts but could not find a way to do this with music. I put this down to age as I am now 68. Now I can – and this is all due to this program. By doing lots of little bits over a long time has made a huge difference. I can now apply my mind effectively to musical problems and playing. The difference for me is to fully appreciate just how multi-dimensional music is – and building this into my mental work. It seems the more ways you apply your mind to a piece the better it becomes. I now believe that music is first and foremost in the mind and would like to thank you for all your ideas in this area. It is not easy to teach someone how to think but you seem to have done it
Other piano sites – Youtube has a host of learning videos on how to play the piano. If you observe they are mostly demonstrations of what to do and you are left with the challenge of doing it. Jaak’s program helps you do it in great detail from different angles and perspectives. In other words he really teaches you in multi-dimensions while others tend to demonstrate single dimension. Summary – a great course, in great detail, with great philosophies, with a great teacher and a great guy. I strongly recommend this program and will be signing up with Jaak for his next program coming soon – can’t wait!
George Russell 3/3
I am now on lesson 64 – 8 months with Jaak and would like to share some of my experience as a 68 year old relative beginner. (Note I have already shared my thoughts at week 9).
I have gained so much from this very detailed and considered program. Jaak shows how musicality and technique are two sides of the same coin. Every new technique is explored in great detail and turned into musical reality. Everything is done using ‘real classical music’ with some considered exercises.
After six months the program stopped for six months due to Jaak’s unavailability. I used this time to explore a wide range of piano approaches using the web and a few books. The end result is I have a lot more intellectual knowledge but not much musical progress during this time. It was a great relief when this program continued.
The recent study was on the Bach Prelude. Some two years ago I tried this on my own and found it impossible. I tried again during the six month break – again with difficulty. Now having spent six weeks using Jaak’s highly structured approach I can play this a lot better and now getting up to tempo.
When I started the program I found memorising music impossible. Then I found I could memorise the first 5 bars of a ten bar piece. Now, with the Bach Prelude, I find I can actually play from memory the first sheet of two whole sheets of music. The attempt at memorising helps enormously from sight reading the score. I also find when sight reading I seldom need to look at the keys, so this part of memory is working very well. Thank you Jaak for all your memory approaches.
Musicality is also developing and now Jaak is encouraging me to develop my own way, something that seemed beyond me and now I can see a way forward.
Jaak is only too keen to answer any query I may have. So far I have not taken up the offer of sharing recordings of my playing … but one day!
If you are serious about learning classical piano in detail then I strongly recommend this program.
George Russell 2/3
I am 67 years old and have been learning the piano for the last 2 years. I started with an online beginner course that was based on chords then took a few private lessons with a tutor. For the last year I have been learning by myself and can play lots of music very badly!
I was in the technical training business as an instructor, coach and manager for over 35 years. Your approach to teaching is superb.
I like the methodical way you teach and in greater detail than I have seen before. I particularly like the way you explain the fluid use of fingers and hands. Also as a beginner course you get us using black keys and the full range of the keyboard.
Your course is excellent. The only improvement would be to use coloured key pictures that highlight the keys being used after a demonstration. I say this as on a few occasions I had to rewind the video – but even this can be useful for learning.
Anyone who is a complete beginner or who wants to go back to basic to improve technique would benefit from this program.
I now look forward to the coming months as I know I will learn a lot. In the way I learn I know I need to break things down into smaller steps and be patient. The reason I find your approach so stimulating is that it naturally takes me through a process of detailed learning that I find difficult to do on my own. Already by lesson 9 I have gained so much. My hands are more free and my musicality is beginning to improve. I can’t wait for your next lesson.
George Russell 1/3
It is going very well. Some days I have more time available than others. I practice many short sessions every day rather than one long practice time. I look forward to my practice times as those are times just for me. I can always find ten minutes. Because I listen carefully to the practice pieces, I hear them in my head all day long! I also think about fingerings when I am away from the piano.
I like the thoroughness of the beginning work. Build a sound foundation before learning pieces. Jaak explains everything in great detail. He speaks slowly and shows everything slowly. I like that a lot. I also like that I am in charge of the pace, how soon to start the next lesson, or to see a lesson a second or third time! So far the most useful lesson is what to say to myself when I am counting the rhythm.
Maybe consider adding simple exercises that strengthen fingers and make fingers independent. Maybe some warm up exercises to loosen and relax the hand and body. What to think about before I begin to play or practice.
I already have recommended this course to others! I looked at many online “learn piano” courses and all of them emphasized learning popular songs as quickly as possible. I don’t want to learn songs, I want to learn classical piano pieces, and go as far as I can towards piano mastery. Jaak Sikk’s course is the only course I could find that will take me where I want to go.
Your course is great. Thank you for taking the time to explain all the details which are often overlooked in most courses. I am only in week two and just finished lesson 4 and already have learned quite a bit. Thank you for developing a course that really does cover “all” that one needs to know as you progress. Great job.
I am a beginner and have view several course and book and your course is the first I have seen that has so much detail in the lessons. Learning the parts of the piano was great. Even more important was how to hold my hand, how to use my fingers correctly to hit the keys and how to move my wrist. I have just finished lesson 4 and the notation basics was excellent. Actually in every lesson I have learned something I did not know and it really helped clear up a few things I was having issues with.
Absolutely the best course out there. I will qualify that statement with the fact that I have only completed lesson 4 so far but to date, it is definitely a great course. There are so many details you have covered that I never knew about and I have used a few books and tried several online courses. Your course doesn’t assume anything and covers all the bases. Plus many of your techniques, especially fingering, is something I have yet to see anyone cover in detail as your course. Great job.
The notation basics part 1,2, 3 and Rhythm basics 1-4 are outstanding. I have learned so much your course. Thank you.
This is an outstanding course. It covers absolutely everything you can imagine and more. I have learned so much about reading and writing music than I thought possible and all in the first 4 weeks. Great job Jaak, keep up the outstanding work and am looking forward to learning more.
What things in particular helped me a lot (list not exhaustive)
• do not get stuck
• being free is a conscious action, a state of mind one has to create
• polyphony makes it easier to play in a relaxed way
• grouping practise or repeating every note twice
• new insights in chromatic fingering
• fingers an wrist should remain independent
• movements should follow the main musical idea
• the playing of the 16th notes thirds in bar 61 (Für Elise), i.e. playing the lower line lightly and the higher connected as to create the illusion of legato (also bar 66)
• moving in time to get to the next position
• freeing up before a difficult passage as to avoid stress and troubles backwards ……………
What I still would like to know more off:
• legato double thirds + pedalling, e.g. as in the question I once asked about the Schubert Hungarian Melody, D 817
• hand motion in legato octave chords, especially when constantly moving in opposite direction + pedalling, e.g. as in the question I once asked about the Schubeert M.M. Op.94, D 780 nr. 2
All this means I will still need a lot of time – even long after this course will be over – for polishing everything I learned and for trying to apply all this when learning new pieces or re-learning those I played before.
Still it will give a strange feeling when no longer receiving the weekly lessons. It will be a bit like saying goobye to a good friend or leaving behind something one is really attached to; I will miss it.
This I could not foresee at the start as I rather stumbled upon the course by coincidence.
I found an online piano course given by a young Estonian pianist mostly playing on a Estonia grand piano. Just having visited Tallinn and the Estonia piano factory in the Summer before, having visited the places of the ‘Singing Revolution’ together with an ex conductor of the Estonian choir festival – Dr. Venno Laul – , being an addept of the Estonia piano, supposing you would be trained within the Russian school of piano playing …I thought I cannot go wrong with giving it a chance!
And indeed I do not regret it for one moment!
I hope I will have the opportunity joining some of the courses you are plannnig for the future (?2014?).
Thank you very much and all the best with the ‘music school project’.
Luc Werniers 3/3
In lesson L96-1 you invite us to give our opinion on the course, which I am glad to do.
Already after reviewing the one months free course I ventilated my recommendation on your blog. However as with the course you see things completely differently at the end as compared to at the beginning. My opinion only grew more positively as the course progressed.
I wrote down so many things after each lessons that you approached in an efficient and innovative way, that it would almost take me the writing of a small book to even summarize the most important ones.
The difficulty is that one only gets an adequate insight into the quality and originality of this piano course the day one has gone throught it completely.
I would simply say to everone who is considering this course: “just give it a try and you will not be disappointed”. There is however one fundamental condition: the right attitude and motivation is required.’
This because it is not about a quick piano playing tutorial – as there are so many – with the promise of easy and short term results.
You say it yourself many times: “take your time – do not rush – seek the higher values …”
Those higher values are somewhat hidden in say the first half of the course. At first sight one would even conclude it is a piano course, a good one indeed, but one that is not really different from the many other ones that focus on the necessary technical tools illustrated with a few pieces where these tools can be put into practice.
Not so, as this becomes quickly obvious in the second part!
As you quoted – I believe Neuhauss – in L93-1: “physical technique is a listening technique ultimately”.
So ultimately this course has for me been an invitation to learn how to make music on a piano. Making music in the sence of first trying to understand the art behind what the composer created, then trying to make ones own musical idea of it and finally convey that idea to an audience or oneself as a listener by using technical skills that ultimately have become a natural expression of the whole body.
Really something a beginner will not acquire is a year or two if not a prodigee like e.g. W.A. Mozart.
Does this mean a candidate student should be put off by the idea that this is a too big task for her or him with the possible perspective of even becoming boring?
Not at all! The fact that the learning process that is offered is open ended makes it so valuable and interesting. Something new is guaranteed every day, there is no ‘the end’ like in the movies and it awakes a passion in us because humans are learning creatures!
Luc Werniers 2/3
I picked out bits and pieces [from the free lessons] – mainly those related to the technical aspects of playing and interpretation – as for now I am trying to use these introductary lessons as a wrap-up for my own (self-made) piano skills built up during the past 4 – 5 years.
Unlike the few other on-line courses available world wide – let alone the very commercial piano course books and DVDs – this one is particular in the way it approaches, at least in my opinion, learning from ‘the inside’ of the piano student/future pianist. It is clear from the beginning – although starting from the real basic level – students are stimulated and learned to make music in their inner self, express and convey the emotions which the musical piece contains and then and then only they are learned the necessary tools (theory & technique) as to reproduce this on the instrument, the piano. This becomes clear when watching the student’s videos on the blog: how easy these pieces that are played by these students may be, they are a joy to listen to as all music is worth listening to when well played from the inner-side of the pianist.
Perhaps all this is not a coincidence. A teacher – Jaak – born and educated in Tallinn, Estonia, the country of ‘The Singing Revolution’!
As a side- note. It pleases me to notice most of the videos of the course are recorded with an Estonia Piano (www.estoniapiano.com), another testimonial of this long historical music tradition.
Certainly would recommend this piano course as much as I can. Even those already playing the piano for some years may well benefit form it as a wrap-up, a refreshment of their expression technique.
Greetings from Belgium,
Luc Werniers 1/3
I have been learning the piano for years, with Jaak 4 weeks.
Concerning feedback, I think I should wait til I have been through more of the course. But already now it seems to me that you have the best serious beginner course on the net, and probably anywhere else too. I have never seen, or heard of a course that gives any useful attention to basic technique. Or any attention at all. I will be happy to give more feedback and suggestions later.
I have already recommended it to others, and will continue to do so. The stuff on basic technique will be difficult to find in any other beginner course. And the selection of pieces to learn is excellent.