Piano Marvel Review – An In-Depth Look at Its Features

Are you a budding pianist in search of an easy-to-use piano learning software? Well, in this Piano Marvel review, I am sharing my experiences with this piano learning tool to help you decide if it is the right one for you.

I have subscribed to this software and thoroughly tested it over the past several months. I also enjoy using Piano Marvel to teach my beginning students.

Here, I will show you the details of the lessons, song library, and other features so you essentially get to know the software before spending your hard-earned dollars.

Moreover, I will provide you with the pros and cons of Piano Marvel, and my honest recommendation on whether you should try this learning tool.

Now, let’s delve into this Piano Marvel Review.

What is Piano Marvel?

piano marvel

Piano Marvel is a piano learning software designed to aid pianists of all levels, from beginners to advanced players, improve their skills.

Piano Marvel was established in 2009 by Aaron Garner, a pianist and music educator, and his team. Garner’s vision was to create an engaging and interactive platform to make learning piano more accessible and enjoyable.

Innovative Features

Over the years, Piano Marvel introduced several innovative features, such as the Standard Assessment of Sight Reading (SASR), which allows users to measure and track their sight-reading skills.

This feature sets Piano Marvel apart from other piano learning tools by providing quantifiable progress metrics.

I introduced this SASR tool to my students. The younger ones really liked it because it made them feel like they were playing a game. Overall, it is a practical tool for anyone to enhance sight reading.

Content Expansion

The software continually expanded its sheet music library and lessons, covering various genres and skill levels. Consequently, this expansion made it a versatile resource for students, teachers, and self-learners.

Piano Marvel also partnered with schools, music educators, and institutions to incorporate its software into music curriculums. These partnerships helped broaden its reach and impact in music education.

Online Community

The platform built a strong online community of users and educators who shared their experiences, tips, and progress. Piano Marvel also provided customer support and resources to help users make the most of the software.

Piano Marvel’s history reflects a commitment to enhancing the piano learning experience through technology, innovation, and a focus on user needs. It has grown from a niche tool into a widely recognized resource in music education.

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Connection and Plugin

dashboard, home tiles

To leverage the software features, you must have your digital piano or keyboard connected to your computer or tablet and the Piano Marvel plugin running on those devices.

Piano Marvel also offers an iPad app you can download from the app store.

Do not worry, it is a very easy process to connect, just 1 – 2 – 3 steps.

Step 1: Connect Your Digital Piano or Electric Keyboard

You can connect your instrument wirelessly if your digital piano has Bluetooth. Otherwise, you’ll most likely need a USB type-B cable to connect the piano to your computer or tablet.

As we know, an acoustic piano has no ports for connection. Hence, your use of the Piano Marvel software is limited. You will face similar limitations regardless of which piano-learning software you are using.

Step 2: Log in to Your Piano Marvel Account Online

Go to PianoMarvel.com and click the log-in button on the upper right side. When the Log In screen pops up, enter your email and password, or use other available methods to log in.

Step 3: Install the Piano Marvel Plugin

Once on the user Dashboard, click the Instrument Setting under the Menu item in the upper left corner.

instrument setting menu

The application will ask your permission to install the plugin and then install it. After that, the software will automatically detect the connected piano, then follow the on-screen steps to finish your setting.

Now, you are ready to enjoy all of Piano Marvel’s goodies.

Core Features

In this Piano Marvel review, let’s go over the features and how they can be useful for users.

When you log in to the Piano Marvel application online, you are taken to the user Dashboard. Here, you can start taking lessons and keeping track of your progress, including setting your monthly practice goal.

set practice goal

The Dashboard also tracks your practice day streak, which I find very motivating as it keeps the student practicing every day.

Additionally, Piano Marvel will send you encouraging emails whenever you achieve a particular milestone, such as 100 minutes of practice.

Structured Lessons and Exercises

The software provides many lessons and exercises tailored to various skill levels, ensuring a structured and progressive learning experience.

The Method module has six levels. Each level contains five sub-levels and 20 songs in each sub-level.

piano marvel method module

Usually, a video tutorial summarizes the skills you’ll be learning for the selected level. However, not every level has video tutorials.

On the other hand, you can also download the Method book (in PDF format) for every level. This is especially a useful feature for players using acoustic pianos. You can go through the lessons in the book offline.

Lesson Structure

  • First Level: Introduction to the piano, learning about note values – whole notes, half notes, and quarter notes with exercises to recognize the combinations of notes.
  • Second Level: Familizing with finger position, finger numbering, and other notes on the keyboard; practicing to improve finger strength and dexterity.
  • Third Level: Introduce both major and minor scales, as well as intervals. The software also provides song exercises with slow and normal speed varieties. Exercising simple harmonization and basic left-hand accompaniment patterns.
  • Fourth Level: Learn about triads, inversions, musical phrases, and pedaling techniques. Learning more complex rhythms and time signatures.
  • Fifth Level: Reading more advanced sheet music for both hands; developing articulation techniques (staccato, slurs). More focus on playing pieces with both hands in coordination.
  • Sixth Level: Playing pieces with greater hand independence; introduction to more advanced scales and arpeggios, and development of dynamic contrast and expression in playing. It also offers music pieces from a variety of genres.

I find the way the lessons progress helpful. When you complete a sub-level, the piano icon lights up on your level board.

Piano Marvel makes learning a new song easy without overwhelming the users.

The Learn tool provides multiple ways to dissect a song into small pieces.

  • Minced with small steps
  • Chopped with bigger steps

Users can practice at different tempos within each step, from slow to fast.

Steps are optional. Users can choose a particular step to practice until they master it.

Learn Mode

The exercises not only teach the musical fundamentals but also implicitly offer tips on how to learn a new song. For instance, it’s a good idea to practice each hand first and then combine them. Another tip is to start slow and learn the song, gradually increasing the speed to the desired tempo.

Technique Module

The Technique module offers exercises on the basic skills needed to play the piano. It focuses on ear training, rhythm, and note reading in levels 1 and 2.

Starting from level 3, you will learn the scales and related chords, harmonization, and arpeggios while continuing ear and rhythm training.

You will be familiar with major and minor scales and chords by completing level six. Hence, you have a solid foundation for advancing your piano playing.

Real-Time Feedback

real time feedback

Integration with MIDI keyboards and digital pianos enables real-time feedback on performance, helping users improve their timing, accuracy, and overall playing skills.

The correct notes are shown in green, while the errors are in red.

The platform’s interactive elements, such as practice modes and progress tracking, keep users motivated and engaged in their learning journey.

Extensive Music Library

Let’s move on to the music library –

Piano Marvel has thousands of songs to choose from, including classical, pop, jazz and blues, TV and film, holidays, etc.

The songs range in difficulty from level 1 to level 18. Your premium account has access to all of them. To make it easier to find songs that suit your skill level, you can search the Music Library by Easy, Med, Hard, or Pro level, or a combination of them.

piano marvel music library search

On top of that, you can search for your favorite songs by name and by genre. Chances are you’ll find what you love to play at your skill level, and you do not need to pay per song.

Many of the songs in the library have links to YouTube videos. This feature helps you decide whether to learn a song and understand how it should sound.

Standard Assessment of Sight Reading (SASR)

This Piano Marvel review will not be complete without examining the unique feature Standard Assessment of Sight Reading (SASR).

This is one of the standout features of Piano Marvel, designed to measure and enhance a pianist’s sight-reading abilities.

The SASR is a diagnostic tool integrated into Piano Marvel that evaluates a pianist’s ability to read and play new pieces of music on the spot. Sight reading is a crucial skill for musicians, enabling them to interpret unfamiliar music quickly and accurately.

Key Features of SASR

  • Standardized Testing: The SASR follows standardized testing protocols, ensuring consistency and reliability in the assessment results. Your SASR score is compared with other users’ scores, allowing users to understand how their sight-reading skills stack up to other players.
  • Graded Difficulty Levels: The assessment covers a wide range of difficulty levels, from beginner to advanced. The exercises increase complexity as users progress, helping them develop their sight-reading skills progressively.
  • Quantifiable Metrics: SASR assigns a score to each sight-reading exercise based on accuracy and timing. This score provides a clear, quantifiable measure of the user’s sight-reading ability, making it easy to track progress over time.
  • Progress Tracking: The software maintains a history of the user’s SASR scores, enabling them to see how their sight-reading skills have improved. This long-term tracking motivates users by showcasing their development.

Benefits of SASR

  • Skill Enhancement: Regular use of SASR helps users improve their ability to read and play new music accurately and quickly, a vital skill for any serious pianist.
  • Motivation and Engagement: The instant feedback and quantifiable progress metrics motivate and engage users in their learning journey.
  • Confidence Building: As users see their sight-reading scores improve, they gain confidence in their ability to tackle new and challenging pieces of music.

In summary, the Standard Assessment of Sight Reading (SASR) in Piano Marvel is a powerful tool that provides a structured and effective way to develop one of the most important skills for pianists.

Its personalized, adaptive approach and progress tracking make it an invaluable resource for pianists of all levels.

Piano Marvel Review with Pros and Cons

  • User-Friendly Interface: The software is designed to be intuitive and easy to navigate, making it accessible for users of all ages and skill levels.
  • Comprehensive Learning Path: Piano Marvel offers structured lessons and exercises that guide users from beginner to advanced levels, providing a clear and progressive learning journey.
  • Flexible Practice Options: Users can choose from various practice modes to focus on specific skills or pieces as needed. The real-time feedback further enhances the practice’s effectiveness.
  • Uploading Your Music: Users can create their own books in the Piano Marvel Library and upload their own music. Thus, users can create a different curriculum using the library or their own songs. This unique feature is not available on other piano learning software.
  • Community Support: An active online community and robust customer support provide users with access to help, advice, and shared experiences.
  • Subscription Cost: The subscription fee might be a consideration for some users, particularly those on a tight budget, although the value provided by the software is substantial.
  • Internet Dependence: Piano Marvel requires an internet connection to access its full range of features and resources, which could be a limitation for users with unreliable internet service and inconvenient for users who wish to practice without an internet connection.
  • Technical Requirements: Users need a MIDI-compatible keyboard or digital piano to utilize features like real-time feedback and SASR. Therefore, many features are not accessible to users playing with acoustic pianos.

Piano Marvel Subscriptions

piano marvel offerings

Currently, there are two personal subscription options: monthly or annual. I recommend subscribing to the premium annual option since it offers the biggest discount. The annual cost is cheaper than other piano lessons that require subscriptions.

Another strategy is that you go ahead and get the premium monthly plan to check the software out. Once you feel the tool really suits your learning objective and you are ready to commit, then move to the premium annual.

You can reach my special Piano Marvel discount by clicking the button below.

Summary of Piano Marvel Review

The application stands out as a comprehensive, engaging, and motivating tool for learning and improving piano skills.

Its strengths lie in its structured learning path, extensive music library, and innovative features like the SASR. While there are some considerations regarding cost and technical requirements, the overall value provided by Piano Marvel makes it a worthwhile investment for aspiring pianists at any level.

Moreover, Piano Marvel updates the software often and adds popular songs, so the tool keeps getting improved. My overall experience with the software was positive.

I recommend Piano Marvel to all beginners who are looking to learn at their own pace. You will start playing some familiar songs in no time.

This concludes our Piano Marvel Review. Happy Piano Learning!

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