The piano is the focal point of music across so many cultures, with millions around the world developing some kind of skill at the instrument.
Skoove is one of the most popular ways to learn piano online and has grown so fast through its ability to teach students quickly. But does it really live up to the hype?
I’ve spent some time exploring what Skoove has to offer, and I’ve also tried other music platforms elsewhere. This kind of comparison has given me lots to think about and share.
I’ll be going over all the info you need to know and share my own experiences and opinions of the site.
So let’s get started!
If you’re short on time then here are the highlights:
You will learn:
- The very basics of piano, including sight-reading, melody and playing with two hands
- Songs to help you practice the new techniques you learn
- Fundamental classical and pop repertoire, from Beethoven to The Beatles
- How to build chords and scales
- New key signatures and how to incorporate them into your pop songs
- The boogie-woogie style of piano playing
- Strong visuals that enhance how rapidly you will progress
- Designed to be completed at your own pace, you can learn wherever and whenever
- Comprehensive content for a range of abilities
- Learn techniques and songs side by side, and see how they fit together
- Tools like note recognition technology come in handy when learning tricky pieces
- Occasionally light on detail
- Course content not exactly unique
- No interaction or relationship with a teacher
Length of course: As long as you would like. With Premium, there’s no limit to the courses you can take. Each lesson itself will depend on how long it takes for you to get the song/exercise right, and how many times you want to practice it. Skoove tells you your practice time once each lesson is completed.
Best for: Those who want to learn popular piano song fasts. Especially those who want to do so whilst simultaneously developing a certain piano skill or technique. This intersection is probably Skoove’s biggest asset. Although it is intuitively best suited to and probably designed for beginners, there is content for all levels of ability.
Overall: Skoove certainly gets the job done. The tools and visuals will help you develop your skills, and you’ll be able to add new music to your repertoire as you go. Although other platforms may go into more depth around similar concepts, if the design and method appeal to you, there’s no reason why Skoove shouldn’t be the place to start your journey with the piano. And you can get started today for free!
In this Skoove review I’ll be covering:
- All about Skoove
- My review of Skoove Courses
- What I liked about this platform
- What I think could be improved
- Who I think this platform is for
- The cost and any potential alternatives and most importantly…
Is Skoove worth it?
So let’s get started!
What Is Skoove?
Skoove was made in Germany, with the original team founding and developing the site as early as 2014. Since then, the platform has grown to become one of the most used ways of learning the piano online.
With platforms for both piano and guitar, you can use Skoove on a range of devices; tablets, iPhones and laptops. Today, the site boasts over a million users.
The current team operating Skoove includes around twenty music fanatics.
A combination of technology and musical expertise is used by Skoove to achieve an outcome of helping you to play the piano.
How Does Skoove Work?
The first step to using Skoove is signing up and creating an account. You can access lessons from a range of ability levels for free. There is also a free trial option where you can have a taste of premium without paying.
Premium access unlocks all Skoove has to offer. This includes songs, techniques, practise exercises and new musical concepts.
There’s no limit to the lessons you can take, or any strict order you have to complete the courses in. Instead, by clicking on the courses icon, you’re redirected to a page where you can select whatever takes your interest.
Clicking on a course icon will show you what lessons are available with this course; again, you can do this in any order. Some courses, like Beginner 1, will teach you new musical concepts, then allow you to apply them through learning a new song.
Others are focused more specifically on songs, like the Queen Songs course.
Among universal favourites available to learn there are:
- We Will Rock You
- The Scientist
- Piano Man
- Back To Black
- Rolling In The Deep
- Let It Be
Before any learning, you are first asked if you have a piano, or would like to use your device’s keypad. For obvious reasons, the latter is recommended.
The method for learning a new song or idea will typically involve first the explanation of what the new idea is, and then a playthrough of what it should sound like, normally through the example of a song.
Following this, you will have a go at the song or exercise, either using note recognition technology and playing you keyboard or through your device. You can try this however many times you like, but the exercise will only continue when you get the right note.
You then have a go with a backing track. Skoove will then tell you how long you’ve spent practising and you can move on.
My Review Of The Skoove Courses
To compile this review, I’ve taken lessons from beginner, intermediate and advanced parts of Skoove.
This is the basis on which I’ve divided the review of courses below. There are other courses on Skoove as well, but these are a little less easy to divide and aimed at people who have very specific aims when it comes to their progress.
Sites like Skoove often aim to attract beginners, so it makes sense to start here.
I think part of the beauty of this being your introduction to the piano is that you have a chance to get really comfortable with the interface. This will make the intermediate lessons a lot easier if you have the confidence to give them a go.
Whilst I’m not a total beginner myself, I was impressed with how Skoove introduced the instrument. It was probably the most well done of the three abilities.
I know for a fact that if this was my first time playing, I would be chuffed with my progress.
You will learn:
- How to start numbering your fingers, and where to place them on the piano
- How to begin playing with two hands
- Note lengths and note values
- The names of the keys and the basics of sight-reading
- The intervals
- A range of songs, from Lean On Me to Angels, which will illuminate all of the above
- Pieces and musical concepts learnt simultaneously
- An incredible range of songs for beginners
- Rare chance to develop musicality by practicing with a backing track
- Covers the major elements of the piano
- Note recognition technology means you’ll only progress once you’ve nailed it
- Visuals give an early chance to develop sight-reading
- Not personable; a teacher won’t ease you into it
- Playing on a computer keypad is not an ideal way into it
Length of Course: There are three beginner courses on Skoove. Each consists of around 10-20 lessons. The length of each lesson will vary depending on how long it takes you to get it right, and then how long you want to practice. Once you’ve completed the song with the backing track, Skoove will tell you how long you’ve been practicing.
Best for: Total beginners. You don’t need any experience at all. Having sheet music in the first lesson may seem daunting, but the interface is super intuitive and you will be surprised at how quickly you progress.
Overall: I think Skoove is in its element teaching beginners. Having note recognition technology helps you to adapt and understand where to put your fingers very quickly, and it’s wonderful to see it come together in a piece of music. Fragmenting big musical concepts into easily digestible segments makes everything a lot easier to comprehend, and having so many songs for beginners to learn is a real motivator.
Complete the three beginner courses and you’re onto intermediate. In my experience, this is the hardest group to please.
This is because they are so hard to define. You can have ten lessons or ten years of experience and still fit into this category depending on people’s perspectives.
But there’s still so much to learn and so many songs to help you learn it.
As a lifelong fan of spy films, learning the James Bond theme took me right back to my childhood. So I was already a little biased towards these courses from the first lesson.
You will learn:
- Flats and sharps
- How to divide the right and left hand
- New key signatures, and songs to try them in
- Major and minor chords, and how to build them
- Your favourite Coldplay songs (go on, admit it, there’s at least one you like)
- The major and minor scale, through Piano Man and Mad World
- Diminished and broken chords
- Progress at your own speed; you can move on whenever you like
- Follows naturally from the beginner levels
- Even more songs on offer, increasingly challenging and pushing your ability
- Theory knowledge that applies to all music, not just piano
- Start to learn music from a range of genres
- Could dive into theory lessons more, e.g. intervals, circle of fifths
- No teacher to guide you through the more technical elements
- Might be below the skill of some who would call themselves intermediate
Length of course: Again, there are three intermediate courses on Skoove. Each consists of around 10-20 lessons. How long it will take to complete them is again up to you. Given you will feel more comfortable with the piano at this stage, it shouldn’t take you as long.
Best for: Probably those who are towards the beginner end of intermediates learning the piano. Most intermediates will know what major scale or a broken chord is. Beginners who have flown through the courses and are ready to move on will be the most comfortable.
Overall: Guiding yourself without a teacher makes this, in some ways, the ideal site for intermediates. You’ll have the confidence to try these lessons on your own, but you’ll still benefit from the tools Skoove offers. Some lessons may be a little below your skill level, and there could be more detail on music theory, but I’m sure learners will be over the moon with the songs they can add to their repertoire here.
Advanced players don’t often start their piano journey online. But Skoove still has a lot on offer for this.
I am nowhere near an advanced player, so it’s harder for me to comment on this group.
However, learning Beethoven in my first lesson made me feel like a real maestro, even if it took me a couple of attempts.
You will learn:
- The tonic and dominant notes
- Technique tips and parallel playing
- Advanced musical theory; arpeggios and cadences
- Power chords and chord symbols
- Chord inversions
- Legendary pop songs, and the music theory that makes them work
- Equal attention is given to classical and pop
- A brilliant source of repertoire in both styles
- Music theory concepts that apply beyond piano
- Naturally progresses from intermediate levels
- Good pacing of introducing new ideas
- Light on detail
- Tools are less useful at this ability level
- Probably below the skill level of many advanced players
Length of course: There are only two courses at the advanced level: advanced classical and advanced pop. There are 15 lessons in the former and 23 in the latter.
Best for: Pianists with a strong background with Skoove intermediate levels who are looking to push themselves. Advanced players who still struggle with sight-reading will find the Skoove visuals helpful, as will those who struggle to find sources with sheet music for popular songs.
Overall: Advanced learners are the hardest to please. What do you teach the pianists who know everything? I’m sure they would be impressed by the range of songs on offer to learn here, and I like how there is equal weighting for classical and pop genres. Yet I can’t help but feel that most advanced players would already know the content on offer here. Maybe Intermediate II would be a more appropriate title.
Other Skoove Courses
Once you’ve tried the above, you have the chance to hone in and specialise with courses that include:
- Blues and Boogie Woogie
- Chords and Scales
- Keyboard for Producers
- Beatles Songs
- Queen Songs
- Christmas Songs
What I Liked About Skoove
Learn Songs And Techniques Simultaneously
By far the most appealing and unique aspect of Skoove, at least in my opinion, is the method they employ when demonstrating a new musical idea, illuminating it through teaching a popular song that incorporates the idea.
As I mentioned above, although I have a little experience with the piano, I started out with the beginner lesson, as I know many people interested in Skoove might never have had any experience with the piano.
I can tell you, if this was my first time learning the instrument, I would be delighted with my progress in my first lesson. This is because not only will I have developed a sense of a simple musical idea, but I would’ve also learnt a new song incredibly quickly.
We all have different movies when it comes to playing and learning music. I feel the ultimate objective for many is being able to perform songs and perform them well. Even the most banal technical exercises, ear training sessions and sight-reading practice is recommended so new students can have a better-developed musicality when they come across more difficult music.
So, by combining lessons on technique with lessons on songs, Skoove kills two birds with one stone. Those who want to learn new tracks also develop their musicality and sense of their instrument, and those eager to learn techniques get the added bonus of expanding their repertoire.
It’s a really effective way of teaching.
The piano can be daunting, especially if you’ve never spent any time with one. For complete novices, watching concert pianists know exactly what to play and in what order seems out of this world.
The visuals Skoove contains gives the important first steps to getting to this level.
The split-screen division gives equal recognition to sheet music and the keyboard itself. This makes it so much easier to understand how music notation works concerning the keyboard, which can be a massive learning block to first time piano players.
On top of this, Skoove will highlight the section of music that you should be playing, so it’s clear where your eyes should be facing when you’re playing a new passage. The notes on the keyboard are also numbered, and each note is described as you play it. Again, this means finger dexterity should develop very naturally.
Furthermore, Skoove has a little tab on the top which tells you how much progress you’ve made and how much of the lesson you have left. I found this motivational, especially when I was ploughing on with the more difficult advanced lessons.
Individually, these little things may not seem like much but put together they form an effective visual cue that lays out the best way to learn piano as clearly as possible.
In tandem with the visuals, Skoove also has effective online tools that help you learn new music.
Many critics suggest that online learning cannot replicate the traditional, in-person lessons. Whilst I think whether one is better than the other depends entirely on the learner and the teaching method, I think this point proves that e-learning music has new and innovative items to offer that hasn’t been conceived before.
One of these is note recognition technology. Anyone who plays an instrument knows how difficult it is to get around those particularly difficult passages of music. It’s nearly impossible to find the motivation to keep playing the same thing over and over, especially if you aren’t getting it quite right.
Skoove does the hard bit for you. By recognizing the notes you’re playing on your keyboard, Skoove can let you know whether it’s right or wrong, allowing you to proceed with the rest of the lesson only when the note is correct.
As a result, it becomes much easier and intuitive to get the passage correct a lot faster than you normally would, as this trial and error method, a tiring but effective way of learning, is massively enhanced by these tools that put you in the right direction.
Additionally, the backing track song you can play after the first solo practice is bound to make you feel like a professional.
Impressive Song Bank
There’s not too much to say here. I was just really impressed by the songs Skoove had to offer.
As I said, many of us are there to expand our repertoire, and Skoove knows that. There is a massive range of styles, genres, times and artists to choose from.
So, you can spend one day working on your classical music and another jamming to The Beatles.
This is bound to impress those aiming to curate a strong set-list.
All Done In Your Own Time
We all learn differently. Some people worked well in school, others found it impossible, but thrived in the recent covid age.
Skoove’s method certainly directs itself in favour of those who develop the best under their own direction. You can log on any time, day or night, and do as much or as little work as you look.
There’s no baseline or limit to the courses you can do, and you can complete whatever lessons you like within those courses. Although note recognition means you need to play each song right at least once, you can practice the song once more or as many times as you need before moving on.
Perhaps most impressively, you don’t need a piano for beginner lessons. You can use the keypad of your computer. Now, this is by no means a substitute, and Skoove makes that very clear. What it does mean is that if you don’t have a piano, you can still give Skoove a taster session and see if you like it, before investing in the instrument.
This is a new way of learning, and there are certainly downsides to it, which I cover below. But, I know I benefitted massively from learning at my own pace and under my direction. The dawn of the internet is changing everything, education and music included, and it seems to me that sites like Skoove are making the most of this paradigm shift.
What I Think Could Be Improved
A Little Light On Detail
Piano is more than just an instrument. It truly is the foundation of western harmony and music theory. So it’s impossible to expect one site to cover everything.
However, I still feel Skoove could’ve done a little more. Whilst I was impressed by the comprehensive nature of the courses, I felt each lesson would have benefited from more detail.
For example, when I was introduced to the concept of numbering my fingers and placing them on the keys, there wasn’t any information on why learners should start with this. Whilst it did the job, I felt there could’ve been a lot more background and detail about why this was a good place to start.
This isn’t so much of a problem if you’ve played a bit of piano before. But many Skoove users won’t have done so. At that stage in the learning, it can be essential to try to understand as much as possible, because it makes life easier later down the line. Now, some people don’t care a great deal about the purpose or explanation of the things their being taught, but I know I and others always want to know the reasons behind what I’m being told to do.
I think part of the problem is that the Skoove is not very personable. There isn’t an actual teacher to guide you through all the information, explaining the details and ideas. This can mean that some concepts aren’t explained to their fullest extent, and others are just avoided.
For some, not having a teacher won’t be an issue. They’ll be quite happy to go at their own pace. But given that musical instruments are such a big thing to wrap your head around if you have no experience, I feel developing a relationship with a teacher can be an important step in getting comfortable and motivated to persist with the difficult bits.
Again, this will kind of depend on what type of learner you are, so it’s a little subjective. But I think everyone could benefit from some more info on musical ideas.
Content Isn’t Unique
Not really a con, just something to consider. I have praised the content Skoove has, and the way it’s organized, but it is the kind of thing you can find in other places, especially the internet.
This is hardly a surprise. People across the world have been learning the piano for centuries. So there are tried and tested methods for how to best develop your skills on the instrument. This includes developing confidence and dexterity with your fingers by practicing scales and then moving on to more difficult harmonic concepts.
As a result, most piano sites will cover the same thing, so it’s hardly fair to fault Skoove. Especially as they’re trying something a little unique by merging the learning of songs and techniques.
Note recognition technology is effective, helpful and very, very cool, so that means it comes as no surprise that it is being used by other companies.
So what’s the best fit for you? Well, that depends on a variety of factors. Price is of course an important factor, but I also think the format and aesthetic of a website can have a massive effect on how we learn. If you do choose to subscribe to Skoove, you’ll be spending a lot of time using the site, so it’s important to choose somewhere that suits your taste.
This article is here to help you get a feel for the website, but there are also free trials available. Again, this isn’t a con so much as it’s something to think about.
Who Is Skoove For?
Interested in piano? Skoove is for you.
This should come as no surprise to anyone. The team at Skoove are piano obsessed, as that’s what drives the whole website. They naturally want to attract anyone with either a budding curiosity or a fanatic obsession.
However, I feel that some specific sub-groups would particularly get a lot from Skoove.
- Those who want to learn songs and techniques in lessons simultaneously
- Intermediate piano players looking for a curated song bank to dip into
- Pianists who want to develop specific genre playing; Skoove has courses dedicated to classical and boogie-woogie
- Beginners looking to learn songs and skills quickly
- People who can’t access piano but want somewhere to start
- Producers who want a grounding in piano (check out the Keyboard For Producers course)
There are a few groups for whom I don’t feel Skoove is quite a right fit. Musicians who want to develop their music theory more generally might benefit from a site that focuses more on instructional explaining of concepts.
That isn’t Skoove isn’t for you; if it feels like the right fit it will be. It’s just something to think about before you make a purchasing decision.
How Much Does Skoove Cost?
Skoove offers a limited number of lessons from their beginner, intermediate and advanced courses for free. There is also a seven day free trial of all of Skoove’s premium offerings.
If you’ve completed the free lessons or the free trial, and like what you got, then there is a premium option.
The cheapest choice is the 1- month package. This costs $9.99 a month and gives you access to the whole website. There is also a 3-month package, which charges you $13.33 for the same content.
Extremely avid learners can unlock everything for 1 month using (surprise, surprise) Skoove’s 1-month package, billed at $24.75 a month, which only gives you access to premium for that month.
Alternatives To Skoove
Us keen e-learners are a bit spoiled for choice these days. If Skoove isn’t for you there are still plenty of alternatives to explore.
Flowkey is the most similar to Skoove in terms of content, method, interface and general feel. Both adopt strikingly similar methods and visuals centred around a listen and play approach using note recognition.
The biggest discrepancy between the two is whereas Flowkey keeps lessons on songs and technique separate, they are often combined in Skoove.
For those looking for a greater focus on theory, with an instructor, Pianote is another option. Although it shares the trait of an expansive song library with Skoove, there is a much stronger focus on developing musicianship generally.
The main focus is on the Method, a 10-step program designed to help beginners rapidly improve their playing through methodically introducing musical concepts, applying these to popular songs and employing ear-training and theory techniques.
Another platform I have tried is Playground Sessions. If you start your piano-playing journey here, you can be sure that you are getting a uniquely strong foundation in music that’ll make your life easier. The interface, the engaging in-person teaching style and the wonderful practice exercises all come together to make Playground Sessions another great choice.
With the dawn of the internet age, educators and entrepreneurs have devoted time to set up platforms for learning an entire range of skills. Sites like Udemy and SkillShare have come to dominate this ever-growing portion of the web.
And given the popularity of this instrument, it’s no wonder that there’s not a shortage of piano lessons to take on this site. If you’re a beginner, why not try Pianoforall on Udemy, described as a fantastic new way of learning piano.
And we haven’t forgotten about you more advanced players looking to develop your skills in a more specific genre. You overachievers can check out The Ultimate Gospel Piano Course on SkillShare if you want a challenge.
If all of that sounds good, but you think it would be even better if it was taught by a celebrity, why not try MasterClass. This site focuses on having leading experts in their field taking you through their craft in their own way.
There’s plenty to choose from on the music front, but Masterclasses chief piano offering is a real stalwart: Herbie Hancock Teaches Jazz Piano.
What Others Have Said
To make this review balanced, fair and comprehensive, it’s very important to consider other people’s opinions before coming to the end.
I’ve spent some time scouring the internet for comments and opinions on the site, to build a consensus of what others think, and share that with you here.
I’ve previously commented on the hotly contested debate over which piano site is the best among the online instrumental community. And there is no clear winner. This isn’t a massive shock. We all have different priorities when it comes to learning.
Whilst I wouldn’t say Skoove stands out as a platform, it fares pretty well amongst the discourse, and some people seem to enjoy the site.
Not all the commenters were as positive.
“All-in-all, it's an ok program. I wouldn't use it if I were a beginner with no prior knowledge, and I certainly wouldn't want anyone to use it as their primary means of learning (get a teacher!) For me, I was looking for something that I could use as sight-reading practice, and it's ok for that.” - Reddit commenter
Here we see the get-a-teacher mantra. I don’t entirely agree with the main point made here, but I can totally see where they’re coming from. Whilst I’m more optimistic about the future of music learning online, the lack of detail in quite a few Skoove courses means that somebody who uses it as their only way of learning may have quite a few significant gaps in knowledge.
Another commenter summed up their opinion with this:
“I tried Skoove and it is working well for me. I started as an absolute beginner, and now I can play simple stuff with two hands at a slow pace (after many hours of practice). I still have a long way to go, probably many years, but the trick for me is that I can as often as I want (I practice at least 1~2h every day). It would have broken my budget, if I worked with a teacher that often. I feel the best will be a combination for me, to learn alone at my own pace, and get a teacher to correct fundamentals and weaknesses.” - Reddit commenter
This was an interesting read. An often-heard response to people trying online learning is others urging them to get a teacher. So I think this response effectively highlights how sites like Skoove can be used in tandem with in-person learning, especially when there are constraints such as finances and travel.
There are no rules when it comes to learning, so why not experiment with a combination? If it works for you, it isn’t wrong.
I think a lot of this has to do with expectation. Whenever we enrol in a new course, our focus will often be on the outcome. What do I stand to gain AFTER this experience? If you are looking to quickly learn songs on the piano, Skoove will work for you.
You may not learn the ins and outs of the circle of fifths, but if that’s of no interest to you, what difference does it make?
Is Skoove Worth It?
If you’ve stuck around for this long, I’m certain there’s one thing on your mind. One burning question you are desperate to find the answer for.
Is Skoove worth it?
My answer is, as always, it depends.
It’s hard to give Skoove my fullest endorsement. The piano teaching community is very competitive, and other sites do go into far more detail about music theory, ear training and performance skills, all while matching Skoove’s songbook.
Fostering a relationship with a teacher can be an essential part of learning, even if this is online. This is something Skoove misses out on.
Simply put, if you’re looking to become the next Mozart and understand the ins and outs of music theory then Skoove is probably not for you.
However, if you want a fun and casual way to learn some of the most popular songs quickly then Skoove is a great fit.
As far as the outcomes Skoove provided me, it’s hard to find any major complaint. I was able to learn new music and add to my song bank rapidly, going at entirely my own pace and monitoring how much time I spent on each lesson.
I found the visuals to be ideal, especially as I’m sure they’ll push beginners towards adapting to sight-reading faster than a normal piano lesson. On top of this, combining lessons on major concepts with examples from recognisable songs was an effective and original idea.
The speed at which I progressed and the strong visuals make it well worth it. And remember, you have a free trial to give it a go
Frequently Asked Questions
There are lessons on each course of Skoove available for free. A 12-month premium offer costs you $9.99 a month, whereas the 3-month premium offer is $13.33. Both give you access to the same content, although the former is more popular.
If you are not satisfied with Skoove, you can receive a refund within 14 days by contacting the Skoove team by email or post, both available on their website.
Skoove is constantly expanding. Currently, premium grants you access to around 400 lessons and even more songs, divided into about 21 courses. This is bound to expand.
Yes, Skoove operates a 7 day free trial of premium access.
Charlie is a student reading politics at King’s College London. He is also a passionate musician with over 14 years of experience. In his free time, he also enjoys cinema, long-distance running and learning new things.