In this Flowkey review, you will learn everything you need to know about this piano lesson app. You will find out how it works, how much does it costs, how the learning process looks like, what repertoire and functions it contains, and if there is a better option for Android. Finally, I will introduce you to Pros and Cons and my verdict based on the active use of this piano software.
Modern technologies have not bypassed the field of music education. Music software and applications have become an interesting alternative to traditional learning in music schools. Flowkey is one of the most popular piano lesson app, especially for beginners and intermediates. Except for the desktop and iPad, Flowkey also works with Android. With this application, you can learn hundreds of songs of different genres as well as the basics of music theory and sight-reading.
Note: In this article, I use affiliate links. This means that if you decide to buy Flowkey through this link, I will receive a small commission. However, this does not affect your price. All information and opinions I provide in this review are based on my personal experience with this product.
Flowkey Review Summary
If you belong to the people who don’t have time to read the full Flowkey review, you can pick just the topic you are interested in. This content table is here to help you to navigate in this article.
Table of Contents
Founder: Jonas Gössling
Objective: Online piano lesson app
Language: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Japanese
Compatibility: PC/Mac, iOs, Android
Skill level: Beginner, Intermediate, (Advanced)
Lessons: 63+, 1000+ songs
Price: Free account: $0.0, Paid Membership starts from 9.99/month (paid annually)
Flowkey is a music software for learning the piano. It is intended mainly for beginners, intermediate, but also contains songs and exercises for advanced players. Works with digital as well as an acoustic piano. It uses an interactive keyboard so you can see if you are playing the right or wrong notes.
It is a useful feature that visually supports auditory perception and makes learning more effective. In addition to step-by-step lessons, you can choose what songs you want to learn to play. You can choose from more than 1000 songs of various genres. Flowkey is compatible with PC / Mac and Android and iOs mobile devices. In addition to English, it supports 5 other languages: Spanish, French, Italian, Korean, and Japanese.
How Much Does Flowkey Cost?
After signing up, you can start using a free account with limited access to certain courses and lessons. With the paid version, you can choose between several Subscription programs or lifetime access.
- Introduction to the piano course
- Several lessons from Intermediate piano playing and Playing with both hands
- 8 free songs
- Access to all courses
- Premium lessons
- The whole library with 1000 songs of different styles
- Regularly added new content
$19.99 / mo billed monthly
$12.99 / mo billed every 3 months
$9.99 / mo billed annually
- Full access to all courses, library and new content (the same like in subscription programs)
$299.99 / Lifetime
When you realize that you will pay $35-50 per hour for private piano lessons, Flowkey app is a much more affordable alternative. Prices are comparable to similar products such as Skoove, Piano Marvel, or Playground session.
Let’s Start With Flowkey
At the beginning you will get some basic questions:
– Have you played piano before?
– Do you have a piano?
– How would you like to start?
Based on your answers, you will receive further instructions on how to start the program and how to start learning. Then you need to register and create an account. Enter your name, email and password.
Set Up Your Instrument
To make the program work properly, first activate the microphone on your device, or a MIDI/USB keyboard. You can check the settings by clicking on the microphone icon at the top left. Flowkey uses the built-in microphone for acoustic piano. If you prefer digital piano while learning, click the settings icon, and select MIDI / USB.
Note: If you’re a Mac user using Safari, you’ll be prompted to install Google Chrome. MIDI connection is not supported by Safari.
Upon successful activation of the microphone, the Introduction to the piano course begins. In short video lessons, you will learn:
- how to sit properly at the piano,
- the position of your hands
- and how to orient yourself on the keyboard.
It is especially important for complete beginners to get used to sitting at the piano properly. We will talk about this and other courses in more detail later. Let’s now take a look at the dashboard for a basic menu of courses and tracks.
As you can see in the picture, the dashboard offers a basic menu (left) with Songs , Search, My songs, and Courses.
The Flowkey library contains more than 1000 songs of various genres and moods. If you have a subscription membership, you can look forward to regularly adding new content.
The Flowkey repertoire is divided according to skill level into beginner, intermediate, advanced, and pro. You can also filter songs from several levels at once (for example, beginner and intermediate). Once you chose the skill level, you can further select according to several criteria:
Thanks to this diverse division, you can quickly search for songs according to your mood and preferred style. Flowkey contains original arrangements of classical compositions. However, it uses also simplified versions for beginner and intermediate level. The quality of the arrangements is, in my opinion, high and appropriate to the level of difficulty.
Note: After clicking on a specific song in the library, it will start playing. This way, you can listen to multiple songs without opening them.
Here you can search by song title (just a keyword) and author.
Create your own library of songs that you like. Simply click on the heart in the right corner next to a specific song.
Flowkey Courses Overview
Each course contains a different number of interactive lessons. These are excellently graphically processed and exhibited in terms of content. You will learn the basics of piano playing, music theory, chord making, an introduction to improvisation and sight reading. Only some courses are divided by skill level, which can be a bit confusing.
Overall, the courses include exercises and theory for beginners and intermediates. However, more experienced pianists will not find more advanced theory and technical exercises here. Flowkey app offers 8 course categories:
INTRODUCTION TO THE PIANO
These courses are for complete beginners. You will learn how to sit properly at the piano, and the position of the hands. You will practice the basics of right and left-hand techniques on a melody from Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and other simple melodies. Other courses cover the basics of music theory, such as the names of musical keys, rhythm, musical notation, and note-reading.
PLAYING WITH BOTH HANDS
Each lesson includes step-by-step instructions on how to play with both hands together. Dotted notes, new simple songs, and playing basic chords will be added.
INTERMEDIATE PIANO PLAYING
You will learn how to play more notes, how flat and sharp notes work, you will practice playing with both hands separately and playing in multiple time signatures.
In these courses, you will learn how to play multiple chords and songs with melody and chord accompaniment. You will complete the theory of major and minor chords and their inversions.
IMPROVISING WITH CHORDS
To play any song, you need to know how to identify chords and melodies. You will also learn how to make a chord accompaniment more interesting, how to improvise melodies into it and you will get to know other chords.
MUSIC READING TRAINING
Sight-reading is one of the basic skills of every pianist. You will practice playing from the notes with both hands separately and together.
These courses will show you how to practice selected major and minor scales. You will understand the fifth and fourth circles and key-signature.
PLAYING SCALES 2
These courses are focused on practicing other major and minor scales.
How Does Flowkey Work?
Let’s now look at what the learning process with Flowkey looks like. After clicking on the song you want to learn, you will see an interactive keyboard with hands, music notation and function buttons.
1. You can play the song first with the play button. Note the key, beat, or hand position on the keyboard.
2. Practice each hand separately by clicking on the symbol of the right or left hand. After you manage to play the song with both hands separately, start practicing with both hands together (by clicking on both hand icons).
When playing, you have a choice of 3 setting options:
Wait mode: This mode is used to practice a song without rhythm. Press play and start playing notes. If you play them correctly, the notation will move further, and the play icon will turn green. When you make a mistake the notation stops. This gives you time to correct yourself and find the right notes. You can also see them highlighted in color on the virtual keyboard.
Slow motion mode: In this mode, the piano accompaniment will play at a slower rate (50% or 75%). Exercising at a slow pace is part of every teaching of a musical instrument.
Split mode: If you want to practice only a selected part of the song, use the arrow icon that is in the music outline. Use the arrows to highlight the measures you want to practice repeatedly. This feature is very useful and allows you to focus on the part of the song that is causing you problems. In addition to notes, you can also see words in the songs, which will be appreciated especially by those who want to sing while playing.
Who Is Flowkey Best For?
This Flowkey review should help you to understand if this piano lesson app is right for you. Although it is very easy to use piano software, it is not for everybody. I don’t think it’s suitable for young children, because NO APP can actually replace the teacher.
Flowkey for kids
They need someone to show them exactly what and how to practice. However, when an adult helps the kids with Flowkey piano exercises, it can be a very effective way of learning. Children also respond to the visual representation of the notes and, thanks to interactivity, the exercise becomes more attractive to them.
Flowkey for adults
For teenagers and adult pianists, I would recommend making a plan for how to practice with this program. Combine theoretical courses with playing songs that match your level. Practice with both hands separately and then together with the piano background accompaniment.
Other piano apps for Android
Well, there are tons of different piano apps for Android. I can mention the Piano Academy, Simply piano, or Real piano teacher. But when I consider the step-by-step teaching process, and content quality, I think that except for Flowkey, there is only one complex piano lesson app for Android – Yousician. All other quality interactive applications for the piano I know, are compatible only with desktops and iOs.
If you’ve been playing the piano for several years, master basic music theory, and are intermediate, I don’t recommend Flowkey. In that case, I would rather reach for alternative video lessons focused on a certain style. ArtistWorks does a great job at this, and the advantage is the high quality of the instructors. However, if you prefer an interactive way of learning, check out Piano Marvel. It is software used in many music schools and includes a wider repertoire for advanced and better functionality.
Here is a summary of who Flowkey can be a good way to learn to play the piano online:
Flowkey vs Playground Session
When comparing the 2 most popular piano apps, Flowkey is more beginner friendly with easy-to-follow lessons. On the other hand, Playground Session is more complex in terms of functionality and learning options.
Other alternative to Flowkey is Skoove, which is very similar software, but only for desktop and iPad. Piano Marvel has (like Playground Session) better setting options for practice, but it is more focused on classical piano.
Pros And Cons
High variability of styles
Easy to use interface
Great sound of piano and background sound
Possibility to chose a part of the song for practicing
Affordable pricing (much cheaper than private piano lessons)
Regular updated with new content
You can’t see notes you play on a virtual keyboard
Theoretical courses only for beginners
No metronome function
No possibility to set a volume of your keyboard and background
Missing fingering, dynamics and articulation
Flowkey can be a reasonable alternative (but limited) to traditional piano lessons for beginners. The interface looks great and it is very easy to use. You can chose what you want to learn and the library tends more to popular genres.
I like the playing modes allowing you to practice with both hands separately or together. The piano sound is excellent and better than other applications (especially Piano Marvel). Metronome function, fingering, and display of correctly and incorrectly played notes (such as Skoove) is missing.
Related article: Skoove Review 2020. The Best Piano App For Beginners?
Overall, I give Flowkey 82%. I would recommend it especially for complete beginners (teens and adults) and hobby pianists who want to learn songs they like. On the contrary, I do not recommend it for more experienced pianists or those who prefer classical music.
I hope you have found all the information you need in this Flowkey review to form your own opinion. If you are interested in other online piano lessons and music courses, feel free to browse them here.