Playground Sessions vs Yousician -Which is Better to Learn Piano?

playground sessions vs yousician

Since its conception around 1700, the piano has continued to shape music in each century and decade that it’s been around.

From Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas to Billy Preston’s funky melodies, to MIDI plugins operated through electric pianos and keyboards, there truly is something for everyone with the piano.

As such, many of you who want to learn to play the piano may have come across Playground Sessions and Yousician.

We’re going to be comparing these two sites in our Playground Sessions vs Yousician comparison article to see which one gives you the best chances of tickling the ivories and learning piano like a regular Rachmaninoff.

Overview of Playground Sessions & Yousician

Let’s start by quickly going over the origins of these two learning online piano platforms.

Playground Sessions officially launched as an online piano platform in 2014 after founder Chris Vance teamed up with developers Rain Interactive to provide something better in piano lessons.

After convincing the legendary Quincy Jones and David Sides, and later Harry Connick Jr, to aid in the production of lessons, Playground Sessions has managed to average over 1 million views each month by 2018, and that number can only be bigger now in 2021.

Yousician, on the other hand, considers themselves to be the ‘largest educator in the world’ with over 20 million monthly active users between their main platform and supplementary GuitarTuna application.

They were founded by Chris Thur in 2010, with a mission to inject a little bit of fun and color to learn how to play an instrument.

Yousician vs Playground Sessions Prices

Both Playground Sessions and Yousician have remarkably similar price points. You can choose from a monthly, annual, or lifetime membership, with each having a great value.

Prices for Playground Sessions:

  • $17.99 Monthly
  • $119.88 Yearly
  • $289.99 Lifetime

Prices for Yousician:

  • $19.99 Monthly
  • $25.99 Monthly (Premium+)
  • $99.99 Yearly
  • $119.99 Yearly (Premium+)

The main difference between Yousician’s premium and premium+ options is that the standard premium option provides access to all content for one instrument, while premium+ unlocks all content for all instruments.

Interface

In this Playground Sessions vs Yousician comparison, their interfaces are their main unique selling points as online learning platforms.

Both require MIDI-supported keyboards or pianos, and both ‘listen’ to your playing to give real-time feedback.

Yousician shows notes on a sliding stave that moves with the music, feeling a little bit like a rhythm game, keeping learning both challenging and fun.

Piano by Yousician - Learn to play piano.

Meanwhile, Playground Sessions show a mock keyboard and stave underneath the video lessons tutorial being given, with keys lighting up as you press them, allowing you to keep your eyes on the screen.

Playground Sessions learning interface.

There’s not an awful lot that separates them here, with both offering accuracy scores based on your playing to give you an idea of how well you did, along with areas in which you need to improve.

Playground Sessions do take it one step further, however, by generating charts to show learners key information such as how long they’ve practiced for, their scores, and other data that allows them to track their progress over time.

With both platforms impressing us here, let’s see how their courses fare against each other.

Courses and Progression Systems

Playground Sessions start you off on one of three main courses – the Rookie, Intermediate Tour, or Advanced Tour – based on your playing ability, ensuring both beginners and advanced players are able to start with something that interests them.

Following these are four more supplementary courses:

  • Keyboard Skills – This is all about becoming comfortable moving up and down the piano, finding keys and scales, and learning basic fundamentals such as posture and hand position in playing the piano.
  • Notation – Here, we delve into reading music with examples from popular music.
  • Rhythm – Learn how to read rhythms on the stave and translate them into music with a piano, all while staying in time.
  • Playing by Ear – Train your ears to separate different sounds and instruments as you listen and pick out notes, chords, and progressions.

Yousician’s piano progression system is laid out in their ‘piano learning path.’ There are three main elements to consider here; missions, themes, and levels.

  • Missions are basically the actual lessons themselves, which generally consist of a video tutorial, songs, skills, and techniques to learn and practice.
  • Levels are pretty self-explanatory. They’re the tiers into which the missions are divided, with 0 being beginner or ‘easier’ techniques and higher numbers representing more advanced skills in learning the piano.
  • Themes are where things get interesting. Levels are further divided into themes, of which there are three in Yousician’s piano learning path – Classical, Pop, and Knowledge. Classical and Pop both have 9 levels each, while Knowledge has 5 levels. In simpler terms, themes are synonymous with courses.

Here’s a quick overview of the piano lessons offered on Yousician:

  • Classical – While classical does feature classical music and pieces, that’s not the pure focus of the course. Its primary objective is to drive the ability to play solo pieces whether they be classical, pop, or any other genre. You can expect to learn a lot of melodies here.
  • Pop – The pop theme aims to develop abilities and skills that are utilized while playing in a band or group setting, playing songs and leaning more towards rock, blues, reggae, and jazz. Chords and rhythms are the names of the game in this course.
  • Knowledge – What would a pianist be without music theory? Elton John, I guess, but that’s beside the point. Piano and music theory are like peas in a pod, and completing the knowledge theme will only make the journey to becoming a virtuoso easier.

While both platforms deliver extremely well-thought-out, organized, and clear paths for learners, Yousician’s offering does fall a little short of everything that Playground Sessions has put on the plate.

You’re sure to get your money’s worth with Yousician and make great progress, it’s just that Playground Sessions offers that little bit more for (around) the same price.

Playground Sessions vs Yousician – Final Thoughts

Truly, neither of these platforms is a bad choice, and you’re sure to have a great time learning to play the piano on both of them.

Alas, we must choose a winner between Playground Sessions vs Yousician.

For learning to play the piano, Playground Sessions is the better option for beginners and seasoned players alike. While they’re extremely similar, Playground Sessions takes the edge over Yousician through the fact that they divide students by ability at the very beginning, meaning advanced players are not required to flick through missions and choose them rather haphazardly in order to find a suitable lesson.

This is probably because they’re completely focused on playing songs on the piano. If you are a multi-instrumentalist, Yousician offers courses for guitar, ukulele, bass, and vocals in addition to piano, which might sway you more towards them.

At the end of the day, the most important factor in the decision-making process is you.

If you like Playground Sessions, great! If you prefer Yousician, that’s awesome!

Pick the platform that you think is going to motivate you to play and practice the most, and you’ll be playing the piano like Stevie Wonder in no time.

Further Reading

Best Online Piano Lessons For Beginners

Playground Sessions Review