“Shawn Cheek’s webpianoteacher has access to over 1000 videos including 50 lessons, how to play by ear, theory, finger exercises as well as the extra parts to songs Huge catalogue of lessons and music, with no requirement to read music….”
Updated February 2022.
Partner membership $19.95 a month.
Friend membership $ 29.95 a month.
Family membership $49.95 a month.
Piano or keyboard. Weighted piano recommended .
Web based system, so good broadband connection and Internet browser.
Will work fine on PCs, Macs or Tablets.
I use a Mac and IPAD with Safari.
What you get as a member? Access to over 1000 videos including 50 lessons, how to play by ear, theory, finger exercises as well as the extra parts to songs (part 1 found on you tube). Different levels of sheet music inclusion and tuition depending on your membership level.
Pros : Huge catalogue of lessons and music, with no requirement to read music. No additional costs for songs as with other websites.
Cons: Annual cost initially seems high, but, when broken down, it’s good value for the content available and very competitive compared to private lessons with a teacher.
Course content : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tutor knowledge/skill : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer support :⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Value for Money : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Acumen rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Review of Shawn Cheek’s Web piano teacher.
Shawn Cheek offers a unique method of learning the piano without the need to read music. If you haven’t come across Shawn or his methods before, there are plenty of You Tube videos spanning quite a few years. He has song lessons, as well as theory, technique and sight reading videos. His general stance is to offer an introductory free video on YouTube and if you want to complete the song or lesson, you must subscribe to his website.
His technique involves letters on a white board representing the required notes which are either individual or stacked upon each other to represent chords. At first you may wonder how he accounts for rhythm and note placement, but his tuition goes through this in detail. It’s a great method and gets you playing quite quickly. There is an exhaustive repertoire that covers for most tastes with varying abilities.
Update – Recently the white board method has been updated to digital sheets. Same format, just a modern look. These sheets can also be downloaded for an extra fee.
Before joining his site, I was already comfortable with his teaching style and progressed quickly.
Shawn’s blog (linked from the website) includes updates, more information abut Shawn (his equipment, family and own music) and a brief biography. Shawn has been playing the piano since the age of 8 and has played for over 30 years, being classically trained from second grade at school.
The website for members.
When you are a member of the site and you log in you come to a dashboard, where you can save your favourite songs and lessons. At the bottom of the page is a category list where you can search for songs in a particular style e.g.
There is also an educational category, which is a great starting point for the beginner or if you are new to the site. Here you will find an exhaustive section with over 150 videos. The 50 piano lessons are a good place to start and I have completed all of them. You can take these at your own pace, but with dedicated practice, you can progress quite quickly.
An example of an early lesson looking at the C major scale.
An example from Youtube of the updated digital look.
There is no need to read music through any of these lessons. They start at a basic level – naming the keys and learning basic chords in the key of C. Very soon you will be
- playing songs,
- learning different keys,
- playing different rhythms,
- styles and techniques,
Elsewhere in the Educational section, you will find
- theory lessons,
- finger exercises and
- playing by ear
A point to note, which is not a criticism, is there is a huge list of songs and lessons on the site. You must be focused on what you desire to learn, whether it is a particular song or lesson.
I’ve found myself browsing the site, adding videos to my favourites and coming away with no playing. My advice is to set aside some time to simply browse and come up with a plan. When coming back to the song or lesson, don’t be tempted to wander off browsing again. This is true of any useful resource including You Tube. You could spend too much time browsing with less focus on playing or practicing.
Support form Shawn is good. I once had a log-in issue and Shawn was quick to reply and fix the problem. If you have any particular song requests, Shawn is happy to receive them. A lot of material on the website has been requested by students.
This is a great way to learn the rudiments of piano playing and learn songs quickly without the need to read music. The price may seem expensive up-front, but when you look at the content available it presents very good value. Shawn has a wealth of experience and has a teaching style that is informal but very effective. Transcriptions are accurate and his own arrangements of songs, demonstrating techniques and lessons are unique and will be part of your playing forever.