The instructor of this online piano course, Hugh Sung, has taught at Curtis Institute of Music (superstar Lang Lang’s school) for 19 years.
Thanks to the Internet! Anyone is now able to receive world-class piano education at a very affordable price at ArtistWorks.com.
This complete piano training course doesn’t just include classical music, but pop songs, folk tunes, worship music, improvisation, sight-reading, and many others.
This is my first encounter with ArtistWorks.com.
I chose to start with the piano course – Popular Piano with Hugh Sung.
To be frank, I didn’t expect too much at the beginning, because I have seen a lot of mediocre music programs.
But, to my biggest surprise, this online piano course is the best online piano course I have seen so far.
I love this course!!!
Popular Piano With Hugh Sung Review Summary
Product Name: Popular Piano with Hugh Sung
Description: This is an online piano training program presented by the multi-educational online music training platform ArtistWorks.com. Popular Piano with Hugh Sung is taught by World-Class Pianist and Instructor Hugh Sung who had been on the faculty in one of the world’s most elite music school – Curtis Institute of Music, for 19 years.
Best for: Students of all levels
Price: Very affordable
Ratings: 5 out of 5 Stars
How Good is it? Let’s start with Maestro Hugh Sung
The instructor is the soul of every teaching program much like the chef is to every restaurant.
No matter how well a course is designed, if the instructor is unqualified, the whole course would be ruined.
I already gave a brief intro of who Hugh Sung is, and his qualifications as a piano master teacher.
But, who’s advertised and promoted may or may not be true, so I’d like to share with you what I found out about Hugh Sung after personally trying out this course:
1. He is a concert pianist.
Many music teachers stop performing after teaching for a number of years. That, in my opinion, is a mistake for teaching.
I heard music teachers say that a great singer is usually not a great teacher.
Well, it wouldn’t hurt. How about being a great at both teaching and performing?
As a singing teacher and performer myself, I can honestly say that being a performer makes me a way better teacher.
When you are a performer, it would validate everything you teach because you get to test what you teach on a real stage.
There are many teachers who are very caught up with theories that are not effective in real performances.
You got to practice what you preach, and Hugh Sung certainly does that pretty well.
2. He is a great communicator and teacher.
I know this sounds strange, but a lot of music teachers can’t teach.
They might qualify as an instrumentalist, and they never successfully cross over to the field of teaching, because it is really a whole new ballgame.
A teacher do need to master the instrument before he teaches. Then, they need to master teaching.
A lot of music teachers who have been teaching for years have not master the art of teaching.
With Hugh Sung, he has the best of both worlds.
When I was taking the video lessons, I noticed that he is a great communicator.
Hugh is very clear in his delivery and explanation.
He is able to break down complicated theories and methods making it easy-to-understand for students.
3. He is patient.
Hugh literally walks you through each piano piece NOTE-BY-NOTE.
I have been taking piano lessons on-and-off since I was young. I rarely see piano teachers do that.
They may show you how to play each phrase, and then it’s your responsibility to figure the rest out.
For the teacher, showing the students how to play note by note is very tedious and boring (on the teacher’s part).
Ironically, it is very beneficial to the students, and many teachers are willing to do that.
With Hugh Sung, you get just that. He would break down the song into 2-4 measures concentrate the one lesson just on mastering those few notes.
The way Hugh teaches make you think that the piano pieces are not as hard as you think. And they’re not.
4. He teaches all styles of piano music
This is not your typical type of piano teachers who only teaches classical music.
This complete online piano course teaches everything from pop, jazz, folk, classical, rock, worship, and broadway.
He even teaches you how to improvise, which is usually not taught by your regular piano teachers, unless you are learning from a Jazz piano teacher.
This course, Popular Piano with Hugh Sung, is one of the most well-rounded piano course you will find on the internet.
The Coolest Feature in Popular Piano with Hugh Sung
Before I show you the impressive curriculum in Popular Piano with Hugh Sung, I want to show you the most effective feature for learning an instrument online offered at ArtistWorks.
That is the Video Exchange Learning system in which you get to upload a video of you playing a piece, and Hugh will give you his personal video response.
You may record your playing with an iphone, ipad, or anything with a camera.
Hugh would then critique your playing and give you instructions to improve your skills.
When I say he gives you personal response, I mean he’s talking to you directly in the videos. The video will be shared on the platform for students to learn from.
As Hugh says, mistakes are your best teachers. We could all learn from each other’s mistakes in this platform.
Hugh is so good at giving instructions in the personal response videos that make each video a piano lessons on its own.
This closes the gap between theories and practical playing. You get to learn from real mistakes made by real players just like you.
Right now there are more than 500 videos submitted and responded, which means there are more than 1,000 additional video lessons offered at the Video Exchange platform in this one single course at ArtistWorks.
Just How Awesome is the Piano Curriculum? Let’s take an inside look.
When you enter the learning platform for Popular Piano with Hugh Sung, you see a very interactive site.
Unlike most online courses, the site is full of interactive content, including a live chat, up-to-date blog, highly engaged forum, most recent video exchange, and news feed.
The live chat Shoutbox is highly interactive and often moderated by Hugh himself.
Let’s now dive into the main piano curriculum!
The piano course is divide into 5 levels – Level 1 being the beginner level and 5 being advanced.
I already showed you how cool the video exchange system is. In level 1, the first thing you have to do is to submit a placement video.
This is when you record yourself playing a piano piece, and Hugh will send you a response video and tell you which level you should start in the course.
If you don’t think this is cool, I don’t know what is.
Most online music courses DO NOT HAVE THIS! You have to do self-evaluation to know which level to start.
Highest Quality Video Lessons and Piano Instructions
In the video lessons of each level, the lessons are all recorded professionally in the ArtistWorks studio.
During each lesson, students are shown different camera angles and visual aids to assist them in understanding and executing the instructions given by Hugh.
If you’re a beginner, you might be intimidated by all the notes you’re seeing above.
Don’t worry. Hugh has a philosophy that says, “Sometimes looking at the music is way more difficult than simply playing it.”
During the lessons, Hugh really breaks down the music into small sections (2-4 measures) and make an entire lesson out of it.
As I mentioned, he shows you how to play note-by-note and make it look so much easier to play.
I’ve always been frustrated with playing the piano, but after taking Hugh’s lessons, I feel like it’s really possible for me to play those “difficult” piano pieces.
Also, the video playing control panel is easy to use with shortcut keys to learn and review any part of the lesson that the student has not fully understood, which greatly enhances user-experience of the platform.
Also, in each lesson, you get to download the PDF file of the piano piece being taught.
Many of them are re-arranged by Hugh to suit the level of the students without affecting the nuance of the original version.
Below is Edelweiss from Level 2:
Fantastic User-experience and Support for the Students
One of the great things about this online piano course is that the platform is very easy to use because of the simplicity of the site design.
You will never lose your place on the training site.
This is not to say the teaching content is lacking. Quite the opposite, each level is packed with lessons, songs, instructions, and video exchanges.
How Much Does it Cost? You won’t believe it…
So how much does it cost with all the high-quality teaching content on this piano course – Popular Piano with Hugh Sung?
This course is highly interactive between students and the instructor, also among students themselves.
You pay a very affordable monthly fee to keep you on the edge of piano training.
The most basic membership averages to $35/month.
That’s nothing comparing to an in-person lesson with a decent instructor that usually cost you at least $50 per lesson, which would be $200/month if you taking one lesson a week.
Plus, unlike most online lessons, you get personal feedback from the master teacher himself.
The video response from Hugh is very detailed and personally designed for you.
You need to personally experience it in order to know how good it actually is.
As Last, My Final Conclusion…
This is a dynamic, interactive, and ever-growing training site with new contents submitted by students and the teacher.
I have nothing but good things to say about this piano. I love this course! (Did I say that already?)
Apart from the great course design and all the goodies on the site, the key element that makes this piano course so great is the instructor Hugh Sung.
When you take his lessons on the site, you feel like you can play anything. That’s very important. You can’t play if you are always intimidated by the piano like I am.
I love his delivery and clarity while he teaches.
And the idea that you can receive individual instruction from the master through video exchange is crazy for me!
I’m not just watching a bunch of video with instructions for me to apply. I’m getting personal attention from one of the best piano teachers in the world.
This is by far the best and my favorite piano course so far.
If you have a passion for the piano and music, I highly recommend this incredible piano course from Maestro Hugh Sung.
If you have anything you would like to discuss, please comment below.