$10 for a Beginner Children's Piano Online Course from SkillSuccess ($199 Value)

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In a Nutshell

Online course uses video lectures to teach beginners how to locate notes, play with proper positioning, and effective practice techniques

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires 90 days after purchase. Amount paid never expires. Online only. May be repurchased every 30 days. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

The Deal

Inside a Piano: How Vibrations Create Wagner

Though its notes may last for only half a second, the piano’s design is more than 300 years old. Check out Groupon’s guide to the instrument’s inner workings to learn about the parts you’ll be controlling.

Even beyond the black and white of its keys, the piano is filled with contradictions. Its name derives from pianoforte, a hybrid of Italian words meaning “soft” and “loud.” Despite the more than 200 strings that produce its sound, symphony orchestras classify the piano as a percussion instrument. Outside, it is large and elegant, its sound swelling through the concert hall. Inside, it is delicate and complicated—the result of almost 9,000 moving parts working in tandem to amplify an almost silent vibration.

When the player presses a piano key, it triggers a tiny wooden hammer covered in felt to spring up and hit a set of tensioned strings made of hard steel wire. These strings then vibrate at a certain frequency, which causes a large, flat wooden board within the piano casing to vibrate at the same frequency, converting the mechanical energy into a full, discernible sound. If the player releases the key, a felt block called a damper presses against the string to absorb the vibration and silence the note before it wakes the audience asleep in the balcony. Each string must be finely tightened to assume the correct frequency, which creates a lot of tension: in modern pianos, the total strings sustain an average of 20 tons of pressure, which requires a massive iron plate bolted to a heavy wooden frame to support.

Despite the simple concept, a piano’s mechanism presents several complicated problems. For instance, the hammer must not only retreat from the string immediately, so as not to dampen the vibration, but also refrain from bouncing back and hitting it again. The solutions to the various technical issues came all at once—the result of the ingenuity of Bartolomeo Cristofori, an instrument maker appointed to the Grand Prince of Tuscany’s court in 1688. No later than 1700, Cristofori arrived at his concept for an instrument dubbed “arpi cimbalo del piano e’ forte.” Cristofori’s design was so innovative and complex that subsequent inventors failed to find any easier alternative, and eventually the prototype pianoforte became the world standard.

SkillSuccess.com

Thousands of people have turned to SkillSuccess.com on a quest to gain—well—skills and success. The education platform boasts an ever-growing library of online courses in nearly a dozen categories, including language, technology, and health and fitness. All courses include 24-hour access and support. Students receive a certificate of completion upon finishing and are granted lifetime access to the course for review.

Typically, classes are designed with beginners in mind. The piano course, for instance, uses easy-to-follow lessons that first teach complete novices how to find their way around piano and note names before concluding with how to play Pachelbel's Canon in D. Likewise, the home-brewing course leads students through the step-by-step process for brewing their own beer, and the photography course teaches them how their camera works so they never accidentally toss it into the washing machine for a deep cleaning.

Customer Reviews

Easy to log into. Great instructions!!
Bonnie K. · 2 days ago
Some of the courses are good and have quality content, others not so much.
Larry G. · 4 days ago
I purchased a class to speak Italian for my upcoming trip to Italy. It was very detailed, taught me numbers, words and how to pronounce and read Italian. It really helped me in Italy!!!
Susan C. · 4 days ago

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