Evaluation: Lumi teaches piano by turning it right into a recreation

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For those who’ve ever wished to discover ways to play the piano however did not know the place to get began, Lumi would be the answer you have been searching for.

With the coronavirus conserving most of us at house throughout our free time, now’s nearly as good a time as any to select up new hobbies. Studying methods to play a musical instrument has plenty of advantages too, with it proven to assist decrease despair, nervousness, and stress, in addition to enhance cognition and motor expertise— to not point out it is a fairly good dialog starter as nicely.

For those who’ve ever wished to discover ways to play the piano, it’s possible you’ll wish to cease and check out the Lumi system. One half keyboard and one half app, Lumi goals to take the issue out of studying piano by turning it right into a recreation.

Lumi Keys

The Lumi Keys keyboard is fairly small, solely 24 keys broad, making it nice for storing in a desk drawer, shelf, or slipping right into a tech bag.

The keys are a 5.5 on the Donison-Steinbuhler scale, ranking a keyboard’s key measurement, that means the keys are roughly seven-eighths the dimensions of a normal piano key. Additionally they really feel fairly strong, although fully not like that of a standard piano.

For those who’ve performed different digital keyboards or midi controllers earlier than, it is best to be capable to simply transition to enjoying Lumi Keys with out a lot effort. For those who’re used to a piano, it could take a little bit of time to get used to the “softer” key motion.

Maybe probably the most fulfilling elements of the Lumi keyboard are the illuminated keys, from which Lumi takes its identify. The sunshine is the proper brightness for use in each vivid and darkish rooms, and the colours are attractive, too.

Roli, the corporate that makes Lumi, has a novel trick up their sleeve concerning their line of merchandise — the DNA connectors. Small, magnetic connectors — much like the iPad’s Good Connector — let you snap Roli merchandise collectively.

You’ll be able to join a number of Lumi Keys, too. The Lumi app helps two Lumis, whereas Roli Studio desktop software program can assist as much as 4 Lumis directly.

Two Lumi Keys connected together via the DNA connector

It must also be famous that Lumi Keys works with most music creation packages on Home windows and Mac as nicely, so meaning you may take your newly realized expertise straight to GarageBand.

Lumi Keys fees by way of an included USB-C cable and will get about four hours of playtime per cost — greater than sufficient for a lesson.

The Lumi App

The Lumi app is the counterpart to Lumi Keys. Pair your Lumi Keys with the app by way of Bluetooth and it will assist educate you methods to play the piano.

The Lumi Keys app is precisely what it purports to be — a software for instructing you methods to play the piano. It really works by pairing your cellphone, iPad, or Android machine with Lumi Keys and providing you a plethora of classes overlaying completely different expertise.

There are a ton of various classes, with many being interactive and taught by Lumi’s charismatic crew of piano enjoying professionals.

There’s positively one thing left to be desired for among the core ability classes, although — and that could possibly be as a result of it is self-directed. Studying to play scales with out having suggestions from a instructor is not the best factor.

We discovered that it was usually irritating, realizing that there wasn’t an individual close by to inform us how we had been doing. In any case, you would simply hit the fitting keys, nevertheless it’s not precisely a correct lesson when you’re not studying the right finger placement.

However whereas Lumi appears to fall brief there, it makes up for it with the sheer quantity of Guitar Hero/Rockband-style classes you may play in Lumi’s “play mode.” Whereas in play mode, every key on the Lumi keyboard lights up in response to the bars on the display screen, so you may see what key you may have to press and when.

The bar visualizer within the Lumi App

The bar visualizer throughout the Lumi App

Play mode is a good way so that you can put your expertise to the check. The app makes use of a visualizer that pairs with the keyboard that gamifies the act of enjoying the keyboard.

The visualizer has just a few completely different modes, together with Guitar Hero-style bar mode and a sheet music mode that may enable you to be taught to learn traditionally-notated songs.

Lumi has a really spectacular quantity of songs accessible to play, too, together with childhood nursery songs, classical items, and pop hits from the final 5 a long time or so. We would personally wish to see Lumi department out into another genres of music, if attainable, like various, steel, and indie rock, if attainable.

Self-directed studying: the great and the dangerous

Whether or not or not Lumi will give you the results you want is very depending on whether or not or not you are good at self-directed studying. There are some severe benefits to the Lumi system over different self-directed strategies.

First, the visualizer isn’t one thing that you’re going to simply get with different techniques — it is glorious for instructing you methods to memorize songs, in addition to methods to learn music.

Second, the music library presents just a little one thing for everybody. Whereas our testers weren’t notably keen on the pop music choices, the choice of classical piano items had been notably attractive.

Lastly, when you’ve by no means performed piano earlier than, it is one of many least intimidating methods to get into it. It actually does really feel like enjoying a recreation, as you are enjoying to beat earlier scores, you are doing it within the privateness of your personal house together with your headphones on. It isn’t as nerve-wracking as attempting to show your self by way of movies, books, or by ear.

Lumi offers feedback in an easy to understand scoring system

Lumi presents suggestions in a simple to know scoring system

Nonetheless, you may solely get out what you place in. For those who’re simply distracted or a bit flakey on tasks, you may end up choosing extra tried-and-true methods to go the time.

You will have to preserve at it, and that features enjoying the not-fun elements, too— practising your scales, watching movies that designate why issues are performed a sure manner, practising your scales, studying to play songs you do not notably look after — and did we point out practising your scales?

The Lumi system is a wonderful system for what it’s, and when you’re able to self-directed studying, it may be far cheaper than paying for piano classes. Moreover, it is a COVID-19 compliant technique to get into a brand new passion.


We had been actually impressed with the Lumi system — the Lumi Keys keyboard is gorgeous, transportable, and approachable, whereas the app seeks to take out loads of the stress that may come together with self-learning. Whereas some individuals should still be served higher by conventional, instructor-taught classes, this may nonetheless be glorious for many who like self-directed actions.

If you would like to get your personal Lumi, you may head over to Lumi’s site, the place they retail for $300. Included within the buy are the Lumi Keys keyboard, a $50 voucher for the premium model of the Lumi app, a protecting Lumi Snapcase to maintain it protected in transport, and free delivery.

Score: four out of 5 stars

  • Transportable, play anyplace
  • 4 hour battery life
  • Pair a number of Lumis collectively by way of DNA connectors
  • App is straightforward and intuitive to make use of
  • Restricted choice of widespread music within the app might not match some peoples tastes
  • Keys really feel “gentle,” could also be troublesome for many who performed piano
  • Troublesome to nail down primary expertise, reminiscent of finger placement, as a consequence of lack of suggestions

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