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The Maestro Online – Where the Ear Comes First


A new platform, The Maestro Online, is now offering pop piano exams that require no reading of notation at all.  They allow you to play by ear, improvise or create your own covers of songs, and have supporting resources that will help you find your groove without the need to read. 

Musical progression for all

We realise that many people now play by ear, some learn from YouTube and that the reading of notation can be a barrier to gaining qualifications through the traditional route for blind and partially sighted musicians.  We also realise that some people who are neurodivergent will also find musical notation a challenge.  We strongly believe that the enormous satisfaction from making music should be open to all.  Those who prefer notation are still welcome to use it in our exams, but this is not a requirement in any part of the process.  These pop piano exams are Ofqual-accredited and comparable to all major exam boards, including the opportunity for you to gain UCAS points for Grades 6-8. So if GCSE or A Level Music are a barrier for your next step in your music education journey, then we could provide a valid alternative.

The Maestro Online also offers self-study music courses that start with the ear and evolve into full scale improvisations of snippets from famous pop songs (from We Will Rock You to Shotgun and Walking on Sunshine!) in piano, organ, guitar and singing.  They are all in the form of web pages with videos at the top that teach you all that you need to do, text with additional explanation and tasks for you to complete.

Our celebrity masterclasses are created with people who have toured with the likes of Madonna, Stormzy, The Jacksons and so many more huge names. They share techniques, ideas, top tips and more.  There are also masterclasses in performance anxiety, composition, conducting, orchestration, music production (“DAW”) and more, all from top industry professionals.

The self-study courses and masterclasses all have clear learning objectives for each page so that you have a personal experience and can track your progress.  At the end of each course or masterclass you can also answer a short fun quiz and gain yourself a certificate to boost your bragging rights!

Help us test our platform

We would like to offer two people free access to our courses and masterclasses for life.  Because our exams, courses and masterclasses encourage playing by ear and improvising, we want to make them as accessible as possible.  We would love support from a couple of volunteers who can offer feedback on our site, courses and masterclasses, so that we can ensure that they are as accessible as possible for blind and low vision musicians.  If you are interested, just drop an email to Robin,

In the meantime, we hope that you find creative music making enormous fun.  If you want a chat, a Zoom or some advice, do get in touch.  We love building relationships with all people interested in music!  

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