Free notation software – Noteflight.com
If you have an iPad or iPhone there are so many apps out there to choose from. Below are some fun ones you might try out with students at home to reinforce what they learn during their lessons!
Moozart (FREE)A fun app for preschool and kindergarten students especially. Students create their own song using a farmyard animal chorus.
Music Flash Class ($3.99)Electronic flashcards. The app allows you to set what notes to drill and students can go at their own speed. Perfect for students just beginning to learn notes. Many note name apps have timers and can cause frustration if students are just learning.
Flash Note Derby ($0.99)Note naming app in the form of a derby race! The speed of the race can be set to slower or fast timers to fit the ability level of the students.
Isle of Tune ($2.99)Create your own unique musical journeys from street layouts. Roadside elements are your instruments and cars are the players.
Note Rush ($3.99)One of my favorite note-naming apps because it gets right to the heart of the skill of note-naming: location on the piano. The interactive app “hears” your piano and students must play the correct pitch. Different theme settings like ladybugs or outer space available.
Note Works ($4.99) – *iPad only*
NoteWorks is a musical game, designed to teach note recognition and improve sight reading skills. Hungry Munchy is eager to swallow elusive blue notes. Your goal is to help Munchy catch each note as quickly as possible.
Rhythm Lab ($4.99) – *iPad only*Customizable rhythm app.
Blob Chorus (FREE)This ear training app is fun and silly, but really works! Each of the blobs in the chorus sing a note, and then the king blob sings his note. The aim of the game is for the student to identify the blob that sang the same note as the king blob.
Tune Train (FREE)Great for students who are interested in composing. This app allows students to draw visual melodies then transcribes their melody into written notation.
While digital keyboards of today are of much higher quality than those of the past, they will never be able to replace the feel and touch of an acoustic piano.
A healthy piano technique can only be truly developed through acoustic piano use. I understand parents don’t want to “spend too much money on an instrument until you’re sure they’re going to stick with it,” but poor practice instruments often contribute to students disinterest in continuing. Unlike digital keyboards, acoustic piano’s hold their value if well maintained.
There are plenty of acoustic pianos out there to be found. Check Craigslist to start! If you’re unsure, a piano technician can even look at a piano for you and give you an estimate/report on the condition it’s in and possible cost to get it in good working condition.
Keeping your piano in good condition means all the keys are in working order, the pedals are functioning, it is placed on an inside wall away from a fireplace and preferably not in the same room as a fireplace, and it is tuned twice a year.
Yamaha’s care instructions are: “Keep the keyboard clean: The keyboard should be wiped periodically with a soft, dry cloth. Never use cleaners containing alcohol, as the keys will become cracked. If the keyboard is very dirty, wipe it with a cloth dipped in a solution of soap and water and wrung out well. The same cloth should not be used for cleaning the surface of the piano, however. A good habit to cultivate is never to play the piano with dirty hands.”
Some analogies to help you understand the importance of having a real piano 🙂
Please choose to invest in an appropriate instrument!