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Best iPad Apps for LEARNING PIANO – What you NEED to know for K >
UPDATED REVIEW – May 1, 2018 – iPad apps for playing piano and music education for k >After playing music and teaching piano (and other instruments) for many years, I have discovered (as other music educators know) that people learn in different ways. Some learn visually, some learn by listening/hearing, some learn by thinking/analyzing, some learn by touching, some learn by interacting in physical activity, and some learn by using some or all of the various ways in which people learn. There is not a “one size fits all” way of learning and understanding. For me, I’m a very hands on visual learner who likes to see & touch things so that I can interact with it, so an iPad with useful Apps (the word App is short for the word application which is like a computer program, only simpler) really helps me in this way and I use it quite often in my music studio and for work related things. iPad is not the only tablet device that has useful piano learning apps because you can get some on Android devices too, but I am mostly referring to iPad in this blog post.
I have many young children in my extended family and they have become very proficient in interacting with an iPad and the various fun learning/educational apps that are now available, which makes me wonder if they are smarter than me now! The speed and accuracy these children have in being able to handle very complex apps is amazing to me and runs circles around many adults I know. In other words, there are more forms of learning these days than ever before and we are all growing up in the iPad world, and it will only keep growing. Of course you can use Android tablets and devices (cell phones, etc) and Android definitely has some advantages, but it’s the Apple iPad that most music App developers work with.
The first type of “iPad device” I remember seeing was on Star Trek the original TV series with captain Kirk, and then subsequently later with newer versions of Star Trek. In fact, if you look closely, you’ll notice on those various shows how their handheld iPad type device got smaller and thinner as the years went on. interesting:) Whenever Captain Kirk was needing to give his written approval about something, it was on a very large and bulky iPad type device that was brought to him (usually he was sitting in his captain’s chair at the time) by one of the crew and then captain Kirk would look at it, sign it, and give it back to the crew member. The TV viewing audience never actually got to see the front of the device because that technology didn’t really exist so there was nothing to show. Then later is the next series, Captain Picard had a much smaller and more realistic sized iPad device to look at.
But now all these years later since the Star Trek TV series first began in the 1960’s, we have the “real thing” thanks to people like Steve Jobs of Apple, and it’s very useful for a myriad of things. Kids, school students, blue & white collar workers, and people of all persuasions around the world are using the iPad (and Android tablets) for many daily activities they do. This includes obtaining and managing information, data, and our everyday lives, so if you have not incorporated one of these devices into your life yet, then you are increasingly becoming part of the minority. Certainly cell phone devices and larger sized laptop & desktop computers can give the information and gaming experience in a nice way, but that doesn’t come close to the interactive visual touch experience you get with a portable and flexible iPad tablet, in my opinion.
If you have never thought about using iPad piano related Apps with your digital or acoustic piano (or even if you don’t have a piano yet), then you should. I use many of them in my teaching studio and wouldn’t teach lessons these days without them. It’s extra motivation and fun for the student (no matter what the age) and really does help drive some points home when it comes to visually understanding certain music concepts and training including sight reading, basic and more advanced music theory, timing, ear training, and so much more. There are apps for little k /> In those apps you can use a regular acoustic piano or even another instrument or your singing voice to trigger a response. Other Apps allow only for input on a virtual iPad keyboard within the App so that you have to touch the iPad itself. That’s OK because this kind of learning is still very useful in addition to playing on your own piano. There are also some new digital pianos that have WiFi connectivity to iPad and special apps to control the WiFi digital piano functions from an iPad. One such digital piano is the Roland RP501R (left pic). You can connect wirelessly through Bluetooth to the piano and you can play songs from the piano and see the music notation on your iPad with automatic page turning and ability to control the song tempo and some playback operations. It’s a nice educational way to interact with an iPad.
Some apps are lots of fun such as music games with the end result of learning something about music, and others are actual lessons, quizzes, and questions based on the info you learn from the app. But no matter how and when you apply the info, it is generally all good stuff because as I said earlier, not just one size fits all when it comes to learning. The more learning repetition a person gets (assuming the learning materiel is good) the better piano player and all around musician that person will be. In fact, with some of these iPad music Apps you can start your children learning simple music concepts as early as 2 years old in many cases:). Now I don’t mean these very young children will start to play piano right away, but they will be so far ahead of the music understanding curve if they start using these interactive touch screen apps early on, that when they are about 4-5 years old, they will have a much greater music understanding than children who start out at 4-5 years old (or older) without the previous iPad music learning experience.
What ARE some cool iPad music apps? Well there are many of them that are good but there are also some that are not so good either due to the app not working well or the concepts and material being poorly constructed or poorly executed. But there are plenty of good apps out there which give the piano learning experience that extra fun ingredient which students, older and younger, (and parents of young students) love so much, no matter what their skill level. A couple of the apps I like for young children are “piano bird,” and “kids animal piano.” For adults a few of them I like are “Piano Maestro,” “my note games,” and “read music.” There are many other apps I like and use and some are MIDI USB compatible with digital pianos and some are not. However, regardless of how these Apps connect with your digital piano, I would recommend them if all possible. You should consider purchasing an appropriate digital piano that would give you the best connectivity with your iPad so that the apps would work directly through USB/MIDI and the piano would respond properly. There are a number of new digital pianos that can work well if you are interested in using iPad or Android tablet learning apps and I can help you learn more about useful piano & music learning apps and the proper digital pianos if you contact me directly.