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Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations #2465156
09/30/15 03:06 PM
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Mellocello Offline OP
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Hello! Long time lurker, first time poster.
My 6 year old son started piano lessons 6 months ago. He has recently finished with the Ecklund Piano Pronto Keyboard Kickoff and Prelude books. I was wondering if there are any good piano learning apps he can use on the IPad that could supplement his piano playing journey? It would not replace his teacher, of course, but allow him to get better with learning his notes, sight reading, etc. Thank you so much!

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Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2465267
09/30/15 10:36 PM
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Check out Piano Maestro by Joytunes. Great app. They also have two simpler apps Dustbuster and Simply Piano.

The Piano Maestro app has method exercises from Piano Pronto so your child can review and go on from there.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2465301
10/01/15 03:10 AM
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+1 on Piano Maestro. Start is free, you only have to decide on paying after a couple of chapters. I use it, my daughter uses it sometimes. Both in addition to teacher.


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2472123
10/20/15 08:15 AM
10/20/15 08:15 AM
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Generative/improvisatory composition apps
- Bloom HD
- Sound Prism
- Sound Drop

Rhythm Tapping games that help with feeling the beat and rhythm
- RC 2
- Cytus
- Deemo
- Groovecoaster
- Give it up!

Sight Singing /Aural Skills
- SingSmash (seriously awesome application!)

Sight reading
- Piano Maestro

Note Identification
- Staff Wars

That should be a good list to get started. I do blog a little about games for my masters research smile so you can read my blog if you feel like it.


Bachelor of Music, Master of Music Education (completing), Master of Teaching (completing)
http://www.pianolessonswithrebecca.com/
http://gamesinmusiced.wordpress.com
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2475901
10/31/15 12:52 PM
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Rebecca, thanks for that, I'll look into those.

On Piano Maestro, we now have a subscription. They keep adding material, e.g. just added Czerny, which our piano teacher also uses.

Also tried SimplyPiano (also by JoyTunes) and that has a cool function over Piano Maestro where, when you have accumulated too many errors, it jumps back a couple of seconds, so that you work through where you have issues most.


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2478243
11/07/15 02:08 PM
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The wife did dig out her old guitar. Our piano teacher re-stringed it and said: you now have to tune it twice a day until it is stable. So I got a guitar tuner app. Digged around a bit and found that the same guys have a guitar AND piano learning app called Yousician.

Starts "lower" than Piano Maestro, as in even without staff notation at the start. But also allows you to take tests to jump forward in the curriculum.

A couple of minutes free every day, if you want more, you need a subscription.

Apparently not just for iOS, but also Android and Windows and Mac OS X.

Check it out, looks very promising. I'll give an update in a few days.


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2478329
11/07/15 08:48 PM
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Mellocello Offline OP
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone! We have started with Piano Maestro and my son seems to respond well to it. I saw a fairly animated discussion a few topics below regarding the music teacher using an IPad for his students. Hehe. But I am a non musical parent to a budding pianist so I will take all the help and instruction I can get.

Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2478364
11/07/15 11:23 PM
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Keep in mind, Piano Maestro is a practice tool. It doesn't replace lessons but the app helps you practice what you learned in class and the app is really, really good at getting students to practice!

There's a saying that a teacher can show the student the door, but the student has to walk through. That's how I see lessons and practice; lessons are where the teacher shows you the door, but practice is where you, as the student actually walks through the door!

This is why I'm a big fan of this app, It's addictive, every time I sit down to play 'just one more piece' an hour slips away! I'm actually in a running competition with my 9 and 11 year old niece and nephew to see who can get better scores :-) this from two knuckleheads who used to dash out the door the minute the teacher was done. Now they're peppering the teacher with questions after class so they can beat their uncle at Piano Maestro.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2478366
11/07/15 11:59 PM
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A tip for using Piano Maestro.

The app has a motherload of progressive exercises; 1,000+ pieces, all neatly graded from elementary up to level 3b. And they keep adding more.

Play through the main game until you feel like you're starting to hit a brick wall. This will give you an idea of what level you're really at.

Then go into the song library, load up all those songs that are at or below your level and keep practicing until you feel ready to go to the next level. It's a great way to stay in the sweet spot between practicing what you know and moving to the next level.





We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2478376
11/08/15 01:42 AM
11/08/15 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Mellocello
Hello! Long time lurker, first time poster.
My 6 year old son started piano lessons 6 months ago. He has recently finished with the Ecklund Piano Pronto Keyboard Kickoff and Prelude books. I was wondering if there are any good piano learning apps he can use on the IPad that could supplement his piano playing journey?
How does his teacher feel about his young student using such apps, and might he have some ideas of his own about how your son might supplement his learning? smile

Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2478451
11/08/15 10:49 AM
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I'm actually a fan of PianoMarvel (as opposed to Piano Maestro). I've got a six year old student who now learns six to eight pieces a week, up to tempo, using Piano Marvel. She is learning Mozart sonatas, Bach Inventions, Clementi Sonatinas, etc. She loves it, but I also assign pieces apart from that and we work on musicality on those. PMarvel is great for boosting reading, not musicality of course.


Adam Bendorf
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Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2478544
11/08/15 05:10 PM
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Mellocello Offline OP
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We have used the app merely to reinforce the skills and lessons his teacher has already taught. He continues to go to lessons. In fact, most days, we do not even use the App at all because to work through some of his assignments takes quite a chunk of practice time (45 mins to an hour). I will have to look into Piano Marvel to see if he will enjoy that. He is currently working on polishing his Star Wars theme in time for Christmas and polishing the Musette by Bach (?). I had to learn to play along side him so he can practice effectively, so much so that I will be starting piano lessons myself with his current teacher! No app or YouTube tutorial, I think, will ever replace the experience and learning you get from personal instruction. His piano teacher, in fact, has recommended Chromatik to me as a potential source of music for my son since he really wants to learn the Jurassic Park theme song and it has been difficult to find the correct music and arrangement that works for his playing level. So he is learning the right hand melody thru a trumpet arrangement and his teacher works on the left hand.

Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2479707
11/12/15 06:29 AM
11/12/15 06:29 AM
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Really interesting to follow this thread - I have noticed that, the continual re-statement: that applications are not intended to replace a teacher, every time, I often wonder if it's out of fear that AI will take over the world and that private instructors will be rendered useless.

I am currently in the process of writing papers on more applications, some that you might find handy:

- Sightreading factory (just lots of computer generated sightreading exercises that you could listen and play back to), not wonderful, but it does the job if you want a skill and drill tool
- Flat.oi (a browser-based notation application), I LOVE IT, and use it for my students



Bachelor of Music, Master of Music Education (completing), Master of Teaching (completing)
http://www.pianolessonswithrebecca.com/
http://gamesinmusiced.wordpress.com
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2479763
11/12/15 10:08 AM
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Hahaha, a piano-teaching, world-overtaking AI, that would be something...

Well, as I have stated elsewhere here, software is eating the world. That includes jobs. But as someone who, as a piano student, is using both, apps and a real world teacher, I think you can not get rid of the teacher for quite some time.

It starts with the obvious: the app can not see you play. It can not observe you, your habits, your technique.
Most of the software just tracks if you hit the right note at the right time; some not even if you hit more than you should. Most not how long you hold a note. Staccato vs legato? No chance. Of course, not yet. It will eventually.

Software excels at immediate feedback on what it can currently track. It excels in patience and there is no cost for the patience. When you are not getting something, it can make the loops shorter and the pace slower ad infinitum. (Most do not do this yet, but to some degree).

Currently, the software that I have seen can not tell you how to approach a new piece of sheet music. Break it down yourself. Recognize the patterns, figure out the fingering. This is the not-so-obvious that a teacher will hopefully show you.

So, in my option, anyone who can afford a teacher, should absolutely do so. If you can not, well, you can always see how far you get with the existing apps.


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2479785
11/12/15 11:11 AM
11/12/15 11:11 AM
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Mellocello Offline OP
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I very much agree. The apps we use currently, deals with a lot of the grunt work, working on his sight reading skills, some tempo work and just learning to play a piece in general. But the app does not give feedback on his technique, his posture, his fingering,his dynamics and the musicality of a piece. Even for such a wired world, my son'S piano teacher by his side playing a duet with him, working on his rhythm and understanding of the music he plays, the tactile feedback, makes him appreciate the piano more than the apps. The apps, I think, in a general sense, helps his teachers too in the sense that when my son goes to his lessons, he already has a general and fundamental grasp as to what the music sounds like and the notes that need to be played, which then allows his teacher to work on everything else.

Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2479828
11/12/15 01:07 PM
11/12/15 01:07 PM
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Hello, I really like Piano Maestro app and have been using it for many of my students. However, I've noticed that it does not work well working with acoustic piano, specially if the tuning is not perfect. Any suggestions?

Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2480015
11/13/15 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Mellocello
... apps ... deals with a lot of the grunt work, working on his sight reading skills, some tempo work and just learning to play a piece in general.
...
... apps, I think, in a general sense, helps his teachers too in the sense that when my son goes to his lessons, he already has a general and fundamental grasp as to what the music sounds like and the notes that need to be played, which then allows his teacher to work on everything else.


Grunt work, yes. Getting the basic muscle memory in place, so that you can actually concentrate on "how" to play a piece, not worry about getting the next note correct.


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2480457
11/14/15 05:20 AM
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Mellocello and Hendrik - my research investigates that, and there are technologies being developed that assist with posture, technique and even articulation!

I think the thing that apps are doing is they are getting the teacher to do less instruction, less skilling and drilling, thus, he role is changing, the teacher acts as a motivator, a collaborator and facilitator.


Bachelor of Music, Master of Music Education (completing), Master of Teaching (completing)
http://www.pianolessonswithrebecca.com/
http://gamesinmusiced.wordpress.com
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2480630
11/14/15 05:44 PM
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Sure, there is development in these areas. Recently I came across the "Lumo Lift Posture Tracker", a Bluetooth thingy that you attach to your shirt or so and is telling you if you're sitting straight.

And there is this hand-exoskeleton that could be used to track what your fingers are doing:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...ng-device-used-control-robots-games.html
Same:
http://www.crunchwear.com/exoskeleton-hand-lets-feel-virtual-objects/
Different approach:
http://www.crunchwear.com/manus-machinae-gloves-turns-cyborg/

So, looking forward, the job of the teacher is changing. Even more so in areas where the instruction does not actually require observing the student. A lot can be achieved with just really good instruction videos and tests afterwards.

Some people here are taking/giving piano lessons via Skype. Takes away the travel and if you have the necessary camera set up, probably better than just an app.

With me, the apps today really help me with practice. Immediate feedback is great. Slowly building a piece, phrase by phrase, slow to fast, whenever I want. Just great.

Few weeks ago I showed our piano teacher the apps I use. She had not seen any of them, I think. She was amazed. "I feel honored that you still take lessons", she said, and I think it was not all joking :-)

For quite some time the apps will make life for teacher just easier, because it motivates to practice etc. No need to change just yet. But at some point, there will be real change required.


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2499139
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I do not really understand the difference in Joytunes apps Piano Maestro and Simply Piano. Anyone know or have tried both?

Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2499155
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Simply Piano is a primer for people who are learning by themselves. It listens to you play and guides you through the basics of playing and reading music. Might be a good addition to those who are starting with a method book.

Piano Maestro is a practice tool for reading music. It listens to you play and then grades you on accuracy and rhythm. That's how I used it - as book full of throw away sight-reading exercises. It also has several features designed for use by teachers and families.

(FYI - Piano Marvel and Musiah are similar to Piano Maestro.)


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2499276
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I am using both, Simply Piano and Piano Maestro. Both are free to download and start. After a number of levels, Piano Maestro asks for a subscription. Took me at least a month :-)

Simply Piano I am not yet so far.

Same company, but different teaching styles. Simply Piano has this cool feature where, when you have done too many errors in a row, it backs up within the song and you start over the part that was hard for you. Extremely valuable!

Piano Maestro is the older product. It has a massive library of songs. Of some songs it has up to three, four versions, from easy to hard. Each song is then again split into phrases that you learn after the other, a quite efficient way to tackle a piece.

I am now on a one year subscription of Piano Maestro, I use this in addition to having a real teacher. My daughter also sometimes uses Piano Maestro (though not so much since the teacher is doing "Let it go" with her, which is not available on PM :-)

I think JoyTunes is just trying a new, more streamlined approach with Simply Piano, as in the name. Less options etc.

Just try them, they are both free to check out.


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2499439
01/12/16 05:03 AM
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I have actually already bought and is using Simply Piano with a midi keyboard. Think it is quite good for me who is a total beginner. One negative thing is that it does not seem to care about tone length. Maybe it does more later on.

Started with Yousician. It looks better but was quite slow progress. Think I learn to read sights better with Simply Piano too. I also use Synthesia which I think is fun.

Started with Yousician and Synthesa on the computer, later on I tried them on the ipad. Both works good but now I only use the ipad with Simply Piano and Synthesia.

Planning to buy a digital piano this week and will try to find a teacher.

Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2499450
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Last time I checked, none of the teaching tools on iPad did tone/note length. I think they are going to get there, eventually.

Yes, get a teacher. A lot of things the apps can't teach you.


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Hendrik42] #2499453
01/12/16 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Hendrik42
Yes, get a teacher. A lot of things the apps can't teach you.

Absolutely agreed here. Apps are great for many things, but piano teachers they're not!

One of my recent "new" students was self-taught using several of these apps. Major league disaster. I had to undo numerous bad habits, and we're not out of the woods yet!!


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2499465
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And I'll pile on as as well.

Yes, you can just jump right into Piano Maestro (or any other app) and start learning but remember it is a practice tool and you can only really practice skills that you already understand. In other words, you won’t be getting the full benefit out of Piano Maestro, or understand its limitations, if you don’t know what skills you need to know to read music in the first place! But if you have a teacher, they can help you use the app at whole 'nother level.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2621081
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I recently discovered an interesting app for the iPad - Wolfie. The method is based on normal piano sheet music. What do you think about it?

Last edited by matman; 03/07/17 07:22 AM.
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2622532
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I have looked at Wolfie about a year ago, but I didn't get it at all.

One thing I think is good for a beginner, but not good for someone who also works with sheet music is that in Piano Maestro, Simply Piano, Yousician etc. the notes are moving into your focus. With sheet music, you have to move your focus on the sheet and you have to learn that.

If you want to work with an app where the notes do not move and you have to move your eyes, try PianoMate. The author is also on pianoworld, so you can give feedback, if you want.

Regarding the other apps: Simply Piano has advanced quite a bit in the last year, they still have the feature I like very much, where after too many errors in a row the app back up a lit and repeats the part with the errors; but now, if you make too many errors still, it has a additional slow-mode, where it goes slower, adds a metronome and waits for the right note to be played, to guide you.

I really like where all those apps are going, but none of them tracks note length yet. I wonder what the limitation is.


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2622744
03/11/17 05:35 PM
03/11/17 05:35 PM
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Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 682
California
I just downloaded a whole bunch of apps in search of recommendations for one of my students who doesn't have a piano yet.

Really Disliked--
-My Kids 1st Little Piano Instruments (Happy Box) -was appalled when it showed "sheet music" but all the notes were a line up. So "C" looked like a D and so on and so forth. UGH. It could have been a really nice app except for that inaccuracy... what is going on here?

Disliked---
-Tiny Piano -- the option to have a song is okay, but then you're allowed to tap anywhere, even though it lights up specific keys. Errr..
-Piano Play Music & Games by Gismart -- same complaint here. Cool as a piano, but once you go to the song mode, you're allowed to hit any note and Jingle Bells plays. I can't stand any app that allows you to hit a key and have a completely different sound coming out of it. What.
-Magic Piano -- Another sound to key correlation problem here, can't remember why.
-Piano+ - Playable with Chord and Sheet -- there are interesting buttons with chords on the side. But the sheet music option is kinda odd. It literally just goes on.... without you.
-Animal Pianist -- would not load on my iphone 5.


Good for self-learners but not as a free-standing piano from what I can see, you have to go through levels to unlock things--
-Yousician
-Simply Piano

Apps that I liked:
-Yokee Piano (Also lights up keys but at least you have to press the right light for it to move on)
-The Piano Free -- Good sound, and just a basic piano, no more bells and whistles
-Dust Buster 2 -- this is another one of those apps that has songs that you play when the .. in this case "dust germ" lands on the right key. The reason why I like this one though is cause there is a METRONOME omg going on in the background.. so it actually encourages correct timing more than some of the other apps.

Apps that were OK--
-Virtuoso- just a basic piano, but you can scroll around up and down. The problem is the keyboard is not displayed so you don't have a clear idea where you actually are on the fullsized keyboard.
-DoodleSounds-- literally a piano that is "doodled". Works though. Only has one octavee.


I downloaded PianoMate. The only thing I don't like is when you play a wrong note, it shows you a little red circle but the little red circle is not the actual note that you are playing.


Piano Teacher in Training
Re: Piano teaching apps for the Ipad: good, bad, recommendations [Re: Mellocello] #2623204
03/13/17 05:33 AM
03/13/17 05:33 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 907
Germany
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Hendrik42 Offline
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Hendrik42  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2015
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Germany
With SimplyPiano, there is a "songs" view, where you can scroll through the virtual library and chose any song you like, no matter your level.

Also try Piano Maestro (from the same people as SimpyPiano, but can provide a link to a teacher and has a bigger library).

The issue with PianoMate is probably a bug. I don't think it is intended.

Ah, oh, just realized you were looking for an app for students to "play piano" while they don't have a piano yet:

SimplyPiano has a daily training routine to do on iPad/iPhone and displays an octave keyboard for that.

PianoMaestro has a display keyboard.

Nowadays every iPad/iPhone/mac comes with Garage Band for free, which includes a piano.


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)
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