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Re: Piano learning apps
scirocco #2984955 05/28/20 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by scirocco
One drawback I found with Playground Sessions is that the app cannot and does not teach dynamics or articulation. This was the main reason I ditched it and got an acoustic and teacher.

To some extent that doesn’t matter too much for the pop and modern music that PS is focussed on. I haven’t used Piano Marvel - how does it deal with teaching dynamics and articulation for its more classical style music?

PM is the same. It doesn’t/can’t teach dynamics and articulations within its platform. That is why I left and found a teacher and a good old method book. I think half of playing piano is playing musically, which includes dynamics and articulations. This is the major drawback of such platforms.

This is not a knock against PM and other similar platforms. I think all modes of learning have pros and cons, including a teacher and old fashioned method books. It really just depends on what your goals are, what you want out of learning piano and what kind of a pianist you want to eventually become. Of course, time and money need to be considered too!

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 05/28/20 09:41 AM.

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Re: Piano learning apps
WeakLeftHand #2984965 05/28/20 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
PM is the same. It doesn’t/can’t teach dynamics and articulations within its platform. That is why I left and found a teacher and a good old method book. I think half of playing piano is playing musically, which includes dynamics and articulations. This is the major drawback of such platforms.

This is not a knock against PM and other similar platforms. I think all modes of learning have pros and cons, including a teacher and old fashioned method books. It really just depends on what your goals are, what you want out of learning piano and what kind of a pianist you want to eventually become.

To someone who never had formal lessons of a music instrument it might be surprising just how much more you get out of learning with a teacher. I remember my first lesson with my teacher where I was playing a simple tune from a method book. I was a complete beginner at the time but tried to learn on my own for about a month and came in to my teacher with what I had learned so far. I expected him to comment on technique or some wrong notes I played but to my great surprise his very first comment was that I should try to feel the 3/4 pulse of the music and explained what he meant. That was an eye opener. I was aware of things like counting out loud and using a metronome and my timing was fine, but I had never considered such abstract concepts as feeling the pulse of the music. In retrospective, it's precisely such abstract notions that had the greatest impact to my playing. What does it mean to "play with movement" or "more brightly"? No computer program is able to tell you that (as of 2020... maybe some smart AI in the future will).

Re: Piano learning apps
Qazsedcft #2984967 05/28/20 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
PM is the same. It doesn’t/can’t teach dynamics and articulations within its platform. That is why I left and found a teacher and a good old method book. I think half of playing piano is playing musically, which includes dynamics and articulations. This is the major drawback of such platforms.

This is not a knock against PM and other similar platforms. I think all modes of learning have pros and cons, including a teacher and old fashioned method books. It really just depends on what your goals are, what you want out of learning piano and what kind of a pianist you want to eventually become.

To someone who never had formal lessons of a music instrument it might be surprising just how much more you get out of learning with a teacher. I remember my first lesson with my teacher where I was playing a simple tune from a method book. I was a complete beginner at the time but tried to learn on my own for about a month and came in to my teacher with what I had learned so far. I expected him to comment on technique or some wrong notes I played but to my great surprise his very first comment was that I should try to feel the 3/4 pulse of the music and explained what he meant. That was an eye opener. I was aware of things like counting out loud and using a metronome and my timing was fine, but I had never considered such abstract concepts as feeling the pulse of the music. In retrospective, it's precisely such abstract notions that had the greatest impact to my playing. What does it mean to "play with movement" or "more brightly"? No computer program is able to tell you that (as of 2020... maybe some smart AI in the future will).

Agreed. That kind of teaching is where a teacher shines. In fact, my teacher said at the very outset that she will not be teaching me how to count the correct rhythm or how to play the right notes. She said she has every confidence in me that I could figure that part out by myself. She said what she will teach me is how to play musically, which I think is where I and many students struggle. Of course, she will point out if I played a wrong rhythm or a wrong note but that doesn't happen very often. The focus of her teaching will be on musicality and technique.

In her attempt to teach me how to play a waltz musically, my teacher had me close my eyes and see in my mind's eyes a scene of people dancing the waltz. As I had learned how to dance the waltz myself, I could feel it very quickly. I applied it to my playing and bam! what an improvement.

But of course, piano learning apps have their purpose and audience. I very much enjoyed PM for a couple of months at the very beginning, so it did form a part of my piano journey.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 05/28/20 10:12 AM.

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Re: Piano learning apps
Bachus #2985205 05/28/20 10:40 PM
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Nothing beats a real piano teacher, but many people just can’t afford it.

Re: Piano learning apps
Bachus #2985211 05/28/20 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Bachus
Nothing beats a real piano teacher, but many people just can’t afford it.

Gotcha! Sorry for the thread drift.


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Re: Piano learning apps
WeakLeftHand #2985320 05/29/20 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by Bachus
Nothing beats a real piano teacher, but many people just can’t afford it.

Gotcha! Sorry for the thread drift.

Don’t be sorry, its a fact on which we both agree..


I got the chance to get some feedback from PS development.On a facebook group..

They acknowledge the ipad app is outdated, they expect a totally new app later this summer..

Also support for playing dynamics is high on their todo list..
They however say, their options are limited because many people using cheap keyboards witouth velocity support or pedals....which made me ask him if they wanted to learn people to push the right key in the right moment, or if they wanted to teach people to learn actually playing the piano? He then told me to rest asured that playing dynamics and a system to give visual feedback on them is comming.


So till then, we are looking at other options, piano marvel might cut it... or even a pianote subscription..

Re: Piano learning apps
Bachus #2987055 06/02/20 02:40 PM
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I started using Playground Sessions almost a month ago. So far, I have been very pleased. Something I didnt see mentioned, is as you progress through "bootcamp", you unlock various courses. There are scales, chords, Hanon exercises, sight reading, both hands practice, etc. I tried the method books, and I did like Faber the best. I do find that PS keeps me on track, and I actually look forward to using it every day. Lots of genres of music in their music library...pop, rock, film/TV/Broadway, classical, etc. I purchased just one month at first, but then decided I would buy the yearly for $99 during their Memorial Day sale.

There is so much out there with apps, YouTube, method books. I had even given thought to Pianote, but I'm glad I chose PS.

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