Learning an instrument is probably one of the greatest things we all can achieve in our life. Doors to a different world will be opened for us, where we can express our self and transporting emotions with harmonies and notes. Learn to play an instrument is quite challenging first time and most students use a teacher for a face to face lesson. If teacher and student understand each other and spend multiple sessions during the week in face to face lessons, this can truly become one great opportunity to learn an instrument this way.
What is a given reality with a face to face classes
However, to my personal experience most of the lessons are structured different. Having 30 or 45 minutes per week and getting back home with a sheet of new notes or new technical learning tasks and get back to the teacher 7 days later. But what is happening in the time between? Sometime we can end up in frustration as the teacher is not present in most of the time during the learning and practice time. We can not ask for help or getting a direct feedback if we practice with wrong technique.
But there is a way out as nowadays we use a lot of supporting tools and getting more and more into a digital environment. Technology meets art of learning music, which might provide a great option for you too. And I recommend that you think about it.
Using an app can be one magic way to get direct response, keep high level of motivation and getting progress in learning a new instrument. My wife and I experienced great best practice results with our 7 years old daughter.
However, I recommend that you are aware of following important questions to be asked before you decide to invest into an app.
What you need to ask yourself before selecting a tool
There are several things you should ask yourself before choose an app to make sure you find the best fit for you.
One important question is about the level of your actual music knowledge. Do you already know something about music like notes, tonality, scales or tempo?
Do you know names of the piano keys or are you a real newbie and looking forward to conquering this field to get into those things first in time?
Another question would consider your goals. Are you look for getting a full understanding of music theory by knowing all about harmonics, knowing the notes by name and are you looking out to become an expert in reading notes? Or are you go to play piano by ear without any interest in notes reading skills?
If it comes to the tool or to learning with a device there are some other questions to be answered too. What kind of tool you would like to use? Do you prefer books, YouTube “how to play lessons” or can you imagine using an app? If you look for an app, the next questions will concentrate on the model of your device you are using. Is it IoS or Android based device?
Unfortunately the best piano learning apps won’t be available on any type of device during these days. Maybe in future this will be different but at this moment of time, it isn’t always the case. So you should ask yourself: What kind of system are you currently using and are apps available in this system?
Depending on your answers you may choose a different kind of tool or you choose an app if you look specifically to get one of the following advantages.
What are the advantages of using an app to learn piano
Costs and weight you have to carry with you
On the one hand the app is saving you a lot of paper and books and reduces your weight you need to carry with you. There are several books with songs and guides for learning to play piano outside. If you would try to buy them all you have to store many books in your shelves at home and you will need a lot of space. To use them during your lessons you have to carry a lot of weight with you too. Additionally, the amount of money you have to invest in books can be counting up to a lot of dollars and you will probably play only a fragment of music pieces out of them. The app on the other side will stay on your device and this has always same dimensions independently of how many songs you go to carry with you. The app mostly comes with one price and contains different lessons with notes included, so you don’t need to buy additional updates.
Apps can give active feedback – books don’t act like this
An app could give you a feedback and response about your quality of playing during your practice. And this is one major advantage as no kind of book can provide you this fantastic option during your practice time. Even your teacher is not beside you at home in most of the practice hours. You can probably record your playing – but in real time you get a response only with best in class apps to learn piano.
Apps can give you structure
Furthermore, the app will provide you with some kind of structure that gives you some guidance how to start and what to focus about. You will see in the next section what is necessary to call an app the best piano learning app, but one advice in advance… always search for apps that can adopting to your existing skill and provides you with different starter levels.
Apps could be always up to date – books stay with content they have published with
An important thing which is a big plus in comparison to books is the actuality of the content. The app can be updated to the latest version with new teaching ideas and new learning concept and you never need to purchase a new book or getting new sheets printed from the internet if you follow the app program.
Another great advantage would be if apps provide songs that are up to date, trendy and reflects the current mainstream in music as well as holding songs from the good old time available to be used. How motivated will be a child if it could play along with songs currently listed in the top 10 of charts? How will the motivation of an adult be if the app provide his favorite songs from the past. The best of the best apps providing you with all in one which is a big plus.
Apps can be used for zoom and makes reading easier
One more thing needs to be mentioned here for sure if it comes to readability. You will have an option to zoom in or zoom out in lead sheets in an app in order to Get a user-friendly view if needed. With paperwork, you won’t get this advantage at all.
What makes an app to the best piano learning app
If it comes to comparison between apps all points mentioned in the previous article need to be rated somehow. To get a rating as best piano learning app following points should receiving a high rating:
- The app is available at any device independently of the system, so that maximum flexibility is given and the user can choose to accord his device. Look in the Apple AppStore or the Android PlayStore if the app is available.
- Beside courses and lessons the app offers different starting level according to existing skill level of the player
- The responsiveness of the app during the exercises is one of the critical factors in rating as this special feature is leading to motivation and progress in playing. A fast and accurate response is a guaranty for having fun and making progress.
- Best in class apps show the notes the player is currently playing as well as the result of how well the player has played them during the song. This is possible in real-time, means: the player gets an active response during playing the piano keys!
- Furthermore, the best of the best apps are equipped with rhythm detection and punctuation tracking. This results into a very transparent overview of timing and correct played rhythm and offers hints where the player should improve.
- As mentioned in the previous section, the best piano learning apps should provide you with full song sheets in addition to the normal courses and lessons. This is quite handy if you know how to play the song and you don’t want to go through the entire session again.
- A continuous improvement cycle of the app version should be available too, to provide new content and new songs, new technique drills and new motivating design.
Before you decide to download a new app for learning an instrument like a piano, you should make sure that you have answered the mentioned questions in advance about your goals, your technology in use (device and operating system). Furthermore, you should define for yourself what makes an app best in class. Think about functions you want to use. Think about responsiveness and actuality and the range of existing skill levels you can start on.
In order to find your best learning piano app you should rate them according to your answers or using sometime reviews of apps that might exist in the internet. Sometimes the rating in the app store or play store might help but it won’t answer all your questions.
If you search for some additional reviews, maybe you will find some useful summaries at this website. I’m glad if this is the case and look forward to receiving some feedback from you.
Alex – Founder of MyMusicato.com