Disclaimer: This iPad only app is for serious piano students. There is a subscription fee for members ranging from $9.99 to $49.99, to get the very most out of this app. Subscriptions for teachers range from $119.99 - $179.99.
This app is a great piano practice. The learning membership is for students who are really serious about becoming proficient at playing. It has a vast library of songs, lessons and training activities, ranging from the veriest beginner to the budding piano champion.
The app also has functioning for piano teachers, for use with their students and assign various practice sessions and songs using the app. Here I will cover mainly how the app can assist the solo student in learning how to play:
The app can be used in two ways: on the sheet music rack of a real piano, or using a keyboard inside the app itself. For best results you will want to use this with your own piano.
The app begins by teaching a rendition of a song that can be played with only one note. The song is taught by displaying the timing and sheet music of the song, and going through it slowly, pausing at each note until the student hits the correct key. The next lesson has the student play it a bit faster with some background music. These lessons build until the whole song can be played at full speed.
From this simple lesson not only does the student now know a song, but he can also read the sheet music for that song, has learned about timing and rhythm, as well as some basic pause notations in sheet music.
This same pattern maintains for learning three-note songs, and builds until the student can play songs with both hands. After this, there are some hand coordination lessons, and again, the skill level increases step-by-step.
I was lucky enough to grab a free version of this app with some great holiday jingles offered for free. I was a little lost as these were serious songs and I had not done the previous training levels. Even so, I was able to learn a couple songs on the steady step-by-step teaching method of playing it very slowly, pausing at each note until I struck the correct key, and so on until I could play it with the full music. Almost magic.
And don't think this app is just full of simple little songs to make students feel good about themselves. This thing is packed as well with complex sheet music from composes such as Vivaldi – as well as modern-day pop songs to inspire kids and young folk to learn.
Piano Maestro is an excellent resource for learning to play the piano. It makes learning fun. It's easy to pick up and teaches at a slow, steady pace for anyone to be able to follow along.
Most reviews for this app in the app store itself say that those who have purchased the subscription do so because this app is the only thing that keeps them engaged when they sit down to practice. Since we all know that practice makes perfect, it's a great investment for serious students.
Free app with membership at time of the review.
Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.