As I teach out of reaction to my own experiences and feelings, it is essential that my students become strong grand staff readers and overcome their fears of sight reading as I eventually did. Early readers develop solid skills with continual reinforcement; in fact, a great deal of reinforcement that I find dreadfully boring to include during lessons. Oops…probably shouldn’t have said that but it’s true.
Thankfully things have changed significantly since I was a child on the bench. Now methods to build AND teach grand staff reading skills are available on my favorite iDevice thanks to various developers. Yigal and Yuval Kaminka, the master mind developers behind Joytunes‘ latest app called Piano Mania have struck gold. The innovative, musical brothers recognized that humans enjoy winning and took advantage of the addictive tendencies of top-selling video games and paired them with essential reading skills for musicians to master. This combination coupled with appealing music and an elite technical team has created an unbeatable, magnetic AND educational app.
The app offers an elaborate system for building reading skills that benefit both students and teachers.
For the Budding Music Reader and Electronically Inclined Student: Musical Incentives
To begin using the app, players are asked to create a profile and the app then keeps track of personal progress. Pianists begin with the first chapter of songs and must watch notes on one or both staves stream across the screen. They must play the correct keys on the iPad screen OR a keyboard of choice within correct timing. The catchy back-up tracks and engaging graphics make the journey through each chapter quite addictive. As students receive evaluation feedback from the app and improve their scores, they move up in rank and are even invited to skip to a higher rank if they feel ready for more challenging pieces.
The immediate appeal of Piano Mania is that students can look ahead to upcoming tunes which can be unlocked once current songs are “passed”. JoyTunes has collected and continues to add current hits to the library. The lure of these student favorites and the carefully sequenced selection of exercises provides the perfect “carrot” to keep gamers playing and improving their skills.
Instead of me going into more detail, I’d recommend checking out the Piano Mania info page (click here). Next, click here to download your free version.You and your students will be hooked immediately.
For the Caring and Curious Teacher: Convenient Record Keeping
Perhaps the most important feature of this app is the ability for players to use it with an iPad alone or with an acoustic or digital piano with NO additional fancy wires. Reading and practicing new songs on a real piano closely simulates the experience most pianists (and teachers) would prefer.
With the latest version, a new roaming profile feature allows students to access their profile and play on any iPad. This means that you can assign Piano Mania homework to students and have access to organized student records relaying progress. Ahhh…no more “dreadfully boring” sight-reading activities during lessons. 🙂
Want advice from the developers on how to use the app? Click here.
Looking for sheet music for many of the library tunes? Click here.
Want to stay up-to-date with all things Piano Mania? Make sure to register as a teacher. You’ll be invited to do so once you become a Piano Mania subscriber.
For the Addicted Piano Mania Fans: Fresh Format
If you are already using Piano Mania there are some terrific upgrades in the latest version. The shiny new graphics have been adjusted to suit the retina display for the latest iPad models. In the past, notes travelled across the screen on a slanted staff. The developers have listened to those bothered with this angled format and the notes now appear on a straight staff.
The new roaming profiles mentioned above just make this app even more appealing.
One more bonus, the support behind the award-winning app continues to become stronger and more personal. Click here to join the JoyTunes Teachers Facebook Group.
Honestly, there’s little reason for me to carry on about Piano Mania. JoyTunes is the recipient of numerous international awards which speaks volumes for the app. The most recent award: Piano Mania has been voted THE #1 education app in the United States and 20 other countries.
Check out this little bro of Piano Mania
Need something for young pre-readers? Check out JoyTunes Piano DustBusters. There’s no room to share more about this clever app featuring a grandma dusting germs from a keyboard. However, your gamers–oops, I mean students–will love this one! Watch the video below.
Get your free Piano Mania code here
Piano Mania allows you to try it for free with limited options. There are in-app purchase options up to a full year subscription at $49.99. Interested in a free Piano Mania subscription? JoyTunes has generously offered a one-month premium membership to all MusicTeachersHelper.com readers. This is a great way to give it a try with all the incredible features. You and your students will be hooked.
Here’s the information you will need to get your free premium membership up and running:
- What: The free coupon code for MusicTeachersHelper.com readers: MTHELPER14
- Where: Click HERE to redeem.
- When: Offer begins now and ends February 16, 2014.
To redeem the coupon code:
1) If you haven’t created an account already then it should be an option after creating an account. (see photo 1)
2) If you have created an account already then it is an option in the teacher/parent zone in the “account section” on the right hand side. (see photo 2)
3) Please email your questions to Marta at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to help you.
Hurry as this offer ends February 16th. Also, make sure to LIKE the JoyTunes Facebook Page where you will find continual support, hints and tips from the developers themselves!