Leila Viss owns a tech-savy piano studio in Colorado, blogs at 88pianokeys.me, and is the author of The iPad Piano Studio. She is a full-time organist and the co-founder of 88 Creative Keys with Bradley Sowash.

May/June 2018 First Looks: Apps for Teaching

SuperScore-Logo
A closer look at SuperScore A unique liquid display? Embedded performances? Interactive features for learning and performing? An amazing library of scores? Is it possible that all of these features are found in one free app? Yes, in an app called SuperScore. To say that George Litterst, developer of SuperScore, is a pioneer in the world of music te...
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March/April 2018: First Looks: Apps for teaching

Looking for fresh ways to prepare students for an upcoming theory test? Need a new method to reinforce and build student confidence in any music-related topic? Consider using Heads Up or Kahoot.  Heads up  Ellen DeGeneres introduced Heads Up for her show years ago, as it makes a terrific family game for holiday fun. The app comes with a v...
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Protecting passwords in 21st-century style

Do you panic when prompted to enter a password? It's virtually an impossible task to remember every password you create as most websites now require you to make an account and follow a specific set of rules for the username and a "strong" password. A high-tech guru who sensed my frustration with passwords advised me to keep things simple and w...
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Apps for teaching: Tools for triggering creativity with pop music

Why integrate popular or "non-classical" music into piano lessons? Retain students Integrating pop music into your curriculum can meet students "where they are." Encouraging them to learn what's on their Spotify or iTunes playlist may draw them to practicing more, which results in progress. Progress motivates, and will keep them on the bench. Devel...
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Apps for teaching: Acing theory tests without theory books

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Much to my pleasure (and astonishment!), a number of my students signed up to take theory tests at the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) local festival. None of these students owns a theory book. The NFMC Bulletin provides an outline of concepts covered in each test level, as well as practice tests from prior years. From the online bul...
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Lock in theory with iReal Pro

Developing technical skills builds strong players. Working  through technical challenges can be more beneficial when combined with theory concepts and exponentially more engaging when locked into a groove. Fellow Clavier Companion contributor and improvisation specialist Bradley Sowash recommends developing scale playing with backing tracks th...
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Apps for teaching: Make it stick with Quizlet

Quizlet is an app that generates flash cards. These are not the traditional, last-century, paper flash cards. Once you set up an account, you can create customized sets of virtual flashcards with engaging study modes, and access them on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Most students are familiar with Quizlet because the app is frequently used in ...
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First Looks: Apps for Teaching

Paper leaves a trail, and usually the trail leads to the trash can. For that reason, I prefer to avoid paper and ink and offer virtual lesson assignment sheets. All my notes for student lessons are written in Pages, a word processor app similar to Word and available for all iOS devices. The notes are emailed as a PDF (portable document file) after ...
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Mobile technology is the new normal

Mobile technology is the new normal
​ Editor's note: In the November/December 2014 issue, Clavier Companion launched a series of articles addressing the future of piano teaching. The following two articles are part of that series, which will continue in future issues. Think back to an earlier time in your life.  ​Did you turn a small knob to flip through the three major televisi...
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