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March/April 2018: Editor's Column

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I admit it: technology has won a  firm, long-lasting place in my heart.  At present, I own two iPads, an iMac, an  iPhone, a laptop, a music video camera,  and a number of digital pianos. Other  odds and ends of plug-in equipment and  Bluetooth gadgets litter my home and  studio. These are all completely necessary...
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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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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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Piano teaching programs reviewed: ArtistWorks and Meludia

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ArtistWorks OVERVIEW: Equipment needed : Computer, phone, or tablet  with video recording capability; internet  connection. Mac and Windows are supported. Pricing : Packages are $105 for 3 months, $179 for 6  months, and $279 for 12 months. Video lectures/  lessons, backing tracks, video exchanges and  submissions, and theo...
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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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Teaching with backing tracks

​ B acking tracks (pre-recorded or  automated instrumental accompaniments) are inherently motivational. Why? Because playing with a snazzy drum groove is simply more compelling than practicing with a metronome. Here are suggestions for integrating backing tracks into your curriculum to enhance technique, timing, and creativity—all at the same ...
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YouTube piano tutorials: The Art of Teaching and Lypur

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OVERVIEW Price: Free YouTube channels devoted to music education and beginning piano instruction Systems: Available on the web or through the iOS and Android YouTube apps Equipment: Any internet-connected device Website: youtube.com The Art of Teaching https://goo.gl/yLW5DA Lypur https://goo.gl/yJaubq   PROS: The Art of Teaching: Succinct, exp...
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Piano teaching programs reviews: Practicia

Overview Price: Free for now. Subscription pricing  will take effect when beta period ends,  date and price to be determined. Technical Requirements: High-speed  internet connections, iPhone or iPad.  Android and desktop versions currently  under development. Website: practicia.com Customer support: Excellent  communic...
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Piano teaching programs reviewed: Wolfie

Overview Price: Free zone or full premium access  for $5.99/month (both student and teacher  must purchase) Systems: Only available for the iPad Equipment: Any acoustic or digital piano;  no cables or equipment necessary Website: tonara.com Pros ​ Large catalog and ability to scan any PDF  score into the app No extra equipment n...
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Playground Sessions

by Kristin Cahill  OVERVIEW: • PRICE AND OPTIONS: -$9.99/month (billed annually); includes $20 in song credits -$17.99 for a single month; includes one free song -$269.99 lifetime membership; includes $40 in song credits  *All subscriptions have full access to Playground software, community features (social media, leader boards), free Boo...
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Piano Maestro

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Not too long ago (say, way back in the 1990s), if you wanted to learn to play the piano, you basically had two options: you could find a teacher and take traditional lessons, or you could buy a book and try to teach yourself. With the growth of the internet and the arrival of smart mobile devices, those opportunities have expanded considerably.&nbs...
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