Piano Learning Software Articles
How to Play Piano
How to play piano: how to set a goal.
Playing the piano artistically is not the real goal of learning to play music, just as acting on stage is not the reason we learn to read. Recitals, instrumental contests, and the prospect of grooming prodigies are not going to help us learn how to play the piano.
How to play piano by sight-reading music is one of the main goals of music education. People who know how to play piano first must have the ability to read music notation and produce multiple sounds aloud on the piano while using the fingers of both hands or while playing the notes inside the mind. Playing any other musical instruments is a PLUS, of course, but the piano is the true voice of music literacy
How to Play the Piano: What Exactly Should We Learn in Music Class?
Many music educators do not consider (or just do not realize) the difference among the types of music education. However, there are three main avenues in learning how to play the piano:
1) Secluded music making--when a person sings or plays a musical instrument for him or herself without any listeners, playing for personal enjoyment;
2) Joint music making--when a person sings or plays for friendly emotional communication with others (learning how to play the piano with other instruments or to sing in an ensemble);
3) Public music making--when a person sings or plays with the goal of creating a performance that will impact the inner emotions and spiritual conditions of other people-- listeners.
Playing the piano in the first two avenues of learning is for the personal, spiritual, and intellectual growth of the player. Jjont music making is more powerful than playing in public--and playing music alone is more powerful than in a joint performance.
The goal of learning how to play the piano should be the ability to make music for oneself. Public performances are for professionals. Only very advanced players get to master the trade of playing the piano artistically in specially created music environments. However, before they become artists, professional musicians have to pass through the stages of secluded and joint music making as they master the skill of reading music fluently and thoughtfully.
How to play the piano without getting hurt. When teachers or/and parents try to make a concert player from any beginner who just wants to learn how to play piano, they are not providing a harmless extravagance, but making a harmful educational mistake. When turning children into performing artists is our only goal, we force children to memorize pieces of music for future performances and make them repeat the same music over and over again. We should instead be giving them the chance to read something new so they can truly learn how to play the piano for themselves. This will help them enjoy the experience and continue studying.
How to play the piano for children. Players have to sight-read many pieces of music to be able to play the piano with sheet music. Otherwise, beginners won’t read music fluently, but will be able to reproduce something by drills. The child also will be under a lot of pressure to demonstrate passionate "feelings" during the performance--this supposedly enhances music making with "expressiveness" and demonstrates an "exceptional talent."
How to play the piano thoughtfully. What would you say if after graduating from public school your child could not be able to read any literature, but instead could only recite memorized poems and chapters from novels? Most likely, you would say that your child remained illiterate. But it happens in music classes all the time--when music educators want to teach our children to recite without teaching them to make music for their personal enjoyment or jointly with others for their personal pleasure. This is not music literacy-- not without teaching kids the elementary skills of reading and writing music.
How to play the piano successfully. Successfully learning how to play the piano is laid on a foundation of reading and writing music for personal enjoyment. Our Soft Way to Mozart computerized curriculum and interactive Gentle Piano System give every beginner all the necessary components for learning to play the piano: the ability to see the notes and piano keys and their connection from the very start, with interactivity and a healthy balance of developing finger coordination and sight-reading .
Music software is getting more and more important in learning how to play the piano. The best software for learning piano gives a great chance for everyone to understand how to play piano. Otherwise, you can play on instruments mostly taught through hourly private lessons. But this doesn’t come cheap. This has continued for so many generations that it is regarded as the classic norm. Nearly every person that can play music is an individual product of hourly lessons. Imagine if other basic subjects were taught this way: math, physics, biology, language. How many educated specialists would our society have produced?
Educational music software
Music software and computers have given a renewed nudge towards the solution to this problem. Many musicians and programmers dove in at once to create software for music education, connecting the computer and instrument into one system. Everyone awaited a miracle from the Technological Revolution and music software. It was expected that computerization would conquer the problem of common music illiteracy in the coming years.
Educational music software became common. In the States, electronic music studios opened one after the other. Lessons there were markedly less expensive thanks to mass production. And, understandably, the musicians’ relationship to them wasn’t simple. Music teachers split into two parties. The "Conservatives" categorically rejected the computer’s music software ability to teach "beautiful art" and thought the attempts at teaching with a "soulless machine" to be barbaric. The "Computerists" were convinced that only a computer with educational music software could really teach music, connected into the process with interactivity and graphics.
However, the huge enthusiasm of the Computerists has been warped by years of disillusionment. Most of the companies that made programs for learning to play music with software were ruined. The demand for their production simply didn’t overcome their expenses. Those expecting progress were left in confusion. The Conservatives celebrated victory.
Meanwhile, the failure of the computer music software programs of that time can be explained quite simply: they didn’t change the approach to the perception at all. The same old ineffective system of music education remained at their core. The elements of play, colored graphics and interactivity only sweetened the bitter pill of the usual method. They couldn’t teach people to master the language of music. You can change anything you’d like in an old car: the body, steering wheel and tires, you can even install an A.C. and a TV screen. But until the broken engine is replaced, the car will remain a piece of junk that nobody needs.
Educational piano software
Educational piano software has a chance for revenge. The "motor" of any method (learning piano software or traditional lessons) is its effectiveness with students if the alphabet system for note names doesn’t help the development of hearing and voice, no amount of graphics in music software will change this attribute. And if theory is separated from action, the perception isn’t interested, and no interactivity will make it more wanted, more memorable.
The computerization of ineffective methods only worsens them. For years, traditional pedagogy held on to human interaction, picking out exclusively the most talented and working with them. Not contributing anything new, the computer music software took away even that, making education soulless and mechanical.
Only ‘Soft Way to Mozart’ music software managed to conquer all of these obstacles and made piano lessons enjoyable, productive and fun. Try our best educational piano software for free and feel the difference!
Piano for Kids
Piano for kids is the universal, fundamental and most accessible multi-octave instrument for learning the music language. Piano for kids is the most effective tool, because the keys’ layout presents an obvious representation of the Grand Staff, making it much easier for a beginner to understand music grammar.
Piano for kids
Piano for kids is a melodic and percussive instrument at the same time, the digital keyboard is the ideal training device for the development of hearing and rhythm. Playing piano for kids doesn’t require any special physical exertion, like stringed and wind instruments do. While playing piano, a child can simultaneously sing, developing his voice and mastering proper intonation.
The digital keyboard (piano) for kids can’t be played out of tune; when a key is pressed, a clean, even note is sounded, allowing the hearing to develop without obstacle. While playing piano for kids, the student receives the melody, harmony, and rhythm all at once. Reproduction of both the melody and accompaniment develops the melodic and harmonious ear. When we teach our fingers to ‘walk’ smoothly (legato) or stomp (staccato), we are developing everything at once – the depth of hearing, control of the voice, and the subtle nuances of motor movement.
Piano for kids is extremely important. Devotees of violins, accordions, flutes and harps, will of course object to this. They will say that other instruments are much more ‘articulate,’ better convey emotions and the subtle interrelations of tones, that furthermore diversity is important, and an instrument should be a matter of one’s taste. Undoubtedly, this is true. But we’re talking about the ability to teach at an elementary stage of music development. In this, the piano for kids has no competitors. Moreover, the digital piano/keyboard is even more effective than ordinary pianos!
Recommended for teaching piano for kids is the Gentle Piano System – Music GPS – in our curriculum ‘Soft Way to Mozart’. For learning to play piano for kids our instrument of choice is an electronic piano connected to a computer through MIDI, which enables interaction between the two. Sight reading, when played and voiced in Solfeggio, is developed simultaneously. The support for this is an elementary representation of the music staff and corresponding stickers on the keys. At the same time, each of these skills can be worked on separately, which will speed up familiarization with music notation. In piano for kids music reading should develop in all possible directions, both in “height” and “depth.” Here are some of the best supports for this:
1. Piano for kids fluent sight-reading development: the most basic music material on a traditional, black and white music staff. Simple is best, as the coordination shouldn’t be overtaxed.
2. Piano for kids development of coordination: “practice” material on a simplified music staff with colors and shapes.
3. Piano for kids perfection of the technique of playing: special exercises for the visual, tactical, and auditory perceptions. They should be carried out parallel to all other work.
Piano for kids as an ultimate ear training tool. No person is obligated to be born with musical gifts in order to make music. While learning, we should depend on the basic abilities of any person: his ability to hear different sounds, distinguish different colors, and move his fingers. This is absolutely enough. The abilities of a person aren’t gifts – they can easily be developed. A true gift is the success of a method of education, not the talent of a “genius.” And, of course, the most important element in such a method is natural gradualness.
Piano for kids with ‘Soft Way to Mozart and our music GPS makes it easy even for toddlers to start. A person between the ages of 2-5 to 80 has come to learn from zero. Which skills of his can we rely on to start a gradual progression to fluent sight reading with both hands? Distinctly speaking plain words and syllables. Distinguishing one picture from another. Distinguishing colors: red and blue, green and brown. Pressing down a key with one finger. That’s all! A two-year-old child has full control of these skills – that’s the essence of piano for kids with Soft Mozart.
Piano for Beginners
Piano for beginners could be very intimidating.
It is believed that in order for a person to sit and play from sheet music, all he needs is an elementary knowledge of theory and an understanding of the notes’ positions on the music staff, as well as a relatively developed coordination. However, judging from the current success rates in traditional piano for beginners, it is obvious that this isn’t nearly adequate.
Piano secret for beginners
Naturally, the most important part of the work done in music reading and piano for beginners is performed by the vision. Yet because of some sort of misunderstanding, traditional lessons rarely use visual exercises that develop the perception of sheet music! As a result of this, the ability to “catch” the entire page in one glance, momentarily separate the important from the supplementary, and to read it on the fly is considered to be an art on the verge of the impossible. Only the most talented musicians are believed to have the skills necessary to obtain this “holy grail” of musicianship.
In reality, the secrets of piano for beginners and lightning-quick sight-reading aren’t at all difficult to pass on to children at the earliest age. In fact, there is only thing preventing the achievement of this is stubborn educational habits and prejudices. All that the educator needs to do is to look at the music staff with the eyes of a piano beginner that’s never seen it before. I’ve been lucky enough to manage this. Let’s admit it – our “familiar and logical” notes are completely nonsensical, and even hostile to the piano beginner! When I first set eyes on a new page of sheet music, we can see a minefield where any false step would set off a disaster.
Piano lessons for beginners
Piano lessons have to find ways to adapt the Grand Staff to make it more comprehensible to a beginner. We had to think up some proper exercises that would develop visual skills, and eventually created flashcards, computer games, and posters capable of such a task for piano beginners. With their help, the eyes of our students were trained to separate the different elements of music notation.
Piano for beginners has the main obstacles, or potentially undeveloped skills, that hinder the fluent reading of notes. An inability to distinguish notes that are one step apart from notes that skip several steps.
The piano beginner can’t quickly tell a note that is on a line from a note that is between lines. An inability to quickly determine which line or space is which. Piano beginners often confuse the 2nd and 3rd lines and spaces with the 3rd and 4th. This iss a consequence of the fact that there are over 7 lines and spaces to keep up with on the Treble Clef alone, and the visual perception gets lost in its “visual jungle”.
Piano for beginners also has this confusion between the “left-right” movement on the piano (the keys) and the “up-down” movement of the notes (the Grand Staff). When the melody goes “up” in pitch, one needs to move to the right on the keys, and when it goes “down,” he needs to go to the left. While the coordination of right-up and left-down hasn’t been properly formed, competent reading of sheet music is almost impossible in piano for beginners. The child exerts a large amount of concentration just to “rotate” the notes.
Beginners in piano also have an inability to read both the treble and bass clefs at the same time. If this skill hasn’t been formed, expecting to play with both hands would be the same as trying to eat from an empty plate.
Piano for beginners have to consider also a lack of coordination between the hands while reading the two clefs simultaneously. If the hands haven’t properly been “worked out,” they just get in the way of reading! Now the plate is full, but there aren’t any utensils to use.
An undeveloped “music eye” of piano beginners that can accurately estimate the distances between notes (and their according keys). In other words, the inability to count and play the jumps in melodies and complex chords.
In order to help our piano beginners work out these difficulties, we use supplementary graphics, and most importantly, a colorful and simplified transformation of the grand staff. At first, we use flashcards and written exercises, and later, computer games. Finally, with the help of interactive (reactive, answering) animation, we were able to develop the vision of our beginners in piano quickly and without difficulty.
Try our best free software piano learning method for beginners. You will play like Mozart in few weeks!
Sheet Music for Piano
Sheet music for piano is always in demand of people who want to play piano and read music. But before the essential Soft Mozart’s game called the Gentle Piano System (GPS) came to existence we used to teach with no stickers or piano guides, no interactivity and off of the paper’s sheet music.
Interactive sheet music for piano
Soft Mozart supports piano technique development and sight-reading through interactive sheet music – sheet music for piano that speaks back to you and lets you know how well you are playing and what you have to do to play better.
The program offers several Grand Staff presentations of the sheet music with different amounts of visual support. We give the students an opportunity to read sheet music that is more difficult for coordination in a representation with more visual help and the use of more simple pieces for sight-reading. Gradually our visual GPS presentations look like a sheet of music for piano on paper and when you move to play off books the transition is very mild and painless.
Our interactive sheet music for piano also has another essential feature: the ability to see how you performed in precise numbers. With scores of our interactive sheet music for piano it is easy to determine whether you are ready to move on to the next level of difficulty or not. If you struggle to achieve the perfect amount of music notes and their time number is greater than amount of notes, it means that you definitely need to stay on this level of interactive sheet music for piano and don’t rush yourself to sheet music on paper.
Reading sheet music for piano
The music software ‘Soft Mozart’ takes all the headache out of piano teaching, like burning-out and slow progress in learning to read the notes with original sheet music for piano. The kids automatically get to play songs...real songs...even before they are really reading sheet music for piano, because they receive so much aid. We recommend this for EVERY piano teacher or student, as well as schools and other educational institutions.
The same thing happens with playing with sheet music. ‘Soft Mozart’ offers several Grand Staff presentations with different amounts of visual support to learn piano with no intimidation. But students try to get to horizontal presentations as soon as possible. To learn piano in healthy balance the program gives the students more difficult for coordination pieces on presentation with more visual help and use more easy pieces for sight-reading. Last presentation of Soft Mozart looks like a sheet of music and when they move to play off books the transition is very mild and painless. With scores of program it is easy to determine, whether student ready to learn piano by moving to next level of difficulty or not. If they struggle to achieve perfect amount of music notes and their time number is greater than amount of notes, it means, that they definitely need to stay on this level.