One of the great gifts that parents and teachers can give to children is the love and appreciation of music. Enjoying and learning music can begin at any age, and even some would say in utero. Kid’s Piano Deluxe is designed to introduce music concepts for kids about age 5 and up. Anyone who is new to music, the piano and music notation can learn the basics with Kid’s Piano Deluxe.
When I was designing this app I had quite a few challenges. First, I needed to make it work on an iPad screen which is quite a bit smaller than a full-size 88 key piano keyboard. I decided that the best solution was to limit the number of keys to about 2 octaves. Since the purpose of the app is to introduce music concepts it didn’t seem necessary to have a full keyboard. Second, displaying notes is tricky. Different notes are needed, quarter notes, half notes and whole notes, for example. Depending on where a note is to be displayed on the staff, the stem needs to go up or down. Rest are needed to show that there is a pause in the music. So as you can see, lots of logic needed to be employed in the programming methods in order to display the music correctly, but fortunately I love a challenge.
I wanted to have some interesting graphics in the app and I remembered a neat film that I used to show my students. In the film birds would assemble themselves on five telephone wires representing the treble staff while a character danced on a crosswalk representing the piano keys. It was a British film and so the crosswalk was striped like they are in England. (Remember the Abbey Road album cover.) In the film the birds would rearrange themselves on the staff (telephone wires) to tell the character which ‘keys’ to play on the crosswalk. Great imagery! And it inspired me to use birds in the app.
In the Kid’s Piano Deluxe app there are ten lessons and each lesson is graphically illustrated. After the lesson is read, the student is given some practice exercises. After all, the way to Carnegie Hall is practice, practice, practice…
For the practice activity, students are presented with a short piece of music and challenged to play it accurately. Proper fingering is explained with a graphic and the keys on the piano labeled.
There are ten lessons. Accuracy is recorded and displayed in a scoreboard. Particular lessons can be selected by sliding the selector to a specific lesson.
I hope ‘kids’ of all ages will have fun learning music with this app. It’s available at iTunes and is only $1.99.
For more information visit our website.
Leave a comment to let me know what you think.