THE COMPUTER PROGRAM
Anybody Can Play Soft Mozart: Two successful international programs working together so schools and individuals can now have access to a Computer/Midi Keyboard Piano Learning Program so easy and enjoyable that a child of 24 months can do it...and without the need of a piano teacher.
Playing the piano requires a complicated array of simultaneous skills. With the Soft Mozart games (as well as the note-reading EZ Piano Notes iPad App) these skills are separated into individual steps so the learner can concentrate on one process at a time.....and during that process children think they are playing video games!
The Grand Staff is modified in several ways to facilitate the learning process. From the very start, children, helped by animated characters, are actually reading the notes on the staff. Even at level 6 when the computer monitor looks like a regular piece of sheet music, the student is being subtly reminded where to look while playing. There are over 500 songs in this program with more being added. Once a piece is totally memorized, videos are available so the student can play along with a professional pianist in order to hone technique.
In addition free download-able manipulatives are continually being added. Just check the Resources page.
Since the program is computerized it is totally objective, so children (as well as adults) are not intimidated. The computer does not mind helping a student over and over and over again if necessary....and automatically operates at the level of the user.
Using this program is like having a totally patient piano teacher sitting at your side and helping you every moment you are practicing....and keeping that practice at an appropriate level at all times.
If you wish, a demo for the Gentle Piano segment of this program (which is the actual teaching of songs on the piano) is available on pianolearningsoftware.com featuring segments of different songs. Click on "Free Trial", then "Demo", then the video of the child. Just plug a midi keyboard into your computer and the song segments will work! Key guides for your piano/keyboard are also available on this "Demo" page free of charge.
Cost for this program is way less than the cost of piano lessons. Divide the annual subscription payment by 12 and it is less than $30.00 per month! - plus there are no additional materials to purchase.
To purchase this program click here.
The Anybody Can Play Soft Mozart curriculum covers music education for all ages from 24 months through adult.
Gentle Piano is visual/audio interactive sheet music. The software presently contains over 500 songs, with more being added all the time. Instead of a piano book on the music stand, students see notation on the computer monitor. As they play the notes they see feedback from different animated characters.
Soft Mozart consists of six modules that teach music theory and provide ear training. One module, for instance, teaches note duration, another notes on the treble staff, etc.
If desired, suggested lesson plans, suggestions for the use of specific curriculum songs and other materials are freely available.
Students begin to read notation from the start. However, reading and playing at the same time is definitely multi-tasking. Since we try to teach one step at a time our curriculum is designed to provide a healthy balance between technique development and sight-reading challenges.
Depending on the age of the beginner we use skills that person already has to assist in his/her musical learning. We DO NOT need a reading student. All we need are students who can:
1. Speak distinctly
2. Distinguish between pictures and/or colors, and
3. Be able to press down a piano/keyboard key with one finger.
Even 2-year-olds have these attributes!
The Gentle Piano part of our program uses interactive music notation with animated characters so learning to play the piano is just like playing an exciting, visual, interactive video game. The Soft Mozart modules also function like video games while actually teaching notation, duration of notes, etc. Students are given instant help when they need it, levels of difficulty are automatically adjusted, instant gratification is given, scores are posted.....the list goes on.
There have been a multitude of books written about the subject of learning. Deep "practice" happens when one has to figure out how to do some skill, then thinks about the best way to achieve that skill, then works on slowly perfecting that skill, then increasing the speed of that perfected skill until it has become totally accomplished....even to the point of being easy. This is true "learning to learn" and this process develops portions of the brain.
With our program, the user learns to learn. The Gentle Piano portion of Anybody Can Play Soft Mozart does not let the user continue when a mistake has been made. Even with the help of the animated characters, it requires thinking about the "mistake" so it can be corrected. The program can even be set so it goes over just one small segment at a time allowing the user time to become comfortable before proceeding.
Both Karla Hastings (Anybody Can Play) and Hellene Hiner (Soft Mozart) have watched as computer savvy children have set the computer themselves to work on a small segment over and over again until they have mastered the segment. It is truly amazing to watch this process and since the computer is involved, the user has total control over that learning process! Needless to say, students who use this program learn to pay very close attention to all details - the correct note, the proper duration, etc. - extremely helpful in other studies!
This program is for not only beginners, but those who want to hone their skills or advance even farther than their present skill level. And, it is not only for children! So many times adults say that they wished they could play the piano. Well, here is your chance......and in the privacy of your own home! You will learn to play with both hands and learn to correctly read music notation!
Schools can now offer ALL their students ages 3 and older real piano lessons taught in an age appropriate and enjoyable way. The children will think they are playing a video game! All that is needed to provide piano lessons for the children is a computer, keyboard with midi (most keyboards have midi) and an inexpensive cable to connect the two. No Internet is necessary.
All the games and songs are on the software and schools are welcome to download the software into as many computers as they wish. However, the program will not work without a special "dongle" that is programmed for a specific subscription. So even if the program is in several computers for convenience, it can only work on the one with the inserted "dongle".
One thing foremost in your mind at this point is probably the cost. Cost per student is really minimal. The initial program is $316.99 for a year's subscription. There are discounts for multiple programs: 5% times the number of program subscriptions purchased, beginning with a quantity of two. Total discount is limited to 50%. Schools also earn credits toward future subscription purchases when families within their schools purchase this program for use at home.
Speaking from a strictly monetary angle, this program is a marketing dream for a school. Just think! You can advertise that piano lessons are available for everyone free of charge. Just one additional family that chooses your school so their child can be exposed to learning piano more than pays for the program.
There are several games for learning the names of the keys, note duration, placement of notes on the staff, etc. Anybody Can Play Soft Mozart gives the school suggestions for different age groups. For instance, 2-3 year old children are able to play the Guess Key game so long as there are stickers on the piano/keyboard keys so they can match C to C, etc. Once they recognize and can match the letters from A to G, they can also do the beginning Gentle Piano songs on the first level staff - right hand alone, left hand alone, or both hands together.
Being able to play the piano is not a per-requisite for helping the children. The F1 key gives help with anything your staff might want to know about the particular activity - like how to start the song over again. In very little time the children - even the very young - know which (computer) keys to press for different activities.
This program does not have a "top end". Older children can also learn with this program - beginners as well as those who have already had lessons. There are over 500 songs in the learning library with more being added all the time. In fact if there are some favorites we are able to add them so long as there are no copyright infringements.
To purchase this program click here.
Your child (even Mom & Dad) can now learn to play the piano in the privacy of home - even when no one in the family knows how to play the piano! - and no piano teacher is necessary. The cost is $316.99 for an entire year - a fraction of what piano lessons would cost. The program can be used with children as young as 24 months old....some have even been younger! The program comes with download-able icons for the keys (and pictured instructions for placing them properly). All that is needed is a computer (desktop, laptop...makes no difference), a keyboard with midi (most keyboards are midi), and the proper cable to connect the two. There are free resources on-line such as videos, suggestions for parents, etc.
The computer is infinitely patient, but particular. It will not progress until the present mistake is corrected. This procedure actually teaches children how to correctly learn. The different functions are engaging so children learn to focus. Beside that, playing the piano dramatically increases brain function - functions that transfer to math, science and literary skills!
Many studies have been made about the benefits of piano study for young children. One such study used two groups of 4-year-olds from the same pre-school. Half received piano lessons and the other half did not. The 4--year-olds with no piano lessons increased their math skills by 50% during a semester - which is normal. The other 4-year-olds with no difference in curriculum except piano lessons increased their math skills by 400% during the same time period! All this just by adding piano lessons!
To purchase this program click here.
PIANO TEACHER USE
As a piano teacher you are probably thinking, "Great! Another program that will do no one any good and turn off a potential piano student!" Actually this program can help your studio numbers. It is true that no piano teacher is needed for someone to use the Anybody Can Play Soft Mozart program. However, do remember, parents will buy a program such as this for their child just to see if the child is interested - and fortunately this program is very engaging, so there is a child "out there" learning to play the piano who probably would never have been exposed to regular piano lessons. There are videos that teach technique with this program, but some parents may want a real person to aid in the learning process - especially when they see the enthusiasm of their child.
This program also gives you some flexibility. All students should be memorizing their lessons, so you can assign certain songs or segments of songs to be learned and memorized. The computer program will not allow mistakes, so notes will be correct. If the child knows the piece well enough, he/she can play along with the song so rhythm will be accurate as well at that point. Having the computer program teaching the song means that you really don't need to see that student on a weekly basis if that is a problem for the parent - and in this busy world that CAN be a problem. This opens your studio to busy families!
This program can take a lot of the drudgery out of your teaching. No longer do you have to drill with flashcards to teach note-reading. The computer does it for you. No longer do you have to drill note duration. The computer does that for you as well. No longer do you have to stop the student when he/she makes a mistake. The computer will not go on when a mistake is made, so the student has already learned to be careful and precise. The computer does all this for the student when he/she is at home, so you can concentrate on things musical when at the lesson.
Students are also able to participate in international on-line recitals, so you can upload videos of your students and advertise if you wish at the same time. Many students in this program have won national piano competitions, and viewing those students I have seen incredible attention to detail - all the work of that computer!
To purchase this program, click here.