What Piano Learning Software Is Best for Kids?
Since you're reading this you've probably decided that you want your kids to start piano lessons. Congratulations on a great decision! A ton of research has proven how beneficial music lessons are and how they can literally "grow our children's brains."
We know how expensive piano lessons can be so you're also probably looking at some alternatives, such as piano learning software. There are a lot of options out there but what piano lesson software is best for kids to get them started on a new musical adventure?
In order to make that decision easier, there are a few simple things to look for so you can be ensured that the software method is worth your investment.
Simply put, if the software isn't fun, our kids will quickly grow bored with it no matter how good it is. Making it fun maintains their interest will allow them to take it further creating a better learning experience. Children have a lot of distractions today between boy/girl scouts, little league, and even their own video game systems. If this isn't fun, they will eventually move on to something that is. Don't be fooled by glitz and glamor. Oftentimes, simple is genius.
Let's face it, learning piano isn't "easy". But if the software was able to make it "easier" and avoid those frustrating pitfalls, our kids would learn faster, go farther, and be more apt to keep going.
It's OK to go easy on them especially in the early stages. However, at some point it should get a little more difficult if important skills is to be developed. The software learning method should be "progressive", meaning with each few lessons, make it just a bit harder by introducing new fundamentals and techniques. Some examples are:
- a. Starting on left hand, then playing the right hand, then playing both.
- b. Starting off with easy fingering, then advance to cross fingering.
- c. Starting off the single notes then advancing to chords (multiple notes played at one time).
As long we stay focused on the "fun" part, the child will face up to the challenge, otherwise, he or she will just get frustrated and give up.
Everyone needs a little push sometimes. If the software method has constant "checkpoints", sets goals that are actually attainable, and rewards them for their accomplishments, kids will be more motivated to keep going.
The software should instill the fundamentals of music learning, such as music reading, phrasing, posture, dynamics and technique. Be wary of free or inexpensive piano learning software that really doesn't take the child very far in the learning process. After all, you get what you pay for.
The software method should be easy enough for a beginner, yet challenging and expansive enough for more advanced players. The ability to expand the system (such as adding more songs to learn) and allows the child to grow is a strong plus.
Let's face it, nothing can beat the interaction you get with a real piano teacher. But if the software method can even come close, this makes it quite valuable. One example of interaction would be with you..the parent, who can in a sense become the teacher, even without any musical knowledge. However, this human interaction can only be possible if parents participate in the process. This is gold and turns the learning process into a family experience.
Once you have discovered piano learning software than has all this, sit back and watch the sparks fly as your child's musical adventure takes off.
And they will thank you for that someday.
Vincent J. Miele is an accomplished musician, writer, and and consultant for Music Wizard Next Gen, a leading piano learning software provider.
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