Tech Tuesdays- Piano Ace

If you are familiar with Music Ace 1 and 2, then you may or may not know that Piano Ace is basically an “All In One” of the original Music Ace programs.  Because of this, even though I have Music Ace 1 and 2, the original software, I have been using Piano Ace more.  It has room to log in 6 students.  Now if you are like me, you have more then 6 students.  So my students keep track of their progress on their Piano Ace progress form that is provided in their lab workbook.  I use one student space as the studio name where most students log in from.  The other 5 spaces I use for my younger students that might have a harder time marking their progress in their workbook.

Right now Hal Leonard is offering their 40% off winter special.  That means you can buy Piano Ace for only $17.97!  (Normally $29.95).  If you didn’t receive this special through email or mail you can order online or by calling 1-800-322-1127.  Be sure to use the code EP112 when calling or ordering online.   This offer expires March 31, 2012.

Down the Fall Board No More…

You know that place between the fall board on the lid where stickers tend to slip inside the piano and you have to take that stubborn piano lid off (not too bad taking it off, but a pain putting it back in) in order to retrieve those stickers, pencils and whatever else might have made its way down?

I have been determined to find a solution to this problem because it never fails, there is always at least one student (usually more) each week that let go of the sticker or pencil a little too early and down it goes.

I thought I would share my solution in case you have this problem in your studio as well…  When I bought my piano I received a “dust cover” for the keys.  Basically it’s just a strip of felt like material that you can use to cover the keys.  I have never used it, always sat in my piano bench.  Well… I had the thought to tuck this cover under the music stand and have the rest lay flat across the open lid, covering the fall board space.

Now when stickers, pencils, etc… fall they will fall on the material instead of that dreaded slip space. Yay!

TECH TUESDAYS- Lab material for beginning students

I have been using MLC for my lab times; however I have found it does not have enough material for those beginning in PA Primer or MFPA.  What else can you suggest?  I have an iPhone but not an Ipad…yet!!!

First I wanted to say how much I love!  Christine Hermanson is wonderful and often times will create a game based on a need teachers have in their studio.  I have emailed her several times suggesting games, most of which were a need specifically for my primer students.  Tommy Tiger 2’s and 3’s and Hand Prints were a result of one of my requests.  However I do understand the predicament of finding enough material for our young beginners and primer students.

Besides MLC, I thought I would mention a few of my favorite software programs, apps and free online programs that I like to use in my studio for early childhood music students and/or primer students.

Software:  Midisaurus, Music Ace (or Piano Ace- this is the same software, Piano Ace combines Music Ace 1 and 2), Jumpstart Music and PianoMouse are among my favorites.

Free online resources I like are Classics for Kids (for all ages) and Music Tech Teacher (also for all ages depending on the game.)  Music Tech Teacher has over 130 elementary quizzes, puzzles and games about music students can play.

If you are looking for a customizable note reading drill game, I would recommend Piano Is Fun.

One of my favorite apps for early childhood students is the Music for Little Mozarts app, compatible with both iPhone and iPad.  Of course, you probably would be more comfortable using it during the lesson rather than handing your phone over to a student during lab time.  😉

Hope that gives you some more ideas of what you can use in lab time with your beginning students.

TECH TUESDAYS- Beginning Theory App

I came across another app that I am absolutely in LOVE with.  I had just blogged about more apps last week that I thought this is something that can go on and on.  Then I came up with an idea to do Tech Tuesdays so I can feature some of my favorite apps that I have come across.  In addition, I can give some tips and tricks about music technology, studio labs, etc…  So if you have any suggestions, questions , ideas you would like to see in Tech Tuesdays shoot me an email.  As long as it’s not too technical- ha ha!

So my first Tech Tuesday post is on a new app that I found last night.  I am so excited about this app because not only is it a steal at $2.99, it covers pretty much everything you can think of for beginning theory!

It is called “Music Theory for Beginners” by MusicRoom.  This app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.  Requires iOS 4.0 or later.  When I first was looking at this app, I was debating whether to buy it.  But after looking at the screen shots I decided to give it a try.  Okay, let’s just say this app is jam packed and worth more then the $2.99 I paid for it. I don’t know how long it will be at this price so I say get it before everyone catches on how cool it is!

First you choose a game mode.  Lesson or Quiz.  If you think you know your “stuff” then you can skip the lessons and go right to quiz.  There are 22 lessons, 5 tutorials and 5 test that cover all the major theory topics.

Topics are as follows:

-The Staff

-Note Names

-The Treble Clef

-The Bass Clef


-Time Signatures

-Eighth Notes




-Slurs and Ties

-Pickups and Repeats

-Beyond the Staff

-The Major Scale


-Key Signatures

-Dotted Notes


-Major and Minor Chords


I have only tried a couple of the topics so far but was surprised how comprehensive it was.  I would highly recommend it for both teachers and their students.  You can’t beat the price for what you are getting!  Enjoy!

More Music Apps…

I’ve discovered a few more music apps that I’m enjoying and wanted to share descriptions in case anyone was interested…


My First Classical Music App by Naxos- This is an interactive iPad app where you hear music and discover who writes it, about the instruments, etc…  It has narrated text, animation and sound effects.  It includes a full album of music of- Peer Gynt, Magic Flute, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Carnival of the Animals, Holst’s Planets, Petrushka, Peter and the Wolf and more.

Glossary of Music- this is a great music dictionary compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

PianoMeter (Michael Coon)- This is another practice note drill app for the iPad.  but what I like about it is the student is drilling their notes to a steady metronome beat.

Musical Flash Cards (Kids Place)- This is just a fun app that has pictures of music instruments with their sounds and the instrument name.  Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad

The Carnival of the Animals (cstools GmbH)- At Christmas camp we learned about Carnival of the Animals so I downloaded this interactive iPad app to use.  I ended up using it with my younger students and they absolutely loved it!

Spin the bottle HD- Just a fun spin the bottle app that I will occasionally use in group lessons or camp settings.  You can set it from as low as 2 players up to 30 players.  You even use it as a number generator if you wanted (up to 30).


Well that’s it for now.  I’ll be sure to share more as I find them!  Enjoy!


Tax season

Tax season is always stressful to me.  And the funny thing is, my husband is the one that does our taxes.  But what stresses me out is to make sure I have everything in order ready to give him.  This year however I’m not going to be as stressed.  Because I had signed up for Music Teachers Helper, it keeps track of not only my income and expenses but my mileage as well.  This year when my husband asks for the information he needs, it will be as easy as a click of a button.

This is the perfect month to sign up for Music Teachers Helper if you have been thinking about doing it because next January you will have the full year recorded.  This will make tax season so much easier.

If you use any of these links in this blog post, you can receive 20% your first month when you join.  I highly recommend using Music Teachers Helper.  It took me years of humming and hawing about whether I should sign up or not, I finally did and I’m so glad I did.  My parents love it as much as I do!