Tech Tuesday: Piano Apprentice Keyboard and App

A few weeks ago there was a Groupon for a Piano Apprentice Keyboard. This keyboard intrigued me especially since the purpose of it was to use it with iPad, iPhone and iPod. After learning it was compatible with iPad’s Garageband app and any other app that uses CoreMIDI, I decided to purchase it.

After I received the Piano Apprentice Keyboard I downloaded the free Piano Apprentice app, which is an app from Scott Houston, “The Piano Guy”.

There are 3 sections in this app. The first section is “Jam”. This simply allows the user to play on the keyboard and seeing what they are playing on the IOS device screen. As you can see in this picture that both the keys on the keyboard itself and the keys on the keyboard screen light up when played.

The second section is the Lesson section. The lessons are video lessons for specific pieces chosen. They are separated into Right hand only, Left hand only and both hands. In some of the lessons Scott Houston will get on the screen in his “Piano Guy” teaching style and teach how to learn the chords and hands together in the pieces. The keyboard and video keyboard screen interact with eachother lighting up the notes.

The third section is the Performance section. This is where students will see the lead sheet with melody notation and chord symbols. They can play this on their own or they can push the play button and the keys will light up as the yellow bar advances through the music as they play.

I tried the Keyboard with Garageband and Garageband does recognize the keyboard. The keyboard sound goes through the iPad when played on the keyboard. But don’t expect any notes to light up…

I recently upgraded my iPad 2 to the “new iPad” (can’t call it the iPad 3 you know…) because I maxed out the memory on my 2. So I have kept only piano and music apps on my iPad 2 and will be using it for the studio iPad for students to use during their lab time. I’m looking forward to having students try out the Piano Apprentice Keyboard on the iPad this year.

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