The user interface has 5 points of interest as shown in the screenshot below.
This is a special edition of the Little Composers Piano which was specifically developed for our online music classes
The blue display is where you see the notes you write and besides the keyboard, the display is your main area of where you interact with the app. The app automatically changes the display depending on if you edit or save your compositions. We'll cover all the functions in more details below.
Touch RECORD when you are ready to make a composition. The menu button will turn blue to show you that the app is listening and ready to record whatever you play. During recording, the SONG button will be replaced with the new REST button. This way, you can add rests to your melody as you play.
Before you start editing (editing = making changes), you should press the SHOW ME button and listen at least once to your composition. Editing is the most important part of composing.
While still in recording mode, tap on a note you want to edit. This will zoom in on that portion (measure) of your composition and the menu changes to give you new functions.
A close-up view of the edit window
To erase a note, touch the note name and then select REST from the menu.
To re-record a note, touch the note name and play a new key. You can do this as many times as you want. Press DONE to go back to the previous window.
New composers need a little help which is why we added a smart feature to guide absolute beginners. To have MENTOR assist you, touch the NEW SONG, MENTOR and RECORD buttons.
Once activated, you can play any keys that have a dark letter and continue doing so until the composition is finished. Note: Mentor mode is optional and there to get you started faster.
This screenshot shows what Mentor-On looks like.
Rest is a musical term that, in its basic form, replaces a note with silence. Adding one or more rests to your melody can make the composition sound more interesting.
SHOW ME is the most often used button. Every time you finish a recording, you should listen to your melody a few times because it is while we listen that we get inspired to make changes.
If you are new to playing the piano then play back the melody at a slow speed and watch the keys which move as the song plays. This simple feature can teach you how to play your composition which is something you should aim for. At first, it might be hard but after a few days, you can master this skill if you don't give up.
The tempo slider changes the playback speed of your composition. While learning how to play your song, you might want to listen at the slowest setting. While you edit, you might want to pick a faster speed. There is no right or wrong speed so it all depends on what you feel is best. Music teachers often listen at the fastest (top) setting but when teaching a child how to compose, they use the slowest setting because it helps to follow the keys move during playback.
Please keep in mind that finding the right song tempo is crucial to how others like your composition. Generally, most listeners will prefer a fast playback speed. Think of the slow speed as a learning mode and use it for learning.
If you see that your child or student struggles with using all of the features this app has then slow down and just do some simple compositions at first. Introduce the editing and saving of songs gradually down the road.
Check the Little Composers School of Music and Composition and see if there is a online course available that covers this app. If there is, then you should enroll and really learn the art of composing from the makers of this ground-breaking app. Most courses are free and some even include apps that were especially designed or augmented for a specific course.