The user interface has 7 points of interest as shown in the screenshot below.
The Little Composers Piano is the most advanced of the Pre Piano apps and includes many advanced and sophisticated features for those who want to continue and learn more about composing music.
The display is your main point of interaction as you compose, edit and store your music.
Not every recording you make will be a keeper and sometimes it's faster to start over than to perform massive edits that undo everything. To start over, touch the NEW SONG button. This will erase everything.
Touch RECORD when you are ready to make a composition. The menu button will change color to show you that the app is listening and ready to record whatever you play. During recording, the SONG button will be replaced with a REST button so that you can add rests as you play.
Here is what a finished recording looks like.
To get up to speed fast, I recommend that you recreate this recording a few times.
Before you start editing, press the SHOW ME button and listen at least once to your composition. The most important part of composing is making edits and changes to your melody.
Follow these steps:
While still in recording mode, tap on the note you want to edit. This will zoom in on that portion of your composition and the display and menu change to show you new functions that you can use to make your edits. Here is what the edit window looks like:
To erase a note, touch the note name (letter) and then select REST from the menu.
To re-record a note, touch the note name and play a new key. Do this as many times as needed. Press DONE to go back to your composition and to select another group of notes to edit.
New composers need a little help which is why we included a smart feature that guides you while learning the art of composing music. To use MENTOR, press the NEW SONG, RECORD and MENTOR buttons.
Important! MENTOR will not activate unless you are in RECORD mode!
Once activated, play only keys that show a letter. Sometimes the letters will change to different ones so watch out for that and keep playing until you are done.
Note: The "MENTOR" feature is for those who are new to composing. Music students may choose to compose without MENTOR.
To save your composition, you must first turn off the RECORD button. Once it is off, press the SONG button which will bring up a new window like the one shown below.
Touch an empty slot to select it and press SAVE. The image below shows that the first three slots are full and slot 4 is still empty. Empty slots show XXXX's instead of letters. Besides saving, you can also LOAD songs and clear songs that you no longer want to keep.
Being able to store 4 different melodies is nice because it gives you the freedom to experiment and make changes without losing the original composition. More advanced users can also store up to four different parts and use the play all button to listen to all of them as if it was one long song.
The DONE button exits song mode. If you want to edit an existing song which was previously saved then you need to touch RECORD again in order to make edits to the melody.
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.