Pre Piano Keyboard / Getting Started Video

User Interface

image showing a diagram of the little composers piano app

Thank you for downloading the new Pre Piano Keyboard app!

This HELP page has a brake-down and detailed explanations of every app feature.

1 Record

When the app loads, it defaults to "practice mode" which is for trying out ideas and getting used to the different sounds. When ready, press RECORD and start playing on the keyboard.

3 rules every Little Composer must know

  1. Play red keys to fill the red blocks
  2. Play white keys to fill the white blocks
  3. Always end your composition on a C note

Once these rules are understood, then it is OK to break the first two. Doing so will create a more natural sounding melody. More about that later.

2 Red & White Blocks

image of empty red and white blocks

When the app loads, the red and white blocks are empty but as soon as you switch to recording mode, you can record every key you play except for the last white one. When all the blocks have been filled, you can use the PLAY button to listen and continue to the next part which is editing your composition. We've made editing so simple that even young children can quickly learn how to erase and replace an existing note with a new one.

Erase & Replace
To erase a note, touch the block (letter) and then select REST from the menu.
To re-record a note, touch the block and play a new key. You can do this as many times as you want.

3 Red & White Keys

When it comes to composing, guitar players have an advantage because they think in chords instead of notes. To give our little composers a head-start, we borrowed this technique because it works much better.
Just like the blocks, the keys are chord-coded too which helps young children to instantly recognize which keys to play as they create their first compositions. iPad users will not see the two grey keys to the left and right of the keyboard but tablet and smartphone users do. These are just fillers to compensate for the different screen ratios and have no function of their own.

image of chord coded keys  which are easy to learn

The only prerequisite for using this app is knowing the first 7 letters of the alphabet and the difference between the colors red and white. If your child is not yet at the reading stage but has an ear for music then some minimal supervision by an adult is required.

4 Play Composition

The most important button is the PLAY button which is why we've placed it so prominently beside the blocks. The greatest advantage of app-based learning is to be able to listen to the melody. Notes written on paper leave the beginners to wonder if they played the music right or not which requires the presence of a skilled music teacher.
Musicians are visual learners and therefore we've implemented one more function which moves the keys while the song plays. This way, many more children can compose, edit and play their own music. The advantages of taking music lessons are well known and countless studies have been published all over the net.

5 NEW: 1/4 Note Rest

A rest is kind of like a silent note. Instead of writing a long paragraph about music theory, you can simply create a few rests right now and hear exactly what they do. To get started, we need a song to edit so let's make one. Open the app and record this melody:
Now let's replace some of the notes (letters) with a rest. To do so, touch the second C. Do you see it blinking? Now touch the word REST found in the menu and you are done. You have replaced the second C of your composition with a rest. Have a listen to the difference a little rest makes. Try to edit your song so that it looks like the one below. Every time you see a minus -, you touch the REST button in the menu.
C - C C | D - D - | F - E D | C - - -   |
Listen once more to your composition and remember that adding just a few rests to your music can really improve your composition a lot. Keep experimenting and if you change your mind, you can always replace a rest with a note again by touching the block and playing a key. This will erase the rest and replace it with a note instead.

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banner image showing a 3D render of the pre piano keyboard