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Little Composers develops the PRE PiANO and Creative Children Compose Music apps which teach and encourage young children to learn how to compose and play their own music.
To help us allocate resources better, we would like to invite you to vote and show us which apps you use the most. Please take a look at the poll below and if you currently use any of the Little Composers apps, then feel free to mark which ones. Families who have more children enrolled may check any app they use because that too helps us to get organized and serve you better.
Thank you for taking part. We really appreciate it.
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Suggest a new app
We are constantly experimenting and evaluating the feedback we get from the small beta group which helps us with tweaking and improving the apps. Now we ask you to join in and send us your feedback, criticism, improvement suggestions or a short testimonial
The more feedback you provide, the better we can fine-tune the apps which means that the children gain access to better learning tools which is why we do what we do.
What kind of information are we looking for?
- Were you pleased with the download speed
- Are all apps working in your browser?
- Did you have to switch browser in order to get the sound working?
- Does your child understand the software?
- Do you use a touch screen device such as a cell phone or tablet?
- Which devices do you use to open the apps?
- Which browser do you use?
- What kind of computer do you have? Laptop, desktop, tablet?
- Are you happy with the sound quality?
- Did you have to get external speakers?
- What does your child say about the Little Composers apps?
- Do you need help with getting featured in the Famous Little Composers Gallery?
- Anything we are missing or should know about?
Each item on the above list helps us to understand our users and students better and therefore we encourage you to vote on the poll, ask questions and even post on our Facebook page
Thank you for your input!
Little Composers just updated the apps page which provides an overview of all of our piano apps for beginners.
PRE PiANO LESSONS
The first of three beginner piano apps for young children is called PRE PiANO LESSONS.
The name is perfect because this app actually teaches music lessons to anyone who wants to begin piano lessons, especially to young children of age three and up.
Because little children have a hard time with identifying music notes, the PRE PiANO LESSONS app starts off with six symbols which are instantly recognizable.
The symbols are animal pictures which have been chosen because of their names. The camel represents the C key and the dolphin represents the D key. Visit the PRE PiANO LESSONS page to find out about the names of the other animals we used and to give the app a quick try.
Registered members have access to all of our apps
If your child is interested in learning and making music then register so that you can access the advanced features of the PRE PiANO LESSONS app right away. Besides the composition module which allows for making changes to the melody, the app features three special buttons.
The most powerful button is the octopus button because it can compose hundreds of different melodies for you. Every time you touch the button, you create a new composition which can be changed or played just as is.
How to play a composition?
Looking at a new composition and wondering how it sounds is no fun. Therefore, Little Composers included a special playback feature which plays what ever the composition modules displays. This way, learning is a lot more fun and for those who need to listen a bit more carefully, a special “turtle” button was added which, compared to the “rabbit” button, plays the songs slowly.
Visit LittleComposers.com and check out out little story which tells you how the PRE PiANO series of free beginner apps for young children came to be. On the top right corner of our homepage you will find a support link as well as a way to register and log in.
We look forward to welcome your child as a new little composer and hope that you both enjoy the musical journey.
This article teaches beginners how to learn note names by studying only three lessons. Each lesson covers small steps that are easy to remember and the Little Composers website published an interactive note chart for some extra practice. Both versions, bass and treble clef are available.
image for the LEARN NOTE NAMES TREBLE CLEF APP by Little Composers
Before You Learn Note Names
This article assumes no prior knowledge about music notation. In case you have tried to learn the note names before but stopped because learning got too hard then this article is for you as well.
Look at the picture on top of this article and get a good look at everything you see. Don’t memorize any note names just yet but look at the shapes instead. Before we can learn note names, we must remove them from the picture so that our mind can start empty. Now picture a white sheet with nothing on it and proceed to lesson one.
Learn Note Names : Lesson 1
This first lessons is not about notes but rather examines all the different lines which hold the notes. Before we do that we need to identify the treble clef. You can find the treble clef at the left side where the lines begin as shown in the picture below.
Now let’s look at the five lines. In the above example, the long lines are sub divided into four spaces which are called measures o bars which is plural for bar. Did you ever hear about the 12 Bar Blues? The number 12 just means that the song is 12 bars long. If you have troubles with imagining measures or bars simple think of them as containers that are lined up side by side.
To complete this lessons, we need to recognize the vertical lines which show us where one bar (or container) ends and where the other one starts.
Learn Note Names : Lesson 2
One bar at the time
To make things easy, let’s focus on the first bar only with another look at those lines in more detail.
To make this really easy, let’s get rid of four lines and only keep the centre line.
The center line is called the B line.
Remember this because from now on, we start out with finding that line.
Look at the image and focus on how the B note is exactly centred on the line. Half of the note is above the line and half of the note is below the line. This is very important to understand because from now on, we differentiate between two kinds of notes. Those who have a line in the center and those who do not (like the A and B).
A B C
Now we are learning the first three notes and you should not go on to the next lesson until you have the A, B and C memorized. Memorizing the A, B and C is easy because music notation has borrowed them from the alphabet. The alphabet starts with A B C D E F G and once you remember those seven names, you know all the note names that I know. The tricky part is that those same seven letters get reused over and over just as the image on top of this page shows. Do you see that the first three notes (top image) have a second note on top of it? And now you know why they share the same name.
Learn Note Names : Lesson 3
Let’s take a little brake from learning the note names and do a bit of math. Don’t worry, it’s really simple. The most common form of time signature is the 4/4 one. What does that mean and why are we learning about them now?
As you already know, each note has a name. The name can only consist of A B C D E F and G.
What we need to understand is the length of a note. You could say that a note is a little like a person. A real person has two names. A first name and last (family) name. For example, my name is Ernst Renner and your name also has two parts or possibly more if you have a middle name. So for now, let’s say that a note has two names. The letter name and then the length name.
How long is a note?
Take a look at the four bars (remember bars from lesson 1?)
The first bar has one note which is just a round hollow shape and there is only one note in that bar.
The second bar has two notes in it. The also have a round hollow shape but each note also has a line attached to it.
The third bar has four notes in it. The round shape is no longer hollow and each note has a line attached as well.
The fourth bar has eight notes in it which look almost like the notes in bar three but they are connected in two groups of four notes.
Study this list a few times:
- Round hollow shapes are called whole notes.
- Round hollow shapes with a line attached are called half notes.
- Solid filled round shapes with a line attached to it are called quarter notes.
- Solid filled round shapes with a lines attached that are connected are called eight notes.
Look at the above image one more time and examine the blue numbers. Each measure or bar has the numbers 1 2 3 4 written which helps us to visualize the note length. The rules are simple. A whole note takes up the full space and is four counts (1 2 3 4) long. The half note, just as the name says, is half of that and each note is two counts long. Therefore, you are allowed to fill a bar with two half notes. The quarter notes each are one count long and it takes four quarter notes to fill a bar of music.
If this made sense to you then you can expand one these rules by mixing up half and quarter notes. For example, if a bar begun with a half note, then you could add another half note or two quarter notes. The order does not matter. The quarter notes could be first followed by the half note or, the half note could even be in between but that is sneaky.
Learn Note Names : Lesson 4
Well, it’s time to leave you.
WHAT??? We just started and I only learned three notes. What about the rest?
Let’s switch back to math. You’ll see in a minute why. As you know, it all begins with 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 and 10. Once you knew those numbers, the teacher introduced the next set of numbers which continued from 10. Just as a refresher, they are 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 and 20.
The word eleven is a new word to remember. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen are also new and at first hard to remember. After fifteen the more familiar six(teen), seven(teen) and so forth make more sense which is why we learn those faster.
But wait a moment! What happens after 20?
Good news, counting gets a lot easier. Why does it get easier? Because there are hardly any new words to remember until you reach hundred. Every time you finish a block of ten, only the last one has to be remembered. Like thirty, forty, fifty and so on. Even those become predictable and do you know why that is? The magic word is “pattern”. A pattern is something that kind of repeats and because of that, we can take advantage of patterns. There are many patterns in music and there are many patterns in math.
Now I want you to count to 100 (and don’t cheat! because it is important)!!!
You only have to do this exercise once so, as you count, try and focus on patterns.
Do you notice how often you say one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine? Quite a bit. The reason why I asked you to count ’till hundred and search for patterns is because if you were able to find all or most of the patterns, you will also be able to find all the note names just as easily.
Always start with what you already know.
A quick refresher. You know the center B line and you know that there are seven note names which are exactly the same as the first seven letters of the alphabet. If you string them together, you could say (just like you counted before) A B C D E F G – A B C D E F G – A B C D E F G and on and on and on for ever.
If you were in front of a grand piano right now, you could open the lid, touch the very first key on the left side and do the A B C D E F G – A B C D E F G …. until you end up at the very last key which is the C.
Hint: If you just did that then you touched 52 white keys.
Now I would like you to take a piece of paper and a pencil and draw five long lines from left to right. All the way across the paper. Make them as long as you can and if you have trouble making them kind of straight then use a ruler. Space all five lines the same as seen in the images above. Don’t worry if they are not 100% yet. This is just so that you can begin to draw your memory map. Skip drawing the treble clef for now. It takes a bit of practice to make it perfect so it’s OK to just imagine that it is there plus, you probably need to use the space for notes.
Now start at the very right part of the page and draw the C note. If you need to, take a quick look at lessons 2 (A B C).
Make sure that you draw the C note in between the spaces. To the left of the C, draw the B note, again, just as in the image you studied in lesson 2. Now draw the A note. The A note is almost like the C note except that it is one white space lower. Stop drawing for a bit and take a look at your three notes. If the B is centred on the line and the A and C notes are exactly between the lines, than you did it right.
On the bottom of the page, write the note names exactly like this: A B C D E F G A B C
Now you have a little helper sheet to figure out the missing notes. Below the A, you need to draw the … what comes before the A? Take a look at the letters you just wrote. The note before the A is the G. Now draw in the G just like you drew the B. The G note is also centred on the line which means that if you can draw a B, you can also draw a G.
What comes before the G?
Finish all the way down to the A and then take a look and compare your drawing with the picture below.
Do you see what happens when you run out of lines? Simply draw short “helper lines” which are just long enough to hold the note nicely. This is how you extend the five long lines. Pay special attention when you draw the low A because you will need two short helper lines instead of one. Let’s repeat this. The first three notes (low A B C) need short helper lines.
If you do this exercise every day, you will memorize and know the note names and maybe teach other kids who struggle with music notation.
I hope that you have learned how important it is to see patterns. Patterns are a sort of a shortcut and the more patterns you notice, the faster you will learn.
If you need help with something I’d be happy to do answer your questions. Just go to the Little Composers support page and ask your question
After you know your note names, you can use the TREBLE CLEF app for Little Composers to make sure that you don’t forget them.
Register here to comment on any of or articles and let us know which parts need better explanations.
There is not much up-to-date teaching material for young children which is why Little Composers started to publish PRE PiANO LESSONS for children. Because so many kids have now access to an iPad or similar tablet computer with a touch screen, the PRE PiANO LESSONS are best experienced on these new devices.
To get the best performance, you should make sure that a recent web browser such as google chrome or Firefox are installed. The apps take advantage of the latest optimizations found in all current web browsers which allow for audio playback at native speeds. This means that the child will hear the sound as soon as the surface it touched.
PRE PiANO LESSONS INFO
PRE PiANO LESSONS are not free and parents who want to enrol are asked to pay a yearly fee of US$ 25.00 which provides access to the premium members area of www.littleComposers.com
Most children should be able to easily finish the three levels within a year which makes the lessons very affordable. If desired, the child can then move up to the Little Composers Academy or just keep composing music for fun. Everything that is learned can be used to master all of the Little Composers music apps which receive constant updates and performance improvements.
If you are interested then reserver your spot now
The PRE PiANO LESSONS will be moved to a dedicated server and set up so that 1000 students can access the lessons anytime. If you are interested in enrolling your child or children then sign up for a free membership by visiting the Little Composers website.
This way, you will receive an announcement when the lessons start and qualify for special support which is provided on a one-on-one basis.
To try out the apps, simply visit the Little Composers website and see how your child likes composing and playing. There is lots more to see and we always welcome feedback and improvement suggestions.
PRE PiANO is a unique app which was invented to teach Diana, a three-year old girl, how to play the piano.
Because Diana wasn’t at the reading stage yet, her music teacher used animals instead of notes. Since all of this happened long before computers became household items, the animals were drawn on paper and represented the keys which needed to be played. The method was very simple but also very effective and Diana learned like other beginners except at the age of only three.
2015 : Computers and internet are everywhere
Computers and even more so, the internet, have changed our lives in every way and continues to do so. Countless apps provide countless features and learning has moved online as well. You probably found this post with the help of google and in just a few minutes, you will have learned a new name which you will never forget.
Who is Little Composers? In a nutshell, Little Composers develops educational music apps for young children and the app I want to introduce to you today is called “PRE PiANO”.
PRE PiANO FREE
PRE PiANO is the computerized version of the process outlined in the beginning of this article. The PRE PiANO app still uses the same animals since it was conceived at the turn of the century and the only thing which was added is the composition module which can be seen right above the bottom row of animals.
Each of the small animals can be moved with the help of arrows and the app allows for a total of eight notes to be arranged in any way. Once the changes have been made, the composition is ready to be played.
Because the human ear (yes, even the little human ear) is capable of recognizing wrong notes, it doesn’t take long before it becomes necessary to push a few arrows and make some improvements. The constant repetition of composing, playing and changing the melody is where learning sneaks in and before too long, many children are able to make their own little melodies and play them.
To make sure that the melody gets played right, each of the little animals can be touched and touching all eight from left to right will reveal the composition quickly.
Note: A composition doesn’t have to be eight notes long. Often, seven notes sound just as good.
Little Composition Rules
None really except to always end with a camel. The most important part of learning and teaching a young child is to make sure that each note is played equally long. Imagine that you are waling. We take even steps and don’t make a few fast steps followed by a few slow steps. Just like a walk, notes need to be played at the same speed too. How fast isn’t really as important but to play all seven or eight notes at the same speed is very important.
For children who want to compose faster, PRE PiANO also comes as a plus version which is accessible to all registered members.
PRE PiANO PLUS
PRE PiANO PLUS is identical to the free version but has two additional features. To the left of the composition module is a burgundy (reddish coloured) octopus which has magical powers. Touching the octopus instantly composes a new song.
Just like the free version, the up and down arrows can still change the images which makes composing music a lot more fun. Instead of touching the small animals from left to right, a rabbit or turtle button is available to play the new composition at normal speed (rabbit) or, at learning speed (turtle).
If you have children who want to start learning to play the piano early, then give PRE PiANO a try. The app teaches a lot in very little time and introduces music via composing which is the best way to learn.
We’d appreciate it if you’d take a moment and rate PRE PiANO. Doing so will help us to prioritize and fine-tune the apps as needed.
Can Little Children Compose?
Yes. PRE PiANO has a user interface so simple that a three-year-old can understand it within minutes and you, the mentor, instantly. Because PRE PiANO is for children of age three and up, symbols are used instead of piano keys and the same symbols also serve as notes. Easy to use up and down arrow keys can change the image and touching the image produces the right sound.
This simple recipe was first used to teach a little girl who wanted to have piano lessons at age three and since then, countless children have been introduced to music with the help of some elephants, giraffes and alligators.
How are the images related to the sounds?
The animals have a special meaning and teach much more than just composing and playing. But first, I’d like to explain the names of each animal. To the left is the bird and as you probably have already guessed, the bird represents the b key.
The camel the c key and so on. The elephant, fish, giraffe and alligator all are there because of their name.
But there is a little more than just the names.
The seven animals represent three groups. There are the three land animals which live on land and thus, are represented by the camel, elephant and giraffe. They also look to the right of the screen. The second group are the sea animals like the dolphin, fish and alligator. The sea animals look to the left of the screen which is very important later on when children begin to learn about chords.
The bird isn’t part of any group because it mostly lives in the air. Experienced music students refer to the b as the seventh step and the triad which is build on the seventh step is nether major nor minor.
Major and minor triads
Music becomes interesting when children start to experiment with harmony. Harmony, in simple terms, is adding a second or third note to a sound and by doing so, creating a richer listening experience. Music can become quite complex once we add harmony and therefore, PRE PiANO starts out with just the basics BUT, and this is very important to remember, it does lay the foundation for much more to come.
This unique and beautiful looking app was developed by music teachers and is based on many years of research. You will not find a better app to introduce your child to music. Once a child understands PRE PiANO, it is time to move up to CCCM which approaches composition and playing from a different angle but follows the same principals.
This article talks about “Creative Children Compose Music” which is an app based music method for young children.
The only app that teaches children how to compose music
CCCM (creative children compose music) is a unique app because it gives children the tools to compose (more…)
Little Composers develops free music apps for kids and invites those who enjoy playing to upload their songs for others to see and maybe even play.
Little Composers has a special app for children who are not yet at the reading stage. Think of this app as the first music teacher (more…)