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New app teaches children how to compose and play music

Little Composers developed a ground-braking app that teaches children how to compose music. As you can guess by the name, Little Composers introduces young children to music by letting them compose their own lessons. This is made possible with the intuitive Creative Children Compose Music app (see image below).

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How to use the CCCM app

Composing music is possible if a parent (or mentor) explains a few simple rues. The first and most important rule is to differentiate between two groups of keys. The first group (red) are the keys C, E and G. The second group (grey) is made up of the keys B, D, F and G (the same G that belongs to the red group).
To provide a visual clue, we’ve made the C, E and G keys somewhat darker which makes them easy to recognize. The other group (grey) can be quickly found by looking at the three white keys to the left of the grey keys. It’s best to just load the app and play a few grey keys and then some white keys. You will instantly hear that what ever key you play sounds like real music. The reason why we have limited the number of keys that can be played is simply to speed up learning. You may know that a real grand piano has 88 keys which make no sense to beginners and take weeks of practice to get something useful out of and even then, it’s just some simple made-up tune that kids forget by the time they move on to the next lesson.

How to make a composition

The CCCM app opens in “practice mode” which means that you (the mentor) or the child (the student) can just play a bit without awakening the built-in recording machine. Once ready, simply touch or click once on the blocks above the keyboard. Now the first block will blink and which ever key you press will be recorded into that block. To fill the first four red blocks, you simply play any of the grey keys in any order you like. Then it is time to fill they grey blocks. To do so, play the white keys to the left of the grey keys. Their names are B, D, F and as an exception, you can reuse the G key. So all in all, you have four keys to choose from when you fill the grey blocks. To finish the composition, you switch back to using only the grey keys three more times. Remember that it’s up to you which ones to choose. As long as they are from the right group, they will sound right.

Listen to your composition

When you are finished, you can listen to the composition by touching the tape icon (two reels). Please listen carefully because the way the recorder plays you melody is the right way to play it. You should encourage your child to listen to the whole melody and then give it a try and play it.
The intelligent “erase and replace” mode let’s you make a correction if needed. To erase and replace a note name with a new one simply touch the block and it will blink just as it did during the original recording. Then simply press a new piano key which will overwrite the old note name. That’s it. You can do this as often as you with or use the red triangle (top right corner) and select NOW to start over.

Save your masterpiece

The drop-down menu which you just saw how a few more buttons that you might want to try. The SAVE button will save an image to your device with the name “myComposition.jpg”.
If your child loves the composition she / he made then you are welcome to upload it to the Famous Little Composers Gallery where we will post it for all to see.

Give the CCCM app a try and make a few compositions. You don’t need any prior music experience to use this amazing app and who knows, you might just have a Little Composer in your family?

When is my Child Ready for Music Lessons?

A version of this post originally appeared on the Music Teacher’s Helper Blog, written by Leila Viss.

image of baby playing music

 

Is there ever a day that doesn’t include music? Think of the moments that would not be the same without music–in the car, at the fitness club, during Sunday worship, at the movies, on the TV, at the big game and on your smart device. Admit it, imagining life without music would be…unimaginable.

Although not everyone is destined to be a concert artist, every human being can be a music maker and enthusiast. Once one explores creating music on an instrument and invests in lessons, an appreciation grows which then instills an admiration for a lifetime. Giving your child or yourself the gift of learning music on any instrument is something to treasure but finding the right teacher, the perfect fit to suit your interest level is not always easy. Below are answers to some of the most common questions posed by parents who want to know more about the process of learning music and finding the right teacher.

How can I tell when my child is ready for lessons?

You may be unaware of your child’s innate readiness for making music but there are some signs that should help you make that assessment. Here are specific suggestions that will assist you prior to embarking on a music teacher hunt:

  • Purchase a keyboard instrument (a portable digital keyboard may do the trick but plan to upgrade when lessons begin) and let your child explore sound before enrolling in lessons.
  • Once this exploration begins, notice how your potential musician experiments at the keys.
  • If the keyboard receives regular visitation, this is strong evidence that your child is ready to engage in lessons.

How do I know what instrument is right for my child?

Because it just takes a finger to lower a key to create a sound, the piano is the easiest instrument to begin exploring and eventually making music. Therefore enrolling your child in piano lessons may be a place to begin his/her music education. Once your budding musician is introduced to other instruments in school around 4th or 5th grade a shift in interest may occur. This may result in a change of preference for instruments. Don’t ever regret your investment in piano lessons as this experience serves as an essential stepping stone to perfectly suit your music enthusiast.

How do I choose the right teacher?

1) Referrals from friends and acquaintances are your best bet for a good teacher. If they are happy with a teacher there’s a good chance that you will be as well.

2) Ask to arrange an interview with several teachers and you’ll discover that each owns a unique studio. It’s important for you to determine what your priorities are for your child’s music education. Here are some things to consider when shopping around:

  • Some teachers may excel at preparing students to compete, while others may lean towards a more relaxed approach with fewer opportunities to compete or perform formally.
  • While some may remain set in a traditional approach with standard repertoire others may emphasize lessons in creativity beyond the page and various styles other than Classical.
  • Group lessons are a popular social setting which may best suit those who are still on the fence about studying an instrument. Private lessons usually accommodate schedules more easily and meet your intentions of one-on-one instruction. Many teachers now offer both to add variety and opportunities to meet music-making peers, reinforce concepts with games, refine performance skills and more.
  • Music is meant to be shared so ask if the teacher offers encouragement and opportunities to perform, even casually. Although difficult, performing instills discipline, motivation, confidence and good experience for public speaking and so much more.
  • Teachers usually use a method book or series to teach an instrument. Numerous parents have asked which one I use in the initial interview. Although it may be an appropriate question, I inform all my potential student families that I teach a human being and not a method. Perhaps a better question to ask during your chat with a teacher is: What methods and tools (books, styles of music, technological devices and more) will you use to help my child progress in his/her music skills?

How do I balance being a supportive parent without becoming a “tiger mom”?

Always a good question, here’s a couple of tips to help you maintain a healthy attitude:

1) Some teachers may require you to be present at lessons to take notes so consider this as a free lesson yourself and learn right along with your child. You will realize that building musical skills is a long-term process with peaks, valleys and plateaus.

2) Regardless if you attend lessons or not, it is important for you to remember that this is your child’s endeavor and not yours. Allow your budding musician to:

  • Learn how to learn
  • Read all assignments
  • Take charge and ask the teacher questions themselves when they forget a concept
  • Be responsible for collecting books prior to the lesson, etc.

3) Perhaps THE BEST support you can offer your child is providing and modeling structure:

  • Make daily practicing a priority so it becomes a habit by setting up a schedule just like brushing teeth.
  • Instead of setting the timer and demanding practice, ensure that the teacher’s instructions are understood and completed during practice time by reviewing the assignment with your musician. The amount of daily time at the instrument may vary as consistent practice will make the assignment easier to play by the end of the week.
  • Arrive promptly for each lesson and be on time for pick-up.
  • Show teachers the respect they deserve by following all studio policies and submitting timely payments.

The Power of Music Changes Lives

A little while ago, an image surfaced on Facebook which got a lot of responses, likes and shares. It wasn’t a photo of some amazing rare bizarre weird thing that went viral. Instead, it was a simple picture with just one sentence written on it which said: “I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for music”.image of music changed my life

I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for music

Why did so many people connect with that message? Every person has a story and those whose story includes music know the changes it brought into their lives. I grew up in a sleepy little village where musically speaking, not much happened. My teenage years were wasted on things which haven’t mattered to me in the last 30 years although they once were all I could think about … until the music came.

That all changed when I crossed path with a retired master tailor who was a self-taught musician. His love for music was huge and he loved to share that love. He inspired me to buy an instrument and amazingly, he taught me what he know for free. We used to jam in his tailor shop and he enjoyed playing just with me as much as performing on stage for the whole town. He was in his own world and anyone who know him agreed.

Looking back, I consider “Uncle Josef” my first music teacher. The trademark of every great music teacher is to awaken the spirit and he did. In just two years, he taught me enough about music that I could join a dance band and if my musical career stopped right there I too could say that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for music but, there was more to come.

Turning 18 in Austria meant joining the army and lucky for me, that meant the army band. I often wondered how all of this could happen so fast. Start music lessons at the age of 15, play with a dance band tow years later and now I am in one of the best provincial orchestras there is playing a new instrument which I only picked up a year before. Looking back, those were the easy years and we had plenty of fun. Little did I know that this is just the beginning of much more to come.

Starting my first (of two) youth orchestras

Uncle Josef often talked about how our little town used to have a brass band before the big war which changed Europe as we know it today. Unfortunately, some of the key members of the brass band didn’t make it back and ever since, there was a void which was mostly felt among the older generation. I still remember how his eyes lit up when I told him that we could start a brass band with most of the children in our town and so we did. That was an amazing experience. This summer, the same brass band I founded when I was in my early 20’s celebrated their 30th anniversary.
Life has it’s own ways and at the age of 24, I left Austria to start over in Canada. Pretty much from day one, my life focused on music and there was nothing I haven’t done. Toured, recorded, composed, taught, published, you name it.
While working in Edmonton as a music teacher, I begun a new brass band project which consisted of about two dozen children. There is no grater joy that to bring someone from 0 to 1, to be there and help with that first step.

Little Composers

My last project www.littleComposers.com is bigger than everything I have done before. While teaching in Edmonton, I often wondered if music lessons cold somehow be squeezed inside a computer. That was 15 years ago and audio was much more complex than it is today. Technology has progressed at such a speed that we can finally take full advantage of everything music has to offer. And because of the internet, a whole new generation is getting ready to start a journey and begin their own little story. The more children get involved in music, the more the nations will connect and that is just the beginning.

I look forward to a time when the broken education system which squeezed kids through life realizes that music is just as important as math and therefore should not be subject to cuts by the bureaucrats which don’t know that music changes lives.

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Learn Note Names eBook for new music students

Little Composers has just published Learn Note Names, a new eBook targeted towards music students who need help with learning the note names.

Learn Note Names (eBook) is now available on amazon.com

image of ebook cover showing learn note names

  • Struggle with music notation
  • Need to get up-to-speed with note names
  • Have troubles with identifying notes and chords

 

There are many apps and books that cover music theory but what makes this eBook different are the many encouragements the author has strewn in when ever possible. Because of that, Learn Note Names is an easy read for many new music students and everyone else who wants to understand music notation.

 

Learn Note Names (Treble Clef Edition)

Music notation is a very complex topic and therefore it is no surprise that so many students struggle with memorizing the note names. The worst part is that if a student has troubles with recognizing the note names, she/he will soon fall behind in all music theory related tasks and stop enjoying the lessons altogether.

Parents! Don’t let this happen to your child

Learn Note Names is an easy read that starts with a story. The purpose of the story is to make everyone understand how important reading is. Every parent who has a music student needs to make sure that the lessons are stress free and knowing the note names goes a long way to prevent troubles which nether the teacher nor the student want.

The eBook is divided into nine chapters and has a total of about 20 pages which means that it can be read rather quickly. Every chapter gives detailed instructions and adds two new notes. The eBook contains plenty of illustrations which support the explanations. Besides the theory part, the author includes lots of encouragement and praise and makes no secret about learning note names.

Learning Note Names is not easy

For some reason, music students get told to study the note names and criticized if they fail to do so. Now that many kids have access to electronic devices which run all kinds of apps, learning the note names has become a lot easier than it used to be but still, it is not something that can be done in one afternoon either. Once a student has been made aware that everything hinges on recognizing note names quickly, they can then decide on how much time they want to dedicate to studying.

Spend as much time as you need to

When someone is just beginning to learn something worth while, she/he is often told that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Perhaps that old and proved proverb describes it best. As the eBook mentions, it is OK to get to know a few notes very well and then extend and enlarge that circle more and more as things start to make sense.

Summary

Learning the note names is key to success and there is no shortcut. If you decide to get this eBook then please provide some feedback so that future revisions and additions make it even a more essential text then it already is.

Press Release

LITTLE COMPOSERS DISRUPTS MUSIC LESSONS WITH NEW APP

App Allows Children To Compose Music With No Prior Experience

[Vancouver, BC] – July 22, 2015 — LittleComposers.com announced today the launch of their newest app, PRE PIANO. Registration is free for everyone until August 31, 2015.

The app is specifically designed to teach children between the ages of 3 and 8 how to compose and play hundreds of different melodies from the moment they start. Children are like sponges when it comes to learning; it’s important to expose them to making music early because it nourishes their creativity.

“Little Composers aims to teach children how to learn and compose music online,” said Ernst Renner, founder of LittleComposers.com. “Our apps are unique and do not use colour-coded keys because this technique does not require creativity and dilutes the creative process.”

PRE PIANO APP

The PRE PIANO app is available on the LittleComposers.com website only. The app emphasizes creativity instead of imitating or replicating others’ music. The PRE PIANO app comes in three modules to teach children about different lessons, keys and notes. Thanks to the app, children can compose, play and learn hundreds of different melodies every day.

APP FACT

38 out of 100 children are able to compose their first song in less than 10 minutes using the PRE PIANO app.

MORE APPS

Also available is the PRE PIANO KEYS app for children 5 and older. This app will be the next step for children who have already learned the basic lessons. And the PRE PIANO NOTES includes real piano notes and keys to bring children to the next step.

For more information, please visit LittleComposers.com.

About Little Composers

Founded in 2014 by Ernst Renner, Little Composers is taking the music industry by storm with their PRE PIANO apps. These intuitive apps are specifically designed for children to learn on their own. With just a little bit of guidance from a parent, even young children can become famous Little Composers

Little Composers turns moms into music teachers

We turn moms into music teachers and children into famous Little Composers.

image of do it yourself music lessons

Children are sponges with it comes to learning and now, thanks to some intuitive apps by Little Composers, moms can start to teach their children how to compose and play their own music. Most parents are sceptic but as soon as they try the amazing new apps for Little Composers, they see right away how easy it is to mentor a beginner.

Watch the lesson and then play it

Music teachers follow an old routine. First, they play a lesson slowly while the student watches and listens. Then they go over some details and after that, the student has all the information needed to practice during the week. This is how conventional music lessons work. The teacher explains and shows and the student gets a week to practice.
Little Composers is changing that routine and empowers a parent to demonstrate the lessons. The playing of each lesson is done by the app which will repeat the lesson as often as the student needs to hear it. This way, there is no doubt and nothing has to be unlearned because of a misunderstanding.

Music always follows some basic rues which we’ll look into next.

Two basic rules which will help you to teach your child

1 Time and timing

While learning, it is crucial to develop a sense of timing. This sounds complicated but it is actually really simple. Imagine yourself walking. You don’t take a few quick steps and the a few slow steps and then a bit of a rest and repeat this pattern at random intervals. When we walk, we walk stead and playing music is based on the same basic.
If you need help with timing simply take a look at a watch which has a needle that moves every second. See how steady the needle moves moves. Based on those moves, we can extract a tempo. For examples, if you counted out loud: 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 every second you would get 60 counts per minute. Music has a tempo and it is the same as counting.

Concept of Music (a ground-braking app with over 3000 lessons built in) displays two bars of music and all a mentor needs to do is count twice from 1 to 4. That is all there is to it. Many professional musicians can be seen on TV playing an instrument and tapping their foot. This is something they do to help them with the count and most are probably not even aware that they are doing this.

The reason why time and keeping time is so important is because it forces us to play at the same speed and for beginners, that is a skill that needs to be mastered.

2 Note values ♩♩♩♩

Concept of Music (the app) features random lessons and many of them consist of six quarter notes followed by a half note which ends the lessons.
Note values are important to know because we connect them with the above mentioned counting system. The easiest note to recognize and understand is the quarter note.
The quarter note looks like this:♩
If there are four quarter notes in a bar (a bar is one measure) then the count is simply 1 2 3 4 and every time you count, the student plays a note. Instead of counting, you could also call a quarter note “long” which would replace the 1 2 3 4 with long long long long.
Why would you want to use the word long? Simple. There are eight notes which are only half as long as quarter notes and if the melody includes two eight notes, then the count is simplified by counting: long short-short long long.

Conclusion

Theory is just that. Theory and most children have a natural ability to “feel the music” so that counting and sorting of note values comes quite naturally. Above all, being able to hear each lesson played correctly is all that matters. Little Composers developed each app based on many years of teaching music and therefore, parents can take advantage of the sophisticated apps which do the heavy lifting so that a music teacher isn’t necessary. Eventually, a music teaches will be needed but as you know, there are tons of famous musicians who are self taught which means that they just loved to play and picked up the skills without the help of a teacher.

If your child loves music and wants to learn the head over to the Little Composers website and take a look at all the apps. We have just published Concept of Music which is taking the music world by storm because it turns moms into music teachers and children into Famous Little Composers

PRE PiANO NOTES App Teaches Composition

Little Composers publishes the Creative Children Compose Music method which includes apps that teach children to compose their own music. The third module, PRE PiANO NOTES is progressing well and on schedule to be released later this summer.

PRE PiANO NOTES composes real music

image of pre piano notes

Little Composers develops apps which turn moms into music teachers and children into famous Little Composers. Our latest module, NOTES is the third and last of the series. Module one, PRE PiANO LESSONS is for young Little Composers followed by PRE PiANO KEYS which uses the first seven letters of the alphabet to write music.
PRE PiANO NOTES, just as the name says, records and displays real music notes and therefore is suitable for children of all ages who want to experiment with composing their own music especially if they have outgrown the KEYS app.

Learn Note Names

In order to get the most out of the NOTES module, our Little Composers need to start to learn note names. No worry, we have several apps for that on our home page and iPhone users can use the search phrase “Little Composers” to find Notes for Little Composers in Apple iTunes.

Beginning Music Lessons

Parents often contact us and ask at what age their child should start with music lessons. Traditional music lessons where a student visits the music teacher generally start around age six or seven and it is OK to start even later. But music is changing and now comes in many forms and shapes. Music Lessons are not the only way to begin to learn how to play an instrument. Many children use apps to learn and play which not only enables them to start sooner, but also gives them a huge choice of apps and the amount of apps available is growing fast.
Little Composers is pleased to offer some of the best music education apps for kids who want to begin their music lessons early. If your child is curious about music then simply visit the Little Composers website and try a few apps. We offer support and even a composition contest which features the best songs in the famous Little Composers gallery.
See you there!

New Music Lessons Apps for the Classroom 2015

Little Composers just finished preparing a special package for music schools who are searching for new music lessons apps for the classroom. 

Little Composers invites representatives of music schools and music studio owners to contact us so that we can assist you in preparing for the 2015 2016 school year. We are always working on new apps and because we have a long history of teaching, we understand your situation and will try out best to help and support you.

New Music Lessons Apps especially made to support music teachers

Many students love music school and look forward to each and every lesson. So much has changed and now that so many of the students have high end cell phones and tablet computers, music teachers are beginning to take advantage of the readily available technology. There are all kinds of apps out there and just looking for something specific can be daunting.

PRE PiANO NOTES

This app is ideal for music students who already know some of the note names and whose teacher is keen on introducing them to composing their own music. Little Composers has all kinds of PRE PiANO apps for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. If you are interested in mentoring your students and guiding them as they begin to compose music then check out all three of the PRE PiANO titles and give your students the very best apps available.

Supplemental music apps for the classroom

Some of our educational apps for Little Composers are especially designed for teaching the note names. Both, treble and bass clef versions are available and help new students with memorizing the note names faster. Later, we will also release more titles with teach chord names and chord progressions to help music students understand and expand their composition skills.

Creative Children Compose Music

To learn how Little Composers came to be visit our website and check out the about us page

Website Makeover Suggestions from YOU

Little Composers needs your help because we want to give you a website that is useful for you and not just looks pretty. This is your chance of telling us anything and everything that you don’t like and want changed.

Facebook users can comment without setting up an account first.
Touch or click on the Facebook icon at the bottom of this page to gain access.

www.littleComposers.com load times

Our webmaster constantly monitors the load time and keeps on optimizing every little detail that can speed up the overall load time of the page.
We are not happy with the overall layout and welcome your suggestions regarding the arrangement of information and. Some buttons load other pages and other buttons load apps. Should we color-code the buttons or are you OK with the way the function now?

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

No matter when you discover this article, the optimization of https://www.littleComposers.com is ongoing and therefore, your input, when ever you happen to read this is always valuable. As of today, June 12, 2015 the website index page looks like this:

image of website make-over

The top banner shows PRE PiANO which is an app we’ve developed for very young children who are not yet at the reading stage. Then a brief “About Us” block quickly states who we are, what we offer followed by the mission and vision statements.

How do you like the registration process?

Little Composers offers visitors a chance to use the Creative Children Compose Music app plus a chance to try a demo version of PRE PiANO. The PRE PiANO demo was made available so that parents cant test and identify compatibility issues. If the PRE PiANO demo app loads than all other apps will load to.
Why do you have to register?
In order to provide fast loading times for those who are serious about educating their children, we have decided to provide access to most of the apps via a login system which was just recently implemented. This way, registered members enjoy the fastest access possible while visitors still are able to participate in the creative children compose music composition contest.

Online Composition Contest for Children

We hope to always provide access to the online composition contest for children for free and no registration is needed. Because the internet is often misused, the decision to give access to anyone and let them upload an image of their composition is subject to ongoing evaluation.
We are manually checking every composition which gets submitted and delete all other images in order to provide a safe browsing environment which is suitable for children. The registered members feature allows for removing those who abuse the rules but in the end it is up to you, the users, to help us by making suggestions where we can improve as well as reporting any activity which isn’t appropriate for out Little Composers.

New PRE PiANO KEYS App

Little Composers continues the PRE PiANO series of apps with the new PRE PiANO KEYS app which is almost ready to be released. Visit www.LittleComposers.com to learn more about this amazing new music method from Austria and watch a short demo video which will get you started quickly.

PRE PiANO KEYS

Once children outgrow the PRE PiANO LESSONS app, they can continue with PRE PiANO KEYS which is a little more advanced. Instead of animals, they little composers begin to work with keys and letters which are based on the animal names.
A quick refresher for those who have gotten used to the Bird, Camel, Dolphin, Elephant, Fish, Giraffe and Alligator. Take the first letter from every animal, and you get B, C, D, E, F and G. Please note that PRE PiANO KEYS does not use the Alligator because that would slow down learning and in some cases even be confusing because this app differentiates between two colours.

Red and white piano keys

You probably have apps on your tablet or smartphone which use color-coded keys and you know that there are a ton of such apps out there. Unfortunately, color-coding the keys isn’t really a good solution to understand music and therefore, Little Composers is not using them. Instead, we only color-code the C major chord to signal a kind of “home” position.
To see how the system works, look at the 15 blocks above the keyboard. The first four blocks are red and the next eight are light grey. The last three blocks are red again.

Why 15 and not 16 blocks?
The reason why the last block is a long one (takes up twice the space) is that if a long sounding C is played, the composition will sound complete and finished. It is important that beginners end every composition with C. Later modules will provide a lot more flexibility but for now, we have to learn and follow the rules until we know enough to brake them here and there.

image of the new pre piano keys app

At what age should we start out child?

Children are amazing and know a lot more then we think. Therefore, Little Composers only provides rough guidelines when it comes to age. Our experience shows us that the above app is ideal for children of age five but then again, some four-year-old children who play computer games might be able to figure the app out in a few minutes.

Special features:

The app does not only let you play a melody on the keyboard, it also records “what” is played. Touching the first red field will put PRE PiANO KEYS in record mode and then all a child has to do is keep playing.

Erase and replace.

Once a melody has been composed, the composer will most likely want to make a few changes. To do so, simply touch the letter which will make the block blink. Any time a block blinks, it is ready to be erased and any new note played on the keyboard will replace the previous letter.

Compose

Sometimes, a little composer doesn’t feel like composing and if that is the case, a special compose button will do the job beautifully. The compose button is also a great learning tool so give it a try and see what you can come up with? Feel free to stop the melody and “erase and replace” some notes.

To see all apps for little composers, visit our homepage and register. Doing so will give you access to all premium apps and more.

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