The Pre Piano Lessons app is part of a new interactive music method that transforms kids into little composers. The application was specifically developed for visual learners who learn faster by constantly creating and analyzing different musical patterns.
Image 1 shows the three most important steps for new users
The above chart (image 1) shows the basic three steps that get you started making music with your child.
It is best to NOT teach a child those steps and instead, show patience and let the little composer discover those steps under your guidance. You just point her/him in the right direction by asking simple questions like: "What is the difference between the rabbit and the turtle button?"
Do the same with the animal names and make sure to always refer to them as bird, camel, dolphin, elephant, fish, giraffe and alligator. The names have a special meaning as each name starts with the correct note name. For example, the camel starts with C and represents the note C.
After a 10 to 15 minute playing session, you should take a little break from playing music and instead, have a little talk. Ask something like: "Do you know what I just noticed? Three animals look to the right and all the other animals look to the left. Interesting! (be excited about this discovery)".
Use the downtime to go over the animal names until you are 100% sure that the child knows them well. Do NOT invent nicknames for the animals. Remember, they have a specific name for a reason.
Be patient, ask LOTS and LOTS of questions, be a little forgetful here and there (wink, wink) and most of all, praise your little composer. Be amazed! Tell others what your child has just learned. This will greatly affect the desire to continue learning.
When you need more help or advice simply Ask us a question and consult the HELP page from within the app.
Image 2 shows the 3 steps needed to master the composition module
The composition module is super simple BUT extremely powerful. It can generate 1000's of unique compositions which then can be manipulated with the help of the arrows. Every time an up arrow is touched the animal picture changes. The main keyboard has 7 big animals which begin with a bird and end with the alligator. They are placed where they are so that the first letter of each name reads B (bird), C, D, E, F, G and A. Every time you touch an up arrow, the sequence "increases" like from C to D.
The opposite happens when a down arrow get's touched. The sequence "decreases" as in going from C to B. If you touch the down arrow until there is an empty space, then you've created a rest (brake). Think of a rest as a "silent" note. Rests are quite advanced but some children are able to grasp this concept if guided by someone who had musical training. Pre Piano Lessons is the first of three apps and if a child is younger than six years, then you can simply skip the rests. It's better to have them understand how to compose with the animals than to give up because it is too complex.
Special (hidden) feature:
You can also touch the little animals between the arrows which help to quickly play a melody and do some "quick teaching". Please watch out for something new students tend to do. When two of the same animals repeat, beginners tend to skip to the second one noticeably faster. If that happens, use the rabbit button and do some more listening. If that doesn't help then the "teacher" (you) has to take over for a minute and play every animal at the same speed. Please watch out for that. If it happens then be gently and don't criticize. Almost all students try that naturally which is why we've included the two-speed playback feature. Hearing the melody usually, helps a lot.
Try and spend about 40 minutes a day with the app. Divide the time evenly into playing and talking. Watch your child for signs of getting tired. This is normal and different every day. A good teacher catches the right moment and pulls back. It is then time to have a little chat about something you notice or maybe you have "forgotten" something that you talked about yesterday. Use the downtime for telling your child that you are amazed about the melody she/he just made. Take over the app and do a little playing yourself while the child watches and "helps you" because .... you don't know which animal to choose.
Take pictures once a week or little video recordings with your smartphone. Those could become priceless one day. If you want to, you can upload some pictures and app screenshots to the Famous Little Composers Gallery
When your child outgrows this app then move up to the Pre Piano Keyboard and continue learning together.
Make sure that the first seven letters of the alphabet are understood because the Pre Piano Keyboard doesn't use symbols anymore. Hopefully you can see why we've named the animals after the real note names and why it was so important that you stuck to those names.
Last but not least I'd like to say thank you to you, the parent, teacher, nanny (who ever you are) for doing this. You have laid the foundation for good things to come. You should be proud of yourself.