Developing software is a huge task because things are constantly changing and every time change happens, the code and the artwork have to be adjusted. Today, I am taking you back to the beginnings of PRE PIANO and how it came to be an app.
At the beginning, there was no app and I used hand-drawn animals to teach very young music students who weren’t yet at the reading stage. It was during those years that I noticed that symbols are stronger than colors and that the combination of animals I’ve chosen is magic. Every child was instantly able to play. Unfortunately, 20 years ago, computers looked different than they do today so I didn’t think that this would ever be an app.
Fast forward to 2009. Apps were all of a sudden a hot topic and everyone talked about the app store Apple had created. What interested me more than getting apps was making apps and so I started. Within 12 months, I created 10 apps which would see 70000 downloads. But the existing technology back then was limited for my needs because of the audio component which gamers didn’t care much about.
Never the less, I cranked out a little app and called it “PRE PIANO” which, as the name suggests, is an app to be used before the actual piano lessons start which is around the age of six.
Here is a screenshot of version one which never made it into the app store.
By then, I had already worked with a professional developer who would help me with adding advanced features like the octopus button which generates a random composition/lesson made up of up to eight notes (not to confuse with eighth notes). I worked a lot on the UI and David took care of coding the backend in his spare time.
Pre Piano 2017
About three years later, we’ve developed an app of which I am as proud as I was back then when I drew the animals by hand. Here is what Pre Piano looks like now.
This app is magic and works really well for young children ages 3 – 6 although I recommend that anyone who is new to playing the piano would use it for a week or two. It looks like a toy, it is not a toy.
Pre Piano – the future
After we tweaked and perfected the app to our liking, we’ve continued with a more advanced version which has also seen a lot of changes since it was conceived. The follow-up app is called “Pre Piano Keyboard” and used color-coded piano keys instead of animals. Unlike most other apps which use a colorful keyboard, we use only two colors, red and white. There is a reason for this but that story has to wait for another day. All in all, there are three Pre Piano apps, the last one is called “Little Composers Piano” and as you probably guess, it is the most advanced one. It can save variations and convert letters (musical alphabet) into real music notation and more.
To see the full line of educational apps for Little Composers visit the app page which has explainer videos and demos of every app
In closing, I want to say that we’ve learned a lot and are hard at work on something new we call “Virtual Music Teacher”. The future of music lessons is probably not like we experience them now. The music has changed and technology is everywhere and has been for a long time. Never the less, we are curious about AI (artificial intelligence) and excited to help more and more children with discovering their gifts. Thank you for reading. If you have additional questions then post below and I will do my best to provide more information.
P.S. I am pleased to announce the Canadian Government has just granted us the trademark for “PRE PIANO”. If you are developing apps and want to build a brand than I strongly suggest that you copyright and trademark your work.