An American (me) and an Aussie (the incomparable, Tim Topham) met via Skype one night (11:00 pm) to discuss serious matters. Piano Pedagogy.
Tim Topham, a pretty big deal when it comes to piano teaching in the 21st century, has a great website timtopham.com which is a rapidly-growing community of music educators from around the world, all of whom are dedicated exploring, developing and sharing a more modern approach to piano teaching. He has a great podcast series for piano teachers and he invited me to do a podcast on JoyTunes’ award-winning app, Piano Maestro. I said pedagogy above because this app is a real game changer for teachers and students when it comes to how piano is taught.
Piano Maestro was developed by the Kaminka brothers (Yuval and Yigal) and their good friend Roey. The idea was simple enough; create an app that would help teachers teach the skills required of pianists using gamification. Voila! Piano Maestro was born.
Apart from the laughter and some bad jokes, Tim and I discussed how Piano Maestro works (no cables- praise the digi-heavens!), how to use it in class and how to use it with specific students. I also gave him the grand tour of the app and showed him some hidden features as well. Ok, so they aren’t hidden but you may not notice them because you’re far too busy having the most amazing time playing!
I covered a whole host of teacher features that make this app, in my opinion, the gold standard in teaching apps. I also included a free chapter from my book: The Insider’s Guide to JoyTunes’ Piano Maestro.
My Favorite Features in Piano Maestro?
Things Tim was surprised to learn? You can print the sheet music of most songs directly from within Piano Maestro! How cool is that? You can also email the sheet music PDF’s to the student’s parents so they can print it at home too. Save some ink y’all!
However, one of my favorite features is the transposing feature for scales and songs. Most of the exercises, as well as many of the songs in the app, can we played in different keys. Who knew you could have so much fun with scales?
But my most favorite feature is the Weekly Teacher Report you receive via email which acts as a teaching assistant and tells you everything the student played during the week and how successful they were.
Al in all, good times were had. I learned a new word “knackered” which I mistakenly heard as “nekkid” and was horrified that Tim would think that I wasn’t dressed for this interview!
Don’t forget to check out the podcast here. What are your favorite features in Piano Maestro when it comes to teaching?
*More JoyTunes teaching resources can be found here.