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Author Topic: Advice needed for supplementing piano lessons  (Read 16780 times)
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« on: February 11, 2014, 02:09:50 PM »

My daughter ( age 6) takes piano lessons.  I've been wanting to add something like piano wizard or soft Mozart to the mix.  I want something that would give immediate feedback and let her progress at her own pace.  She is already reading music on the grand staff so I am afraid that soft Mozart might not be the best choice.  Is anyone else using both software and piano lessons together? She only has a 30 minute lesson once per week.  She loves learning new songs but hardly ever does the warm exercises.  I thought that one of those programs or another could give her more practice and enjoyment at the same time.  Any advice is greatly appreciated. 

thanks, Lori

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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2014, 05:33:28 PM »

I'm using Piano Wizard to supplement the regular piano lessons I'm giving my kids.  One thing that I really love about Piano Wizard is that I can input any MIDI song I want into the system (not of feature of SM).  I've been doing the PW curriculum, but we are also doing the John Thompson books.  They can practice out of the book, and because I bought the books that came with the CD, they can practice with the software as well.  It has really helped them develop a steady beat, it gives them a score and feedback, and it gives them a chance to change things up.  But they aren't dependent on the software because they don't pass of their songs until they play it out of the book.  Piano Wizard is an excellent supplement to regular lessons for that reason.  Most piano curriculums (ie, Bastian, Alfred, Hal Leonard, Faber)  have MIDI disks or CDs available.  We also do flashcards and theory.  It has been really helpful to approach piano from more than one angle.  Good luck!


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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 02:20:36 PM »

Hi, I think you could probably use either Piano Wizard or Soft Mozart to supplement your piano lessons.  I teach my kids with Soft Mozart using the sideways presentation but there are multiple different views within the program, both with and without the note stickers.  I teach myself using a standard black and white grand staff in Soft Mozart (presentation 5 or 6) and I also use standard music books without the computer.  I think both SM and PW are flexible and allow a lot of independence for the child which is great and sounds like just what you need.  My 4 year old will hopefully start lessons at school in September and we will continue using SM at home alongside this.

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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2014, 01:30:09 AM »

I wanted to share this free resource we found a little while ago.  Hoffman Piano Academy

It is absolutely free very nicely done music video lessons for children -- there are 3 levels with 20 lessons in each! And they are very child friendly and brief. I think they can serve as a great supplement.

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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2014, 11:02:55 PM »

I think, the best way to judge any method or product is very simple with Internet. I would go to YouTube and place there Piano Wizard, Soft Mozart, Hoffman, Thomson, Suzuki etc etc
After that I would watch JUST STUDENTS performances that refer to these methods.

The goal of any approach in teaching not to give students a fish, but the net to catch it. If students use the method as a tool to end up playing whatever they want with sheet music, this is THE way.

Otherwise, whether it is free or cost just couple of $$, it is a total waste of either money or time.

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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2014, 06:18:36 AM »

In general, correct -- the best approach is to look at results  yes Nothing speaks better, then the fruit of the method.

That is why I am very impressed with Yamaha method, among a few others. But there are so many different schools and approaches out there and what works perfectly for some children might not be a perfect fit for others.

However I would be careful to judge success or failure of a certain method based on the presence of video recitals and success stories on youtube. Overwhelming majority of people would not be going out of their way filming themselves and posting their success or progress videos on the youtube. Unless it is part of their learning process or a condition to participate in the program  Wink So making conclusions based on the amount of video recitals of the students using a certain program would not be correct.

I met lots of amazing young musicians (interestingly, they followed different learning programs as young children or even none at all), but for the most part they dont even have an account with youtube :-) It is not about advertising. They enjoy their gift of music, they improvise, they sing. Some of them play from the sheet music, many - don't. They just hear the music and play it...

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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 10:18:14 AM »

My sentiments exactly, EKTeam.  YouTube hasn't been around very long.  The only thing I would add is that I know a lot of professional pianists, and they seldom talk about what method they started with.  It's such a small part of anyone's music training anyway.  As a student, I only used a curriculum my first three years of piano lessons, after that I studied exclusively from classics and other selected music.

The biggest thing that great musicians have in common is not any given curriculum, but three other factors.  A student's desire to succeed coupled with hard work, supportive parents, and great teachers/mentors.


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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2014, 10:22:36 AM »

Tamsyn, totally agree!

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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2014, 02:35:03 AM »

*** Just a special Valentine's love note from our Admins ***

To all of our lovely forumers here at BrillKids:  happy

I would personally like to apologize if you were looking for this topic in the past 48 hours and couldn't find it - it's because we had to take this thread in to "forum rehab" to sort of clean up the thread a bit. (Big thanks go to Skylark and Mandabplus3 for being quick to let us know about this!)

As much as I would looove to be on top of all the conversations in this forum, unfortunately I am sometimes not the fastest to police our little community, which is why I hold the help of our other volunteer admins in high regard.

Just to explain what I did:

I understand that some posts on this thread veered wildly off-topic; some have been reported as offensive (even mildly) or judgemental (even mildly). For the purposes of keeping the discussion ON-TOPIC, INFORMATIVE, and UNBIASED, we have removed some posts which may give cause for others to flame.

I would be the first to say that I love a good debate. And it is towards this belief that I am bringing this thread back. However, keep in mind that I am entreating everyone who wishes to participate in this discussion to stay the course, and to please refrain from hasty generalization.

Think this whenever posting anything in our forum: Might anyone get offended by this?

If you have to think twice, just pause and move away from the keyboard. blush  This thought may be a good thing to keep around even when you're not in the BrillKids forum.

Just in case you found that one or more of your posts have been removed, please note that it is not our intention to hurt you or to accuse you of wrongdoing. Understand that our goal is to keep the thread on topic, palatable, and encouraging of good discussion.

Our BrillKids community is special because it is here where we encourage opinions and the exchange of ideas between parents and educators. Be very mindful that there is NO SINGLE RIGHT OPINION for all the people in the world. What this means is that a method or product which works for one family may not necessarily work for another. We have to be respectful of these differences in our forum, as we should be respectful of differences in real life.

Also understand: it is ONE thing to voice out an opinion, and ANOTHER thing to say that someone else's opinion is false, unfounded, and plain stupid.

Opinions are opinions. Take them as they are. Any and all accusations on libel and threats of lawsuit, I WOULD SINCERELY REQUEST THAT YOU LEAVE IT OUT OF THE FORUM.

Thank you very much once again for being understanding!

All the best,



So this doesn't leave a sour taste in anyone's mouth, let's have a little listen to HAPPY (because I just want to spread a bit of cheer around, and I think everyone can use 5 minutes of carefree dancing on this Friday).

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

*** My Valentine's love note ends here ***

And with that, the discussion may now go on!   happy


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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2014, 07:14:08 AM »

Thank you for re-placing this topic back to the forum
I graduated 7 years of music school, 4 years of Music College and 5 years of conservatory. This is 16 years of strict music education.
Today I moved universities to follow my lead and invention.
If you need any help, let me know
You all know who Peter Thaikovsky is. Right? Nutcracker may ring the bell
Well... to make the long story short: the schools where Peter was learning and teaching endorsed my invention

« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 07:21:11 AM by Hellene Hiner » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2014, 09:40:42 AM »

Lori, we have softmozart and my kids take lessons. What I find most often is that the lesson homework takes away time they would otherwise spend on soft Mozart. This is less noticeable in the early days but more and more as time goes by and their pieces get more complex.
Either program would work just fine for your needs. The games in softmozart would be very beneficial  in teaching the things that traditional piano lessons just don't teach very well. I have no idea what piano wizard offers as a substitute for these.
This year I am hoping to use a piano teacher to teach them from both softmozart and their lesson books. If the teacher is onboard with soft Mozart the progress would be much much faster.


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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2014, 10:12:11 AM »

Thank you, Lappy.  And I'm glad you have been able to make some improvements to your program, Hellene.
Thank you, Tamsyn!
Need your advice with creating library for teachers. Would you like to help?

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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2014, 03:41:10 PM »

No thank you.


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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2014, 04:25:11 PM »

Sorry I missed all the drama! Wink

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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2014, 04:26:15 PM »

No thank you.
Could you advice here what songs are popular in yout church?

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