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Author Topic: Alternatives to Soft Mozart?  (Read 32135 times)
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AnotherBookWorm
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« on: April 19, 2015, 05:07:22 PM »

Hello everyone,

we have had Soft Mozart for some time now and our subscription will expire in a few months..

First of all I would like to say that I love this software myself but sadly my daughter is not interested in it at all (2,5 years), to the point that she starts screaming NONONO as soon as I go near the piano!
Maybe next year she might start finding it interesting, when she is a bit older.
The problem is, Soft Mozart is VERY expensive for us and right now we can hardly afford it. Specially now with their new pricing per month policies and how expensive the dollar has become for us in Europe. It seems crazy to buy a subscription if I don't even know whether she will use it at all.

So I am thinking about cheaper alternatives to Soft Mozart to teach a 2 - 3 year old.

Could anyone please help me? Do you know about any programs which would be attractive and easy enough for a little child?

Thanks in advance for your input!




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AnotherBookWorm
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2015, 05:19:22 PM »

I forgot to add I would prefer a software which I can buy "forever", that is, a lifetime license - (not one with subscriptions or monthly / yearly payments).

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ELeducation
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2015, 07:25:48 PM »

Good question! I need to make a decision soon about which program I am going to purchase for my daughter, so I'm trying to make a list if all of the options available with pros and cons. It would be great if those using other programs could comment on how it's going with their young children. I have read wonderful reviews about Soft Mozart, but as the OP asked, are there other good options?

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Tamsyn
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2015, 04:18:52 PM »

We really love Piano Wizard.  We liked SM too, but PW was was a better fit for my kids.  My review is here:  http://www.professional-mothering.com/2013/08/piano-wizard-review.html

We also love the piano duster app, as well as some of the other apps by Joy Tunes- it's great stuff, and if you have a device that can use them, it can be the most affordable option.  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/piano-dust-buster-by-joytunes/id502356539?mt=8

Also, with the disclaimer that I am a musician so I do things differently than most, what has worked best for my family is color-coding our piano books and practicing with a color-coded piano insert.  Free printable:  http://www.teaching-children-music.com/2012/10/movable-do-piano-insert/

Along that lines, I have created several color-coded printables and am making more for my website:  http://members.teaching-children-music.com (shameless plug!)  The colors are the same as Little Musician, although I favor movable do, so C is not always red.  If a song is in F major, the F will be red.

I haven't used the piano duster app as much as some of my friends who have had great results with it, but we are still using Piano Wizard and it's a good program.  I mostly use it to reinforce what we are doing with the John Thompson method books, which I prefer.  Like Soft Mozart, you need a MIDI capable keyboard to use it.  The piano duster has some kind of sound recognition thing built in so you can use it with a regular piano, although you can use it with MIDI too for better accuracy.

« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 04:20:29 PM by Tamsyn » Logged

Mandabplus3
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2015, 12:28:32 PM »

Dust duster and piano maestro IMHO would be too complicated for a young child to use to learn piano in connection with a real piano. The gap between the iPad screen and the reality of hitting piano keys would be a lot for a little brain to manage. We have both apps here. My younger two (7,9) use dust duster on the iPad for fun and games. All my kids use piano Maestro to learn top 40s songs on the real piano, just using the midi interface and notes from the ipad. I would not consider this a complete piano education in any way. I don't know if it could be. However these apps would be a good way to entice your reluctant daughter to play piano without realising it by playing directly on the iPad, without the piano. Piano duster is cheep and good fun so see if she likes it.
We have softmozart. My son wasn't keen on it until he was 4. The. He happily practiced everyday for lego bribes LOL One of my children never really took to piano despite all the best we had on offer including payed lessons. She likes to sing though and will play the apps for fun! Three of us (myself included) still use softmozart dailly but like you I don't like a subscription based product and am greatful to have a perpetual copy, although I can never upgrade it I still have something without forking out money every month.

I just don't see the point in pushing kids who hate it to play piano. If you can't make it fun enough for her to want to play, give it up for a while. Piano is learnable at any age all it takes is time and consistent practice. Opportunity cost counts at this young age is important. That time she hates at the piano could be used to teach her something she loves and obsorbs more readily because of her passion for it.. Continue teaching music by all means but perhaps consider focussing on note recognition and input rather than instrument learning and output for a while.

The only other alternative to soft mozart that I know if worth using for little kids is piano wizard. I don't have it so I can't comment with accuracy.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 12:30:05 PM by Mandabplus3 » Logged

AnotherBookWorm
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2015, 06:01:47 PM »

Thank you both Mandabplus3 and Tamsym. Tamsym's links and new website look very interesting too.

After reading both your replies I suppose I might check out Piano Wizard, it just bothers me that there is no trial version (is there? I can't find it).

Don't worry we are not pushing our kid to play piano  smile that's actually impossible to do even if I wanted to (ever seen a 2 year old not wanting to do something?). That's why I'm worried about Soft Mozart's investment, as otherwise I find it is great.


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Hellene Hiner
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2015, 04:19:02 PM »

Hello,  AnotherBookWorm!

I think, the problem is in the confusion: Soft Mozart is not a software - it is the new academically approved School.
It consists of many components, including training your child's mind to focus, to develop skills to follow the directions, to develop the effective learning habits, to build healthy self-esteem, to develop proper fine motor skills and both hemisphere/hands coordination and more through music and in very concrete manners.

In fact. Soft Mozart already a School that is being taught in Universities and requires 24 hours for professional's vocational training to be certified. It involves knowledge of many subjects besides just piano lessons.
 
In order to take the full advantage of the School the interaction in our Academy and following the lesson plans, learning, reading, watching videos, communicating with other professionals are must. As any education it is rich, deep, has a lot of layers.

Here are some milestones that may improve your experience working on the School:
1.Register in our community to receive support of other parents and educators:

http://www.softmozart.com/our-community/register-log-in.html

2. Introduce yourself and let us know about you and your goals here:

http://www.softmozart.com/forum/2-introduce-yourself.html
3. Whether you are a self-learner, a parent or a teacher, check our Lesson Plans here:

http://www.softmozart.com/forum/63-lesson-plans.html

4. Start your Progress Diary and post your updates here:

http://www.softmozart.com/forum/70-2014-2015.html

 

IMPORTANT TIPS FOR TEACHING WITH SOFT MOZART:

5. Hellene Hiner’s blog posts

http://www.softmozart.com/forum/20-hellene-hiner-s-blog/4565-let-s-write-a-new-book.html
6. Webinar: How to get attention of any toddler and teach them new skills.

http://pianolearningsoftware.com/pages/webinar_1

The book 'You CAN...' is also very helpful for understanding the subject, but I would start from applicable education.
 

Happy learning!

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