Learn to Read Music OnlineWritten by Peter Cullen
If you or anyone you know wants to learn to read music, it’s a lot easier to do than it used to be. The Internet gives us all access to almost unlimited information, and can deliver an incredible array of products and tools right to our desktops. Not surprisingly, there are some really clever products out there that can help you learn to read notes.
“Piano is Fun” from Anthony Fernando is a great beginner package for a very reasonable price that will teach you how to read music. The knowledge and practice available here would cost many times purchase price ($24.95) in personal lessons. Included in price are free lifetime upgrades and a 30 day money-back guarantee.
Purchase and Installation
Purchase and installation are both a snap. The entire process takes no more than five minutes and is virtually foolproof. So, what's in product? A series of lessons and practice games that teach you how to read music and make it fun! And that's quite an accomplishment! Most students find it an awesome, dreadful task, but it really doesn't have to be, as this product demonstrates. When you start program, you might think that product is just for kids. Well, it is great for kids, but it's also fun for anyone that wants to learn to read music for piano. My own bass clef reading skills fade in and out, and I actually enjoyed clicking through lessons and "games" (review tests).
The basic package features a series of twenty lessons that start very simply and progress through both treble and bass clefs. The graphics are big and bright and easy to read. There are good sound and visual effects - enough to keep your interest up but not so much that it distracts from point of learning notes. The way to get started with product is to take tour, which explains layout of lessons and "games" that are used as review tests for each of twenty lessons. As a student progresses through each lesson, awards are given and displayed on a separate screen - great little reinforcers to keep you going.
Learn to Play the PianoWritten by Peter Cullen
Rocket Piano is a very professionally done piano lesson package. It includes a number of ebooks, audio tracks, and video tracks to support instructional material. In addition, there's a ton of extras, all extremely well-done, and described below. The product is simple to download, and is perfectly paced for introductory piano student. It runs on Windows and Macs, so it doesn't matter what kind of computer you have. In a word, if you want to learn to play, you'd be nuts to pass on this. I highly recommend it. Read on for details.
Chapter One - Piano Facts and History
Don't skip this chapter. It's full of really interesting facts about piano and includes a bit of history, a lot of physical facts about instrument that beginning piano lesson student should know, and some great diagrams that show mechanics of how a piano produces sound. There's also a nice section about pedals, which you don't find in most courses, that actually explains what pedals are for and how they work. All in all, a great introduction.
Chapter Two - The Basics
Chapter Two provides all basic information you'll need to get started in right direction. It has most complete description of how to sit at piano that I've come across so far. You get idea very easily from included diagram that shows proper position for your head, back, arms, and legs. Pay attention students There's nothing worse than seeing a beginning player struggling because of a slouch or being too high or too low in relation to keyboard. Chapter Two continues with an explanation of proper hand position, and dispels popular myth that you need very long fingers to play well. The author correctly points out that finger strength and agility are far more important characteristics than finger length. The standard and necessary assignment of numbers to each finger is included too, accompanied by a very good diagram. No confusion possible here. The layout of keyboard is explained next, again with very clear graphics, and then connection between finger numbering system and keyboard is introduced with some very simple exercises - so after only sixteen pages of background, new student is actually using keyboard. Note reading is introduced next with a very clear and simple approach that starts with definition of a note, and then introduces concept of rhythm. The notation for whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes is illustrated, and standard duration of each is explained. What follows is a series of easy exercises to reinforce basic concepts of note type and duration. Audio clips are available for each exercise to assure student that they are proceeding correctly.
Chapter Three - The Musical Alphabet
Chapter Three starts with a graphic of keyboard with all notes labeled and then shows you middle C hand position, followed by a short exercise that gets both hands going to familiarize student with middle C and surrounding notes. Chapter Three also introduces time signatures, other component of rhythm. Good examples follow explanation, and there are a few practice exercises, again with sample audio tracks. The rest of chapters in book are just as good and cover such topics as:
* musical staff * intervals * sharps and flats * playing scales * rhythm * arpeggios, and more.
Okay...if I review any more Chapters, you won't need package, But I do want to tell you about extras that come with Rocket Piano. First of all, there's a Music Theory Game called Jayde Musica that is really wonderful. When you start up game, notes move past you on screen from right to left and your job is to identify them before they scroll off left-hand side of display. You can click on name of note with your mouse, hit letter on your keyboard that corresponds to note(s) displayed, or type number that you'll see associated with each note. The game has an Options menu that lets you control level of difficulty (basically speed at which notes move), and there's even a high score screen that records your name once you start to excel. Kids love this stuff. This kind of game makes learning to read notes so painless, that there just isn't any excuse anymore