Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad
iPad Integration Rating:
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I took piano lessons when I was a kid and continued playing until close to when I started high school. I loved playing the piano, but I didn’t always love lessons. I didn’t mind the lessons themselves, but it wasn’t something I enjoyed committing to on a weekly basis. If the iPhone or iPad existed when I was a kid, I definitely would have stubbornly self-taught myself using something like Piano Professor. That being said, I’m not sure I would have specifically used Piano Professor. But it’s nearly sufficient in teaching a novice player.
Right off the bat, I was annoyed that the app didn’t go into landscape mode on the iPad. For an app with a focus on videos, there’s no excuse not to be able to go into a full screen landscape mode of the videos.
The videos are informative and the addition of the sheet music being played over the hand that’s playing it is especially useful. That is absolutely the way learning the piano should be like with tools like the iPad and computers at our disposal.
The videos can be easily paused and started by just tapping on the screen. So if the learning player needs to pause to get a feel for the specific small piece of sheet music being displayed on the screen, they can do that without taking too much attention away from their piano. Navigating between videos is easy. A swipe gesture to the left or right will bring users to the next or previous chapters. Quick navigation is important for music instruction apps like this because the player doesn’t want to take their hands or their attention away from their instrument.
The app contains a quiz about lessons learned in the app. It’s a simple enough quiz app. It asks twenty questions in a random order. If the answer is correct, it turns green. A score is kept in the top-right corner. Some of the questions ask for useless information like the length of a specific note in a specific exercise or the name of a song in a specific exercise. The quiz is probably the weakest part of the app. The ugly interface would be the next weakest.
I wouldn’t suggest this app as the only support for learning how to play the piano. For the novice player, I would suggest getting beginner piano books and perhaps even take lessons. Piano Professor should only be used to accompany existing piano instruction and materials. But for the stubborn self-learner, Piano Professor and access to some beginner books would be sufficient in my opinion.