My studio is 2 weeks in to our switch from a paper assignment book to Better Practice App. So far, I’ve had nothing but good reviews from students and parents. As the teacher, I pretty much love everything about it!

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I really enjoy checking in several times a day and it’s so fun to see students’ names and pictures pop up showing that they have practiced. Students can earn a spot on the leaderboard for being the first to practice each day, practicing the most songs or practicing for the longest length of time. They can also earn badges for milestones such as 30 minutes or an hour of practice or if they practice all of their songs. These badges are definitely motivating to my students, and to me as well!

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Personally, I have loved the accountability of the app to keep up with practicing along side my students. I’m not working on anything huge right now, but knowing that my students can check in on my practicing has definitely inspired me to keep up my chops! I had gotten into a bad habit of just practicing music that I needed to learn in order to teach it. I’ve loved working on music for my own enjoyment again! I know I can relate with my students better when I have my own practicing experiences, rather than just practicing as part of my job.

One of the best parts of using an app is that it is dynamic and interactive. As I think of things throughout the week, I can pull out the app and add on to a students assignment. There have been quite a few times that I have run across a YouTube video that I thought would help a student and I can easily attach it to a students assignment mid-week. Also, as I think of music that I’d like to teach to students, I can schedule it as a future assignment. This has been a tremendous help to me! My teaching/creativity wheels are almost always turning, so it has been really nice that as I think of ideas or resources throughout the week, I can immediately put them  where they can be easily accessed by me or my student. Then, when I finally sit down to work on lesson plans, a lot of my work is already done.

Many of my students have also already been using the messaging feature. I have always welcomed my students to call or text if they have a question, but they don’t often take me up on this offer. They’ve already asked me some great questions over through the app and it’s nice to not have to wait until the next lesson to address them. I also make a point to send occasional messages just to cheer a student on when I notice they’ve been practicing well.

I can’t wait to continue exploring and using Better Practice App this year! There are really so many other great features that we haven’t even used yet! It’s a little overwhelming to think of everything we can do with this app, but even if I just end up using a handful of the features, I think it is well worth it!

If you’d like to try out Better Practice App in your own studio, follow this link to try it free for a month!

 

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2 Comments

  1. Hello Meagan,

    I really enjoyed the intro course that sad to say it has taken me awhile to complete. I learned to play many years ago as a child and did not keep up my playing and ultimately gave away my piano. Then my husband purchased a cheap china plug in piano mat. I tried this when starting your course during this pandemic and got very frustrated as the keys echoed when I pressed down on the key. So then I purchased a used keyboard which was advertised in my neighborhood. It is quite old but it sounds a lot better and I can do the exercises and it makes more sense. I love learning this way vs the way I learned more than 50 years ago and as I am in quarantine and over 60 it has given me some satisfaction and eased the boredom. So what do I do next? I downloaded the Hallelujah song by Leonard Cohen but with all of those flats it looks quite hard. Do you have any suggestions? I don’t have any piano books at home now and don’t where to purchase music? Do you do a 2nd course? Any ideas you can give me I would appreciate. Thanks so much. I love the way you play the song first and then we practice. I don’t quite think I can get the rhythm right until I hear it played the way it should be and so this helps a lot. Thanks for doing this course. What a difference it makes for beginners just re-learning.

    Susan Birrell

    1. So glad you enjoyed the course, Susan! There’s really no timeline for learning the piano, so it’s perfectly fine to spend as much time as you need on it.
      I’m hoping to put together a second course at some point. In the meantime, you might check out the EZ Play Today series (https://amzn.to/3i8MHtl). It has you play a familiar melody with the RH and chords in the LH. I also like Returning To The Piano by Wendy Stevens (https://amzn.to/3i8tFDh). This book starts fairly easy, but does progress pretty quickly because it assumes you have played before.

      If you’re looking for more of a program to follow, try flowkey! (https://verypiano.com/2018/01/26/beginners-guide-flowkey/)

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