practice tools

Maestro's 2018/19 Studio Challenges

Maestro's 2018/19 Studio Challenges

During my brainstorming, the following themes came through: technique, ear/rhythm/sight-reading, and practice frequency. To be honest, those are the key themes every year, but these are areas I really want my students to shine in this year. So, I had to tweak the student challenges and incentives a bit.

Music Practicing 101: The Looping Drill

The Looping Drill is one of my favourite drills since it can be used at any stage of music mastery.

A Look at Alfred's Basic Keyboard Chart

Alfred's Basic Keyboard Chart can help music students learn how to play the piano when they are unable to be near their instrument.

Metronome Android Apps

I recently moved into the 21st century as far as cellphone technology. Yes, you're right. I finally got onto the smartphone wagon.

Finally! I can talk apps with my students. My funky WATERPROOF Fujitsu F-05D. Photo by R-M Arca.

I've been experimenting with a couple of free metronome apps for Android to help when I'm practicing music away from my piano (or sometimes, when I just want to hear something different at home). The first is Mobile Metronome. It's a nice basic metronome. You can adjust the instrument used to bang out the beats. I wound up uninstalling it because I wanted to find something that could handle hybrid meter.

I'm currently playing around with Metronome Beats. I was able to set it to play 6/8 time. It works nicely. You can also customize what sounds you hear. You can also customize the following features: emphasize the first beat of the bar, adjust the normal beat, the pitch of the beat subdivisions and the length of the sound. You can even create custom sounds to use for keeping time. Both Android apps have a "Tap Tempo" feature. I'm still on the lookout for an app that can handle beat subdivision for hybrid meter well. Stay tuned!