Thursday, September 26, 2013

SightReadMinor- iOS iPad app giveaway

A couple weeks ago I reviewed an app called SightReadPlus. Today I will be reviewing the companion iPad app, SightReadMinor!
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Keeping with the same format as SightReadPlusSightReadMinor will listen and evaluate your playing.
In SightReadMinor, you will find 2,880 short sight-reading exercises in ALL minor keys for left and and right hand. (separate)  Time signatures vary between 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 and 6/8 with rhythm values ranging from quarter, dotted quarter, half, dotted half, whole and eighth notes. The exercises are in sequenced order so students will advance forward. Also included are pentascales for students to practice.
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One of my favorite features with both of these apps is the ability to keep track of individual progress. If you missed the SightReadPlus review be sure to go back and read it as SightReadMinor is very similar but now with minor exercises. Both apps are for the iPad and are highly recommended.
Melissa Harris has graciously offered to give away a copy of the SightReadMinor app! To enter leave a comment below. Deadline to enter is by this next Monday, September 30th; 10:00pm (mountain time). 
(*Winner MUST respond within 72 hours of announcement or another winner will be chosen*) The winner will be announced on this blog and on the Foxx Piano Studio Facebook page by Tuesday, October 1st. Be sure you subscribe to the blog and on our Facebook page so you don’t miss out seeing if you are a winner!
Disclaimer:  I received this app in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Congratulations! SightReadPlus app goes to...

Idalis! Congratulations Idalis, your download code is on it’s way!
Thank you to Melissa Harris of SightReadPlus for a chance to win this wonderful iPad app for our students to use! Definitely worth the purchase!
We will be having another giveaway soon for SightReadMinor so keep your eye out!

Monday, September 9, 2013

SightRead Plus iPad app review and giveaway!

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My all time favorite apps to use in the studio are apps that I can use directly with the piano either by midi or by mic. SightRead Plus listens to the students playing by the iPad mic, so no midi connection is needed. Another favorite feature of mine in apps is when I could add individual user names to keep track of progress. Not only is this great for the studio during lab time, but also for families who want to take advantage of apps at home and have more then one sibling in a family taking lessons! I wish all music ed apps had this feature. As you can guess, SightRead Plus includes this feature as well which immediately pushes it up high on my must use list. 
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The wonderful thing about SightRead Plus is the fact that it drills in all keys. There are 20 exercises in each hand in each key. (20 levels make 400 total exercises in each key) My only wish is that it can include hands together exercises.
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Each exercise is short 4 measure exercises which lends itself up for not only success for the student but creates a perfect tool to supplement during lesson time as it wouldn’t take up much valuable lesson time. Another helpful tool is the metronome which allows the user to change tempo. This is especially valuable for a more challenging exercise.
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Levels 1-3 begins with basic rhythm- quarter, half, whole and dotted half. These are in 4/4 and 3/4 time signatures. It sticks with 2nd and 3rd intervals.
Level 4 introduces 2/4 time and eighth notes. Level 5 is a review level reviewing all the concepts found in level 1-3.
Level 6 adds in the quarter rest. Level 7 adds in 4th and 5th intervals. Then level 8 adds dotted quarter and 6/8 time. Level 9 continues with the dotted quarter rhythm in 4/4 time. Then level 10 concludes by adding in the eighth rest.
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When it is time for the student to begin an exercise the simply push the record button. It will begin with a one measure count off before they begin playing. They will then see a green snowflake icon progressing over each note encouraging students to keep going in a steady tempo. After the student finishes they wait to receive their score. The score is based on rhythm and note accuracy. If they passed they get a gold star, if they received the high score for that exercise fireworks go off! Very motivating for students to shoot for the high score! (I even liked seeing those fireworks!) Because each student has an individual user name, their scores are saved and they will be able to view their progress.
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Now if you didn’t think the sight-reading portion was enough, it also includes 5 finger patterns in every key where students can earn points for playing correctly. I love this!
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SightRead Plus is a winner in my book and an app I will be frequently using in my studio with my students. At $7.99, it may be a little more then your standard music apps, but well worth it. Melissa Harris, President of Cape Cod Music Apps mentioned there are more music apps in the works including a pre-reading app to use with 3-5 year olds so keep your eye out! 
Now for the fun part! Melissa Harris offered to giveaway this awesome app to one lucky Foxx Piano Studio blog reader. To enter leave a comment below.
Deadline to enter is by THIS Wednesday, September 11th, 10:00pm (mountain time).  (*Winner MUST respond within 72 hours of announcement or another winner will be chosen*) The winner will be announced on this blog and on the Foxx Piano Studio Facebook page by Thursday, September 12th. Be sure you subscribe to the blog and on our Facebook page so you don’t miss out seeing if you are a winner!

Monday, September 2, 2013

2013-2014 Piano Olympics Studio Trailer

Practice Prop Project Winners

The results from the students votes are in. The following are the practice prop project top 3 winners!

1st place- 'J' for his Photo Montage

2nd place- 'M' for her lego project

3rd place- 'T' for his lego project

Congratulations to our top 3 and for ALL students for your hard work and creative projects! Can't wait to see what you come up with next year!