Life is a race.
In today’s world, people are constantly looking for ways to to get things done as quickly as they can. Whether it’s travel objectives, or personal, economical, or health goals, the desire to accomplish most things as fast as humanly possible is a code that a lot of us live by.
And learning to play the piano is no exception. When people are looking to learn how to play the piano, they often prioritize the ability to accomplish it in the fastest way. Fortunately, while learning to play an instrument can’t happen overnight, it can be done pretty quickly! As with anything, how quickly you learn all comes down to having the right resources.
With that said, here are 11 ways that Playground Sessions helps you learn to play the piano fast!
1. Speed Slider
Yeah, yeah… I know. It probably sounds counter-intuitive to start a “learn to play fast” post with a feature that begs you to “learn to play slow,” but try to remember – before one can run, one must first learn how to walk, right? Playground’s Speed Slider allows for you to adjust the speed of any music you’re working on, from its current “Normal Tempo” speed, all the way down to a speed of 1 bpm (beats per minute). By having control of the speed of the music, you allow yourself to “learn to walk” at your own pace. And once you’ve mastered the walking, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can then begin running!
2. Piano Demo Feature
If you’re working on a piece of music but would prefer to hear how the music is supposed to sound, the Piano Demo feature will have you covered! Activating this feature will cause the computer to play whatever music you’re working on, at whatever speed you desire. While the music is being demonstrated, you have the option of playing along with it, or just listening to it. This feature can be enabled to demonstrate one hand at a time, or both hands together. In fact, you can even elect to have the computer play one hand (say… the left hand) while you play the other (the right hand). This tool really comes in handy when working through tough rhythms.
3. Fingerings vs. Note Names vs. Nothing
When working on Playground arrangements, you’ll have the ability to elect for Playground to display a note’s fingering, a note’s letter name, or just the note. Think of the fingerings and the note letter names as “training wheels.” They’re designed to help you work through the material, gearing you up to eventually take the training wheels off and play the music without the fingering or note name hints (if you choose to do so). These features allow you to more easily work on your hand position technique, and help make the connection between the notes you see in notation and their letter names, ultimately improving your sight reading ability.
4. Isolated Measures
Playing a song that can be upwards of 200 measures can be daunting when you’re trying to knock it out all in one shot! Even practicing large chunks of music can get overwhelming at times. For this reason, Playground allows for you to highlight and focus on playing as little as one measure at a time. Simply use your mouse to click and drag over the measure(s) you want to focus on, then the non-selected measures will all fade out, allowing you to easily tackle the music you want to work on. This feature really comes in handy when coupled with the Speed Slider. By working on small pieces of the music and then putting those pieces all together you’ll be able to learn the music faster.
5. The Loop Function
Want to play measures 4 through 8 several times but don’t want to constantly have to click on the play button to do so? No problem! Just click on the Loop button to activate it, then click and drag over the measures you want to have looped, then click the play button and all your problems will be solved! Using this feature will seamlessly allow you to play a section of music over and over and over again until you feel like you’ve mastered it (or you’re sick of it)! The more you play a section of music, the better you’ll get at playing it. Practice makes perfect!
6. Real-Time Feedback
This is arguably the most useful feature in Playground Sessions that helps you learn music faster. While playing a song, the notes on your screen will change color in REAL-TIME based on how well you played the notes. If you played a note correctly, it will instantly turn green. If you played a note incorrectly, it will instantly turn red. This feature allows you to always know where you stand with the music. By knowing your problem areas in a song, you can then focus on cleaning them up, ultimately allowing you to learn the music much faster.
7. Clickable Notes
All notes in Playground Sessions are clickable. Don’t know what a specific 8th note is on your screen? Click on it! Wondering how to play that chord you see in measure 9? Click on it! Each time you click on a note in the interactive sheet music the note(s) will then highlight on the On-Screen Keyboard at the bottom of your screen. While the notes on the On-Screen Keyboard are highlighted, you can then find and match them on your keyboard to play them. Using this feature will help take out the guess work when playing material you’re not accustomed to.
8. Video Tutorials
Playground Sessions has over 30 hours of professionally recorded, HD videos in which its instructor, David Sides, holds your hand and walks you through different piano concepts and gives you pointers to get through different songs. These videos are recorded from the side angle when David is talking, and from above the piano to see David’s hands when he’s playing. These videos explain and demonstrate key concepts to help you get through your lessons, and you can play, pause, stop, and rewind the videos at any time, allowing you to learn at your own pace.
9. Small Sections
In the continued spirit of learning music in small puzzle pieces and then putting it all together in the end, Playground takes this same approach when learning sections of songs. When learning a piano arrangement from our Song Store, each song is going to be broken down by hand (right hand, left hand, both hands together) and by song section (verse, chorus, bridge, etc.). This compartmentalized and very systematic approach eliminates the overwhelming nature of taking on a full song in all its glory and allows you to learn small sections of a song quickly, then piece it all together in the “Full Song” section. By learning small sections then putting them together in the end you’ll learn the song a lot faster.
10. On-Screen Keyboard
Whether you’re watching David demonstrate a piece of music on the piano, or you’re using the Piano Demo features to demonstrate a piece of music from our interactive sheet music, the On-Screen Keyboard located at the bottom of your screen will help relate everything back to the keyboard you’re using. The On-Screen Keyboard is a direct representation of the keyboard you’re using at home. From the lowest key to the highest key, every pitch will be accounted for allowing you to make the connection between what you’re playing on, and what’s on your screen.
11. The Motivation Factor
When learning something new, especially an instrument, it’s extremely important to put in the practice time if you ever wish to see improvement. Playground Sessions understands this and has added different elements to keep users motivated to put in the time to get better! Some of these elements include earning points, badges, and stars which all translate to leveling, bragging rights, and even free songs! By keeping the learning experience fun and engaging, users are more motivated to practice, and the more they practice, the faster they’ll see improvement.
Technology has not only changed the way people interact, but also the way people learn. The technology in Playground Sessions is designed to help users learn to play the piano in a fast and fun way. Click here to learn more about Playground Sessions’ approach to learning to play the piano through technology.