Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Piano Mania

Piano Mania

Spring 2014 Mobile Apps
Ages: 5 & Up
Developer: JoyTunes
Platform: iPad

Piano Mania is a free iPad app that gives piano lessons via the tablet, actually, the base app is free, additional lessons and music are available for a subscription fee—$11.99 /month or at discounted prices, $47.99 for 6 months and just $59.99 for a whole year. The player has an option to use the iPad keyboard or to work on a real piano, using the iPad microphone or MIDI connector to respond to the player's music. Not owning a piano, our reviewers used the in-app keyboard. The first lessons start with hand placement and middle C. A simplified version of Vivaldi's Spring shows a scrolling staff with instructions to play the written notes when they pass under a blue bar on the left side of the screen. This allows the player to see what's coming and prepare as well as using proper hand placement and timing.

After each song, there is a score that indicates how many notes were played correctly, the players timing and the percentage of assists. If the player is having trouble, there are options to adjust the tempo, which hand is playing and whether note names are included on the sheet music. The free music library has titles from classical and operatic music to kids' music, folk, pop, and rock genres. In addition to categories of music, there are levels at which a player can start, indicating experienced players can jump in with appropriate music to be challenged.

Kristin Harris   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Kristin Reiber Harris is an artist, animator and educator who has created over 50 short form animations with a focus on educational media for young children. Her work has been broadcast on HBO Family and screened in numerous film festivals around the country. She is currently developing interactive media introducing young children to great works of art through stories. Kristin writes about her interests in kids, art and technology at

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