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Learn to Read Music Online

If you or anyone you know wants to learn to read music, it's a lot easier to do than it used to be. The Internet gives us all access to almost unlimited information, and can deliver an incredible array of products and tools right to our desktops. Not surprisingly, there are some really clever products out there that can help you learn to read notes.

"Piano is Fun" from Anthony Fernando is a great beginner package for a very reasonable price that will teach you how to read music. The knowledge and practice available here would cost many times the purchase price ($24.95) in personal lessons. Included in the price are free lifetime upgrades and a 30 day money-back guarantee.

Purchase and Installation

Purchase and installation are both a snap. The entire process takes no more than five minutes and is virtually foolproof. So, what's in the product? A series of lessons and practice games that teach you how to read music and make it fun! And that's quite an accomplishment! Most students find it an awesome, dreadful task, but it really doesn't have to be, as this product demonstrates. When you start the program, you might think that the product is just for kids. Well, it is great for kids, but it's also fun for anyone that wants to learn to read music for the piano. My own bass clef reading skills fade in and out, and I actually enjoyed clicking through the lessons and "games" (review tests).

Getting Started

The basic package features a series of twenty lessons that start very simply and progress through both the treble and bass clefs. The graphics are big and bright and easy to read. There are good sound and visual effects - enough to keep your interest up but not so much that it distracts from the point of learning the notes. The way to get started with the product is to take the tour, which explains the layout of the lessons and the "games" that are used as review tests for each of the twenty lessons. As a student progresses through each lesson, awards are given and displayed on a separate screen - great little reinforcers to keep you going.

Menu and Options

The main menu is completely self-explanatory and includes a button for "Start Here" which leads to the "tour", a "Lessons" button, which leads to the twenty lessons, an "Options" button (explained below) and buttons for advanced tests called the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Challenges. The Options button lets you control what happens when a correct answer is entered (there are a few different choices), and contains an option for teachers that allows the addition or deletion of a student's name. It is also possible for a "teacher" to construct "custom" lessons that operate like the other lessons. The option is in choosing the notes that are presented in the test. So, if you want your child or student to concentrate on recognizing certain notes, you can easily create exercises that contain only those notes. There is also a sound option that lets you turn on or off the sound effects that accompany parts of the program.

Extra Challenging Exercises

The Bronze, Silver, and Gold Challenge exercises are more note recognition tests but with the notes passing across the screen at a faster pace, obviously requiring a quicker response from the user. If a student can master these, there isn't much doubt that they know their notes.

So that's about it! This program doesn't balance your checkbook, manage your portfolio, or vacuum your carpet, but it never claimed to! If you want to learn to read music, or have a child that's about to start lessons or just shows interest, this product is a great buy. Imagine your piano teacher's surprise when your 5 year old shows up knowing how to read music on both the treble and bass clefs! She'll fall off her piano bench! By the way, my son, who has been taking lessons for two years, came home from school yesterday and ASKED if he could use the Piano is Fun program! Think about that!

Peter Cullen is the Webmaster at http://www.PianoLessonReviews.com. The site reviews piano lesson offerings on the Web and offers may other piano-related resources.

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