Is Piano Learning Software Useful?
Piano learning software almost never benefits kids, only the manufacturer and the dealer. It is dreamed up by same sort of people that make up Standardized Tests. It's like asking me if I'd rather travel to my destination, or just pretend to travel in a computer mockup. If I'm actually trying to get somewhere, a computer simulation is of little use. It's the same with software. No piano software I've ever seen compares to the experience of sitting at a real keyboard and using one's mind to solve musical problems. Great for the school system, great for getting tax dollars, not so good for the kids.
Software Saves Schools Money
It is estimated that only 10% of the money spent on education is actually spent on the child. The rest goes to the school administrator's $250,000 a year salary. Then there's testing, useless building contracts awarded to the favored friends of the administrators, the contractors, and phony learning software. It all looks good on paper, but kids remain musically uneducated by this foolish system. Piano learning software sounds good to the inexperienced parent, but the inevitable result is boredom. Why? Piano learning software always results in boredom because the most you can do with it has already been built in. You follow the course, like a video game, but then where do you go?
Levels Are Meaningless
Once you get to "level ten" of the software, you'll find yourself no better prepared for a real piano than you were before you started the software. Of course, piano software is attractive to parents and kids addicted to computers and video devices. The software marketing will point out that you have no piano and no teacher, so where else will you go to try the piano? I'll tell you where: to the closest piano or inexpensive keyboard. The piano keyboard, unlike pre-arranged software, has no limitations, and a child can see that immediately. The freedom from limitations that comes from the 'blank" keyboard is both exhilarating and frightening.
In Piano, You Set The Level
In fact, it is this "blankness" of the real piano that is responsible for the piano being such an admirable teaching instrument: you can make it as easy or as difficult as you want. Of course, if you can, just go get a great piano teacher and a real piano. But you will soon find there are far more real pianos than good children's piano teachers. And without the right teacher, you are better off waiting until you can find one. The teacher is far more important than the instrument or method. You'll never convince me that a computer is a better piano teacher than a sympathetic human. Piano software has one inherent flaw, which is boredom. Ultimately, either the computer plays you, or you play the piano.