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PianoMarvel.com helps you to learn piano, whilst also offering tools for piano teachers to support their students. You can create classes, work on basic or advanced techniques, access music and use your keyboard with an interactive digital system which tracks your playing, and suggests how you can improve.
We were impressed by the systems on offer here, particularly since you can develop your own sheet music or lessons for students to follow. These can also be used to help develop any weaknesses you identify in your own playing. For example, if you have trouble shifting between certain chords or tempos, you can create lessons which will allow you to practice this with ease.
The system allows you to incorporate videogame-like practices which can vary in intensity, offering rewards for accurate playing. This could be a great motivational tool for practice, especially since you can see your score improving over time.
Upgrading to a premium account unlocks the various additional tools, lessons, exercises and songs (more than 3,000 songs are on record and this is increasing regularly). Free members can still access a decent number of songs, which is currently up at 200 tunes.
Members are not obligated to continue premium membership if they no longer wish to, and all of your progress is saved on servers. This is still accessible if you cancel premium membership, so you can view your progress during that period.
Sight reading tests come as part of premium membership, which can be really useful for checking the reading speeds of students (or indeed your own progress). Reports can be produced, analyzing progress data over time, which can also be a big encouragement for students, since they can see how far they’ve come.
MusicMarvel.com has a store, through which you can purchase compatible equipment. The basic requirements are a compatible keyboard, around 2GB of memory on a computer, and a decent internet connection. If you’re unsure whether or not your equipment will be suitable, the site also offers information regarding system requirements. If in doubt, you can contact customer support, or try it out for $15 a month and simply cancel if you don’t enjoy the interface or tools provided.
Whilst Music Marvel includes plenty of lessons and tools to develop your playing, it’s primarily for music teachers. The tools in place are better suited to teaching pupils, with someone who knows what they’re doing behind the helm. As such, we don’t really recommend it for beginners, however they shouldn’t feel that it won’t benefit them, as there’s plenty here to try out and no need to tie yourself down with long subscription periods.
Videos and audio files are provided, again helping to give pointers and practical tips for development. The list of songs available to premium members is also updated regularly, which is really important if you want to encourage younger people to practice, since they can learn some of their favorite new tunes. It’s worth checking out the full lists to decide whether the songs are of interest to your potential students, and whether the difficulty levels will suit them.
Everything considered, we feel that MusicMarvel has a lot to offer. Whilst its song lists and lesson catalogs aren’t quite as vast as others, we think that teachers may appreciate some of the learning tools provided, and the monthly fee is very reasonable for what you get, with savings for groups.
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