Music Teacher's Assistant

FAQ

Login Screen: How do I delete a user name?

Touch and hold the user name, then swipe your finger to the left. Touch the red "delete" button to delete.

Login Screen: I entered my username -- now what do I do?

Touch "done" on the keyboard then choose your name from the user table.

Login Screen: Tune

If you are working at an acoustic piano (a "real" piano) then you may wish to "tune your iPad." To do this, you will touch the label "Touch and Play your concert A." (Concert A is the A above middle C. Its frequency should be around 440 Hz.) If your piano is badly out of tune, SightReadPlus cannot work properly. - If you are using an electronic or digital keyboard, you do not need to tune SightReadPlus to your iPad. Tuning your iPad is optional and for most people not necessary.

Menu Screen: How do I chose my Level and Key

Touch the level or key button , choose what you want, then touch the blue part of the screen to continue. First time users should choose Level 1, Key of C, as prompted. After initial use, you are free to choose any level or key.

Menu Screen: Why do I have to choose Level 1/Key of C?

This is only the case with preliminary use. The idea is to allow you to discover the way the App works by following specific instructions. After successfully completing the first two exercises, a student may move to any level and any key.

Menu Screen: What do the different levels represent?

Here you will see note and rest values introduced at any given level along with intervals (2nds, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths) and meters (time signatures - i.e., 4/4/, 3/4, 2/4, 6/8). For more information on note and rest values or intervals, touch the small "i" (information) button on the left side of the menu screen, to the immediate left of the Level button.

Menu Screen: What do the stars on the Menu Screen represent?

These small stars represent the exercises found in the Level and Key chosen at the top of the menu screen. Exercises which have been successfully completed are shown as Gold Stars. Stars which are gray represent exercises not yet completed.

Menu Screen: On the menu screen, I see an array of stars for left hand and also for right hand. Why?

These stars represent the individual exercises for any particular level. You may touch a star to go to a particular exercise, or you may touch left hand or right hand button to begin or resume work

Menu Screen: How do I get to the Exercise Screen from the Menu Screen?

First time users will see "touch here to continue" after choosing level 1 and Key of C. Otherwise, touch Left Hand or Right Hand to go to the exercise screen. Or touch a star to go to a particular exercise.

Exercise Screen: I’m ready to play the exercise. How do I start?

Position your hand to match the keyboard diagram. (Touch the ? button which is to the right of the keyboard diagram if you have note questions.) To begin, press the red button to the left of the exercise. Wait for the one-measure count-in. (Wait for the count of 4 if you are a first time user.) Play your piano or keyboard.

Exercise Screen: After I complete an exercise, how do I advance to the next exercise?

If you earn a gold star, you will automatically advance to the next exercise. You may also user the arrows at the top of the screen to move forward or back. If you don't earn a gold star after completing an exercise, you will not advance forward. You may get presented with a "Flash Card" exercise to do before moving forward.

Exeercise Screen: How do I start?

Press the red "record" button to begin then wait for count-in.

Exercise Screen: What do the scores in the upper righthand corner represent?

"You Scored" is your average of the Note Score and Rhythm Score. The score from your last exercise will appear at the top of the screen until you have completed a new exercise.

Exercise Screen: Why is there a gold star at the top of the screen near the scores?

A gold star appears at the top of any exercise you have already successfully completed. You may choose to play the same exercise again for extra points or another gold star.

Exercise Screen: What is a pentascale?

The first five tones of a scale. (For Major Scale: do-re-mi-fa-sol).
SightReadPlus uses the first five notes of the major scales, what is called "five finger position".

Exercise Screen: What is a pentascale exercise?

This is an exercise which is useful for warming up before playing the sight reading exercises.

Exercise Screen: I don’t know where to find the pentascale exercises.

There are two ways to get a pentascale exercise.

Touch the “Key” change button at the bottom of the Sight Read Exercise page. Touch the pentascale (very small four measure line of music at the bottom of the key table) which is beneath the 12 key choices.

OR

Touch the P button at the right of the keyboard display. A pentascale exercise in the current key will get displayed.

Pentascale exercises can be dismissed without playing them by touching the X at the top right.

Exercise Screen: What if I can’t yet read the notes on the exercise page?

Touch the ? button to the right of the keyboard diagram to view note names and their correspondence in the music staff and piano keys.

Exercise Screen: What are the user options?

There is a row of buttons along the bottom of the exercise screen to provide a number of playing options.

KEY: Choose from any of the 12 major keys (see Wikipedia "Major Scale" for more info)
METRONOME: You may choose to go faster or slower than the default speed
SWITCH HANDS: Allows you to easily change hands (treble or bass)
RHYTHM: Audio for Kodaly syllables. Clap timing pattern before playing (see Wikipedia "Kodaly rhythm")

Exercise Screen: How do I change the tempo?

Touch the tempo button, scroll up or down to choose desired speed. Touch anywhere on the screen away from the tempo selector to dismiss it.

Exercise Screen: How do I exit out of a flashcard?

Touch the x at the top right hand corner of the flashcard.

Exercise Screen: What is the rhythm button for?

You can choose to clap along with this audio. You may also wish to say the Kodaly syllables, following the text if you need to. An excellent alternative to clapping is to tap your fingers in time.

Exercise Screen: How do I stop an exercise before I finish playing?

Touch the red button to start or stop

Exercise Screen: I accidentally played using someone else's user name. Can I delete the stars/progress?

You cannot "Undo" progress made for the wrong user name. This helps prevent accidental loss of points or stars earned.

Progress Screen: How do I view my progress?

Go to the Progress Screen by touching the Progress button at the upper right hand corner of the Exercise Screen. You may also access this from the Menu Screen.

The stars on the Menu screen also indicate which exercises have been played and scored well enough to earn a gold star.

Progress Screen: What does View Progress by Key mean?

This is a button at the top of the Progress Screen which enables a user to see progress for each of the Keys he or she has practiced -- for example, C Major or F Major. You will find star totals as well as the number of pentascales practiced in each key on this view.

Progress Screen: What do the Progress Totals represent?

Total stars earned, total pentascales practiced and total points earned are shown, regardless of key.

Progress Screen: What does Progress by Level mean?

This shows for each exercise level the keys for which you have received gold stars for all the exercises in the level. Left and right hands are listed separately.

Flash Cards: After I play the exercise, I see something that says

If you complete an exercise but don't earn enough points for a gold star, a flashcard will appear to help you with either notes or rhythm, depending on where your mistakes were. There may be more than one flash card to play before you return to the standard exercises. You receive points for Flash Cards, but no stars.

Flash Cards: How do I dismiss the flashcard if I don't want to play it?

Touch the "X" in the upper right hand corner of the exercise.

Troubleshooting: I’m getting message “mTA wasn’t listening properly.”

Begin again. If you continue to have problems make sure there is no noise or talking in the background. If the problem continues, close SightReadPlus. Double click on the home button to see if other apps are running. If so, close them out. Then re-open SightReadPlus.

Troubleshooting: I’m getting message about problems with “audio input.”

Close SightReadPlus. Double click your iPad’s home button and close out other apps which may be running before resuming SightReadPlus. It could be other apps are trying to access the iPad's microphone.

SightReadMinor Questions

SightReadMinor is essentially the same as SightReadPlus except that the available keys are all minor key and their are only 12 exercises per level.

So please read the appropriate SightReadPlus FAQ entry.

Teacher Questions: Do I need an iPad?

You may use your own iPad and enter multiple users, if you wish to have the students complete their sight reading during lesson time. You may prefer to allow students to do daily sight reading practice at home, if they have their own iPads. It is not necessary for a teacher to have an iPad if students have them.

Teacher Questions: How do I make assignments?

You can make assignments which correspond to the student's current lessons. For example, if a student is being introduced to a new key, you may wish to make SightReadPlus assignments in this same key. If a student is learning a new note value, dotted half note, for example, you may wish to assign work in Level 3. If you have the most recent update for the SightRead apps, you may choose to make assignments within the app.

Teacher Questions: Are there suggestions for sequencing?

Yes. There are practice plans on this website. Please click here: TBD Practice Plans

Teacher Questions: How many exercises are in each Level?

20 right hand exercises and 20 left hand exercises.

Teacher Questions: Can the student work independently during home practice?

These apps are designed for early level students to use independently in daily home practice. It's recommended that a teacher help guide the student in making assignments, based upon individual needs.

Teacher Questions: How do I view progress?

Touch the "Progress" button at the upper right hand corner of the Menu or Exercise screen.

Piano Workout Sign-in

Piano Workout uses the same sign-in procedure as SightReadPlus, so please see the questions and answers for SightReadPlus.

HanonPlus Sign-in

HanonPlus uses the same sign-in procedure as SightReadPlus, so please read the questions and responses for SightReadPlus

HanonPlus: How do I start to play?

You start playing by touching the red button at the top left. There will be a one bar count in, then a green beat marker line will step through the music in time with the tempo. For longer exercises the music scrolls when you reach the third line.

HanonPlus: How do I select an exercise to play?

Touch the line in the table of exercise (these are the 20 exercise from part 1 of Hanon's original book) for the exercise you want to play. It will hi-light.

Then touch the black arrow at the bottom to go to the music screen.

HanonPlus: How can I change the exercise conditions

At the bottom of the exercise screen are a row of controls. These allow you to select any key, including major or minor using the switch next to the key selection button at the bottom right. There are two levels for the exercises. Level 1 is in quarter notes, level two is in eighth notes and can be one or two octaves Each level also has different rhythms that can be selected as shown in the switch. At the right bottom is the tempo control button. Touch this and a selector wheel will appear for you to select the tempo you want. Touch outside the selector wheel to fix your selection.

How do I set up to use MIDI?

You will need a cable that connects from your keyboard to a USB port.

You also need the Apple Camera Connection kit. This provides a USB port connected to the iPad dock connector.

If you have other iPad Apps that use MIDI, it is best to stop them first. Some Apps can interfere with the ability of our Apps from accessing MIDI. Double press the Home button, scroll the display sideways until you find an App that uses MIDI and "throw" (put your finger on the window and move it up and off the top of the iPad) it off the top of the screen. This simply stops that App. You will be able to start and use it later.

You can start our App or turn on the keyboard MIDI in any order. You will get a pop-up warning that input is being switched to MIDI. When you turn MIDI off you will get a pop-up warning that input is switched to the microphone.

The Apps are not synthesizers, so to hear your playing with MIDI on you will need to connect your headphones to the key board.

How do I select an exercise to play?

The Piano Workout Menu screen has two groups of exercises. On the left, those aimed at beginners. There is a pentascale and a preparatory octave. You can also select which hand to use. The beginner exercises are single hand only.

On the right is the main set of exercises. You can select either hand or hands-together. You can select individual exercises or, by touching the + buttons concatenate exercises. Below the line are modifiers to the exercises - for contrary motion of the hands, or chromatic scales. You can also change to arpeggios instead of scales. The bottom exercise, distinct from the rest, selects cadences to play.

When you have made your exercise selection, touch the big arrow at the bottom of the screen to go to the Play Exercise screen.

What can I change on the Play Exercise Screen?

The Play Exercise Screen allows you to change many things. You can advance which exercise you are playing by using the < > buttons at the top. However these do not allow you to change between the Beginner and Working Up sets of exercises. You can change the tempo by touching the button in the bottom right and rotating the wheel to the tempo you want. Touch outside the pop-over and that tempo will be set. You can change key to any major or minor key. Use the key button at the lower left and the major, harmonic minor, melodic minor, or natural minor selector as you wish.

There is a rhythm options selector in the middle of the bottom row of controls. You can choose dotted rhythms as well as the standard 1/4 or 1/8 note rhythms.