By Mindaugas Neverovas, who has been teaching classical piano in Finland, Estonia and Lithuania for 10 years. He studied both in Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, and Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tallinn. Nowadays he teaches at the International School of Music Finland in Helsinki.
I discovered Yousician in spring 2016 and have been using it now for 3 months with my students in their lessons. Since then the dedication towards practising, concentration and desire to play piano increased enormously. It was the end of asking to take a break or going to toilet constantly. The process of learning became so much more efficient and the improvement was visible already in few weeks.
I have always struggled to get students follow the sheet music some bars ahead instead of looking at their hands. Yousician totally changed pupils’ center of focus and developed great awareness of keys and geography of the piano. The sense of the keys and full concentration on the music let them develop permanently.
Yousician is a great tool for sight reading. As we know, the rhythm is most important in sight reading. Often when playing a new sheet music, pupils’ attention goes on pitch, and rhythm is forgotten. Yousician helps to increase the sense of rhythm essentially, as the rhythmical patterns are heard in a background.
Yousician has also a very exciting and motivating part of practising. Weekly challenges won’t let you rest if you want to beat your own or friend’s score. Friendly competition will increase students’ time of practising noticeably. In the teacher dashboard I can see their commitment towards the practising and follow their results and scores as well.
Teacher dashboard has been a fantastic discovery and advantage for my teaching and preparation for the lessons every week. I can give a new assignment so easily, and, after some days, check the progress of each student through the levels or things they might be having trouble with, and then we can work on different techniques to help them master each level. Now instead of waiting until my next lesson, I can give some feedback according to their practise at home. It also makes them practise as long as they get all the gold stars, as they know I’ll be checking to see how they’re doing.
How many times we hear our students saying that they practised every day and it went so well at home but not in classroom? I guess most of the teachers experienced that feeling. Usually the students do not seem to practice due to other activities or sports.
As a music educator myself, I know how unrewarding it can feel seeing your pupils showing very little progress from lesson to lesson. The reason? Most of the students want results and awarding straight away. Usually pupils find it boring playing from sheet music without getting any feedback, so it doesn’t motivate them to practise longer time. Practising from sheet music can often take many weeks to make the piece sound properly. But all the students that have Yousician practiced nearly every day to get higher in the levels I gave them for homework. It keeps my students always motivated and moving forward without tears on piano.
I think that Yousician offers new possibilities for teaching and fresh attitudes towards learning music. I believe that, in the future, it could be one of the most used settings for music learning in different kinds of music institutes.
Yousician is free to use for iOS, Android, Mac, PC and Linux. If you’re a music teacher, you can signup for Yousician for Teachers. View your students’ progress. Motivate them with fun homework. Boost their practice between lessons. See them get better faster. Your students and their parents will thank you for it.
If you have any tips or tricks how you use Yousician with your students that you’d like to share with others, let us know @YousicianEdu – music education tech for teachers by teachers.