This week I have started using a new app called “Tonara”, which helps to motivate students to practise at home.
I set them assignments, with how many times a week and how long each day to aim for.
When students use the app, they select which assignment they are going to work on and start a timer. The app then listens for the piano playing and records how long they play for. Students are then awarded points as they play, and if they hit the goals I have set, they receive extra points as well.
Within the chat function, I can record audio of how the songs / exercises should sound so they can listen at home and know what they are aiming for. If they aren’t sure if what they are doing is correct, they can record themselves playing and send it to me for my feedback.
I can send them motivational stickers as well, and there is a chat function which enables them to ask me questions if they aren’t sure of something.
As students come for their lessons this week, I am sending their individual log in details and link to download the app home in the lesson notes.
There is also a leaderboard for students who are motivated by competition!
I hope that students (and parents) will make use of this app. The base app is free. There is a paid version that offers more functionality, such as being able to play along to a recording of the song / exercises and the app being able to compare the two and give feedback on accuracy. That has the potential to be a massive boon to students who are serious about progressing. For now, I would just be happy if those students who don’t practise at all between lessons start doing so!