Are you looking for a new piano app to help sharpen your skills? Below, piano teacher Ryan C. dishes all of the details on the teaching app Wolfie…
As a piano teacher, I’m always looking for new ways to inspire my students and help them learn faster.
I’ve spent an enormous amount of time making my own supplemental materials, writing pedagogical articles, and thinking of fun piano games to keep them engaged.
While all of this work has been very helpful for my own sake as a teacher, I’ve found that my younger students often need a more light-hearted and fun way to learn.
That’s where Wolfie comes along.
Wolfie, developed by Tonara, is a piano app for the iPad that features some incredibly powerful tools for students as well as teachers.
As a brief aside – I have worked with this piano app in the past and was impressed by its features, but it’s been significantly updated from when I first worked with it.
Below are some of my favorite features and benefits the app has offer.
Benefits for Piano Students
1. Great user-interface
The app features a fun, colorful user-interface with sorting of repertoire by grade-levels, which makes it easy for students to navigate and find pieces in their appropriate playing range.
It also has a surprisingly large amount of repertoire for most grade-levels, though much more for beginners than for advanced players.
2. Play along feature
This feature is probably the most useful. Wolfie will listen through your microphone (if you give it permission) and follow your playing.
It will also show you on the screen where you are, play accompaniment parts, and so on, in real time.
3. Multiple modes of practicing / listening
There are five different modes that students can access for each piece: Annotate, Practice, Listen, Evaluate, and Play Along.
The Annotate tool is probably more likely to be used by teachers, but all of the other modes are exceptionally useful to students.
For instance, the Evaluate mode will listen to your playing and give you a grade based on how well you did.
The Listen mode allows you to listen to YouTube recordings of professional pianists playing the pieces, and the Play Along tool plays alongside you with a midi recording that adapts to you in real time.
Although the app itself is free, in order to access the music, Wolfie does require a paid monthly subscription. Just $5.00 a month unlocks a premium one-year subscription plan.
Paying a subscription for music may not sound incredibly appealing to many students/parents, but piano books are expensive. $5.00 a month is certainly less than spending $10.00 or so per book every few months.
Benefits for Piano Teachers
1. Easy collaboration
Teachers can ‘invite’ their students to a ‘studio’ in the app. This links students’ accounts to the teacher’s, who can then monitor their progress, see what pieces they’ve been playing (and how long they’ve been practicing them), and assess how well they’ve been playing them.
2. Hands-on teaching
Teachers can use the Annotate mode to write changes to the score directly onto the digital copy. This includes using a pen tool, making text boxes, highlighting, and so on.
3. Monitor student progress
If students are using the piano app correctly, teachers won’t have to worry about students not practicing or practicing incorrectly before lessons.
Thanks to the Evaluate mode mentioned earlier, teachers can see how well their students are doing prior to having their next piano lesson.
Check out this picture to see what the results of the Evaluate mode look like:
4. Fresh ideas
Thanks to the built-in features of the app, teachers no longer have to struggle to come up with new ways to motivate younger students to practice.
That means less time coming up with new lesson plans and more time interacting directly with the student.
Teachers get a year-long free subscription if two of their students sign up for the one-year subscription plan, making it a very low-cost solution!
Try it Yourself!
Wolfie provides some awesome benefits for both students and teachers to enjoy. I personally think that it’s a really powerful and useful app to add to any teacher’s tool-kit.