The ONE Smart Piano: How to Learn Piano Sans Teacher

 

Learning how to play the piano can make you smarter.

Studies show that children who took piano lessons scored better than others in testing — although it can boost your smarts at any age.

It also improves your hand-eye coordination and can even lift your mood.

But what if you don’t have the money or time for a piano teacher?

After all, the average 30-minute piano lesson costing between $30 and $55 per session — and that’s not including the cost of sheet music and books.

Plus, learning to play the piano requires motivation and commitment.

For children, piano lessons can often become frustrating because they see it as a chore or extra homework.

This is where the ONE Smart Piano steps in.

The ONE is an all-in-one piano that serves as a piano and teacher.

With two versions — a full-size, 88-key version with weighted keys or the “light” 61-key non-weighted key version — the ONE pairs learning through light-up keys with its all-inclusive app, so you can learn how to play the piano at your own pace and on your own time.

According to Forbes, the ONE Smart Piano was chosen as one of the Top 10 Music Startups of 2016.

Beginners and even accomplished learners of any age find features such as games and duet mode make the learning process fun, which leads to more time spent with the piano and, as a result, more progress.

 

How It Works

The ONE Smart Piano works by connecting to your smartphone or tablet.

The magic begins with The ONE app, which stands in as your piano teacher.

There are lessons, guides, and games for you to download to your device, and the keys light up for you to follow along and learn the material.

The full-size ONE piano has many of the same features as a standard piano, including three-foot pedals.

You’ll also notice when you press harder on a key it will produce a louder sound, and when you press softer on a key it will give off a softer sound.

 

App Integration

The ONE app is what puts it a step above its competition.

The free app is downloaded onto your device and plays tutorials as you watch along and learn.

And it’s the first piano app compatible with Android.

Devices the app is compatible with include:

  • iPad 2, 4, mini, mini2, Air
  • iPhone 3GS+
  • Android 4.0+
  • PCs/Macs

Your device is connected through a USB, and instead of a stand for your sheet music, there’s a sturdy stand to hold your device.

Using the app as your teacher helps keep you on task, as it’s easy to follow and it saves your progress when you’re done for the day.

The app also saves all of your practiced, downloaded and liked songs, as well as songs you record.

This keeps you more organized and helps you get more out of practice.

Playing the Piano

The ONE Smart Piano is equipped with its own set of speakers, so when you have the app on you’ll be listening to your lesson and hearing the sounds of your piano.

Or, if you’d rather not disturb anyone — or be disturbed — the piano also comes with headphone jacks to keep the music quiet.

You begin by choosing your music through the app, whether you are watching a video lesson or playing along with the interactive sheet music.

There are three main ways to experience learning through The ONE: video lessons, sheet music and games.

In the video lessons and sheet music, you’ll follow along by watching the LED lights on the piano keys. It will even tell you which hand you’re supposed to use — red light for red, blue for left.

The note on the piano is synced with the note on the app, so you can learn to pair the key with the note and learn sheet music as well.

If you miss a note or play the wrong one, the piano knows to stop until you hit the right key.

 

You also have the option to start the song over.

And if you want to record how far you’ve come or a melody of your own, the app lets you do that, too. When you’re playing back your recording, you can watch the keys light up — which is useful for seeing what notes you may have missed as opposed to relying on hearing alone.

Video Lessons

There are more than 100 video lessons that users can take advantage of, courtesy of Hoffman Academy.

The lessons start with instructor Joseph Hoffman playing the piece and then teaching piano skills such as structure and fingering.

The videos cover topics from basic to special techniques, and they can be liked and saved for future use.

Hoffman uses a step-by-step approach in the videos and covers all of the fundamentals. The ability to pause and replay the videos allows students to go at their own pace and makes learning easier.

Topics included in the video lessons include:

  • Fingering and position
  • Hand and note exercises
  • Technique
  • Rhythm and timing
  • Key movement
  • Music theory
  • More!

Sheet Music

Any good piano teacher aims to teach a student how to read sheet music, and The ONE is no exception.

The ONE Smart Piano uses songs from any genre and pairs it with the synchronized LED lights on the piano, with the goal of getting your eyes on the sheet music and off the keys.

The app offers different options to teach proper posture and fingering for better playing.

You can choose from a variety of free songs (anything in the public domain), or pay a small fee to choose sheet music from today’s popular musicians. Either way, you can download as many copies of sheet music as you wish from several genres.

Having the ability to choose the music can motivate students to learn and practice more.

Games

By making piano practice a game, many students will be eager to come back for more.

The games on The ONE Smart Piano turn learning into fun, and it doesn’t get boring.

This is a feature not seen on other digital pianos.

You can even get your friends and family in on the fun by choosing the duet option.

In the games mode, the student sees a keyboard on the app screen, and he or she watched the keyboard light up along with the rhythm of the song and hits the corresponding keys on the piano, scoring points for every correct key.

(Think Guitar Hero for piano.)

This is a great way to learn how to play piano without looking at the keys.

As you improve, the games get more difficult.

More From the App

In addition to video lessons, learning from sheet music and games, students can also learn ear training and score reading on the app.

During the ear training — which comes with a “free” and “challenge” mode — the student first listens to a note and then shows where it is on the keys. If the student doesn’t know, the app will give a hint by showing where to put his or her fingers.

The LED lights are also still in use, so you have a visual on the piano to help you follow along.

This type of training is good for the beginning pianist as well as the more skilled student. Not only will it help sharpen your overall music skills, it will also teach you to play without sheet music.

 

And although you bought a piano, maybe you’ve always wanted a clarinet — or maybe you REALLY want to hear how a guitar sounds when played through a piano.

All of this is possible through The ONE app, which has 128 different sounds of instruments that you can load into your smart piano and play when you hit the keys.

Options include:

  • Strings
  • Electric pianos
  • Brass
  • Winds
  • Guitars
  • More!

This can be fun to play, especially for people who know other instruments.

You can also combine these sounds together through the recording feature, or split the piano up into two sounds — with the left half playing one sound and the right half playing another.

The fact that The ONE piano’s USB cable can transmit audio data through the piano speakers gives it an additional edge over similar products.

This allows it to play music from your iTunes Library without any extra cords and play along.

Or, just use your piano as an extra set of speakers.

Piano Details

The ONE Smart Piano was built as a digital upright piano, not a portable keyboard — so you’ll have to pass on the idea of taking this on the plane with you to serenade the other passengers.

The full-size version weighs 121 pounds, so you’ll need to make sure you build it in a location you like so you don’t have to move it.

It does have a built-in metronome, to help you get clicking with your beats per minute, and volume control is available on the piano as well as through the app.

The piano cabinet, complete with front legs, looks like a real piano and comes with the color options of satin black walnut or satin white.

And although the sound quality won’t rival a grand piano, it does perform very well, which is evident by the massive uptick in interest.

And if you’re not using it for practice? You can always connect it to your home entertainment system and use it as a speaker.

Where Do I Get a Smart Piano?

Learning piano at your own pace and on your own time can produce better results than being forced to take lessons.

The ONE Smart Piano is now available in Australia with a variety of ways to pay, including financing.

Have any more questions? Leave a comment below.