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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wolfie allows beginners to learn piano with advanced tools

Follow on Twitter as @gtinari
Chances are you've seen plenty of virtual piano keyboard apps in the App Store, but isn't it far less often that you come across a music app that wants you to use an actual piano, perhaps for educational purposes? How primitive, right? reports George Tinari.

Well that is Wolfie's request. It's an educational music app that teaches students how to play piano and helps instructors teach them as well. Plus, it has technology to guide you along as you play the piano. Not so primitive anymore, huh? Wolfie is a free iPad app with in-app purchases requiring iOS 7.0 or later.

Wolfie comes with an entire catalog of various sheet music to download and learn how to play. There's over 750 choices and your first two are completely free, so choose wisely. More on pricing later.

I've always wanted to learn how to play the piano but just gave up after multiple attempts of trying to teach myself. One of the pieces I downloaded is the classic "Ode to Joy," which the app claims is "Very Easy." Perfect for me. The catalog is organized by difficulty, which should help you pick your own song to learn depending on your level of expertise.

Selecting a piece brings up the sheet music with a number of tools along the top, the most prominent being the Magic feature. Turn this on and with the help of your iPad's built-in microwave, the app monitors your progress as you play the song and highlights the next note so you never lose focus or get lost.

This is one of the highlighted features of Wolfie and after testing it, I found that it's good but needs work. The cursor wasn't consistently accurate following the notes I played; other times it took a few seconds for it to catch up. Then of course a few times it did work flawlessly. It seems like an issue of fine tuning the technology for a future app update.