Technology you own: take your practice and study to a new level

Students of any age or level may not know this, but you probably have access to a myriad of production tools that work as a digital music workstation (a/k/a a “DAW”).

There is so much you can create and practice as you incorporate a laptop or desktop computer, tablet, smart phone and piano-style keyboard via USB or MIDI. A staggering amount of great software programs and apps are on the market today at very affordable prices to get you up and running.

Begin by identifying which of the following subjects interests you. Look online for software that is compatible with your device (Mac, Windows PC, iOS, Android). Most software tools and apps have a free version that you can try out and see how you like them. Purchase the software only after you’re sure it is a tool that works for you and then take advantage of the full-featured version, program updates, the tech support, user forums, etc.

A basic home studio DAW system set up

Here is an outline of the categories of the activities you can use technology you already own to help you study, learn, practice and improve your musicality:


Learn the art of notating your charts, lead sheets, compositions or arrangements by using software that allows your printed music to look professional, clear and accurate.


Work on the art of transcribing the music you hear to work on ear training. Remember: “if you can hear it, you can play it.” There is no substitute for anything that helps you become a better listener.


Try using what is called a “MIDI and digital audio music sequencer,” which is a software program or app that can assign different instruments of the band, choir or orchestra to different MIDI channels. This allows you to hear back your music as an ensemble. For Mac, Garageband is a great place to start. For PC users, Mixcraft is a fantastic program for beginners through advanced. There are apps galore on the iTunes app store for the iOS platfom.


Take advantage of the full spectrum of digital music tools to structure, produce, record and notate your original, composed music. It’s what all composers are doing these days and has never been easier to access.


Incorporate digital music technology into every phase of your production, from conception to make YouTube videos, produced CDs to sell, or render MP3 files for internet audio delivery platforms such as Soundcloud.


Recording is an art form all unto itself! Learn how to build your own affordable and professional sounding home workstation and mini-studio to record, edit and master tracks for both acoustic and electronic music. Check out this video that gives an overview on getting started.


Any instrumentalist can use digital music technology to help them use notation, recording and production in their practice routines and performance techniques, including ear training, rhythmic training, and file sharing with their teacher. Especially helpful when taking private music lessons online.


Music theory is understanding the language of behind the music. There are many software programs available today to help students of music theory master the fundamentals and hone their craft to supplement their work with a private teacher.

Feel free to contact PIANO LESSON CITY if you need additional help or more specific advise on the hardware and software tools best suited for your musical study or budding production studio.


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