Practice Time is FUN

 
 
The Piano-n-Voice Studio is now using the.....

Better Practice APP!



 

 


Students:    "Better Practice Login"
 
  • Become a better musician, faster
  • Share with your studio friends online
  • Jam along with backing tracks, and YouTube
  • Ask your teacher questions, anytime
  • Stop dreading, start enjoying practice
And...
  • Maintain your repertoire easily
  • Makes practice more efficient
  • Logs your practice for analysis
  • Learn new songs quicker
  • Practice anytime, anywhere
  • Learn Responsible Interactive Computer Skills


Parents:
 
  • No more 'I don't know what to play'
  • Independent practices, frees you up
  • Brings better accountability
  • Celebrates your child's victories
  • Improves your child's chance of success
 
 


Better Practice Tutorials:

 
  • How to Practice Informational

 
 

 

 
  • How to Practice Daily


 


 
  • How to Send a Message to My Teacher


 


 
  • How to Use Background Tracks

 
 
 
 
  • How to Take Chord Tests


 

 
  • How to Upload My Profile Picture


 

Lots of New Features as of July 2015!

30 Day Practice View
Need more than a one week view of the students’ practice? There is now a 30-day view of your students' practice grouped by how much the student has practiced. This makes it very easy for you to see where you may need to step in, spot check a particular area, and reassign if needed. This view can be found on the students' practice history screen. Students also have this view accessible from their practice screen, so they can see how well they are practicing and adjust their practice as needed.

Practice Times
As requested, we will now make practice times more prominent in the app. Previously, the app tracked time but it was not displayed to the student. Now, students will see how much time they are spending on each piece as they practice and after they are done. You will also see the times per item in the practice history view.

Selectable Practice Lists
Better Practice now supports different practice lists so that students can tailor their practice sessions according to their preference. The selectable practice lists are located near the top middle of the practice screen underneath the date. Tap on this selector and choose the appropriate list. In the future, we will be adding even smarter practice lists to make practice even more tailored and more effective.

Other Enhancements:
Improved handling of Mac’s Safari autofill feature that affected creating new students
Improved support of custom studio logos in the app
Renamed Chord exercises to friendlier “Practice" and “Game"
Added 9th chord diagram (SM Only)
Added B#, Cb, E#, Fb to chord practice and game
Fixed issues where search results were not appearing in Practice Something Else for particular devices
Improved sorting of current assignments and scheduled assignments
Improved sorting of songs in the book preview
Support for long group names on smart phones
Fixed issue where some were having problems creating new custom books
Fixed issue where if the teacher cancels edits on an assignment, the previous values are restored


For Better Practice Teachers, From the Better Practice Crew Oct 2015:

We wanted to share with you a list of our latest set of enhancements. Also, be on the look out for our next announcement, you won’t want to miss it!

More Practice Insights
Get deeper insights for how your students are practicing with the new Practice Analytics Overview. You will be able to gauge whether the student is practicing enough, the nature of the practice, as well as the long-term trend. Your students have access to this as well and can use this as continual feedback to help them build better and stronger practice habits. For teachers, you can access this on the student 7 day practice history (next to the 30 Day View). We’ve added this to the group area as well. For your families, it’s located on their practice screen with the Options dropdown that looks like a square  made up of four squares.

Event Countdown
Help your students manage their preparation time better with the new countdown feature. By putting in an event name and a date, the app will automatically display a countdown timer to that event. You can use this for recitals, exam dates, signup deadlines, etc. There are countdowns at both the studio level which is located in studio settings under announcements, and the individual student level, located in Info.

Improved Standard Practice List
We’ve improved our standard practice list to provide even better coverage of what needs to be practiced most. Your families can review the 30 Day View after each practice to see it in action. If the students have difficulty selecting the proper practice list to use, teachers can now select the practice list for them in the Info screen.

Quick Contact
Need to reach a family quickly? We’ve added one-tap phone and email buttons for each of your students so that you can connect with them faster than before. This is located on each student’s Info screen.

Additional Enhancements:
Music Dictionary for quick reference and to aid in exam preparation. The recommended terms for MTAC’s Certificate of Merit tests are designated. If there are other tests you’d like us to cover, please let us know.
Added assignment books for Bradley Sowash’s "That’s Jazz" series
Added assignment books for Julie Johnson’s "Basic Keyboard Theory” series
We love getting feedback and suggestions. Please send us any ideas you may have.

NEW FOR 2016!

Enhanced Practice List
We’ve been working on improving our recommendation engine and now it's even smarter! While the algorithm for Standard Practice list makes maintaining practice repertoires easy, teachers were still having to keep songs on the current assignments longer for more difficult pieces. This made the current assignments list longer than needed. So we designed a new engine that takes into account the three phases an item goes through: Learning, Mastering, and Maintaining. This new recommendation list is called the Enhanced Practice list. This engine uses more factors than the Standard list including the ratings of over 1M practices captured. It truly is smarter. The Standard Practice list is still available and is recommended for beginner students with less complicated pieces. We’ll be sharing more about how the new engine works this Saturday at the International Music Teachers Symposium in San Diego. Hope to see you there!

SMD Student Intranet Connected
Practice just got easier for SM students. Each SM Foundation song is now connected to the new SMD Student Intranet so that students can easily access the pertinent videos, reference book, music notation and audios. Add that to the existing backing tracks and students now have everything they need for a fun and efficient practice at their fingertips. Also keep on the lookout, we’re coming out with new backing tracks with new styles like Disco!

Sheet Music in Custom Books
As some of you know, one of Better Practice’s most powerful features is Custom Books. We’ve made it even better by allowing you to include Sheet Music and Sheet Music links to each song. This will allow you to set up your curriculum with all the practice resources your students need at once and save time on your day-to-day. Music library is required for attaching Sheet Music. You can use the Sheet Music links to link to music stored elsewhere.

Repertoire Spot Checker
So your students have been practicing and keeping their skills fresh with the recommendation engine, or have they? Now you can spot check at the next lesson with the Spot Checker. This feature will randomly choose an item from a student’s practice repertoire to play for you in lesson. It is located on the Practice screen (the first screen after tapping on a student) in the options dropdown (the square icon made up of four squares). Currently it’s only available in the individual student area, but soon this will be added to the group practice screen as well.

Encourage Streaking
Behavioral experts say that habits can be developed by performing an action repeatedly over consecutive days. How many days depends on the person and on the action. Develop your students’ practice habits by using the new streak tracker. Issue a challenge to your students to practice at least 30 consecutive days. Reward the student with the longest streak. The streak count is displayed on the students’ home screen and on the Practice Insights Overview screen.

Other Enhancements:
Promote sponsors and charities on Partners page
Invoices are printable
Students are sortable in various ways
Students can add sheet music links on practice page
Remembers chord drill speed setting
Added fields for grade level, student start date
Improved interface for music dictionary
Improved display of assignment notes
Added SM arrangement and jazz books as practice lists
Added safeguard for when practice counter time is sent multiple times
Warns users with browsers that block cookies
Added more books for Rockschool exams, Piano Adventures, Little Singers
Fixed issue where email showed up as blank
Fixed issues where second email overwrote first

Update March 2016:


Hello Better Practice Teachers,

A new set of enhancements. You may have already run into a few of these, but in case you missed them, here’s a summary of changes since the last announcement.

Lesson Times
You can now enter and sort by lesson times for your students and groups. This makes it faster to find your students/groups because the current day’s lessons will always be at the top. The lesson sort is now the default sort for the student list and the group list. Name sort, the previous default, is still a selectable option. To add a lesson time, go to the student’s info page. For groups, go to the group’s settings page. Each student and/or group can have multiple lesson times in a week. If the lesson time has been added within the last 7 days, then the new lesson times will appear on the student’s home screen near the announcements. This way the student who logs in can confirm the new time.

Spot Checker
For those who are using the recommendation engine to keep students' technical skills fresh and playlists alive, we’ve added a pop quize feature called Spot Checker that you can use in lesson for both individual and groups. To access it, go to the practice history page (the first page that appears after tapping on the student or group name), then tap on the options icon (a square that is made up of four squares) to see Spot Checker. If you’re in the group area, you’ll have to select a student in the group as well. Better Practice will randomly choose an item from the student’s practice repertoire.


Other Enhancements:
Added student photos to student screen
Adjusted practice bar graph to improve readability
Increased ability to handle unlimited saved notes
Show teacher’s notes from book when editing assignments
Show book’s sheet music and videos when adding assignments
Handle special characters when searching for assignments
Automatically scroll to the top of screen for assignments and practice
Added grade levels to scorecard
Added numbering to scorecard
Improved calculation for Days Per Week
As was previously mentioned several months ago, we’re going to be transitioning to a 5 point rating scale. We are planning the transition to occur on Sunday March 13 at 1:00AM PST. Better Practice will be unavailable at that time for about an hour. We’ll be sending out another announcement as we get closer. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.



For the Fun of it,

The Piano-n-Voice Team