iPianoRoll Review: The Perfect Introduction to Playing Piano

Reviewed by Grace Light

iPianoRoll - Mikhail Eliseev


Price: $1.99

As the daughter of a piano teacher, I began playing the ivories at the tender age of four.   Had iPianoRoll for the iPad been in existence then, I would have certainly shed fewer tears of frustration!


iPianoRoll is a wonderful way to introduce young children to the joys of playing piano and actually making music.   From my personal experience, children are easily frustrated when they are simultaneously learning how to read sheet music and play piano.   I believe children should experience the rewards of actually making music first – which will motivate them to continue playing piano and eventually learning how to read sheet music.

iPianoRoll does just that!   You can instantly begin making music by simply following the lighted keys, which makes it a very rewarding and fun experience.   iPianoRoll could especially complement a young child’s Suzuki piano lessons.

Of course, iPianoRoll is great for adults who are new to piano, especially those who want to quickly learn how to play simple melodies of their favorite songs.

Design and Execution:

iPianoRoll is a well thought out and designed music app for the iPad, clearly created by a musician.  The iPad app easily adjusts to your personal preferences for playing.  When my fingers slowed down, so did the tempo of the lights and notes.  This prevents the frustration and panic that can often set in when your fingers can’t keep up with the pace of the foreign piece!

You can make the experience as simple or complex as you desire, choosing which parts you want to play and which sections you want to hide.

I especially appreciate that iPiano Roll shows the entire keyboard, which helps you understand the “big picture” of the notes you are playing.

Best of all, iPianoRoll can convert any MIDI file, which means that you can learn how to play any song, no matter how modern or unknown it may be.  This is certainly a welcome relief from electronic keyboards, whose stereotypical 100 preset songs get old rather quickly!

Of course, the “piano roll” inspiration for this iPad app lives beautifully in the graphic representation.   Who knew that nostalgic paper piano rolls could be so aesthetically pleasing on an iPad?


I wish the sound of the notes was richer and less “tinny,” but that is true of any electronic piano.  Even the best electronic keyboards don’t have the deep, resonating sound a real piano does, and I can’t expect the iPad to deliver the same tone of bass and treble bridges.   However, a girl can still wish!

Parents, this is a fantastic “game” to download for your children, who will be introduced to playing the piano and making music while simply having fun!   Any adult with musical inclinations, but not years of piano lessons, will sincerely enjoy making mini-masterpieces with the iPianoRoll as well.

iPianoRoll iPad app [ iTunes Link ] requires iOS 3.2 or later. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

The iPhone app review rating:


iPianoRoll Video Demo

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