Can you use Musiah with an acoustic piano?

Unfortunately, no. You need a MIDI keyboard (a keyboard that is capable of being connected to a computer / iPad). Why?

Because the most reliable way — by far — to have your piano playing assessed by any piano learning app is to connect a MIDI keyboard to your computer or iPad either wirelessly (using Bluetooth) or using a cable of some sort.

There are some apps that use an iPad's microphone to 'listen' acoustically for the notes as you play, however, there are many disadvantages to this approach which is essentially not reliable, and the challenges faced with this approach will continue to be tricky to overcome even as technology advances.

For example, if the volume of the piano / keyboard notes is not sufficient, or there is background noise, microphone-based apps will struggle, they’ll miss some notes, not respond instantly, fail to assess your timing properly, etc.

Plus, these apps won’t assess duration (the length of the notes) at all.

They also struggle in particular with polyphony (several notes at once). E.g. if you play a chord, assuming the app hears the notes to start with, it will often not interpret what it hears correctly via the microphone.

So even if apps that listen via the microphone appear to be effective for learning very basic beginner songs, as the music becomes even slightly more complex, the effectiveness drops dramatically.

And these issues compound further if you’re using an acoustic piano that is out of tune, or if you're using the sustain pedal on an acoustic piano.

For these reasons, and because we are passionate about ensuring each of our students receives the optimal learning experience, the Musiah app assesses student’s playing using MIDI data which the app receives via a cable or Bluetooth connection.

This way, your notes, timing and duration will always be assessed accurately.

Learn more about connecting MIDI keyboard to a computer or iPad on our How To Videos page.