Piano Dust Buster - App Review

We know that building sight reading confidence is a huge part of classical piano study, and we also know that gamifying a concept helps us engage in learning it so that we have more fun, stay motivated and ultimately retain what we've learned for longer. So today I am sharing another app that piano students can use to gamify their sight reading fluency practice: Piano Dust Buster!

This app was developed by Joytunes, which also brought us the studio favorite Piano Maestro, and in a lot of ways is similar to Piano Maestro in that it encourages the use of your real acoustic or electric piano, while scrolling music that students read and play in real time along with a backing track. It also has a fun animated theme in the form of a granny who is trying to dust the piano, she dusts the germs away from the notes that you play - and that's where the name Piano Dust Buster comes from. 

Things I like about this app: It's intuitive, the graphics are engaging and funny, and it's easy to sit down and start playing even if you're a total beginner. The app has a Simple game mode & a Staff game mode that you can select in the top right of your song selector screen. Students who are just beginning and learning keyboard navigation may benefit from the Simple Mode, students who are reading on the grand staff in their music books should definitely use the Staff Mode to build their sight reading fluency. And once you've selected the appropriate game mode, each song has a 'Practice' option and a 'Showtime' option, so you can get used to the piece before playing it with the backing track to earn your stars.

The free version of the app includes the starter pack of 51 well known songs, and other song packs can be purchased to access more music options. Once you reach level 3 (this can be done in the free version) you unlock Concert mode, which means you can compete against friends and players from all over the world! You can easily join a competition anytime, the free content will never run out in concert mode, AND you can win medals that will unlock more songs to play. 

This app is different from Piano Maestro in one other significant way, in that it is available for iPhone as well as iPad. (Piano Maestro is iPad only). So for students wanting to participate in our 40 hour Piano App Challenge this year who do not have iPad access at home, Piano Dust Buster is one of our alternative options!

I generally recommend that students spend a few minutes of each practice session sight reading, and an app like Piano Dust Buster is a great way to do that. 

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