Friday, July 19, 2013

Practiz Pal Metronome

 This new Practiz Pal metronome has been calling me for a while now. I finally decided to spread the word with my students and place an order for those who wanted one. Out of 25 students only 6 opted to spend the money. But once everyone else sees this, more may eventually come on board.

I ordered one for myself as well and they were delivered today! :)

Here is my review-

The colors are cool. I like the Aqua. Although the Raspberry is really nice. (My camera didn't do it justice here.) Upon first glance, it larger than your average metronome- easy to hold in your hand. It also has a nice clip on the back to stand up or clip on a book. I think you'd have to clip it to a few pages or it would be too heavy. The buttons are big and easy for little fingers to press. It reminds me of that cell phone they advertise for Grandparents with the big easy-to-read buttons.
There is a switch on the top to prevent it from turning on in your book bag and a little built-in bar to attach a strap. 

The digital graphics are really old-school when compared to an ipad or other gaming device. But this was really easy to set-up and use. I just had to put in the date, time, my name and practice time and Voila, I'm ready to practice. 

I set up a 40 minute practice schedule and went right to the piano to work on my scales and arpeggios. I just pressed the treble clef and it started counting how much time I had practiced and counted down how many minutes I had left. When I pressed it again, it would stop and act as a toggle switch. 

To use the metronome, I just pressed the metronome key. (Press again to stop) If I want to adjust the volume of the metronome, I had to go back into set-up. I think I'd rather have a volume knob on the side, but in its defense, the metronome is pretty darned loud. You can play the Pathetique Sonata and still hear the metronome clicking. But going back into set-up was easy. The speed of the metronome is adjusted with the up and down arrows. 

When I was done, the device plays a chime and there is a little! 
When I press the button that looks like an equalizer, it shows me in a bar graph form, the practice time I have completed for each day of the week. I can toggle through past weeks and months, too.

Overall, I like it and will recommend this to all my new students. At $50 each, they aren't cheap- but its only $15 more than a cheap metronome.  This thing logs practice time for an entire year, acts as a timer and count-down device, and has the metronome feature. My current Seiko can't count down or log practice time. 

Oh, sure, you could beat the system with this device and just turn it on, watch TV and turn it off when it chimes and your practice time is logged for your parents to see, but the good news is that you can't fool the piano teacher!

It has a coupon on the bottom of the package for a free "Skin". These are wild and crazy covers for it like you would buy for your iphone with zebra stripes, or leopard spots, etc. There is a pretty cool one with a piano keyboard on it. I might get that one, since its free! 

Its really quite handy and easy for students to use themselves. I would order this directly from the Ye Old Piano Shoppe in S.C. Let's keep small businesses alive!

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