ION ( has announced the Piano Apprentice, which transforms iPad, iPhone or iPod into a personal piano instructor.

The Piano Apprentice app — a free download from the Apple App Store — is designed by ION to work with Piano Apprentice, which can also be used as a controller for other apps, including GarageBan.

Piano Apprentice operates via CoreMIDI, making it capable of controlling any CoreMIDI app. In the app of the same name, piano players follow Emmy award-winning piano instructor, Scott “The Piano Guy” Houston, who demonstrates hand positions while the Piano Apprentice keys light up in time with the song. Piano Apprentice’s design places Scott’s hands on-screen directly above your hands.

Other modes will teach aspiring pianists how to read sheet music by highlighting musical notes, or allow them to play the piano at any octave they choose. The keyboard itself is touch-sensitive, allowing for a range of volumes and more expressive music creation, says Wendy Mittelstadt, product manager, ION. “Learning to read and play music has never been easier, more portable or accessible for people of all learning levels than it is with Piano Apprentice.

Piano Apprentice has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of US$99.99. It’s now available at Best Buy, Walmart, Target, BJ’s Wholesale Club, and