Frequently Asked Questions


The app works on iPads running iOS 8 and higher, Mac devices running OS X El Capitan (10.11) and higher, and computers and tablets running Windows Vista and Windows 7 and higher. (Note: Windows RT is not supported.)

For live lessons: Students can use iPads or Mac devices, and teachers can use Mac devices. Windows support for students is currently in beta.

See Student Setup Guide or Teacher Setup Guide.

(If you're not doing live lessons, you can skip the "Video and Audio" and "Starting a Lesson" setup sections of the guide.)

You can connect your keyboard piano to your iPad or computer either by direct connection or by Bluetooth.


    Use a standard USB 2.0 cable (type A to type B). It looks like this:

    USB cable

    If you're using a laptop or computer, this is the only cable you need.

    If you're using an iPad, you need one more thing: a lightning-to-USB adapter. Apple sells a Lightning to USB Camera Adapter that you can use, or you can buy one on Amazon. Connect the lightning-to-USB adapter to your iPad, then connect one end of the USB cable to the adapter and the other end to your keyboard.

    Connect iPad to a lightning-to-USB adapter, then connect a USB cable from the adapter to your keyboard

    • iPad

      1. Make sure your iPad's Bluetooth is turned on (go to your iPad's Settings > Bluetooth)
      2. Make sure your keyboard's Bluetooth is turned on
      3. In the app, on the Connecting your Keyboard screen of the setup wizard, tap the Bluetooth icon
      4. Choose your keyboard from the list of Bluetooth MIDI devices

      Note: iPad 2 doesn't support Bluetooth 4.0

    • PC
      • Windows Bluetooth is not currently supported
    • Mac
      1. On the Connecting Your Mac page of the setup wizard, click "Configure Bluetooth"
      2. Press Command(⌘) + 2 to open Midi Studio on your computer
      3. From this window, select "Bluetooth," find your keyboard's name, and click "Connect"

Key Saver and Saver Time are features specific to the McCarthy Illuminating Piano. Key Saver causes the piano to self-illuminate through different color patterns after a period of inactivity that can be set via the Saver Time option, similar to a screen saver.

If you're not using an Illuminating Piano, these options don't apply and you may disregard them.


  • Listen mode: The software plays the piece of music for you. This helps you better understand how the song should sound.

  • Learn mode: You play the piece note by note. The song will only move forward when you play the right note. This helps you learn the song at your own pace.

  • Perform mode: You play the piece at tempo. The song will move forward whether or not you play the right notes. This helps you test your ability to play the song.

  • Select mode: You select a measure or a range of measures for repetitive playing. When you reach the end of the selection, the song goes back to the beginning of the selection. This helps you focus on mastering chunks of a larger piece of music.

(Note: During a live lesson, only teachers can control modes.)

With the scoreviewer open, click the icons in the upper left corner of the app to enter Listen, Learn, or Perform mode. The Select mode icon is to the right of the other mode icons. Exit Select mode by clicking the Select icon again. (Note: During a live lesson, only teachers can control modes.)

Click the Metronome icon in the upper right corner of the app to access metronome options. Un-check the box for "Metronome" to turn the metronome off. Use the slider to change the tempo. (Note: During a live lesson, only teachers can control the metronome.)

If you're using a MIDI keyboard, you can change its sound in the Sounds menu (click the Sounds icon in the upper right corner of the app). The default sound is Grand Piano. Use the dropdown to choose other sounds: Accordion, Dulcimer, Electric Piano, Flute, Guitar, Harp, Harpsichord, Marimba, Musical Box, Night Vision, Rock Organ, Slap Bass, and Synth Saw.

Fingering data is used to guide you in which fingers to use for specific notes. The numbers 1-5 are used to represent your fingers from the thumb (#1) counting outwards to the pinky (#5).

To turn Fingering on or off in the scoreviewer, check or uncheck the box beside it in the Display menu. (Note: During a live lesson, only teachers can control fingering display).

Left Assist means that the software will play the left hand notes so that you only play the right hand. Right Assist is the opposite (the software will play the right hand and you play the left).

To use Left or Right Assist in the scoreviewer, click or tap the icon in the bottom left corner of the app for Left Assist or bottom right corner for Right Assist. (Note: During a live lesson, only teachers can control Assist modes.)

Live Lessons

First, choose a teacher from our teacher search page and buy a lesson (or multiple lessons!) with him/her. Next, propose a date and time through our online scheduling tool. Once your teacher confirms, the lesson is scheduled.

When it's your lesson time, log in on the app and your teacher will invite you to the lesson. Accept the invite and you'll enter the lesson, where you can video chat, view sheet music together, and more.

To take lessons on our platform, you'll need:

  • A Mac, PC (beta), or iPad
  • A piano (digital or acoustic) or MIDI keyboard*
  • A decent internet connection

You can also optionally use another iPhone or iPad as a second camera with our McCarthy Piano Camera app.

*If you don't have a piano or keyboard and you're serious about taking lessons, we can help! Email us to learn more.

Nope. While we highly encourage students to continue taking regular lessons for best results, you're free to stop lessons whenever you wish. You're also protected by our 100% satisfaction guarantee: If you're not satisfied with your live lesson, we'll give you your money back, plain and simple.

It depends on the teacher. A pretty common rate is $30 per 30-minute lesson. We also sometimes offer promotional discounts. If you're interested in bulk (multiple) lessons, contact us for special pricing.

Piano lessons are paid online in advance and you're protected by our money-back satisfaction guarantee. We accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

Use of the software is free.

Absolutely! Just create an account (it's free) and you'll be able to send direct messages to teachers using our chat system.

Lessons can be 30, 45, 60, or 90 minutes long. You choose the length when buying a lesson (30- or 60-minute lessons are most common).

You can cancel or reschedule a lesson anytime up to 24 hours before its scheduled start time. Just notify your teacher and request to reschedule or cancel through your online account. If you cancel a lesson with less than 24 hours' notice, you forfeit the payment for that lesson (the payment is no longer refundable, reusable, or transferable).

If you want to change teachers for any reason, please email us at contact@mccarthypiano.com and we'll help you make the switch.


From the Login screen, click on the “Add New” icon. Enter your information and click “Save” when finished.

If you've already registered an account through our website and want to use it in the app, click the "Cloud Login" (instead of "Add New"). Log in with the email and password you used to register online.

Check to make sure that:

  • Your two password entries match exactly
  • Your password is between 6 and 25 characters
  • Your password contains no empty spaces

You may reset your password using the password reset tool on our website.

After logging in on the app, click “Store.” (Note: Your account must be stored in the cloud to make purchases in the store. If your account is not stored in the cloud, you can change it in the app under "Profile.")

Many songs require a certain amount of credits to purchase. If you already have enough credits, choose a song and click "Buy."

If you need to get credits, choose a song and click on the “Get Credits” button, or you can buy credits from your Profile settings page. Follow the on-screen directions to enter your billing information. You can then download the song, which will appear in your in-app library.

There are also a number of songs in the Store that are free. For these songs, simply click “Download” to add them to your library.

To buy music from the Store, you must have an account that is stored in the cloud. You can change this in the app under "Profile."

All users of a device may access music purchased on that device. Sharing to other users on a different device is not permitted.

Currently, there's no easy way to transfer or send credits from one account to another. If you have any questions about purchasing credits, or need help with credits purchased under the wrong account, email us at contact@mccarthypiano.com.

Log in on the app and click on Profile. Choose your theme from the Theme dropdown menu. You can also change your theme from the Scoreviewer screen by clicking on the “Display” icon in the upper right corner and choosing a new theme in the Theme dropdown menu.

Each user profile has its own unlockable achievements that signify the completion of certain actions. Click on any achievement to see what action is required to be awarded.

You can earn stars by playing songs in Learn and Perform modes. Each song has a maximum number of stars for each mode depending on the length and difficulty of the song. Practicing more measures will result in more earned stars.

You can email us at contact@mccarthypiano.com.

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