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Review: Time Tracker Mini

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 31-08-2011

I’m a pussy cat dad, a long way from being a Tiger Dad, but I have amped up my discipline on piano lessons, keeping my kids at the keyboard for up to an hour. We’ve been using Mark-my-time to keep the kids on track for their time commitment. Unfortunately, it is a pretty poor quality digital timepiece, poorly constructed and worn out quickly. So when I got a chance to try the Time Tracker Mini from Learning Resources, I was glad to look at a new option.

The Time Tracker is a big device, despite the “mini” designation, designed instead for keeping time for groups. It stands almost six inches tall, with a big translucent golf ball style device that changes color from green to yellow to red as time go down. You can imagine this at the front of a classroom making it easy for all see the time limit, as well as visual (and tonal) indicator at a designated warning.

The device is a mixed bag in terms of value for a piano or music lesson however. First the positives. It is well-made and sturdy with mechanical parts to set times. It’s easy to set time as well, using sliding rings in five minute increments.

However, there is no way to see how much time is left as the clock wears down, other than having a warning at some point in the practice. In some cases, it might be best not to let users know how much time is left (fidgety kids who check the time every 30 seconds), but most people like to know how much time is left to allocate time to different parts of a lesson.

Additionally, there is no way to “pause” time. Adults and kids take bathroom breaks or have to get up to answer the phone, punching holes in otherwise focused lessons. Other times, kids might want to break up their hour in four equal parts, which is often recommended by teachers. It’s unfortunate, there is no way to “stop the clock” in these cases.

Finally, given the size, you’ll need to put this on top of the piano, instead of at eye level, which may or may not be practical for smaller kids.

GreatDad.com Review Policy: The featured product for this review was provided to us, at no cost, by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. We do not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about products. We only review products that we have personally tested and used in our own homes, and all opinions expressed are our own.

I’m a pussy cat dad, a long way from being a Tiger Dad, but I have amped up my discipline on piano lessons, keeping my kids at the keyboard for up to an hour. We’ve been using Mark-my-time to keep the kids on track for their time commitment. Unfortunately, it is a pretty poor quality digital timepiece, poorly constructed and worn out quickly. So when I got a chance to try the Time Tracker Mini from Learning Resources, I was glad to look at a new option.