More Apps!

It's been about 9 months since I did my first Favorite Apps post, and I've definitely had time to explore and discover several other apps that I absolutely love! I have to say technology has given us some great teaching tools, and in doing so opened up many more avenues for presenting material to a wider audience.

I will start off with my new favorite app EVER:

My Note Games - Free/$6.99
This app practices sight reading by having you unlock notes, like you would levels in a video game. You start with 1 note, when you're good at that, it adds another and so on until you have learned all of them. This makes it quite addictive because you want to keep unlocking new things. But the reason I love it is because you can either practice the notes in the app by clicking on the screen, OR you can practice playing them on the piano and the app will hear if you are playing it correct or not. It's truly interactive and I love it! It also has a great ear training section where you have to place the notes on the staff after listening to them. And that's only the beginning of what this game does. It can be set for just about any instrument (including voice). It also has a built in tuner, a list of holiday songs you can learn to play in the app, etc etc. The introductory version is free, but it's not all-inclusive. You can itemize and buy certain features for $1.99, or the bundle for $6.99. In my opinion, definitely worth the investment for what you're going to get out of it. This is GREAT for beginners and reluctant note readers.  Even though it is targeted towards kids, it's a great training tool for any age. I was totally using the "Play-A-Day" feature to test my vocal skills!

Read Rhythm - $2.99
This is the rhythm training app I've been waiting for. Everything you need to learn reading rhythms is built into the app: a metronome, a drum and lots of levels of rhythm training. From beginner all the way up to advanced jazz rhythms, there is something for every musician in this one. You can practice along before testing your skills on a certain line of music, adjust the speed of the metronome to suit your level, and when you test you immediately get a percentage indicating how close you were to the correct rhythm.
This is fairly challenging, and probably not for early beginners as students should be comfortable with a metronome, and have quarter, half and whole notes down pat before attempting this app.

Sound Recall - $0.99
This is a very simple sequencing game. You are given an ever increasing sequence of tones to playback. This type of game builds pitch memory, which will enhance auditory skills as a whole. This is also good for very young kids, because you can also sequence by color and shape. Both sequential and pitch memory are very important for musicians. This app enhances both without overtly being a music theory app.

And now for the best kind of app, the FREE ones:

Pluto Piano
This award-winning app starts with 2 songs, and you can unlock more by earning stars. You can purchase the additional ones if you like, but its possible to get up to 17 songs before you have to do that, including anything from Old MacDonald, to Swan Lake and a Bach Minuet or two. You can either play them on the in-app piano, or help Pluto swim through the music staff and catch the correct notes - er, fish. You get more stars if you do both!

Doodah is just a little furball that you can move up and down the music staff. When you move him to a new spot, he plays the new note. Tap him twice and he flips over, and you can change his color in the settings. It's a very simple app, but very versatile and effective for identifying the lines and spaces of the grand staff.

Classical Genius
Learn who's who in the classical composers and instruments, and then play games to see how well you can identify them. The pieces selected for each composer are all iconic works of music, like the ones you'd hear in a college Music Appreciation class. I honestly can't believe this app is free. It has a lot of learning potential.

Inversion Invasion - free with add banner at the top
This is a great app for teaching triads/chords and their inversions. It's set up like a deep space mission, you watch a little video to get briefed on your mission, and then by playing the correct chords you shoot aliens. The chords get progressively more difficult as you go through, so you don't necessarily have to know them all beforehand. My inner geek kinda freaked out a little bit over this one, because it has a great presentation.

One of the sources I have used to track down new apps to use in lessons is this website:
which has lots of apps and reviews. You can get a good idea of the apps before purchasing.