At Brooklyn Music Factory, we love technology. We like to use it for connecting with our students at home (Dropbox, MusicTeachersHelper.com, iTunes, etc.) and we love to use it in the studios to reinforce the Key Music Concepts we are working on that day. Below you will find our top-rated iPhone and iPad apps for note-reading.
These are actual tools we use. Tools we endorse. Tools we dig! And best of all, these apps are designed to help students develop note-reading skills, an area of musical fluency that most kids and adults avoid like the plague.
Read on and let us know (in the comments below) if we are missing any of your favorites.
My Note Games is a great app for working on basic note reading. The app is free to try and has in-app purchases to get full functionality (ranging from $0.99 for “Play-a-Carol” to $6.99 for a bundle). You can play “Tap That Note” on your device or “Play That Note” where it listens to you play your own instrument. “Tap That Note” is great for on-the-go and for younger students who are still getting acquainted with their instrument. “Play That Note” has a definite “cool factor” when students realize it can recognize pitch from almost any instrument, even their voice! The video-game style leveling and instant feedback are highly effective motivators. Students often practice note-reading with this app as a “reward” at end of their lesson! We give it a 5 out of 5 rating for effectiveness and fun! Click here to check out their website for more information.
Piano Notes Pro ($2.99) is a note-reading app that can be configured for every level of pianist—from beginner to experienced. The interface isn’t as entertaining as My Note Games’ is, because Piano Notes Pro is more of a quiz-type app and is better- suited for somewhat older students. The app can cover the full 88-key range of a piano and all key signatures. We give it 4 out of 5 stars for effectiveness and engagement, with high marks for customization.
Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer ($2.99) is highly customizable app for reading rhythms. Can be quite challenging and complex to configure but is very effective.
NOTE FOR PARENTS: Because many of these apps require in-app purchases to take full advantage of the app it is important to have appropriate security measures in place so that kids don’t inadvertently spend money while playing the game. Click here to read a support document about enabling restrictions on iOS.
– Ben, Piano Teacher