Review: Rhythm Swing app

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 12.16.24 PMLuke Bartolomeo has done it again! The developer of Flashnote Derby and Dragon Scales has released a brand new app for iPad and iPhone called Rhythm Swing.

The image below provides a look at the levels available within Rhythm Swing: Basic Notes, Basic Rests, and Eighth Notes.

The app tracks progress by marking completed sections with up to three stars. This works great for students who own the app on their own device. Currently, the app does not enable teachers to track students’ progress from the teacher’s device.

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For each basic rhythm concepts, the app first provides video lessons.

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The “Practice” mode provides rhythms for the student to tap. Students will benefit from the various tempos used and will enjoy the variety of styles and modes used by the background tracks.

The app counts the student in with 4 metronome ticks and then a verbal “1, 2, Ready, Play.” Students tap the rhythm by touching anywhere on the screen.

The app provides visual feedback when the student accidentally taps too early or too late.

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In “Play” mode, it becomes more crucial for the student to tap the rhythm correctly in order to help the monkey character survive swinging from vine to vine to avoid the alligator below. Some of your youngest students might be a little afraid about the thought of the alligator eating you, but your older students will enjoy it. :)

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There are also “boss levels” to provide more challenge and more opportunities for mastery.

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This app is so well-thought out! You can tell that this app was developed by a piano teacher. I especially love that the two measure count-in reinforces this important habit for students and helps them internalize the beat and the varying tempos. And the background tracks sound great.

This app is perfect to recommend for students to use at home, especially because the app provides tools that make the student independent: video lessons and feedback after the student’s performance. This app is also definitely worthwhile for the teacher to purchase. The teacher can allow students to use the app during waiting room time, during lab time, or during an extra minute or two at the end of the lesson.

My only wish? I wish the rhythm values were NOT introduced as having fixed beat values; for example, stating that a quarter note = 1 beat (which isn’t true in all time signatures). Of course, since Rhythm Swing only covers 4/4, 3/4, and 2/4 time, this doesn’t become an issue within the app. It’s just that I’m looking for ways to help students understand things like cut time and compound meter at an earlier level, so this is a minor complaint. :)

I highly recommend downloading Rhythm Swing. While the app is still in its first release week, there is special discount pricing going. For a few days more, you can download the app for just $0.99. Grab it on sale while you can!

PG
Joy Morin is a piano teacher in Perrysburg, Ohio (United States) who enjoys keeping her teaching fresh with new ideas and resources. ColorInMyPiano.com serves as a journal of her adventures in piano teaching as well as a place to exchange ideas and resources.

Joy has blogged 1106 posts here.

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2 Comments

  1. Diane Lindsay
    Posted 12 October 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I downloaded Rhythm Swing app this morning. It is an excellent app and I look forward to using it with students. I wrote a review stating that when I made a rhythm error the app shut down, which meant I had to restart it. I hope this glitch is repaired soon.

    • Posted 15 October 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Hi Diane, I have had the app crash on me a few times, too. I imagine it is only a matter of time before those glitches are fixed! I agree, it’s a great app.

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