Reviews, Technology

Review & Giveaway: Note Rush app

13246163_248194038873284_8983692676277542062_oToday, I am so excited to introduce to you a brand new app for music teachers called Note Rush. As I have been experimenting with this app during beta testing, I soon discovered just what a useful tool this app is for my students. Note Rush has become my favorite app for piano teaching.

Note Rush is a note reading app that is simple, intuitive, and fun. Unlike other note identification apps that present a note and require the user to name the note by letter name, Note Rush “listens” using the iPad’s microphone to identify whether the user is playing the correct piano key. It’s so important for students to learn to associate staff positions with the corresponding piano key in the correct octave, and Note Rush encourages this!

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The app automatically calibrates to the piano, allowing the app to be useable even if the piano may be slightly out-of-tune.

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Allowing you to choose from a variety of levels — covering various ranges of notes in treble clef, bass clef, or the entire grand staff — the app is customizable to the user’s ability.

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Because the rounds are timed, students are invited to repeat the rounds to try to improve their times.

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The three themes appeal to a wide range of students while not creating a distraction through too many options.

Note Rush collage

Tell your students to buy this app instead of a box of flashcards. Note Rush is available in the Apple App Store for $3.99 USD. Find it for Android here. Be sure to visit the Note Rush website and like their facebook page.

Note: I bought this app. As always, my reviews contain my honest opinion.

The Note Rush developer has kindly offered two promo codes for a giveaway! For a chance to win a free download of Note Rush, leave a comment below before Tuesday, June 28 at midnight (Eastern time) sharing your favorite aspect of Note Rush. Two winners will be randomly chosen and contacted the following day.

Reviews, Rhythm

App Review: Petronome

petronomeApp Review: Petronome for iPhone/iPad (FREE, or pay $0.99 to remove ads and add additional “pets”).

Petronome is just what is sounds like: a pet + a metronome. :) It is a fun app to use for rhythm activities with preschoolers or any young beginner student. (Thanks goes to blog reader Elaine for letting me know about this app!)  Continue reading “App Review: Petronome”

Reviews, Technology

iPad App Review: Piano Maestro

App Review: piano_maestro_iconPiano Maestro for *iPad only.*  FREE and paid accounts available for teachers. Students who are connected to a teacher account have available to content for free.

I’ve been meaning to write this review for a long time.  I wouldn’t surprise me if you’ve already heard all about the Piano Maestro app for iPad!

If you are not already familiar with Piano Maestro, here’s how I would sum it up: Piano Maestro is an app for iPad that provides music for the student to play, listens to the student’s acoustic piano using the iPad’s microphone (no wires required, although if you prefer to hook it up to a keyboard with headphones, you can), and evaluates the student’s playing based on note accuracy and rhythm accuracy.  The student’s progress is saved over time and points are awarded, essentially “gamifying” the experience.  The developer, JoyTunes, is a team dedicated to piano education and listening to feedback from teachers.

Watch this 30-second video to see Piano Maestro in action:

When student accounts are connected to the teacher’s account, students have the flexibility of using their account via the teacher’s iPad during their weekly lessons or they can use their own iPad at home.

Piano Maestro has the potential to be a game-changer in your studio, depending on how you decide to incorporate it into your teaching.  Let’s first talk about the kinds of pieces available for students to learn in Piano Maestro.  Continue reading “iPad App Review: Piano Maestro”

Technology, Worksheets

Digital Worksheet: Matching Staff to Keyboard

Remember this set of worksheets (Matching Staff to Keyboard worksheets) I posted a couple of weeks ago?

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At the suggestion of a reader (thanks, Elaine!), I have created a new digital version.

Staff to Keyboard Matching - digital worksheet

Using an annotating app such as GoodNotes (my review here), you can upload the PDF to your iPad and have students complete the worksheets digitally.  It’s a great way to coach students through a concept while saving paper.

Goodnotes digital worksheets

The PDF contains 20 pages, each with 3 notes that must be matched to the keyboard.

Download link here: 

  Matching Staff to Keyboard -- Digital Worksheets (307.2 KiB, 3,715 hits)

You can find the other digital worksheets I have created for tablet here.

Reviews

App Review — MusicNotes Deck: Music Flash Cards

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 9.18.56 PMMusicNotes Deck: Music Flash Cards (FREE) — for iPad or iPhone.

This free app comes from the folks behind MusicNotes.com, which by the way, is an excellent website for purchasing arrangements of pop music at various levels for students.

The MusicNotes Deck app provides three decks of flash cards: (1) 50 music symbols/terms, (2) two octaves of treble clef note identification, and (3) two octaves of bass clef note identification.

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Please note that this app is NOT a game nor does it automatically correct answers in any way.  Instead, the app shows flashcard and allows the user to “turn over the flashcard” to see the answer on the back.  The app also can pronounce each term with either American or British pronunciation.

MusicNotes Deck

The flashcards are shuffled into a random order each time the app is loaded.

This app is a great way to study musical terms and symbols as well as practice note identification.  The graphics are gorgeous, too!

View it in the iTunes store here.

Reviews, Technology

App Review: SproutBeat for iPad

sproutbeatlogoA fantastic new iPad app was recently released.  I am so pumped about this one!

I am a huge fan of Eik Siang Mar’s website, FunAndLearnMusic.com.  She has a huge variety of free music worksheets that are both visually attractive and educationally effective.  I have some of my favorite worksheets downloaded on my iPad.  I like to be able to print them from my iPad during the lesson to send home with students, targeting a new concept we just learned.  And, once in a while, I ask students to complete the worksheet digitally during the lesson on my iPad by “writing” on the worksheet.

Now, this process is about to get a whole lot easier!  FunAndLearnMusic has released a companion iPad app called SproutBeat.  The app allows view to all the worksheets from FunAndLearnMusic, organized by category.

The free version of the app allows you to download 25 of the worksheets.  Purchasing the full version of the app for $19.99 gives you access to ALL of the worksheets, plus any worksheets released in the future.  Eik generally adds new worksheets every Tuesday.

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Continue reading “App Review: SproutBeat for iPad”

Reviews, Technology

iPad App Review: Piano Carnival

Check out this awesome, recently-released iPad app:

app Piano CarnivalPiano Carnival Interactive E-Book – FREE for iPad only.

This app was created by Sonya (a friend of mine) and her sister Elizabeth Schumann.  Piano Carnival is an interactive eBook that contains delightful illustrations, reads the poetry aloud to the view, and plays videos of the Schumann sisters playing Saint-Saens’ music “Carnival of the Animals.”

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Here is a quick video that demonstrates what this delightful app can do:

This trailer video gives some background into the app’s creation.  Sonya and Elizabeth have also created a companion page on their website that contains lesson plans and more resources related to Carnival of the Animals.  Be sure to take a look at all of the resources offered there!

It is exciting to see more apps released that take advantage of the full capabilities of the iPad!

General

Freebie: Piano Finger Bling worksheets

Today, I have a couple of fun freebies for you.  :)

First, here is a printable worksheet for beginner piano students.  Their task is to label each hand as RH or LH and then label the finger with the ring as #1, 2, 3, 4, or 5.  My beginners love completing this quick worksheet!

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As I was making this worksheet, it occurred to me that it would be fun to get a plastic diamond ring to use when quizzing students on their finger numbers.  Fun little props can add a lot of fun to drills.  :)

Then, I decided to make a digital version of this worksheet to use on my iPad with the GoodNotes app.  Students can draw on each page in order to label the hand and finger.  It’s a quick little activity that can be completed during the lesson.

Piano Finger Bling preview iPad

To download the printable worksheet, visit the Printables > Worksheets page and scroll down to “Piano Finger Bling worksheet.”

To download the digital PDF worksheet, visit the Printables > For iPad page and look for “Piano Finger Bling.”

Enjoy!

Technology

iPad Staff Paper Background

Remember the music whiteboard I created using a plexiglass frame from IKEA?  Here is my new digital version.  :)

IPadminiWhite staff paper

In the photo above, the staff paper is being used in the GoodNotes app.  You can download a multi-page pdf containing the various types of staff paper by visiting the Printables > For iPad page.

These files will probably work just as well on non-iPad tablet devices with a similar app.  If anyone tries it, please let me know!

Technology

Using the iPhone/iPad in Piano Teaching

I’ve been enjoying the wonders of my iPod Touch 4g for nearly two years now.  However, recently, my hubby and I upgraded our cell phones to the glorious iPhone 4.  There isn’t really much difference between the two, other than that now I don’t have to carry both a phone and the iPod around with me everywhere (my iPod had my calendar with teaching schedule, so I tried to keep it with me always), and now I can access the internet anywhere I go.

I know many piano teachers are using iPads in their teaching.  The iPhone is no different from the iPad, other than the larger screen and the fact that there are certain apps designed only to work on the iPad (because they require a larger screen).  My hubby has an iPad 1, which he allows me to use occasionally.  Someday, I’ll get my own iPad, but there are too many more urgent things on my studio wishlist right now!  :)

Here are the most frequent ways I use my iPod/iPhone in my teaching:  Continue reading “Using the iPhone/iPad in Piano Teaching”