We at Chromatik hold these truths to be self-evident:
1. Music cannot be graded on a Scantron. 2. Technology should not replace the music teacher. 3. But technology should provide better tools for learning and communications.
Music apps are cropping up with increasing frequency, but quantity doesn’t always mean quality. Which apps are best for the classroom? Which ones help students learn? Here’s what we’ve found with our research:
1. Well, this is Chromatik’s blog, so I’ll keep it short. In it’s purest form, Chromatik enhances and revolutionizes the way musicians practice, perform, and learn music. The music teacher and music director can both distribute all of their students’ music with the touch of a button. Students can then interact with the music teacher one-on-one outside of the classroom by sending practice sessions and asking for feedback. When was the last time a music teacher had the time to sit down with every student and listen to them play? With Chromatik, you don’t have to. Just have your students submit a short recording and listen to it when you have the chance.
2. Simply the most intuitive app for recording music, GarageBand is in the app store for $4.99. A recording studio, a practice space, and a tool to write and record music, Garageband even helps you learn to play an instrument. Beginners to professionals can appreciate GarageBand.
3. Best recommended for beginner to intermediate players, Songster has amazing content for guitar, bass, and drum players. There is even a midi play-along track so you can hear each part of the song.
4. Mainly known for their print-on-demand web application and decent collection of sheet music, MusicNotes also has an iPad application. Any piece of music you buy on MusicNotes.com syncs with your iPad application. You can also add your own sheet music to the application, though you need to ‘activate’ your account for $14.99.
5. While still a young company, Pluto Piano is a great way to teach young students to read music. Pluto Piano takes a gamified approach to teaching young kids where notes are on the staff, helping them understand basic music principles like intervals.
6. Dropbox is useful for everything. But more specifically, it is a great place for the music teacher and students to post content that other students can access. (Although, please, please abide by copyright laws). For example, if you need to distribute an assignment that has a listening and a writing piece, just post it to Dropbox and share it with your class.
7. Priced at $4.99, forScore is a music reader for the iPad. forScore can import files from the web or Dropbox, so you can upload your music library to your iPad. You can also edit your sheet music within the application by duplicating pages, cropping, and making notations.
8. unrealBook is a sheet music reader for hardcore musicians. While it’s interface is far from intuitive, it provides more tools to edit your sheet music than any other iPad application out there.
9. As an extension of musictheory.net, Tenuto is an enhanced version of the exercises and calculators the website already provides. Tenuto provides practice regimens to help you with music theory and allows you to hone in on any areas of weakness.
10. With Notation by Notation Music, Inc you can compose, edit, and playback scores using real audio samples performed by The London Symphony Orchestra. This app is still in its infancy, but promises great things to come.