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Monday, January 18, 2016

What Music Apps are you using lately?

I'm curious - what apps do you use in your classroom?  It's always fun to discover new apps that help students 'get it.'  There are so many apps I could highlight for this post, but I decided to just tell you about the apps I have used most recently in my orchestras class:


This app combines note-reading with matching correct fingerings.  I like to show this app to my students as a way to practice their note-reading skills.  Thanks to AirServer, it is now easier than ever to use iPads in the classroom.  I mirror my iPad screen to my projector as students pass the iPad around the class and play the game.  I haven't tried it yet, but I believe you can mirror multiple screens at once - that means I can give each section an iPad and we can play this game while competing by section.  All students are included because everyone can see what is going on.  

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This is the app I use the most for tuning.  I like that there are so many octaves to choose from.  My bass players get a kick out of hearing the lowest octave E on this tuner.  We don't tune to that low E, but it's fun to hear the different octaves.  This app takes up less space/memory than the other tuning app I use: Tonal Energy Tuner.   

3.  MusicPal

I just recently discovered this app and I've been quite impressed by the potential for students.  It's really easy to use - all you do is take a photo of sheet music.  The app then digitizes the music.  This could potentially help many students during practicing, because if they are unsure of a part in their music, they can take a picture and the app with play it back for you!  You even make some minor adjustments in tempo and play along.


Prezi's are very easy to create and free for educators.  I like to use Prezi because of this little app!  I can control the presentation from my phone...which frees me up to walk around the room as I teach my class.  I transferred my powerpoint rhythm cards into Prezi to free up my movement.

5.  iReal PRO

I'm still loving this app.  I really need to use it more often.  It's so nice to have back-up accompaniment tracks to make warm-ups more enjoyable.

6.  Explain Everything

I used this app last week when I taught students how to count dotted quarter notes.  This works much like any other presentation program, except you can draw on the screen while you are teaching.  I project rhythms from my iPad to my projector and am able to write counting as I am teaching using a stylus.  Very handy!

7.  Rode Recording

A few months ago, I bought an iXY microphone for my iPad and I downloaded this free app to record my group.  This last week, I recorded my class using a variety of microphones to find the best sound for an audition we were working on.  This little microphone/app did a great job - and it was way less expensive than some of the other mics that I tested.  I even ending up using one of these recordings for our audition.  


  1. Thank you for posting these app suggestions. I started using the InTune app in my high school classes and their intonation skills have greatly improved.

    Is iRealPro like the old Band in a Box program? I used to use that to create backup recordings for my students. Is it possible to download MP3s of the backups you have created?

    1. Yes, I believe iRealPro is like Band in a Box. I'm sure sure if my back-ups are downloadable...I'll have to look into it. Mine are super simple, since I've only used them at the beginning of the year. I should use them more often for warm-ups and things. I have a back-up for Twinkle Twinkle that I use for teaching fiddle-style. We take Twinkle and add effects until it sounds like a fiddle tune - then we add the back-up and it sounds pretty awesome.