The nights are beginning to draw in, the conkers are getting fatter and shinier by the day and the hedgrows are full of ripening blackberries. As Autumn gradually begins to make its presence felt in the Northern Hemisphere we are equally as gently turning our thoughts towards the new term ahead. We’ve asked all the piano teachers in The Community to share some of their favourite apps with you. So here, mixed in with some of our own favourites, are twelve of the best.
NOTE-READING APPS#1 FLASHNOTE DERBY – This is a big favourite with many teachers and that’s because their pupils love it! It is especially suitable for younger students although I have used it with teenagers very successfully as well. The app has been updated fairly recently and can be easily customised. #2 NOTE RUSH – If you are wanting an app for older children and teenagers Noterush was proposed by a number of Curious piano teachers. It was recommended by Helen as being ‘a quick, fun note-reading game‘. #3 STAFFWARS This was a new one for me but, having downloaded it, I can quite see why Sioned said that ‘boys love this!’ #4 RHYTHM SWING – Written by the same developer as Flashnote Derby this has many of the same, well thought out characteristics. According to Caroline it is ‘great for those who don’t want to count/keep a beat – they find they have to in order to succeed’.
SIGHT-READING APPS#5 SIGHT-READING TRAINER – OK, I admit to having a bit of self-interest here! This was an app that I helped to develop with the ABRSM. It has certainly gone down well with all my pupils both young and old with its game-based approach. You can download an accompanying self-assessment sheet – click here #6 PIANO MAESTRO – This month has been Musicianship month over in The Community and lots of teachers have been enjoying a Piano Maestro challenge. With an enormous and ever-increasing playlist there’s something for all levels and interests.
TEACHING AID APPS#7 NOTEMAKER-CADENZA – Have you ever made a short video to send to a pupil only to find that it is too big to send by email? Well, Notemaker-Cadenza is the perfect solution to that problem. It’s part of the Music Tool Suite so it can be used seamlessly alongside Cadenza or as a standalone app. It’s free so well worth trying out. #8 SPEECH TEST – Professor Martin Ashley is amongst the world’s leading experts into adolescent voice change and development. I believe that it is important for all of us in music education to understand something about the process. This simple but effective app is a great tool in helping boys to monitor the movement through the different registers. #9 TIDO MUSIC – Tido Music continue to expand their repertoire list and impress with their beautifully designed, clean and easy to use app. As well as listening to the performance of a piece you are also able to watch a masterclass and read further about the composer and the music. Ideal for pianists who want to expand their understanding and knowledge.
PRODUCTIVITY APPS#10 GRAMMOFY – This is a personal favourite of mine (and I am listening to it as I write this blog post). Each week a new 3 hour collection of theme-based recordings is issued. At the time of writing this is Mozart meets Tchaikovsky and the music explores the influence of Mozart on Tchaikovsky. Although Grammofy doesn’t help me specifically in any task it is helping me to continue developing and exploring my musical outlook and knowledge. For example, I have discovered that Dvorak wrote a rather splendid piano concerto! Click here to listen #11 WAVEAPPS – Keeping on top of all the invoicing that is required when you run a small business is always quite a feat. A couple of teachers in The Community recommend Waveapps as a good way of organising the business side of things. #12 EVERNOTE – Last but by no means least Evernote continues to play an important role in my own studio. I keep all my lesson plans and subsequent notes on it and love the fact that it will automatically sync across my computer and all other devices. It there was one app I couldn’t be without this is it!
OUT OF CURIOSITY…Finally, we’ve got TWO further things to share with you – to help you get the new term off to a great start!
- We’ve got a FREE webinar on Monday 14 August with June Armstrong – click here to find out more & register
- Enrolment to The Community will open on Monday 28 August for 8 days – click here to find out more