Technology
Email

The Best Music Apps for Educators 

These are exciting times for music educators. Desktop computers and laptop notebooks have slowly changed our modes of creating, teaching, and assessing music. But tablets and smartphones have ramped up the music experience faster and farther than we could have imagined. The iPad and table computers are destined to change the way we teach and interact with students and technology. Today’s touchscreen sensitivity, which eliminates the need for a mouse, has also changed the way we work. This is important because it is gives us a more tactile surface which directly influences how we interface with data and music.

Richard McCready, the Technology Institute for Music Education’s 2013 Teacher of the Year (and cover subject in SBO's April 2013 issue), was impressed the first time he held an iPad and played with virtual instrument apps. “I immediately became hooked as I felt my finger vibrating from the sounds, much like how I experience vibrations from the guitar, banjo, organ, and other instruments,” he remarked. “Students want to touch and investigate the music experience by discovery, rather than by reading a textbook or manual.”

 

The Game Changers

There are 10 characteristics driving the iPad’s impact in music education and changing how students and teachers interact both in and out of the classroom.

1.     Portability

2.     Size

3.     Touchscreen capabilities

4.     Load speed

5.     Battery life

6.     Ease of applications

7.     Simplicity

8.     Customizability

9.     Intuitive interface

10.  Quantity of dynamic and affordable apps

 

Tablet apps may not be as powerful as those found on desktop/laptop computers, but the long-term benefits of engaging your students with these tools more than make up for that. Exploding sales are having a significant impact on education, meaning apps are extremely affordable; in fact, there is a plethora of freeware and apps available for less than 10 dollars. Music software developers are writing apps at warp speed for iPad because of the sheer volume of users in the market.

 

Android vs. iOS

One major benefit to Apple’s iPad operating system (OS) is that it has almost zero latency, making it possible to create music seamlessly. Android OS is still working on latency issues. Also, the iPad OS provides technical support for MIDI, while Android’s OS and Windows tablets presently do not.

Tom White, president and CEO of the MIDI Manufacturers Association, outlines some interesting differences between iPads and Android and Windows tablets for music educators: “The Android OS that Google manages and provides to OEMs is not appropriate for music-making applications (generating sound in response to touching the screen or from an external MIDI device) because it does not support low-latency audio playback.” But White also notes that both companies are working on solving these technical challenges.

There is good news for Android and other platforms, though. Apps written in HTML5 should run fine on Android OS and all other types of computers, tablets, and smartphones. This shows music potential is growing for Android OS and Windows tablets. But White adds, “It is too early to know for sure, because no one has implemented HTML5 audio or MIDI on all platforms and OS yet. In theory, since web browsers run on top of an OS, if the browser depends on the underlying OS services for Audio and MIDI, then performance will be limited by those services, and so they might not be fine on all OS and devices. But the browser might also be written to bypass certain services and access hardware directly (or with a plugin), which could then allow better performance.”

Google’s Chrome browser supports HTML5 Web Audio right now on Mac, Windows (desktop), and Android, so you can see how those platforms currently perform just by going to websites that host apps using the API, such as midiwasynth.appspot.com.

The website www.SightReadingFactory.Com, a subscription service that offers exercises for sight reading and sight-singing, is utilizing HTML5 with its web-based products. Access to the site is available from any desktop, tablet, or phone browser. The program offers five levels of difficulty and customization of time and key signatures with existing unison concert band, string orchestra, and choir ensembles, plus a multi-part choir.

Music First’s suite of music education products (www.musicfirst.com) will work within any browser, making it a no-brainer option for teaching music where students have access to different computers and tablet devices.

Google is working towards MIDI solutions, says Tom White. “Google has been adding things to the Android OS with each revision, but has not yet added support for MIDI devices. They also have also been improving audio latency so you may find that newer versions perform better but are still incapable of real-time performance.” For those interested in learning what Google’s audio team is doing with the challenge of reducing output latency on Android, visit tinyurl.com/p8j87p4.

 

The Music Apps Market

Because the majority of the music apps available are made for the iPad, let’s keep our focus there. For the products that most appeal to you, I suggest you use your favorite Internet search engine to learn more about their features, as well as the platform for which they are optimized. Take a close look at the powerful, full-feature apps for play-along accompaniments, ear training, music theory, notation, and digital sequencing.

The SmartMusic iPad app can now transfer customized Mac and PC SmartMusic files created on Windows and Mac platforms to iPads for further practice beyond SmartMusic’s published curriculum of play-along recordings.

For creating and editing music scores, Notion by PreSonus is powerful and nearly identical to its desktop version.

For digital sequencing, Xewton Music Studio is a top-flight recording studio product.

The Band-In-A-Box app is often used in combination with the full version of BIAB for PC or Mac. You can connect this app wirelessly to BIAB for Windows, then enter songs on the device. It is automatically sent to the computer, tracks are generated, and sent back to the device so you can listen to yourself while the chords are displayed.

The Jazz Conception Company (www.jazzimprovisation.com) has developed an innovative iPad app (TJCC) that presents entire improvisation and performance courses to be downloaded, including video lessons and video play-alongs, e-books, and a patented assessment system. So far, there are few other iPad apps in music education that offer such content and functionality.

For ear training and music theory, Auralia and Musition (www.musicfirst.com) are definitive products for in-depth drill and practice instruction that you can access from your Internet browser.

 

Tablet Apps that Rock

Even the best apps are only as good as how you and your students use them. Consider how Bill Selak of Covina-Valley Unified School in California uses iTrump and iBone with his beginning band of fourth and fifth graders. “I connect my iPad to the projector to quickly and clearly show every student new fingerings. I can also demonstrate how one fingering produces multiple pitches; without these apps, there is no way for students to easily visualize which partial to play.”

Steven Chetucuti at Somers Middle School in Somers, New York is not only using iPads in his instrumental and general music classes, but is also starting an iPad band featuring virtual instrument apps now available. The virtual band will be featured in his spring concert.

 

Must-Have iPad Apps

This comprehensive list features the most outstanding must-have iPad apps for music educators. 

 

Master List of Recommended iPad Music Apps

by John Kuzmich, Jr. Ph.D. & Richard McCready

 

 

App

Manufacturer

Price

Product Statement

Classroom Productivity

MusicNotes

Musicnotes

Free

All-in-one place access to all your sheet music scans & PDFs, as well as your entire Musicnotes.com library of sheet music with. 250,000 arrangements available to print.

Too Loud

Walsall Academy

$2.99

Tool for melody and beat development by controlling the volume level by allowing the tolerable noise level to be adjusted for those "louder activities". 

Keynote

Apple

$9.99

Powerful presentation app for creating, sharing and editing presentations.

OnSong

OnSong

$12.99

Can manage huge collections of chord charts and lyrics sheets for your band or worship team on a simple, lightweight device.

Apple iCloud

Apple

Free & expandable for fee

Cloud storage for photos, videos and documents.

SlideShark:View & Share Presentations

Brainshark

Free for 100 MB Cloud storage and fees beyond

Allows you to use PowerPoint presentations created on your Mac or Pc that Supports PPT, PPTX, PPS, and PPSX files

Dropbox

Dropbox 

Free for some storage, then prorated for expanded storage

Free Cloud service that lets you store your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily

DJ Apps

Air Scratch HD

Mode2 Studio

$1.99

A dual pickup deck app for the iPad. Play your favorite music directly from the iPod library and scratch, mix and apply effects in real-time. 

Traktor DJ

Native Instruments GmbH

$9.99

Brings high-impact DJing to iPad by touching your tracks and create stunning mixes in seconds.

DJay

Algoriddim

$9.99

Powerful DJ app tool

Ear Training

Ear Trainer Lite:

thoor software AB

Free

Theory ear trainer that has exercises covering intervals, chords, and scales. LITE version has 32 exercises. Full version has over 230 exercises.

Rhythm Sight-Reading Trainer

Rolfs Apps

$2.99

Sequential exercises in various time signatures

A.P.S Trainer

A.P.S. Development LLC

$2.99

Specializes in tuning an instrument or voice to a note to within a 16th of a semi-tone with complete confidence.

Do-Re-Mi Ear Training

David Charlton

$6.99

Display solfege practice tool that develops pitch recognition, memory, and transcription ability by repeating musical phrases in this ear trainer app

EarMan

RoGame Software

$7.99

Offers 105 drill and practice sessions for practicing intervals from beginning to advanced recognition with automatic assessment of each session.

Better Ears for iPad

Karajan Pro

$14.95

Covers intervals, chords, scales, pitch and tempo and displays notation on a fretboard, piano keyboard or music staff.

Pitch Invasion

PG Music

Free for a while

This game helps you develop perfect pitch, while having fun blasting aliens that are trying to destroy your musical instrument collection!

Games

Pitch Invasion

PG Music

Free

Pitch Invasion is a fun-to-play, arcade-style musical game, designed to teach the player to recognize specific pitches from a variety of instruments and octave ranges.

ReRave

Step Evolution

$0.99

Experience innovative gameplay that combines music, rhythm, and accuracy.

Wave Trip

Lucky Frame

0.99

A musical arcade game. You control a mysterious and wonderful geometric astronaut as one travels 

Jazz: Trump’s Journey

Bulkypix

$0.99

Immerse yourself in the memories of Trump, in his dreams as a young, star-struck jazz musician, in love with the lovely Lady Poppy taken from the life of Louis Armstrong.

Staff Wars

Craig Gonci

$0.99

A game designed to help beginning and intermediate musicians learn, practice and woodshed the note names of the treble, alto and bass clefs.

Music for Little Mozart’s

Alfred Publishing

$0.99

Piano game for preschoolers that combines a balance between learning key aspects of the piano and the enjoyment of making music.

Rhythm Repeat

Filpo

$1.99

Test your ability to keep up with the accelerating rhythm and enjoy the sound of your favorite instrument. With the unique music created for this game you will quickly become addicted!

My Note Games

Apatite Ltd

$0.99 - $6.99

App listens to you play your instrument and you can watch the notes fly off the screen when you play them correctly!

Generative Composition

Beatwave

Collect3

Free

Introductory tool for melody and beat development that creates amazing beats and tunes without any musical ability using Beatwave for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad with just your finger,

Methods

Tradition of Excellence

Kjos

$9.95 annual rental fee for textbook

This eTextbook offers the method's three unique starting systems; cutting-edge introduction and pacing; sound-before-symbol rhythm introduction; nine-page Oboe starting system; expanded Horn book with F and Bb fingerings; all-in-one expanded Percussion book; and instrument-specific video Lessons and recorded accompaniments.

Essential Elements Interactive (EEi)

Hal Leonard Corporation

Free with book purchase

EEi is currently available for all mobile devices and soon will be released as an iPad app.

Instruments – Autoharp

Autoharp

Arlo Leach

|$.99

Works like a real autoharp by just pushing one of the chord buttons and strum, using high-quality audio samples and matches its volume to your strumming speed for the most realistic sound available.

Instruments – Brass

Fingering Brass

Patrick Q. Kelly

$5.99

Provides fingering charts and alternate fingerings for trumpet, French horn, trombone, Euphonium (treble and bass clef) and Tubas CC, Eb, F and BBb

iBone

Tom Scharfeld

$2.99 for iPad, iPhone and Android

An amazing trombone practicing tool for learning scales and songs. It includes play-along options from your iPod library.

iTrump

Tom Scharfeld

$2.99 for iPad

iTrump is a good trumpet simulator with the same features as the iBone above.

Instruments – Drum Machines

DM1

Fingerlab

$4.99

DM1 is an advanced vintage Drum Machine that is easy and fast to use, loaded with 86 superb electronic drum kits with beautiful, realistic graphics

FingerBeat

The Elionze Group

$4.99

A pocket sampler & drum-machine that doesn’t require music school or instructions manual to figure it out. 

Molten

One Red Dog Media

$4.99

A powerful and intuitive tool for creating percussive sounds and rhythm sequences for the iPad

iMaschine

NATIVE INSTRUMENTS GmbH

$4.99

An intuitive beat sketchpad designed for developing song ideas anytime, anywhere.

iMPC

Akai Professional

$6.99

Create tracks easily to complete a song and learn all the options at first glance.

Rebirth for iPad

Propellerhead Software AB

$14.99

Emulates dance music's three backbone devices: The Roland TB-303 Bass synth and the Roland TR-808 and 909 drum machines and combines these with FX units with fully featured pattern sequencers and an attractive-looking interface.

iElectribe

Korg

$19.95

 A virtual analog beatbox for sound creation that is easy, fun and intuitive just as on a vintage analog synthesizer.

miniDrum Pro

Yonac Software

 $9.95

Designed to combine power and versatility with user-friendliness, which makes beat creation a cinch with its hybrid design of step-sequencing and event-based recording for an empowering rhythmic tool

Instruments – Guitar

GuitarTone

Sonorama

$2.99

When plugged into GuitarJack iOS audio interface, it puts 27 amps and 27 effects at your fingertips.

Six Strings

H2indie LLC

$6.99

Play guitar and other string instruments on your iPad, such as acoustic guitar, classical guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, steel drum / pan, and drum pad. A good tool for teaching chords as well as to accompany your singing

Amplitube

1K Multimedia

$19.95

Create killer drum tracks easily with the built-in Loop Drummer. Mobile guitar-and-bass multi-FX processor and DAW recording studio with AmpliTube

Guitar Lessons: Rock Prodigy

The Way of H

$29.99

Comprehensive guitar course that tracks your progress.

Guitar Tools

D'Addario & Company, Inc

$1.99

A hand-held utility kit for guitar players of any style or skill level featuring vibrant, richly detailed graphics of the Retina display,

Stringmaster

IQuium Pty Ltd

$3.99

An excellent Chord Dictionary and Chord finder, and more. Displays number of frets desired and chords played on your instrument.

Chord Lab

RoGame Software

$7.99

Focuses on chord spelling and voice leading for guitar players

Guitar Toolkit

Agile Partners

$9.99

It is a suite of programs in one app that includes instruction for bass, banjo, mandolin and ukulele.

JamUp Pro XT

Positive Grid Inc

$9.99

Multi-effects processor with 46 authentic amp channels, 40 effects, 8-Track Recording System, Phrase Sampler, iTunes Time-Stretching Player, Tuner and Metronome.

WildChords

Ovelin

$24.99

Play and learn with real acoustic or electric guitar. Play-along easy notes exercise and tab rock songs.

Guitar Suite HD

Panoramic Software Inc

$2.99

Features six essential screens: Chords, Scales, Play Mode (with chord lookup), Tuner, Tune by Ear, and a Metronome, making it the must-have comprehensive aid for guitarists.

Instruments – Percussion

Percussive

Touch Media Productions

Free

Contains a total of five instruments: Glockenspiel, Kalimba, Xylophone, Vibraphone and Marimba which all looks and sound fantastic. 

Congas Free

mode of expression, LLC

Free

Reacts to your pressure and where you hit the drum head

The Drummers Dictionary

Ryan Dillon

Free

 Reference tool for drummers of any age or experience with 40 standard snare drum rudiments as well as a sampling of the full drum set beats that are included with the full version.

iTriangle

Nolasoft

Free

A sophisticated virtual triangle instrument with a simple interface and depth of interaction allowing you to tap the triangle, to control the sounds.

A+ HandDrumkit

Cody Rotwein

$0.99

Features 25 unique hand drums, including Bongos, Conga, Djembe, Doumbek, Cajon, Tabla and more, all professionally recorded in high quality 16 bit stereo.

Percussive Latin

Touch Media Productions

$1.99

Contains a variety of percussion instruments used in traditional Latin arrangements from deep Congas and snappy Agogo’s to bright cymbals and spicy timbales to perform exciting Latin style drumbeats.

Impaktor

BeepStreet

$4.99

Drum synthesizer with Audiobus support to stream live audio directly to other Audiobus-enabled apps with DropBox sharing and configurable latency: from 128 to 512 frames

iTabla Pro

Prasad Upasani

$24.99

It includes support for all common taals used in Hindustani music, making it the perfect companion for daily riyaz (practice).

Instruments – Piano

Piano DX

Better Day Wireless, Inc

Free

A full 88 key piano with every option you could ever want including multitouch, rich sound, adjustable metronome, sustain pedal, double row keyboard, retina display graphics and more.

iGrand Piano

1K Multimedia

Free

A concert quality piano app.

Magic Piano

Smule

Free

Piano-playing game and get free songs every day and enjoy the largest catalog of songs in any piano app

Virtuoso Piano Free 3

Peter Nagy

Free

Produce a surprisingly realistic sound as you tap away

Piano Mania V2

Joy Tunes

Free

Allows users to practice the piano with their smartphone or tablet with no wires required with full retina support, a new game look for clearer sheet music display

Dustbuster

Joy Tunes

Free

Fun piano skills game is played by an acoustic piano/keyboard, or by touch with no wires or adapters needed as the app just listens to your piano and you learn how to play with two playing modes to choose from for both players who know how to read music or not

SimplePiano

Erik Haugen Medi

$0.99

This simple portable piano app plays music with good natural sound quality with excellent retina graphics.

3.5

Eric Ching

$3.99

Like Guitar Hero for the piano showing you sheet music and plays the accompaniment while you play the melody.

50in1 Piano HD

Alexander Gross

$1.99

Learn to play the piano, create your own songs and even sing to your compositions all within a single app!

Instruments –Recorder

JoyTunes Recorder Master

Joy Tunes

Free

Interactive recorder-playing game that offers lots of instruction with over 100 songs

Instruments – Strings

Fingering Strings

Patrick Q. Kelly

$6.99

Fingering for violin and viola and cello with 15 positions and either 12 Simandl or 6 Rabbath positions for double bass.

Instruments – Synthesizer

Nanologue

Steinberg

Free

Boasts a wide scope of inspiring sounds and professional sound effects, sporting a straightforward multi-touch interface and a great-sounding monophonic synthesizer.

Novation Lauchkey

Novation

Free

A powerful and unique synthesizer for iPad.

Mugician

Rob Fielding

Free

A microtonal capable distortion synthesizer with an 11-string bass guitar layout with extremely low latency.

Alchemy Mobile Synth

Camel Audio

Free

Turns your iPad/iPhone into an expressive synthesizer studio with stunning sound quality.

Synthmate

Sohla

$0.99

A musical synthesizer with a simple and elegant interface, programmable controls including scales, wave type, 1 lfo unit touch and Y axis control with a low-latency audio engine.

Bebot

Normalware

$1.99

A versatile musical synthesizer with a unique multitouch control method, built into an animated cartoon robot.

iGyroSynth

BeepStreet

$2.99

A gesture driven music synthesizer, which takes full advantage of the gyroscope. You can play and modulate the sound by moving your hand through the air - just like the legendary Theremin instrument.

Xenon

IceWorks

$4.99

Polyphonic hybrid synthesizer, 2 VA monophonic synthesizers, polyphonic PCM synthesizer, rhythm machine, sequencer, mixer which also includes over 350 preset sounds.

Magellan

Yonac

$4.99

A bold new professional analog modeling synthesizer for the iPad & iPad Mini with two independent polyphonic synth engines

iMini

Arturia

$9.99

This synth sounds great on studio monitors, headphones, and car stereo, ear buds and iPad speaker.

Sunrizer

BeepStreet

$9.99

A virtual analog synthesizer that takes the definition of iOS synthesizer to the next level. 

iPolysix

Korg

$29.99

An analog polyphonic synthesizer that's been carefully designed to take full advantage of the 7.9-inch display of the new iPad mini as well as the iPad bringing together a sequencer, drum machine, and a mixer to transform an iPad or iPad mini into the ultimate analog synth studio. 

Animoog

Moog Music Inc.

$29.99

Professional polyphonic synthesizer

iMS-20

Korg

$29.99

An analog synth studio; a complete recreation of the Korg MS-20 synth, an analog sequencer, a drum machine, and Korg's Kaoss Pad technology, let’s you can share your songs online via the SoundCloud!

Morphwiz

Wizdom Music

$9.95

Good digital instrument with the added ability to delete and reorder presets and add portrait orientations for iPad

Instruments – Voice

Talkapella

 

Free

Turns talking into a cappella harmony

Sing Harmonies

Zanna Discs

$2.99

Practice singing harmony with three tunes that you can play or mute any of the vocal parts.

LaDiDa

Smule

$2.99

Creates accompaniment to match singing

Singing Vocal Warm Ups –Singer’s Friend

Robert Lumpkins

$3.99

Provides vocal warm-ups without a pianist. You select the vocal range, key, scale pattern and tempo.

Vocal Training

Erol Studios

$14.99

Quality voice lessons to develop your voice, with instant visual feedback of your pitch during the lessons, so you also develop an accurate sense of pitch.

Instruments – Woodwinds

Fingering Woodwinds

Patrick Q. Kelly

$6.99

Contains over 1,200 standard and alternative fingerings for flute, oboe, clarinet, and saxophone family of instruments.

Jazz Improvisation

Improv–Bebop

Jazz Apps Mobile LLC

$3.99

Explores the language of jazz as it applies to playing Bebop with lessons covering the use of placing half steps to create longer lines as well as breakdowns of Rhythm Changes, the Confirmation sequence, turnarounds and basic substitutions.

Improv-Minor ii-V

Jazz Apps Mobile LLC

$3.99

Contains full explanations of the theory and concepts involved in tackling specific challenges that face the improvising musician, as well as apply them in the applications while more advanced players can benefit from focusing on specific keys and progressions for Jam-A-Long in which the user selects any key to improvise in over an endless loop while tempos are also adjustable. 

Improv-Contemporary Colors

Jazz Apps Mobile LLC

$3.99

Focuses on the using of chord changes that you will find in the jazz repertoire that begins post-bebop up to the present.

Improv–Fundamentals

Jazzappsmobile.com

$4.99

Loaded with theory, history, lessons, patterns, examples and play-alongs in all keys and can be transposed for any instrument.

Jazz Conception Series

Jim Snidero

$49.95 for annual subscription

An entire improvisation and performance course with 10 video lessons, 9 video play-alongs, 2 e-books and more integrated historical performances.

Looping

Novation Lauchpad

Innovation

Free

Designed to launch a wide variety of built-in loops and sounds, and get even more via In-App Purchase as well as record and share your performances via Soundcloud, Dropbox, or email, and use the Audio Import upgrade to categorize and use your own loops and sounds.

GrooveMaker

1K Multimedia

Free

Creates compositions by selecting drum, bass, and pad elements

Bloom

Mindbloom

$0.99

Musical instrument/composition tool/artwork tool to produce multimedia experiences from photo and music library.

Everyday Looper

Mancing Dolecules

$5.99

Provides up to six tracks of loop recording for sampling instruments and vocal beatbox tracks that you can record.

Loopseque

Causal Underground

$5.99

Includes powerful sequencer, sampler, fx processor and record to create compositions.

Loopy HD

A Tasty Pixel

$7.99

Provides up to 12 tracks of loops plus import loops in a number of different audio file formats including |AIFF, WAV, MP3 M4A and more.

iKaossilator

Korg USA

$19.99

An X-Y pad instrument that lets you control up to five musical parts on a single pad with sound suitable for hip-hop, house, techno, dub step and other electro styles with just one finger.

Marching Band

Coach’s Eye

TechSmith

$4.99

Coach's Eye is a insightful teaching tool that allows music teachers to capture experiments or student presentations to provide feedback to show and analyze marching band students what they are actually doing, not only what they think they are doing because it allows the teacher to zoom, slow-motion the movement, draw on screen and even record a message for the athlete on the skill they are performing and then send them that copy. 

DrillBook Next

Scott Rundell

$6.99

See how every count and every set fits into your marching show by adding Pyware™, EnVision™ or Field Artist 3™ to coordinate sheets or create shows on your device and then tap to view.

Music Education

Quaver's Marvelous World of Music 

Mobile Roadie

Free

Offers the latest in educational technology, quality videos, 100% web-based software, and Interactive White Board exercises. 

MusicFirst Suite

MusicFirst

Annual subscription fee for multiple apps that run from the Cloud

Choice of integrated music apps for nearly every teaching topic: representing up to ten leading programs customized for elementary, middle and high school levels with assessment & grading, classroom management, and reporting featuring Charanga World Music, Noteflight, Groovy, Inside Music, O-Music, Naxos Music Library, Music Delta, Focus Sound, Soundsation, Auralia and Musicton.

Music History

History of Rock compiled by Mark Paytress

Ditter.projektagentur

$4.99

This comprehensive and lavishly illustrated history of rock music, brings to life this most popular and vibrant musical genre with YouTube videos and iTunes integration making it possible to view featured musicians in action, or sample song previews simply by clicking on the relevant icon.

History of Jazz: An Interactive Timeline

955 Dreams

$9.99

An interactive timeline of the History of Jazz made specifically for the iPad makes your iPad come alive with rich video, audio and superb design. 

History of Jazz

955 Dreams

$9.99

Provides a chronological history of jazz with essential jazz tunes and albums.

The Orchestra

Touch Press

$13.99

App offers 8 extended extracts of repertory from Haydn to contemporary styles with multiple video and audio tracks.

The Orchestra

Touch Press

$13.99

Features the Philharmonic orchestra performing extended extracts of eight works representing three centuries of symphonic music with real-time selection of multiple video and audio tracks and much more.

A Survey of Western Music and Literature

Margaret Hontos (NSS Press)

 ?

Text with embedded recorded music examples linked to YouTube

Music Listening Today, 5th edition

Charles Hoofer (Cengage)

 ?

CourseMate e-book options with streaming music and active listening guides

Music Production

ThumbJam

Sonosaurus

$8.99

GarageBand-like app with 40+ virtual multi-sampled instruments and dozens of scales to improvise with.

GarageBand

Apple

$4.99

Record audio from external sources as well MIDI data and loops with many virtual instruments available.

Xewton Music Studio

Alexander Gross

$14.99

Complete music production environment for the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch with features and sound quality previously only known to desktop applications and expensive audio hardware combining a piano keyboard, 118 studio-quality instruments with sustain, 127-track sequencer, extensive note editing, reverb, real-time effects and much more on a user-friendly interface.

FL Studio Mobile HD

Image Line Software

$19.99

Create complete multi-track projects on your iPod, iPhone, iPad or Android device and, load mobile projects into FL Studio to take them to the next level.

Cubasis

Steinberg Media Technologies

$49.95

First major DAW desktop for iOS with editing and effects plus MIDI that presently records CD quality.

Aura

WaveMachine Labs

$24.99 & $49.99 versions

LE version has 8 tracks and Pro version has 24 tracks. Pro-Tools like digital sequencer

Music Theory

Flashnote Derby

Luke Bartolomeo

$2.99

Note Name Flashcards

Tenuto

musictheory.net

$3.99

13 customizable exercises to test your theory skills. Covers chords, intervals, and more with notation recognition, ear training, keyboard and fret board exercises.

MusicTheory Pro

Joel Clifft

$4.99

Wonderful tool to help emphasize music theory basics learned in class. For beginners to advance

NoteWorks

Azati Corporation

$4.99

Teach note reading and scales using a piano. Great for beginners

ScaleMaster

RoGame Software

$4.99

Deals with scale theory allowing one to find a scale, listen to it or find out how to play it on an instrument.

Chord Lab

RoGame Software

$7.99

Designed for guitar players and focuses on chord spelling and voice leading.

Notation – Sheet Music Reader

Sheet Music Direct for iPad

Hal Leonard Corporation

Free

The premier sheet music viewer and score library, providing access to over 100,000 high-quality scores via the world’s largest in-app sheet music store.

TheGigEasy

The Gig Easy, LLC

$3.99

Advanced, yet simple features for set lists, annotation and cropping

Unrealbook

Aron Nelson

$5.99

One of the first apps for displaying music charts on stage and supports PDF Table of contents, user created indexes, bookmarks, and keywords.

forScore

forScore, LLC

$6.99

Half-page turns, preview next page while viewing end of current page.

Deepdish GigBook

Deep Dish Designs, LLC

$9.99

Accessible mobile musical library at the tip of your fingers, ready at a moment’s notice to Organize and access thousands of scores, songbooks, charts, and lyric sheets instantly

OnSong

OnSong

$12.99

Can manage huge collections of chord charts and lyrics sheets for your band or worship displaying Lyric/Chord sheets with auto-scrolling features and many formats such as Word, PDF, Txt

Notation: Creating and Editing

Noteflight

Noteflight

Free

*Not an app but offers a good web-based notation tool

SongBook for Finale

MakeMujsic

Free

Transform your iPad into an interactive music folder, then view, play, and print music scores created by the entire Finale family of music notation software products.

Scorecloud

DoReMIR Music Research AB

$0.99

Will dictate what you sing, play, or whistle any monophonic melody and instantly turn it into music notation for you to edit score and change play back sound as well as share results with friends and synchronize it with ScoreCloud Studio on your computer in order to arrange or edit further.

Scorch

Avid

$1.99

View and play back music created in Sibelius plus play file at any tempo with optional metronome click.

Nota

All Forces

$2.99

Covers the basics of music notation and displays notes in a full-screen landscape mode with a four-octave piano

Scorio Music Notator

Fun Communications GMbH

$3.99

Create, modify and print sores and also go to the Scoria website and continue editing your projects using their web-based editor capable of exporting in MIDI and MusicXML format.

forScore

MGS Development

$4.99

Powerful organizer that can read music to avoid paper folder while providing live performance uses.

iWriteMusic for iPad

iWriteMusicProject

$5.99

Good entry-level music notation app for creating & printing lead sheets and basic scores that can share files in MIDI format.

Notion

PreSonus

$14.95

Powerful full editing capabilities in a full desktop notation version

NotateMe

Neuratron

21.99

Compose on-the-go with this revolutionary music handwriting app on your phone & tablet (iOS & Android)

Inside Music

MusicFirst

$299 annual subscription

Offers excellent composition lessons as part of a package of multiple subscriptions for up to 8 software apps annually.

PDF Utilities

TheGigEasy

The Gig Easy, LLC

$3.99

Read PDF files

unrealBook

Aron Nelson

$5.99

All your music in one place easily found... fast. 

Notability

Ginger Labs

$2.99 sale

Allows you to write on PDF documents

Play-Along

Jammit

Jammit

Free

Allows you to learn, play along and replace your respective part in rock, pop, country and jazz recordings which allows you to learn, play along and then replace your respective part as well as export your recording via e-mail or to Facebook.

Jambandit

Recombinant Inc

Free

Interactive music application where players can improvise from a wide variety of songs and instruments, and share their performances by email, SoundCloud, or Facebook.

Cube Jam

Roland Corporation

Free

Play back commercial songs and minus-one tracks through the CUBE guitar amplifier and riff along for hours as well as record audio through audio interface, allowing you to easily capture your jams. 

Band-In-A-Box

PG Music

$1.00

Used mostly in combination with full version for PC or Mac with wireless connection to PC to enter songs on the iPad where the files are generated

iReal Pro

Technimo

$7.99

Chord charts only with no melodies for thousands of tunes available free on-line, transpose changes easily with accompaniment feature for practicing improvisation.

iReal b

Technimo

$7.99

Sample accompaniments with ability to enter the chords for any tune you want to practice, plus transpose freely.

BandMaster HD

RoGame Software

$7.99

Similar to iReal but not as expansive.

iRealB Pro

Technimo LLC

$7.99

App simulates a real-sounding band that can accompany you as you practice as well as lets you create and collect chord charts of your favorite songs for reference. 

Amazing Slow Downer

Roni Music

$14.99

Transcribing and practice tool with play-back audio and change speed or pitch independently; seamlessly loop a section

Alfred Play Along Jammit

Jammit

Free App with song purchase

Same as previous Jammit app but for band & orchestra instruments covering pop music.

SmartMusic

MakeMusic

Free with SmartMusic subscription

Access to SmartMusic’s extensive repertoire library, method books, customized exercises and scores created by your teacher.

Practice Aids

Tempo

Tempo AL

$1.99

Very accurate metronome with 35 different time signatures, 6 rhythm patterns for simple meters and 3 for compound meters and customized accents or turn beats off to create more complex rhythms plus tap tempo function and tempo ranges from 10 to 800.

APS Music

C. L. Barnhouse Company

$6.99

The Swiss Army Knife of musicians’ tools that includes a PDF viewer and annotator, chromatic tuner with pitch pipe, audio reorder and player, metronome, time/stopwatch, instrumental/vocal ranges and transpositions, common guitar chord, fingering charts and musical terms and translations.

Steinway Metronome

Steinway Musical Instruments

Free

You can dial in the tempo of the piece you're practicing, or just tap along to let the app find it along with customizing the time signature, visual indicator, and sound options to your own preferences.

Steinway Etude

Steinway Musical Instruments

Free

Displays piano scores, and shows piano keys being played and will show you the exact keys to press at each moment, even slow it down and practice each hand separately. 

Clockwork

Bitcount ltd.

$0.99

Not just a basic timekeeper, Clockwork includes a unique click track/song editor that allows you to customize many parameters including tempo variations, time signatures, accents, and more. Arrange your songs into set lists for seamless playback, and rearrange or edit set lists on the fly. 

Metronome

Dynamic App Design

$1.99

Full feature metronome with many options for meters, accents with pipe mode, temperaments and more.

Tunable

Affinity Blue

$2.99

A chromatic tuner, tone/chord generator, metronome, and recorder that helps you learn to play steadily, in tune, and on beat featuring a unique “tuning history” display for visualizing pitch over time.

PitchMe

VaporTrail Software LLC

$2.99

Not only provides the traditional analog pitch tuning meter but also transcribes detected pitch to musical staff of a specific key scale and also plays touched area on the staff with a correct pitch tone of chosen scale and transposition.

Cleartune Chromatic Tuner

Bicount Ltd.

$3.99

Chromatic tuner

TE Tuner

Sonosaurus LLC

$3.99

This tuner responds to all instrument types in the pitch range C0 to C8 with a target tuner display, a dedicated string tuning screen, eight octave keyboard (iPad only), chromatic wheel, and a tone generator that includes high quality multi-sampled instruments for symphonic brass and woodwinds, which is unique among all other tuning applications. 

Tonal Energy

Sonosaurus LLC

$3.99

Easy to use application designed for individual practice and/or large ensemble rehearsals that helps musicians improve sound quality and intonation. Focuses on tuning, volume, articulation, release, duration, and steadiness, key elements of developing a beautiful tone quality. 

ChordFinder

Codelle

$4.99

Listen to and view 3,000+ chords

Recording

Hokusai Audio Editor

Wooji Juice Ltd

Free

This unique among iOS sound editors, both in style and depth of functionality for importing, editing and sharing with others.

PCMRecorder

Tascam

Free

This stereo recorder for iOS devices supports up to 12 hours of recording, using the built-in microphone or connected USB devices like the TASCAM iM2 stereo microphone. EQ, limiting, Soundcloud support and more make this a full-featured professional recorder.

Pocket WavePad

NCH Software

Free

Sound editor for recording, editing, adding effects, and sending audio that allows you to record voice or music and then edit and add effects to achieve high quality audio recordings.

Fuse

TechSmith

Free

Capture video and images with your iPad, iPhone or Android or tablet and then send your recording straight into Camtasia Studio for editing.

iRig Recorder

1K Multimedia

Free

Powerful and flexible audio recording app for iOS, convenient and easy to use with intuitive, practical editing functions and various exporting options.

Vocalive Free

IK Multimedia

Free

Provides vocalists with a suite of 12 real-time professional vocal effects along with a capable recorder for studio quality sound.

iTalk Recorder Premium

Griffin Technology

$1.99

Turns an iPod into a voice recorder and assessment device.

Overdub

Kirill Edelman

$1.99

A layered sound recorder and sampler sequencer. Use the microphone on your iPod/iPhone/iPad to record and layer drums, bass, vocals etc.

Portastudio

Tascam

$2.99

Record one track at a time using the built-in mic or a headset microphone connection, monitoring on authentic VU meters. A cassette transport with position counter tracks your position while you mix with level, pan and EQ controls. When you're ready to mix, the built-in mixdown function saves your song as a CD-quality WAV file. Your mix appears in iTunes when you're finished, ready to share with friends and bandmates.

Studio Track

Sonoma Wireworks

$9.95

A multitrack recorder and songwriting tool for musicians who want to capture musical ideas and record songs on their pre iPad IOS7.

StudioTrack

IK Multimedia

$9.99

Multitrack recording that includes 8 tracks plus bounce, pan, effects, metronome, easy transfer to desktop recording software and more.

Sampling

MadPad

Smule

$0.99

Good tool for compositing and includes video.

Sheet Music

Sheet Music Direct for iPad

Hal Leonard Corporation

Free

The premier sheet music viewer and score library, providing access to over 100,000 high-quality scores via the world’s largest in-app sheet music store.

Sight-Reading

Sight Reading Factory

Sight Reading Factory

$29.95 per year subscription

An innovative music composition engine that generates sight-reading and sight singing exercises at multiple levels of difficulty for subscribers to access virtually infinite amounts of sight reading material that is newly composed based on the user’s customization.

Streaming Audio

Google Play

Google

Free

Instantly stream your own music collection

Spotify

www.spotify.com

$10 a month for premium service

Can be prime music source of the vast library of recorded music

SoundCloud

SoundCloud Ltd

Free & expandable for fee to Pro & Pro Unlimited services

SoundCloud is the world’s leading social sound platform, with over ten hours of music & audio posted every minute. Hear new music, comedy, news, podcasts and more

Video Recording

CineBeat

Smule

Free with in-app purchase

Record up to 15 seconds of video then turn it into a music video with photos and video already in your iPad.

 

John Kuzmich Jr., Ph.D. is a veteran music educator, jazz educator, and music technologist with more than 43 years of public school teaching experience. He is a TI:ME-certified training instructor and has a Ph.D. degree in comprehensive musicianship. As a freelance author, Dr. Kuzmich has more than 700 articles and five textbooks published. As a clinician, Dr. Kuzmich frequently participates in workshops throughout the U.S., China, Europe, Australia, and South America. For more information, visit www.kuzmich.com.

 

 

 

Richard A. McCready, M.M. teaches music technology at River Hill High School in Clarksville, Maryland. McCready was born in Northern Ireland and studied tuba performance, vocal performance, piano, and composition at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, England, and at Towson University, Maryland. He plays many musical instruments, but the focus of his teaching is music technology, a field in which he is widely regarded as one of the outstanding innovators in the US. His book, Making Music with GarageBand and Mixcraft, was published in 2010. McCready was awarded the TI:ME Mike Kovins Teacher of the Year Award in 2013, and also the 2013 Howard County (Md.) Music Educator of the Year Award. McCready was also featured in the April 2013 issue of SBO

 

 



 


On the Road

Do you have a story to tell about taking your school music groups on the road? SBO wants to hear about it!

Click Here to Submit Your Story

Directors who make a Difference

Do you know a fantastic K-12 instrumental music educator who is deserving of recognition in SBO?

Click here to nominate a director 

and tell us why he or she should be featured in SBO’s annual "Directors Who Make a Difference" report.

SBO Web Poll

This year, our primary major band travel is for:

Festival Competitions - 42.5%
Public Performances - 30%
Educational Workshops - 5%
Some of All of the Above - 20%

Sign up for the SBO newsletter

SBO App

Get the SBO App!

Get the latest issues on your mobile device!

 

 

College Search & Career Guide