Best Apps for Learning & Performing Music

September 17, 2017

Since the iPad came out in 2010, being able to use apps for almost everything has revolutionized our modern lives. Music is no exception! I started using my iPad instead of paper sheet music in 2014 and haven't looked back. There are a variety of apps on the market today that help facilitate performances and also supplement a quality musical education. Here is a run down of my favourites in no particular order:

 

 

Pro Metronome

Cost: Free

Works on: Android & Apple devices

 

A staple for every musician and music student. This metronome app works effectively with enough settings and features to cover all the bases.

 

 

 

 

forScore

Cost: $13.99 and worth every penny

Exclusive to the Apple store

 

My best friend at gigs - it never crashes. I have over 400 PDFs storing all of my requested sheet music. You can create set lists and rearrange pages so that you don't have to go back for repeats! You can also annotate directly on the score. There are lots of other features, these are just a few I use on an almost daily basis.

 

 

Rhythm Swing

Cost: $3.99

Exclusive to the Apple Store

 

Really cute game for kids learning rhythm and note values! You have to save the monkey from a hungry crocodile by correctly tapping the given rhythm on the screen. There is even a crocodile boss with an extra challenge once you complete all the levels.

 

 

Note Rush

Cost: $5.49

Works on: Android & Apple devices

 

This game is excellent for having students match a pitch on the staff with their instrument. It is unique in that it doesn't use any letters, only matching pitches. There are also eye-catching themes to match the current season like Halloween, Christmas and springtime.

 

 

iReal Pro

Cost: $12.99

Works on: Android & Apple devices

 

Like the name suggests, this app makes you sound like a real pro! I use this primarily to create backing tracks with a rhythm section for students who are playing jazz style pieces. More fun than a metronome and gets them really grooving.

 

 

 

Staff Wars

Cost: $1.39

Works on: Android & Apple devices

 

This game has the player shoot down each incoming note with the correct letter. As you move through the levels, the notes come faster and faster and you only have 3 lives!!!

 

 

Piano Maestro

Cost: Free with subscription options for more content

Exclusive to the Apple Store

 

One of the first piano apps I encountered and one of the best. It's like guitar hero using your real instrument and playing as the notes move along the screen. Excellent for developing sight reading skills with a lot of fun game like elements like unlocking new levels.

 

 

 

Anytune

Cost: Free with in-app purchases

Exclusive to the Apple Store

 

This app gives the user the ability to select a song from their iTunes library and change it's speed (without changing the pitch) and also to move the key up or down. There are more altering features but these are the two that I use most often. This makes playing or singing along with a track really accessible.

 

 

Notion

Cost: $20.99

Exclusive to the Apple Store

 

This app is a very user friendly music notation tool on the go. I use it for creating the arrangements that I sell on Sheet Music Plus as well as helping my student's notate their compositions.

 

 

There are always lots of new apps being developed but I hope that this list of the tried and true helps you along on your music making journey. Happy playing :)

 

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© 2013-2019 by Liz Craig. All rights reserved.

e-mail: lizcraig17@gmail.com

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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