The piano has been around for over 300 years and yet the methods that many piano teachers use are just as old. We live in a modern era where children are accustomed to technology and they need an enriching education. Today iPads are used in schools and are considered as a normal part of education. There are various music tools available from the App Store but keep in mind that technology could never replace a music teacher. Furthermore, there are many teachers that have seen positive results by incorporating the following apps into their lesson plan.
I have personally downloaded and tested all of the music and piano apps available on iTunes in order to recommend what I think are the best apps for my students. If you are learning music then these piano apps will help you progress faster. If you are a parent, I encourage you to use these piano apps with you child. If you are a teacher like myself then you can be sure that that updating your teaching methods will yield successful results!
1# Piano Maestro
Type: Piano Education
Review: This is hands down the best app for all young students and piano teachers! Piano Maestro is ranked the #1 Education App for a reason since it helps students practice and learn their sight reading, rhythm, technique and playing with both hands. Students can learn to play songs step by step and have access to various practice options. Teachers can use well known piano method books since all books can be found in the library section. Receive weekly progress reports to track your student’s progress in between lessons and remotely assign homework with personal notes to have students practice songs and exercises. The software uses a microphone to verify if you are playing the correct notes and keeps track of your high scores. I highly recommend teachers to purchase the membership for this amazing app!
2# Piano Dust Buster
Type: Piano Game
Review: I love this App! Piano Dust Buster is an ultimate introduction to piano, no previous piano experience needed. Students have the option to begin practicing reading notation, compete against other players or challenge themselves to 100s of songs ranging from Beethoven to Adele. Right from the beginning you will be playing simple songs directly on the iPad. It’s a great way to introduce the piano to kids of any age with silly animations and a fun game concept. There are 2 great features that can also be used with an acoustic piano since the app uses the iPad’s microphone to determine if the right notes are being played. The first feature is “Simple Mode” and it is great for a child to play along and reach a high score as they compete against other kids around the world. The second feature is “Staff Mode” and I love to use this as sight reading for my students. This app goes hand in hand with “Piano Maestro” and I tend to use it as a treat for students once they finish their homework. If you really want to enjoy this app to its full potential you will need to be connected to a teacher’s account to unlock all the songs.
Review: I recommend this app for all music teachers. You can create custom visual or auditory exams for your students and keep track of their test scores. This app is very useful but if you visit the online website you will find the same content for free. They also have theory lessons available but for the traveling teacher this offline app is very resourceful.
Review: This is the newest of the apps in which I was given the chance to beta test and give my recommendations before the app was released. As of now this app features flashcards, sight reading, and rhythm tests but it has a lot of potential for teachers and you can expect some great updates to come!
5# Theory Lessons
Review: This app features 39 offline music theory lessons from musictheory.net which are presented in animated versions. This is great to have when you need to visually teach a class on notation or any other music subject but you could always view the lessons for free on the online website.
Designer: ForScore, LLC
Review: This is one of the greatest music apps available for musicians. What does it do? It’s very simple. All this app does is keep your sheet music on your iPad. You can upload music through Dropbox, computer or just by taking a picture of your music. Even though I don’t feel that the app is worth $10 I will admit that any performer would love this app and its additional features. If you want to try a knock off version you can download piaScore from iTunes for free.
Designer: Frozen Ape
Review: All musicians know that a metronome is the most important tool to have. Of course there are many metronomes available that will accomplish the same goal but if you are a serious musician then Tempo is the app for you. Not only does it keep tempo in every time signature available but you can also accent any beat you chose. From the sleek design to the preloaded custom tempos for each song I can say “this is the best digital metronome.”
8# Music Tools
Designer: OnStage Technologies
Type: Music Dictionary
Review: A musical dictionary is important for classical musicians. This app is only available for the iPhone but has a wide range of musical terms and definitions. It’s a great dictionary to carry in your pocket and it also comes with various reference charts.
Designer: Yousician Ltd
Type: Music Education
Review: This is app is straight forward and is a great way to get a heads start on your musical education. The style and music is designed for beginners that are teenagers or young adults. It uses the microphone on your iPad to verify if your are playing the correct notes but it does tend to lag. Although it’s free to download you are given limited usage unless you unlock the app for $10 a month.
10# Garage Band
Review: As a musician, one of the greatest accomplishments possible is to create music. Garage Band helps musicians explore their creative side allowing you to record, layer and edit your own musical creations.