I have included the current price of each app, as well as the pros and cons of each that I have discovered while using these with my students.
Flashnote Derby ($4.99): this is first note reading app I ever purchased. At the time, the app was $.99; however it is now a bit pricier and offers more features than the original version I purchased a few years ago.
- Pros: My favorite thing about this app is that it is easy to customize with the notes your student is learning. For example, you can drill only space notes, or only landmark notes. The newer version of this app also offers the option to play notes on the piano instead of tapping the screen, as well as student progress reports.
- Cons: Because this game is timed, it can be frustrating for some students. The graphics and sounds can also be distracting for young students. This is also the most expensive of the apps in my review.
Note Rush ($3.99): this is my most recent app purchase.
- Pros: The biggest feature of Note Rush is that students play the given note on the piano and the app detects whether or not the note is correct. This is a great way to drill note-key recognition. There is also no time limit on naming notes, and students are given a hint if they don't play the given note right away.
- Cons: Although there are five levels in Note Rush, there is not a way to customize the app to drill specific notes. Some students also find some of the background themes distracting (although there is a plain background to choose from as well).
Tenuto ($3.99): this is an ideal app for middle school through adult students.
- Pros: There are no graphics or sounds to distract young students. The app also includes other theory activities too, such as naming intervals or key signatures. All of the exercises are available for free online at www.musictheory.net so you can preview the app before you purchase.
- Cons: Tenuto is not as customizable as Flashnote Derby, although you can select a limited range of notes on the staff to name. The app is not as “kid-friendly” as some of the others (both in appearance and in ease of manipulating the app settings).
Music for Little Mozarts ($.99): this app coordinates with the "Music for Little Mozarts" series of books for ages 4-6.
- Pros: This app contains several activities appropriate to preschool students, and it is easy to switch to other activities when a young student's attention span wanes. The app isn't timed, so students have time to think about each note.
- Cons: Although there are several levels of note naming, there is no way to customize the app to only name specific notes. This app also might be a bit "babyish" for older students.
What do you think? What are your experiences with any of these apps? Are there other apps you use to help your students with note reading? Please leave a comment below!