Updated: Sep 13, 2021
By the end of this post you'll know some fun ways to bolster music study. Because Apple products are popular with Chicago students, the apps below are for iOS devices.
Pro Metronome- Great for the person who likes a metronome with lots of bells and whistles!
Metronome- Uncomplicated and free. Many students like the sounds this App makes. Sometimes you need a loud metronome and MetroTimer can make a healthy audible click. The volume is adjustable.
Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer- A variety of levels engage musicians from the youngest beginners all the way to professionals.
Hal Leonard Music Flash Cards (Set A and Set B)- Uncluttered and clear, you can use these flashcards even if you have little to no music knowledge.
This app accompanies you as you practice. iReal Pro is great for students learning to read chord charts. My teenage students who play in jazz band use this app. Jazz Band Directors often recommend iReal Pro.
Encourage students to try and play songs they like on their instrument without using music. This game starts out hard, but can be deeply rewarding as you discover more notes of your song and hone your skills. It helps if the student has the ability to play back the song they’re trying reproduce over and over while sitting at their instrument.
Pro musicians with killer aural skills frequently describe plucking out favorite tunes on their instrument as children. I have fond memories of learning the piano solo that launches the end credits of the movie E.T. by ear.
Teachers know that we have something students need and desperately want which no technology can offer- our caring attention. Singing together is a way to combine kindhearted attention with music education.
Singing is closely linked to the kind of active-listening-aural-superpowers all musicians need. It follows that all music students need to sing.
Here are some enjoyable activities involving singing:
Join a Choir
Sing for Birthdays
Sing at Sacred ceremonies
Sing along with favorite songs
Sing lullabies to children
Add you own!
You don’t need to have a “good voice” to sing with your music student. Reject the notion that there are good and bad voices- they don’t come in those varieties. Good singers develop skills by training. But untrained singers can join in the fun too.
For a small amount of courage, you and your music student can enjoy the benefits of singing with others even without training.