The past two days I have been home with my sick 14-month-old Macy (poor thing has had a fever…she's starting to finally feel better, thank goodness!) I've poked around a bit in the app store and online and have found a few new apps I thought I'd share.
This app is actually not music-specific but could be used to stream all of your music blog reading. I found out about this app when I was checking my blogger stats; it's so neat to see where my readers are and how they got to my blog. I noticed while checking out the stats that I had several views from Feedly, so I had to check out what Feedly was. From what I understand, Feedly is an app that you could install onto Chrome, install onto your Android phone/device, and install onto your Ipad/IOS device. You can populate your feed with whichever blogs you'd like, and then when you get a minute to sit down and want to browse your blogs, you can just open Feedly!
What I love about this is that I've not been great about continually checking the music education blogs of others. When I've had the chance, I've gone to my own blog and clicked on links in my “blogs I love” list. This app makes that process so much easier! I also added a feed from NAfME and some other music education sites. It's also super easy to post something to Twitter if you find it useful. Definitely a time-saver!
I actually found this app while reading my Feedly. It is currently in beta testing, so it is cheaper than it will eventually be as they work out the bugs. At $13.99, it still seems pretty expensive compared to most apps, but the possibilities are very exciting, and in my opinion, worth the money…even at a more expensive price!
The idea of NotateMe is that you can handwrite music with your finger or with a stylus, and it will generate computer notation above your handwritten piece. Although the app warns that it may take a while for it to adapt to your writing, it did a very nice job of notating what I wrote by hand (I tried “Lucy Locket,” which you can see below! Sorry for my messy writing…I didn't have my stylus handy.)
It also plays the notes as you notate, and can play the entire piece when you are done. From what I understand, they are continually adding features to the app (like the ability for it to notate what you sing, and the ability to save the notation as a PDF). I can see this working very well in a music classroom, for students to be able to see the difference between hand-written notation and computer notation. Computer notation can be daunting to do with students, as you are not only practicing where notes go on the staff, how to write rhythms, etc., but how to notate all of those with that particular program. This app removes those challenges while still allowing students to see both types of notation.
I only have one iPad, so I'm thinking perhaps I might be able to use this in centers after students have worked on their handwritten compositions. I will post how it goes!
#3: Melody Street, “My Musical Friends”
This is a really cute (and free) app for introducing instrument families. When you click on each instrument family, you can then choose one of the instruments in that family. If you touch the cartoon instrument, it will transform into a real instrument and will play a short snippet. “Fun fact” will tell the students a fun fact about that instrument. I found the “Did you know” button not as helpful, as it tells you something about the instrument character the app made up. The treble clef buttons on the bottom will play different pitches from that instrument. I can see it being a great way to introduce families, perhaps taking a few minutes in each lesson to learn about different families.
Melody Street also has other free apps available in the Itunes store, like Melody Street and Mozart Interactive. Very fun!
Looking for more apps for your music room? Check out this free list!