Often, one way of teaching a concept works really well for some students, but leaves a puzzled look on the faces of others. I’m always on the hunt for new and creative ways to communicate musical concepts to students, so that I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve in case I encounter Little Miss Dazed and Confused.
My latest exciting discovery is an app that helps students with note reading on the staff, as well as connecting the notes on the staff to keys on the piano keyboard. This is often a very difficult concept for beginners to grasp – the fact that the notes they are reading on the lines and spaces of a staff actually map to specific keys on the piano keyboard. I like this app because it can be used for many different levels of students – most note reading apps are geared towards very young beginners, and do not appeal to older students who may be struggling with note reading or key mapping.
The app is called NoteWorks, and I have been playing around with it on my iPad. What I love about it is the note reading parameters can be customized to include fewer or more notes, treble and/or bass staffs, with or without accidentals, and best of all, if you make a mistake, you can go back and try to fix it. There’s a game component to it for kids who are competitive – you can accumulate points as you play. I also like the fun graphics with the crab and the flamethrower (who doesn’t love a crab and a flamethrower??!).
If you would like to check out this app, you can find it in the iTunes App Store. There is a free version that includes a few features, and the full App has a cost associated with it. If you’re interested in playing around with the app prior to purchase, just let me know the next time you’re in the Studio, and I’ll get my iPad out so you can test your note-reading skills.
(Sorry to Android users – I do not know if this app is offered for Android. If you find that it is, please comment below and I can update my post with the relevant information. Thanks!)