Best Music Apps

Best Music Apps

When younger students dedicate time to learning and playing a musical instrument, it can seriously boost their skills. These mobile apps are fantastic for helping Middle and High School-aged musicians understand music theory and generate positive practice methods for when they are not in class.

Music Theory, with AUDIO (Free)

This app’s concept flashcards are very thorough and its data tracking is impressive. This app would be a great aid in studying for an upcoming music theory test as your progress is recorded, stored and listed with each round of note cards you review. You can create your own flashcards and categories and study subjects in any order you choose. The Brainscape teaching method is very efficient and focuses on how much you know, rather than how much you don’t. Each category (ranging from music symbols and key signatures to composer trivia) contains a set of 100+ flashcards. You review the question on the flashcard and try to answer it before flipping the card over, in which the correct answer is then revealed.

(Curated by Allie Hall)

SmartMusic (Free)

Many schools utilize SmartMusic to encourage students to practice their musical instruments and track their progress while building their skills. With the SmartMusic app, it is easy for students to utilize the app in different locations at the time of their choice due to the mobility of the device on which it is installed. Students can view thousands of pieces of music through the app, then record themselves practicing a piece of music on their instrument. The app plays background music that students can accompany with their instrument, then it records just the playing of their instrument (and for some of the pieces, choral singing can be recorded).

(Curated by Julene Reed)

Sound Uncovered (Free)

Opening this app is like walking through a well-designed science museum. The features highlight interesting aspects of sound and music that make you realize just how much goes into hearing and producing sounds. Can you listen to a joke while talking aloud and then retell the story? How old are your ears? What happens when you speak backwards? Do you suffer from severe misophonia? Each page of this interactive “magazine” presents a unique and fun experiment and a detailed explanation answering these questions and many more.

(Curated by Allie Hall)

Pickup Tunes ($4.99)

Playing by ear is easy for some music students. For others, it is a skill that must be practiced and developed. This app provides a great tactile way for students to associate the sounds they hear in a pattern of music with the notes that represent those sounds. In a challenging and engaging game interface that increases in difficulty as they play the game, students learn to put notes in the correct sequence by dragging dots that represent the notes to the proper place on the screen. An audio sequence is played, then students replicate the sequence by placing the representative symbols in the correct order. As students’ abilities and skills increase, they progress to different levels of the game. The free version provides an introduction to the app, but the paid version will be needed to continue to progress.

(Curated by Julene Reed)

GarageBand ($4.99)

This app opens up a world of musical exploration for students of all ages. Finally, an app that has found a way to appeal to both beginning and experienced musicians! All of the instruments in this app (there are over a dozen) are incredibly realistic sounding and fun to play. Whether you feel like experimenting with just one of the many instruments offered in this app or recording multiple parts and piecing them together to write a song, GarageBand is your tool! This app also makes sharing your songs incredibly easy and even lets you record a song with up to three friends via Wi-Fi.

(Curated by Allie Hall)

(This content was originally posted at appoLearning.)

About Stephen Danos

Stephen Danos is the Associate Editor for and Appolicious. He has contributed to articles published on TechCrunchThe Chicago Sun TimesThe Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. He received his BA in English from the University of Iowa and MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N Books, 2012) and Gravitational (The New Megaphone, forthcoming).



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