Personal Mobile Learning Apps

Try these applications out for elementary music learning purposes!

Sing, play and dance with me, all while learning!

Blob Chorus

Blob chorus is based on ear training. This educational game is already used to introduce children to pitch and improve their musical ear for notes. Each blob (silly gooey creatures) in the chorus sings a note then the king (kind of like a conductor) blob sings a note that was just sung by one of the chorus blobs. The aim is to identify the blob that sang the same note as king blob. If you were to make the levels harder then there would be more chorus blobs to choose from. If you happen to pick the wrong blob, you will see that blob explode, leaving less choices for the students to pick from. The app requires an android 2.3.3 or up or an iOS higher than 6.1 and was last updated this previous September. The reason this app can help a child or group of children in the classroom is because music is all about listening, one of the main goals is to listen to what your hear and express it through different strategies. Based on the abilities of the app, this could be used probably up to grade two for curriculum activities. I have tested this app personally and it does not require Internet access, therefore this can be considered a mLearning activity. Allowing the child to have access to mobile apps to enhance their intelligence on such a musical subject can help specific children to find the fun in the musical curriculum while learning.

TuneTrain

This is a wonderful free app that children can use to create their own music! It gives them the reigns of what kind of melody they want to create. It's an aid for children to compose melody and contour while working for a stronger music theory. By manipulating different objects on the screen (like different vehicles) kids can find harmony, pitch and rhythm. The different people on the levels are representations of a note which are only in a diatonic scale. The third lowest is middle C and it goes up within an octave of the range of a child's voice. Complete with a teacher’s guide, which I found to be very helpful. Levels can get harder with two part harmony and can even show the notes that you select for the beat pattern!!! This app is exceptional I find this app to be applicable to any child for discovery and learning therefore should be considered from grades Kindergarten to six. Tune train requires an iOS of 5.0 or higher and is compatible with iPads. This app is also not connected to the Internet so can be used any place, any pace, and at any time.

Monkey Drum

This app allows you to play a variety of realistic instruments at the Palm of your hand. Such playable instruments are different drums, a finger piano, xylophone, metals  or other stringed and percussion instruments. You can record your own beat by changing tempos or beats per measure. What I like about this app is you could make your own beat up and it will save in your app library. This helps by creating music before class begins and styles your lesson plan to be more fun with different animals playing your preferred instrument and melody. You could also accessorize your characters with a hat and sunglasses, all by earning points through building your own music. You could see their funny reactions as you feed them bananas, spin them, or bop them on the head (silly animals)! Create real music just by drawing and watch as the creatures play your creation. This app is more created for the division one of elementary since it's more for exploration rather than strengthening their music theory. There is no Internet connection needed for this app but it does require an iOS of 4.3 or higher and is compatible not only for iPad but iPhones and iPod touches as well. Great for an on the go app if a child needs to be entertained while secretively educating themselves!

Rhythm Cat

Rhythm Cat is an entertaining game with an interesting soundtrack to play along to. You can try out the free version but can only go up to certain levels pertaining to certain music theories. This app I find would be more beneficial for an individual child because it has participation involved. What makes it different is because it relies on internal beat, every child doesn't get the beat right off the bat so this app can be used for more personal growth. It also has the added benefit of teaching you how to read the most commonly used music rhythms, with levels that build up progressively. You level up at your own pace so that a specific child is not discouraged in class. I find that the app is more geared towards a higher grade level since your are basing your musical learning off reading notes. This app is educative because it helps children at an ATL level (assistive technologies for learning) if a child can't catch up on their note reading in class, this app allows them to do practice at their own pace, any time, any where! This app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touches over a requirement of an iOS 5.0. The iTunes information has noted it is optimized for iPhone 5, meaning it will be up-to-date for anywhere access.

Music Intervals

Another amazing way to allow children the mobile access for a personal growth in musical education. This app requires a 1.6 or up for any android technology and a 5.1 iOS for all up-to-date existing apple technologies. This app helps individual learners on understanding intervals not only in the treble clef, worked on elementary grades, but also bass clef- giving curious learners an extension in musical learning, while still keeping them interested. This ear training app also helps with skills in scales/modes, phrases and clusters on a musical stave. You can set up your tempo, velocity and instruments to present their interval or other skillful findings and practice. Its helps us to associate a comparison to what the real interval is and what you thought the interval was. It also includes major and minor intervals along with augmented and diminished giving much variety and practice through all curricular music identification skills. since there is no internet connection children could spend large amount of times on this app optimizing their interactions in class!

Recorder Master

I am so excited to us this app! It does cost $1.99 (compared to the other free apps) and has been used more in the UK and Ireland but it looks like so much fun! Recorder Master is an international app therefore there is multiple languages you could choose to help your child's learning. It requires an iOS of 6.0 or higher and compatible for the iPad. You usually start recorder in grade four so this app works well for division two elementary students. the thing I like the most about the app is you use your actual recorder! This would be great for assessing a child's playing for note values and finger positions. This app is educative based learning because there are even tutorials for children to practice and play around with. My only concern would be the sound quality. If my students were to play a note or melody how well is the sound quality or reaction to what they are playing? I like the recorder app because it works on a child's finger dexterity. This is educational because it is a helper to other educative subjects!

Manage Your Music!

This classroom manager gives you lists for theories you should assess your children and ideas about. It allows you to put your grades in for each child AND is accessible to the students and parents. Each child will have to make an account in order to access their marks and assignments but it also is connected through iCloud on any device. It automates time consuming tasks freeing up your time to spend more on the actual music! I think the best tool on this app, allows online permission forms for upcoming activities and/or field trips.

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