In my last post, I recommended iPad apps that are practical tools. This time, I’m recommending apps that are useful for teaching theory in lessons or in a class setting.
This is my favorite theory app right now and the possibilities with this app are endless! It’s good for both guitar and piano students (I’m sure for many others too). There are so many parameters that can be changed to fit your needs! You can do theory exercises on the treble clef only, bass clef only, notes on the guitar neck, notes on the piano, etc. You can even choose which notes you use on the treble clef and whether or not you will use accidentals in the exercises. So many options so little time! Did I mention it has a timer!
One of my favorite things to do is time my students while they do a theory exercise. The exercise immediately becomes a game! For example, I’ll have a student do the “note identification” exercise. I’ll tell them they have one minute to get as many right as they can. The correct answers count toward their score, the incorrect answers subtract from their score. Every few weeks I’ll have them repeat the exercise to see if they’ve gotten better.
This app is great because a student can see all of the most common chords on the piano by simply pressing a button. It’s easy to change the key or scale types. It’ll even show your student the chords for all the different modes! One of the buttons shows the circle of 5ths when pressed. Another button will automatically play any of the available scales for you student.
Though this app was designed for general study (standardized tests,learning languages, etc), it is perfect for lessons because of the virtual “flash cards” you can review with students. A Music Theory pack is $.99 or you can make your own. Some of the basic theory “cards” are irrelevant with beginner students (like, why did they include a neutral clef and do beginners really need to know that a sixty-fourth note is also called a hemidemisemiquaver… Uh, no!). There’s a simple fix for these silly cards though… when the app prompts you to rate how well you know the material on the card, mark “perfectly” and it won’t appear again.
These are the theory apps I use most often. I’ll keep you posted as I discover and try out other theory apps. Meanwhile, are there any iPad Theory apps that you use in lessons? How about in a classroom setting?