Another app I have downloaded for the iPad is Rhythm Cat Free. With the free version, you get 15 levels of rhythms. There is background music that plays and one measure of clicks to count off and tell you when to start playing the rhythms. You hold down the green button to play the rhythms. Here is a screenshot of Level 4.
As you play the rhythms, the notes and rests that you perform correctly turn green. When you are finished, you get a score of 1, 2, or 3 stars (similar to Angry Birds).
You must hold the notes for their full duration or the note will not be counted correctly. The music accompanying the rhythms comes in various styles and tempi. Level 6 first introduces dotted-half notes. Level 10 introduces 3/4 time signature.
Beginning with level 13, there are two buttons to play the rhythms. The green button plays the black notes as normal. A blue button appears on the left side of the screen and should be used to play the blue notes. The screenshot below is Level 15.
The eighth notes are really supposed to be blue. At this time, I do not plan on paying $2.99 to upgrade to Rhythm Cat Pro. It features 60 levels, but I think it would be too advanced for elementary students. The screenshots on iTunes show 2 and even 3 different color buttons and many complex, syncopated rhythms including ties over the barline. Unless you have students who are taking private lessons on an instrument, the free version will challenge them enough.
We have only had our iPads for a couple weeks and I have not yet been brave enough for individual students to try games individually. I have demonstrated this app to a few classes if they had a few spare minutes at the end of class. The kids were immediately intrigued and seemed excited about this app. I think I will definitely try this individually in December. Level 11 features the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from the Nutcracker Suite. The rhythm is simple using quarter notes, eighth note pairs, and quarter rests. I think most students in grades 2-5 could perform this rhythm correctly. I will certainly take a screenshot of the rhythm and show it on my Activboard so we all can practice it as a class before the students are asked to perform it individually. I have not yet decided whether this could be counted for a grade or not. There is no real score in the end, only a rating of 1, 2, or 3 stars. But, it may get the kids excited about performing rhythms. If I give them a chance to play the app in class, perhaps some kids will download it on their iPods or other devices when they get home and get more practice reading rhythms.
I wish . . .
After you play a note or rest, they turn blue. However, every note (regardless of the duration) turns into a blue quarter note after you play it. This is a glitch that will hopefully be fixed in an update.
I also wish that you got a number score to accompany the star rating (as you do in Angry Birds).
Several reviews on iTunes mention a request for the ability to practice some exercises at a slower tempo. A few of the levels are very, very quick. I agree that it would be very helpful for younger students to be able to practice the rhythms at a slower tempo.