Wednesday, January 29, 2014

AppShopper Wishlist

A couple weeks ago, I blogged about two free apps to get young students composing--Tune Train and  Music4Kids. Unfortunately, the Music4Kids app was only temporarily free and is now $2.99. I'm sorry if you missed out on the sale. To insure that you won't miss out on any future sales, may I recommend AppShopper?

AppShopper is free and available as an app on your device or online from their website. You can create a wish list of apps that you would like to purchase in the future. You will receive a notification if the price changes on the app. If you don't think you will log into the site or don't want to install the app on your device, you can also request to receive email notifications when any of your wish list apps go on sale.

Make sure you check out the App Activity to see the price history as well as update history. You can see how often it goes on sale and predict when it might go on sale again. Below you can see that the Dr. Seuss Band was on sale from February-April 2012.  If it ever goes on sale again, it would likely be part of the Seuss birthday celebrations around March 2nd.

I have started my wish list of music apps that are not free in hopes that I can catch a sale in the future! Below you can see screenshots of my wish list. Are there any awesome apps I should add to my wishlist?

Dr. Seuss Band is only 99 cents. This is a great price for an app, but I haven't attempted spending school money on apps yet. The process described by our tech department sounded very complicated and I've avoided it, so far, by downloading free apps.

If you missed my post of 110 Free Music Apps, follow this link!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Free Apps For Young Composers

I have found two more free apps that allow young students to explore music composition.

Tune Train

The first app is called Tune Train. There are 10 musical worlds available to explore.  Each world features a different musical style.

 iPad Screenshot 5
On each beat, you see people high and low. They essentially outline a chord. You use the train to draw a path and select people/notes you want in your melody. If you want to omit a note on that beat, you can make the train bypass that stop completely. This gives you options to alter the rhythm as well. Each student could create a truly unique song even if they selected the same musical world.

iPad Screenshot 2

You can also view the actual music notation at the top of the screen.

iPad Screenshot 4

Here is a video demonstrating the app:

The second app I have found is called Music4Kids. In this app, you see an actual treble clef staff. When you place a note on the staff, the pitch name also appears above it. Each note defaults as an eighth note. To make longer durations like quarter and half notes, you must hold your finger on the screen for a longer time.
iPhone Screenshot 1
There are 5 different musical planets available: birdy, hamster, octopus, fox, and ghost.
iPhone Screenshot 4
There is an option to save your composition to your "My Tunes" library. This may be a helpful tool for teachers. If students create a song during class, the teacher can go back through later to view what their work.

There is also a part of the game called "Challenges." This is a simple introduction to melodic dictation. Initially, the app will show you the music notes and play the melody. Then, you must notate the melody. If you need help, you may listen to the tune again, but it will not show the notation a second time.
Here is a short video demonstrating the app:


Both apps are very kid-friendly and easy to navigate. The fact that they are free is also a wonderful bonus! I look forward to using these in the classroom.