Wednesday, January 28, 2015

5 Free Music Apps for Melody

We all know that the app store is full of amazing apps.  However, where there are great apps, there are also some app duds.  How do you find the best apps?! Research and practice! After searching on the App Store for ratings, search Google for reviews on apps, read a blog from other teacher's, and use it on your own.  And when I say 'on your own,' you need to learn all of the ins and outs of the app.  You never know what you will discover in an app, and you want to find it before your students do. 

After doing my own research, I want to share my findings with you.  Today, I am going to show you my 5 favorite apps to use for reviewing/teaching melody in the elementary music classroom. Even though I am focusing on melody, these apps can be used for a variety of concepts.  

Here are my 5 favorite apps for melody: 

 Tap and Sing by Storybots - This engaging app allows students to tap and sing with adorable robots while they learn about notes, scales, and chords.  The free version of the app also includes three songs for students to tap and sing along. For the three songs, the student can turn "autoplay" on to watch the robots dance and sing the song or the student can tap the melody on their own with the help of highlighted robots along the way. The app also comes with four syllables for singing: bum, la, Do-Re-Mi, and C-D-E. Use this app in a variety of ways in the elementary music classroom to review melodic concepts. In my classroom, I will sing a pattern on specified Solfege, and the students echo back on the app.  It allows them to visual see the melodic contour and the skips and steps between the pitches.

Monster Chorus - Voted #1 iPad music game for kids, the Monster Chorus app allows students to participate in their on monstrous symphony.  Each monster sings a note, which can make a melodious song.  These beautiful and engaging monsters sing a major scale on a "la" syllable.  The app also includes four songs for students to discover the melody of the song.  My favorite feature of this app is that it allows you to record your own singing voice, and the monsters will echo what you sang.  The app also has numerous hidden sound effects and hidden monsters. 

 Do Re Mi Zoo - This app allows students to play the color-coded piano, which also has cute characters on they keys.  With this app, as you press a piano key, it records the Solfege syllable in a rolling staff at the top of the screen.  Younger age students can also play melodies of familiar songs, such as Addam's Family, Happy Birthday, and We Wish you a Merry Christmas. If you miss a note, it plays a funny sound, too!  You can even Tweet, post, or copy your musical composition that you created. 

Tune Train - Tune is one of my favorite apps to use for melodies.  The goal of Tune Train is to aid children to compose their own melodies while building a world of their own structured by music theory.  The app allows kids to write their own melodies by drawing paths for a train to connect the people through the trees, in the clouds, and on buildings. The trees represent musical pitches, while the buildings represent the chords. The app also includes a teacher's guide to use Tune Train in the classroom.  The game includes multiple levels with a variety of backgrounds.  The app even has an option to show the written music as you compose. 

Do-Re-Mi 123 Lite - This app is great for primary level students.  Learn songs by ear with the help of cute characters.  Not only can students play songs, but there is also a free play option.  The characters sing with Solfege, numbers, colors, and sounds.  This app also has some hidden treats in the background.  You can even record the melody you create! 

Stay tuned next week to find out my favorite free apps for rhythm!