30 Mobile Apps Reinventing Music Education

Mobile technologies are playing a big role in the classroom, in virtually all kinds of education. Music is no exception, as a wealth of new applications for tablets and smartphones have made it possible to learn, share, and have fun with music education just about anywhere. Whether you’re a music teacher looking for new tools to share with students or a student looking for new ways to practice and learn, here are some of the apps that we think are helping to revolutionize music education, offering fun, information, and instruction anywhere, anytime.


These apps make learning to play an instrument loads of fun.

  1. Sound Recall:

    Even young kids can enjoy this musical game, which asks young musicians to identify and repeat a series of pitches.

  2. Piano Man:

    This application is similar to Rock Band or Guitar Hero in that it challenges users to play a selected song as notes come up on the screen. Users can even play against each other to really test their skills.

  3. Simon Sings:

    This ear trainer game asks players to identify the musical notes being sung by Simon, repeating multiple notes back in the correct order just to make things a little more challenging.

  4. Scale Tapper:

    Scale Tapper is a great way to introduce a variety of music topics to learners, including music theory and transposing keys, with some fun games to boot.

  5. Rhythm in Reach:

    Need to work on your rhythm and note-reading skills? This app can help, with games that test both and can be played anywhere a smartphone can be used.

  6. Rainbow Music Notes:

    Young music learners will love this application that makes learning notes fun through games, colors, and feedback.

  7. Percussions:

    It may not be as educational as others on this list, but this fun application, packed with 18 types of percussive instruments, can help to make any music-making experience more fun.

  8. What Note Is This?:

    Reading music can be a valuable skill for a young musician, and this app can help to build that ability, testing and motivating note-learning on a piano.

Useful Tools

Look up basic reference information or share audio recordings with the help of these applications.

  1. Chord Detector:

    If guitar is your instrument of choice, check out this application. It allows you to take any song and get a quick readout of the chords and fingerings that go along with it, so you can learn to play just about anything.

  2. Recorder:

    Teachers can model techniques or pieces for practice or students can share their progress through this application, which makes it simple to record and share music (or anything else you’d like).

  3. SoundCloud:

    Capture your practice, songs you’re writing, or anything else, and upload them to the Web using this app. Then, easily share them via Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or Foursquare for feedback.

  4. Guitarist Reference:

    Look up chords, scales, triads, notes, and a wide range of other guitar-related information through this excellent reference guide.

  5. Newzik HD:

    Newzik is a mobile songbook and notion book that allows you to read lyrics, chords, and scores as you play an instrument.

  6. Music Theory Calculator:

    This application isn’t really a calculator, but like a calculator, it does help to make figuring things out a little bit faster. Packed with the names of scales, chords, and intervals, this app is a must-have reference tool for any learner.

  7. Alto:

    Alto is an impressive instruments guide, including the registers, transpositions, playability, and sound characteristics of dozens of instruments.

  8. Scales & Modes:

    This interactive visual and audio reference tool is perfect for learning music theory, offering access to diatonic scales and modes as the touch of a button.

  9. Fingering:

    Fingering is an ideal learning accompaniment for those playing brass and woodwind instruments, as it shows where each note should be played on a given instrument.

  10. Notion:

    Whether you’re new to writing music or an old pro, this application for iPad is an amazing way to help you write, playback, and edit any score that comes to mind.

Learning and Practice

These applications will help you practice and learn new skills.

  1. iNote Trainer:

    This musical training game helps aspiring pianists improve their note-reading skills by challenging them to correctly identify notes as quickly as possible.

  2. Guitar Pro:

    This fully-featured app for iPad is an amazing tool for guitar players at any level, offering the ability to easily display, play, and write guitar tablature.

  3. GuitarLab:

    Budding guitarists can use this application to get guitar lessons in a wide range of styles, complete with tablatures, right to an iPhone.

  4. TabToolkit:

    Those learning guitar, bass, drums, or keyboards can use this application to learn to play their favorite songs.

  5. iLovePiano:

    This application can be a great introduction to learning piano. It features lessons on note names, piano key names and locations, note representations on sheet music, and ear training.

  6. Karajan:

    Karajan can help music learners train their ears, with activities that help iPad and iPhone users learn to recognize intervals, chords, scales, pitch, and tempo.

  7. Tenuto:

    Use the 12 customizable exercises in this app to practice and enhance your musical abilities, from learning the keys on a piano to recognizing chords.

  8. Jammit:

    Jammit can help music students gain an appreciation for how popular music is mixed and played, with functions that range from scrolling scores to the ability to separate out all the instruments from a given song.

  9. Play By Ear:

    Help give yourself the ears of a musician by trying out this ear training app. It offers call-and-response training that will help you develop your ability to understand and play any music you hear.

  10. Do Re Mi Ear Training:

    Here you’ll find another ear training app, which can help musical novices with the recognition, memory, and transcription of different pitches.

  11. APS MusicMaster Pro:

    There isn’t much this fully featured app can’t do for musicians. It comes complete with a PDF viewer, chromatic tuner, pitch pipe, audio recorder, metronome, timer, and loads of reference tools for a wide range of instruments.

  12. Guitar Practice Pad:

    Guitar players can use the Guitar Practice Pad app to tune their instruments, play scales, use a metronome, or even record backing tracks.

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