The use of software and apps has revolutionized music education in several ways. Music education is a comprehensive term to describe the process of developing a wide range of different skills. Performance, composition, arranging, knowledge of harmony and ear-training are all musical skills that differ from one another but come together to form one's musicianship. Software and apps can very much help in developing these skills, matter of fact you can be sure to find at least one app or software dedicated to each one of the skills listed above.
So here we go: we are going to have a look at a list of apps and softwares (both free and paid) that can help you develop each one of the skills above quicker.
Softwares and apps enhance music teaching precisely because they give a much more applied feel to the knowledge being learnt, keeping learners much more engaged throughout the lesson.
Amazing Slow Downer: intended for musicians wanting to slow down music without changing the pitch. Amazing Slow Downer is available forMac and Windows computers as well as for iPhone/iPad and Android. (Works with Spotify)
Midisheetmusic: is a free software that plays MIDI music files, highlights the piano notes as well as the sheet music notes. Clearly the effectiveness of a software like this, depends on the quality of the MIDI file being played...and this is where the great power of MIDI comes into play. Midi files, in essence, carry musical information and have a huge number of parameters all recording different bits of information. This means that if you record your performance of a certain piano piece, for example, using a midi-enabled device, not only will you recording information about the notes, but you will also be recording the nuisances and expressiveness which give a performance that irreplaceable human feel. Once the midi file is saved, your students will be able to playback that midi file using software such as midisheetmusic, visualizing the notes and with the capability of slowing down the tempo, whilst maintaining to a degree, the expressiveness of your original performance
IReal Pro:This app features two modes – It’s a Band and It’s a Book. It’s a Band plays alongside chord charts, and It’s a Book mode allows you to store your favourite chord charts
ARRANGING & COMPOSITION
Band-in-a-Box: a music accompaniment software for Windows and macOS which allows the user to create songs by simple keyboard inputs: a musical style, a tempo and a key. The user types in a series of chords, even complex ones, and the software generates a song, typically played by four or five musical instruments. The software can create backgrounds for almost any chord progressions used in Western popular music, and can play them in any of thousands of different music styles.
Unlike the previous softwares, this one is quite expensive, however it can be a great investment for music educators, enabling you to create sophisticated arrangements on the go as well as real-sounding backing tracks for your students
Garageband: One of the most popular music apps in the world, GarageBand lets you create electronic music with ease. (MacOS only)
HARMONY & MUSIC THEORY
Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro: an app that can be used for: play-along and studying tonal harmony. Available for iPad and macOS.
There are always new apps coming out and old ones being improved and it can be hard to keep up, which is why I will be publishing a regular feature to keep music educators up-to-date with the latest music edtech tools