1. The Practice Shoppe. I have gotten lots of fun practice prizes and other practice helps from this online store. Right now there is a coupon code for all jewelry items for 40% off (until Saturday at midnight!) Just use the promo code Jewelry40 at checkout.
2. The Piano Maestro app. I have been using this fun note reading app with all of my young students this week and they have been loving it! They think I am so fun and cool now. The app is designed for piano, but it works for violin too! ViolinJudy has a blog post about how to use it with your violin students. Seriously. It is so much fun. It works kind of like guitar hero, but actually improves sight-reading skills. (And it is free for teachers and their students.)
3. The Smart Scales app. I know, I know, another app. I just really like apps! and the kiddos do too! Both of these apps require an iPad. My iPad is my second-most-used studio tool. (My violin first of course.) This app plays fun backing tracks to scales, there are three or four different accompaniments for each scale in varying styles from tango to bluegrass. It comes with some of the scales preloaded, but the rest must be purchased. I spent the $19.95 to buy all of the scales, and it was worth it! It’s a fun change of pace for my students.
4. A few months ago I introduced a new concept to my studio. I call it the Virtual Violin Practice Aide. I wanted to help my students more during the week, so they could see faster progress. I was inspired by the video-exchange lessons offered by Nathan Cole at Artist Works. This is how it works in my studio. My students upload a video to youtube of something they have practiced (unlisted), either with questions or not, and then I send a quick video back with feedback or further instructions. This does require a lot of extra time from me, so I charge an extra fee of $20 a month to students who want to participate. So far, I am loving it. My students who are taking advantage of this additional help from me seem to be progressing much more quickly. Because they are progressing faster, they are much more excited and motivated.
5. This beautiful performance of Bach’s Allemande from the D minor partita. Just lovely. Thank you, Rachel Podger. The interview afterwards is fantastic, as well. She tunes to 415 herz (to be more stylistically correct.) Does the lower tuning sound strange to you? It used to bother me, but now I love it!
What are your favorite music apps?
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