Music iPad Apps

Learning a new musical instrument is a great adventure but in the beginning practice can feel tedious at times. For young students especially, it's important to mix up practice and keep it fun, after all fun is the point! These iPad games are a great way to supplement in-home music lessons and practice. They are especially handy to bring along for weekend trips and holidays. Rock on! 


This is one of the coolest music games I've come across. A group of wild animals have escaped from the zoo, and the object is to save the animals and the city from impending madness. Each animal likes a particular chord, and you must play that chord each time you see the animal. You use a real guitar to play the different chords. The game uses high-tech audio technology to distiguish the different chords,  turning the guitar into a game controller. I prefer WildChords over games like RockBand because the student uses a real guitar and the goal of the game is to really hone the students skills rather than having them 'appear' as a rockstar. 

Fret Tester

Fret Tester is a fretboard trainer that improves ability to read music and find notes on guitar, mandolin, and bass. Fret Tester was written by professor William Wilson, author of the book "Guitar Games: Learn Guitar, Read Music, Fight Space Monsters."

There are 4 modes of play:

1. Name Note: A dot is shown on the neck and you name the letter of the note.

2. Find Note: A note name is shown and you find it on the neck.

3. Notation: A note is shown in standard notation, you tap on the screen to select the correct location on the fretboard.

4. Notes on Staff: A pitch is notated in treble or bass clef, you name the note letter.


Etude is a piano app that lets you pick sheet music, then shows you how to play bar by bar. The app highlights the correct notes on the keyboard as you go. There are thousands of songs to choose from in genres from Lady Gaga to Beethoven.

Be wary! It's important to learn how to read music without relying on the notes being highlighted. However, this app can be a fun and inspirational supplemental tool for students who are just learning how to read music and want to try more challenging material.