Almost everyone in the U.S. is introduced to a recorder at some point in their early lives. Why the recorder?
- Recorders allow a fairly easy entry point to creating and performing music
- Recorders are inexpensive
- Recorders are highly portable
- Recorders provide a starting point to developing concepts and skills such as “fingerings,” “breath support,” and “air flow” that share similarities with other wind instruments
3 Apps That Make Practicing the Recorder a Blast!
While technology is not needed to learn how to play instruments, well designed apps allow for engaging and interactive experiences that can motivate young people to practice and continue playing. Here are 3 apps that add to the fun and engagement when learning to perform the recorder!
1) JoyTunes Recorder Master – is a high quality animated game with characters that move in ways that relate to the way that someone plays the recorder. As the child plays the recorder correctly the game proceeds. JoyTunes Recorder Master is beautifully constructed and enjoyable for young people.
2) PlayAlong Recorder– Includes an animated avatar that speaks to the recorder player. In AtPlayMusic’s PlayAlong Recorder, the child is presented with music in standard notation along with diagrams of the fingerings (which holes to cover with fingers) and the note names of the pitches (i.e. F#, G, A, B).
Young people unfamiliar with menu structures might possibly need some assistance navigating through the different parts of the app but it does a nice job of responding to accurate or inaccurate pitches and even playing an accurate version of the song for the player to hear to help him or her move forward. You can keep added songs from a wide variety of genres such as folk music, classical, holiday music, jazz and current popular music through in-app purchases. The songs are organized by how easy or difficult they are.
3) My Note Games Includes more static animated graphics with a focus on learning standard notation, which is the traditional way music is written in most Western classical contexts. Appatta Ltd’s My Note Games may help young people associate fingerings and pitches (the high and low sounds) with the corresponding notation on a staff (the lines and spaces on which the notes are written).
As with these other apps, My Note Games “hears” the pitch and determines if it is correct. When a correct pitch is played it shows the next note until a song is revealed for a child to perform.
These apps can add a unique and interactive element to practicing and learning the recorder. We plan on providing more specific and comprehensive reviews of these and other apps in the future.
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Photo by John Morgan some rights reserved