Review by Andrea Meyers, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2019
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Vanido - Your Personal Singing Coach

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Vocal exercise app is a neat supplement but needs better feedback

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Arts

Skills
N/A
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
6–12
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Pros: Singers can get started quickly, and even casual musicians will find the vocal exercises easy to follow with visual prompts.

Cons: Feedback is limited to pitch matching and keeping tempo. There's no education version with extras for teachers.

Bottom Line: It could work for self-motivated students looking to experiment, but it's not a great fit for classrooms and doesn't replace a music teacher or vocal coach.

Teachers should demonstrate the app to students and explain the visual feedback for each exercise. Project the app with an interactive whiteboard and show how a practice session works, and then give students opportunities to try it on their iOS devices. Since the app is for personal use, it's best used outside of school, where students can practice in a quiet environment and work on improving. Teachers can then use class time to check in with students and offer tips for success, such as warm-up activities like breathing exercises and facial muscle relaxation before practicing with the app. Students can report back to teachers on how they're doing and ask for advice, perhaps doing solo performances for critique.

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Vanido is an iOS app for vocal practice. Users need to create an account via Google, Facebook, or email address. The app begins by testing vocal range and then adjusts the exercises based on voice type. Singers receive three free exercises per day that work on head voice, chest voice, and foundational skills. The paid subscription includes scales and agility exercises and offers unlimited monthly or yearly access to all exercises. To practice with real songs, users can connect to Spotify Premium or Apple Music accounts and sing along. 

No education accounts and no integration with classroom management systems mean that teachers won't receive student progress reports. To work around the limitations, teachers could design a way to have students record samples of their vocal work at home and share them with the teacher. 

On the plus side, teachers will find that Vanido's vocal exercises may be very similar to those in their own classrooms. However, while Vanido does identify issues, it doesn't give instructions on how to correctly achieve good vocal performance outcomes. This means it could be easy for budding singers to develop bad habits tuned to the ways this app analyzes performance. In order for students to use the app effectively, teachers will need to be proactive and make sure that they're already teaching foundational vocal concepts, such as what it means to "drop your jaw," what "head voice" and "chest voice" refer to, how to correctly straighten a voice or add vibrato, and how to control breathing. If at-home use of Vanido is combined with this more substantive in-person instruction and also in-person performance and critique, it could be helpful for students needing some motivation. Vanido definitely benefits from a great gimmick and excellent design that students will likely be drawn to. But as a solely self-driven learning tool without any teacher support, it'll likely be more of cool curiosity than something transformative.

Because students will need to create personal accounts and the privacy policy states that data is collected, teachers should make sure that the app is approved for use in their school district.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The app rates each exercise, and students level up with daily practice. Singers who prefer traditional practice may not be interested. Others who are motivated by point systems and new ways to practice may enjoy adding it to their routine.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Though student performances get point-based ratings, there isn't specific feedback on how to improve. Singers will want to consult with a teacher for personalized support.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

The design is easy to follow, and students see demonstrations (piano and voice) of how each exercise works. However, once an account is set up, there isn't an option to start over if the exercise ranges are too high or low.


Common Sense Reviewer
Andrea Meyers Instructional Facilitator of Technology

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