Engaging app builds musical theory and history knowledge

Submitted 8 years ago
Melissa Powers
Melissa Powers
School Library and Technology Specialist
My Rating

My Take

The lessons are not robust enough to properly teach the material, but they provide an excellent supplement to classroom instruction. Students can review theory and history by taking quizzes and earning points and belts. When a student misses too many questions, the app encourages the student to re-read the lesson and re-take the quiz. When retaking quizzes, the questions are not exactly the same. The quizzes include a variety of questions including multiple choice, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank (spelling-sensitive, but not case-sensitive). I like that the lesson text is always available for reference, even during the quiz. I also like that many of the questions include listening samples, which is essential in a quality music app. Though most of the content is American-Eurocentric, there are several levels on world music. Multiple players can have their own profile on the same device, though there is no central database for teachers to view student progress and students will need to use the same device each time they play. There are a few accessibility features built into the app. Users can adjust text size and the quiz questions can be read aloud, though there is no read-aloud feature for the lesson text. This app is designed for middle school students and while the interface may be a little juvenile for high schoolers, the content is at an appropriate level for beginning theory and music history classes in high school.

How I Use It

I am a former middle school music teacher and I wish that this app had been available to my students. Though it is a little pricey, it is well designed and contains a lot of content. I would use this app to reinforce content, either as independent practice in class or as homework. Chorus and band teachers spend a lot of time working with students in small groups while the rest of the class works independently. Keeping students engaged and on task during independent work, especially when the room may not be a quiet environment, can be challenged. I think this app would be very useful for independent review. I would probably keep a chart or running point tally on the board where students could chart their progress through the app levels in friendly competition. If I could not afford to have this app available to students in the classroom, I would highly recommend it to their parents for studying at home. The app could also be used as an enrichment tool for more advanced students. Users 13+ can post scores to social media, which may be enticing to some students, if the school media policy allows students to use this feature.