Website review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2021

ToneSavvy

Customizable quizzes harmonize music theory and ear training skills

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Based on 2 reviews
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Grades
6–12
Subjects & Skills
Arts, Communication & Collaboration

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Pros: Flexible features and tons of content make this a great fit for music students at all levels.

Cons: Without teacher guidance, logical progression through exercises is unclear, and language and accessibility features are lacking.

Bottom Line: An exceptional, teacher-led resource for practicing key ear training and music theory facts.

Sign up for the free 30-day trial to take a spin through ToneSavvy's features. With a teacher account, you can access premade assignment sets that group related exercises by instrument (like violin or guitar) or by experience level (like introductory exercises on note naming and interval identification). Check out what's available and see how you might adapt these assignment sets to fit your classes. You can customize any of these assignments to meet your students' needs; consider how you might reuse different exercises and adjust the content you include, like adding more notes or key signatures or rhythm patterns for your students to drill.

Beyond the premade assignments, spend some time with the ear-training and music theory practice exercises. There's a ton of content available here, and you may be able to use some of these exercises to demo different concepts in your classroom, or on the fly during solo or small-group instruction. Keep in mind that the best customization options are available only with a paid subscription, but it may be worth it to make the most of a powerful teaching tool.

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ToneSavvy is a collection of music theory and ear training exercises. Exercises test note naming, interval identification, rhythm patterns, key signatures, and more. There are activities for identifying notes on the staff and building chords, plus more advanced exercises in counterpoint and melodic dictation. There are also more specialized exercises for different instruments, including paced note-naming exercises on the treble, bass, and alto clefs and note-naming exercises on piano keys, guitar frets, and string instrument fingerboards. 

ToneSavvy is free to use, and students are never charged. Meanwhile, paid teacher accounts are available, and subscription prices vary depending upon the number of students. With a teacher account, teachers can create student groups and share a teacher code to give their students access to the site. Teachers can create assignment sets for their students by grouping exercises from the site on their own or by selecting premade assignment sets. Then they can view their students' scores once those assignments are complete.

While ToneSavvy isn't fancy, it's powerful: It's an exceptionally detailed, powerful collection of music theory and ear training exercises. It's especially useful with a teacher subscription: You can use the built-in assignment sets to assign a group of exercises to students and track their progress along the way. Plus, you can customize almost everything about the exercises, making this a terrific digital tool to test key concepts you hope to drill with a large group or to create specific exercises to help a student master a topic they're struggling with.

A little more guidance for the self-directed student would be a welcome addition. A how-to article suggesting some good exercises for beginners would be a helpful starting point -- or perhaps a link to other good resources to help beginning music students build their music theory knowledge and ear training skills. And more language and accessibility features would make it useful for more students. As it is, though, it's nice that the site's developers didn't prescribe a pathway through this content: It makes it easier for teachers to use this as a highly detailed reference that they can customize to fit their needs. With the right guidance from a capable teacher, this is a terrific digital companion to support music students at all levels. 

Overall Rating

Engagement

While it's not flashy or "fun" in a traditional sense, the tool has a simple, intuitive interface, and teachers can swiftly customize to keep the level of challenge in the right zone.

Pedagogy

It's terrific that teachers have so many options for customizing assignments for their students, and there are great possibilities for differentiating instruction.

Support

The teacher supports are excellent, and it's straightforward for students to access and navigate the exercises. Better progress tracking during the exercises and accessibility features would be helpful. 


Common Sense reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member

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Featured review by
Rob S. , Other
Other
Incredible website for ear training
I love that my kids don't need someone who plays the piano. I love that you can select speed. I love that you can select harmonic/melodic intervals. I love that they can work on their ears without someone there to help them. It's not so visually appealing, but it doesn't need to be. It's not a dog and pony show. It's a get better ears show.
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