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App Scene: Part 4 by Micheal Barnes and Peter Soroka

Oct 1, 2017, 00:00 AM by Rhythm Scene Staff

Today, most students have access to a smartphone or tablet. However, these devices may not be fully utilized in the practice room or during lessons. Apps for smartphones are generally inexpensive and can be extremely valuable to college-age musicians. The PAS University Committee has compiled a short list of curated apps to enhance musical growth in the practice room for the college musician. This list is not all-inclusive but focuses on some of our favorites. Most of these apps can be found on both iOS and Android platforms and any deviations are noted. Hopefully this series of articles will allow you to get the most out of your smart device in the practice room!

Listening to and watching other musicians is vital to the growth and development of young musicians. Today, students are lucky enough to have access to virtually any piece of music from any time period or culture. The following apps are excellent resources for listening to and watching music. 

by Google, Inc.
iOS and Android
A quick Google search of a piece in many cases will pull up a YouTube video. Many videos on YouTube are of high quality and show a wide variety of interpretations and representations of a piece. That being said, since anyone with access to a computer can upload a video, the quality of recordings can vary greatly. When using YouTube, one should exercise caution against listening to or watching a video that does not accurately represent the piece. 

Naxos Music Library 
by Naxos Digital Services Ltd.
iOS and Android
The Naxos Music Library is an invaluable resource and contains more than 130,000 albums and over two million tracks of music. The library also offers biographies of over 40,000 artists and composers in addition to over 700 opera libretti and synopses. In this app, you can create and save playlists. Naxos also offers a music library app dedicated to jazz. Although access to the Naxos Music Library requires a subscription, many university libraries pay an institutional licensing fee to allow students to access the site for free.

by Spotify Ltd.
iOS and Android
FREE (Basic Plan)
This app offers the ability to create playlists and to share them with your friends on Spotify. Use Spotify to listen to non-Western Classical as well as Western Classical music. Student premium subscriptions are available for $4.99. 
iOS and Android
FREE (Basic Plan)
This app offers the ability to watch live-streamed concerts from the most prestigious concert halls in the world. The ability to have an inside look into a full-length, live concert of the Berlin Philharmonic or the New York Philharmonic is a night well spent. Premium subscriptions offer unlimited access for $19.99/month.

Peter SorokaPeter Soroka is a diverse percussionist pursuing a Doctor of Music degree in Percussion Performance at Florida State University. He holds performance degrees from the University of North Texas and Virginia Commonwealth University, and has performed with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia Gulf Coast in Destin, Florida.


Michael BarnesMichael Barnes is a master’s student at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has performed with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, the Ft. Smith Symphony, and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. He was recently awarded a teaching fellowship to work with the National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize, as well as being awarded the Mary Grey Thompson Award for outstanding contributions to the University of Oklahoma College of Fine Arts.

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