Today, most students have access to a smartphone or tablet. However, these devices may not be fully utilized while in the practice room or during lessons. Apps for smartphones are generally inexpensive and can be extremely valuable to college-age musicians. The 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!
APPS FOR THEORY, EAR TRAINING AND TUNING
Finding the motivation and/or time to practice ear training can be a challenge. However, mastery of aural skills is one thing that every musician must possess. With these apps, mastery becomes much simpler and students may find ear training more enjoyable.
This app covers the basics of music theory in compact, interactive lessons. With lessons covering material up to the analysis of Neapolitan Sixth Chords, this app is a great supplement for freshmen and sophomore music majors.
Functional Ear Trainer
by Sergiy Korchan
iOS and Android
An ear-training app that uses a “moveable-do” system to relate scale degrees to the tonic. The app comes with levels to advance through or levels that can be created.
by thoor software AB
An ear-training app that offers interval training, basic melodic dictation exercises, chord identification, chord inversion identification, chord progressions, and scale identification.
Tonal Energy Tuner and Metronome
by Sonosaurus LLC
iOS and Android
This intuitive and powerful app combines the best of chromatic tuners and metronomes. It has a sensitive tuning function that can be used as a reference for checking timpani tunings (not as the device to tune them!) and also for singing into to check your audiation. When the pitch is in tune, a green smiley face appears. This app also has multiple advanced options for analyzing sounds, playback of reference tones, and more.
Peter 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.
Micheal Barnes is master’s student at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and 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.