Apps to Help You Learn Piano

 
 

Phone and tablet apps can be a genuinely useful aid to learning piano. They allow you to practise isolated skills away from your instrument, they enable you to learn required facts, they provide opportunities for you to develop aural awareness. I have reviewed and selected my favourite apps for both Android and iOS. As it turns out, I actually prefer the Android apps, which is not something I expected.

Do let me know in the comments, or by email, how you get on using these apps and I would love to hear of any other apps that you enjoy using.

Android apps: 

All FREE apps except for Flashnote Derby.

NOTE READING:

NotesDeMusique (Music Notes) 

  • Fully customisable so perfect for everyone from beginners to advanced
  • Excellent app for a simple, straightforward way to learn and practice the names of the notes on the stave
  • As it's a French app you will need to go into settings and change the note names to C D E...
  • When selecting the note range remember that C4 = middle C

NOTE READING GAMES:

For free games Note Teacher Kids Free and NoteWorks Free are both *ok* but have limited game play. I would actually recommend NotesDeMusique over either of these.

If you are prepared to pay for an app then Flashnote Derby is a good option.

  • It's customisable which is essential
  • Fast paced
  • It's not gender specific which is great
  • This app also provides the facility for the piano teacher to set tasks and challenges! 

RHYTHM GAMES:

Rhythm Sheep Free

  • A game using sheep in which you tap on screen as an echo to a rhythm just played to you
  • Excellent practice for aural skills

Rhythm Cat Lite

  • This game requires you to read a rhythm and then tap it in time to some music
  • Good practice for reading note values and for keeping a steady pulse

AURAL TRAINING:

Perfect Ear Trainer

  • This app really is the best app by far for helping you learn to recognise different intervals
  • It provides options for harmonic or melodic intervals
  • Includes all intervals up to an octave
  • The functionality is nice and simple

Perfect Ear 2

  • An enormous app - this covers so many different aspects of aural training. 

METRONOME APP:

Metronome Beats

  • Clean layout
  • Lots of helpful functions
  • Uses English note names rather than American
  • The speed is matched to an Italian term, for example, andante
  • You can set the speed by tapping or by scrolling on a dial
  • Easy to set the number of clicks per beat and the number of beats per bar
  • You can toggle a louder click at the start of each bar

 

iOS apps: 

All FREE apps except for Flashnote Derby.

NOTE READING GAMES:

My Note Games contains a number of activities, including some which use the microphone to listen to you playing the piano. Tap That Note! is the relevant activity here and I was really impressed.

Also available on Android, Note Teacher Kids Free and NoteWorks Free are both *ok* but have limited game play. I would definitely recommend My Note Games over either of these.

If you are want to pay for an app then Flashnote Derby is a good option, though I would consider just sticking with the free My Note Games.

  • It's customisable which is essential
  • Fast paced
  • It's not gender specific which is great
  • This app also provides the facility for the piano teacher to set tasks and challenges! 

RHYTHM GAMES:

Rhythm Cat Lite

  • This game requires you to read a rhythm and then tap it in time to some music
  • Good practice for reading note values and for keeping a steady pulse

AURAL TRAINING:

ABRSM Aural Trainer Lite

  • Tests through limited exercises, some of the skills needed in the aural tests at G1 and G4. 
  • You can purchase the full app for Grades 1 to 3 or 1 to 5. 

Auralbook for ABRSM

  • Available for Grades 1 to 8 testing various aural skills
  • Much wider functionality than the ABRSM Aural Trainer
  • Slightly annoying feedback but is more useful overall than the free ABRSM Aural Trainer

METRONOME APP:

Metronome HD

  • The speed is matched to an Italian term, for example, andante
  • You can set the speed by tapping or by using up / down arrows
  • You can scroll through different time signatures with up / down arrows
  • Has a louder click at the start of each bar
  • Pops up full page adverts from time to time which is annoying but I can't find a better free metronome app on iOS.