Head’s up! Kinderbach app giveaway today and huge app discount Friday!

If you haven’t already “liked” Kinderbach on Facebook be sure you do it TODAY before noon EST! Kerri is giving away the Kinderbach app! Then if you don’t win, she is discounting the app on Friday by 60% (making this app only $11 instead of $27!!! I think this is the biggest discount she has offered, so you will not want to miss it! Good luck!

Winners for Music Theory for Beginners App!

Congratulations to Roz and Ashley for being the lucky teachers to win the Music Theory for Beginners app!

Thank you for everyone who commented. I hope you try out the Music Theory for Beginners app with your students! Remember it is on sale right now for only $2.99!

(Roz and Ashley… please email me jennifer@foxxpianostudio.com for instructions how to claim this app!)


Tech Tuesday: Music Theory App and Giveaway!

Today I am featuring one of my favorite theory apps! Music Theory for Beginners is compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. If you are familiar with and enjoy the software program, Music Ace, then you will love this app! This is the closest app that I have found to be close to Music Ace. Be sure to check out their promo video on YouTube!

This app has 22 lessons that cover all the major theory topics from reading notes to rhythm to basic harmony. Students click on multiple choice answers, tap out rhythms on a drum, answer questions on the on screen keyboard, and add and slide their answers onto the staff.

From the main screen, students can choose from Lesson or Quiz. The Quiz button will take them to more challenging timed quizzes. These are for students that already know the topic and needs a little more challenge. The lessons are first brief explanations to the concept they will be quizzed on. (The lesson quizzes are not timed and reviews what they learned in the lesson explanation) Once they read the lesson, they go onto the quiz. If they need a little extra reminder when they are on the quiz, they can click on the owl and the lesson will pop up to review. After completing the quiz, students earn an an achievement badge for each topic in turn. Once you’ve earned your badge you progress to the next lesson. This app contains over 2,000 questions of varying difficulty. If a student doesn’t do well on the quiz, they can click on retry and get a different set of questions and try that lesson topic quiz again.

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The main character in the app is an Owl who will “whoooo” and turn upside down when a question is answered correctly. After a while this may get annoying to some students, so they can just mute the volume depending on the topic of the quiz whether or not you need sound. I also found after trying this app myself and then having my students use it that occasionally the quiz instructions (following the lessons) were a little confusing. Once we would go ahead and answer, not knowing what it was asking, then we could figure out what it was really asking by the answer that was given. In these cases I would have the student ‘retry’ the quiz for a better score.

Under the settings, you can change the text between English USA and English UK (wonderful!), you can change the sound volume, music volume, whether or not the piano keys are labeled, whether or not you want the metronome sound (recommended) for the rhythm lessons and whether or not you want it on teacher mode. Teacher mode unlocks all the lessons. Otherwise you need to “pass” each lesson before you can progress to the next. I use teacher mode because I might have one student starting on lesson 1 and another starting on lesson 9.

This app does not keep track of individual students so you will need a way to remember where students are. So I came up with a solution for that and created this Music Theory for Beginners App Log that you can download and have students mark their scores, etc… This sheet will list all the lesson and quiz’s so you can get a good idea what is covered in this app.

I highly recommend this app, a definite must have for your studio! As I mentioned before, besides the iPad it is also compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch, but I think it is an ideal iPad app and that’s how my students use it.

Right now this app is on sale for $2.99! (I paid $4.99 for my copy- totally worth it though!).

But wait! The developers of the Music Theory for Beginners has graciously offered to give away TWO of these apps for my blog readers! YAY!!!

So… for 1 entry leave a comment below. For an extra entry “like” my Facebook page and leave a separate comment that you did. (If you are already on my Facebook page, then just leave a separate comment that you are already there.)

Deadline to get entries in is before midnight MST on Friday, November 23rd. Good luck and Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Winner for KinderBach app!

Congratulations to Beth, who is our winner for the KinderBach app! Beth an email is on it’s way with details!

Thank you for everyone who commented. I hope you try out the KinderBach app in your studio! Remember the the first two lessons are free to try out! Just click here to download. To purchase the complete set click here for the school version.

Also don’t forget: Karri extended a 30% discount to all my readers for all other products (not good on app) available on the KinderBach website. The KinderBach website 30% discount code:  FOXX2012 .  It expires 01/31/2013.

Also new available! There is new Pre-Staff sheet music available on the website as digital downloads; useful for very young students who can’t read music yet. Click here to check it out.

What is it about music?

What is it about music that can totally affect  your mood? Today our local radio station “flipped the switch” and the Christmas music officially began for the season. I have to tell you this literally put a kick in my step this morning. I feel an extra energy just by listening to their kickoff song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”

Now, you might be saying, but it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! Yes, I used to feel that way… after all the Macey’s Thanksgiving Parade was supposed to be the “first” kickoff towards the Christmas season, but the last few years I realized when the Christmas music begins I look forward to Thanksgiving more! It just gets me in the mood.

In our studio’s we can’t wait for our students to hold off on learning their Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. In my studio, as soon as Halloween Festival is done, they are starting on their Christmas music. So why not embrace all of it now?

Have a most wonderful holiday season this year!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter for the Kinderbach app giveaway! Last day to enter is tomorrow!



Tech Tuesday: KinderBach App Review and Giveaway!

I’m really excited about today’s app review and giveaway! I’m sure many of you have heard of KinderBach. For those who might not be familiar, KinderBach is an early childhood music program for children ages 3-7 years old. Lessons are taught through a video format that was created by Karri Gregor. A little background about KinderBach that I thought was interesting. Karri was a full time piano teacher and decided to tape her group lessons so when a student was sick or missed, they would have something they could watch so they didn’t miss out on anything. Soon she had parents say how much they loved these video’s and how their child would watch them over and over again. She noticed that because of this, the students would really know their lessons. Eventually their family moved so her husband suggested instead of starting a new piano studio up from scratch in their new area that she should focus on creating DVD lessons that other teachers and families can use in their studio’s and/or homes. Thus KinderBach was born. In the DVD’s there are 6 levels of lessons and supplemental books that can be purchased.

Now fast forward and keeping up with technology the KinderBach app was born.  The great thing about this app, is teachers can use it as a main course or a supplemental tool for lessons in their studio. The app has 30 lessons (10 lessons per level), 4 videos per lesson with over 150 printable pages, and 6 games. The printable pdf files are activity worksheets for the students. If there is a worksheet that goes along with the video segment you will see a print icon. I use Printopia to print from my iPad to my wireless printer. If you don’t have the capability to print from your iPad, you can purchase the pdf’s online at the KinderBach website.

Whenever the keyboard is needed in the lesson, a keyboard will appear on the screen. However you can easily have the student use the real keyboard on the piano. One thing I noticed when I had some students test this app is during the video lessons they wanted to respond by touching on the screen while the video is playing expecting it to be interactive. The video itself is not interactive, just the games. So this is something that might take some students a little getting used to. To go through all the video’s in a level takes an average of 15-25 min. That is just watching the video’s. If the students do the worksheets then you can add on another 15-20 min depending on the child. I have some students who are very detailed in their coloring and/or activity and need more time and others who go through the activity sheets quickly.

One little hint that I would recommend is before using the video lessons with a student, take the time to download each one. It will take about 20-30 min. to go through each lessons and all the levels, but in the end it is a huge time saver. This way there is no down time (load time) for the video to begin; it will just start automatically. This is especially important if you don’t have internet or wifi available when using the app. As long as the video lessons have been downloaded previously they will work. I tested this when I went to pick up my daughter from school and I didn’t have any wifi.

The first two lessons in level 1 is free to give you a chance to try out KinderBach. If you like it, you can purchase the app by lessons (.99 a lesson), individual levels ($8.99 a level) or what I recommend is purchase the classroom version getting all 3 levels at once ($26.99). Karri did give me a head’s up that they often participate in App Friday events where many developers deeply discount their apps for a day. A good way to stay updated on discounts is to “like” their Facebook page!

To find out more about the KinderBach program I would recommend visiting their website in addition to the KinderBach YouTube Channel. All in all I really think this app is a winner! My students are mesmerized by the characters, songs and activities. I personally would use this app in the 3-6 year old age range, depending on the 6 year old. There isn’t a lot out there when it comes to good quality music apps for our early childhood students so it’s really exciting to see something educational and detailed but also allowing to adapt where needed to fit how you want to use it in your studio.

GREAT NEWS! Karri graciously offered to give one of my lucky readers the classroom version (this is all 3 levels!) of the KinderBach app for free! To enter simply leave a comment in how you can see using this app in your studio before midnight MST on Saturday, November 17th. Good luck!

Added bonus: Karri extended a 30% discount to all my readers for all other products (not good on app) available on the KinderBach website. The KinderBach website 30% discount code:  FOXX2012 .  It expires 01/31/2013. Thank you Karri!

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this app in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own. 

Tech Tuesday: NoteWorks App

I have been really excited to review NoteWorks, a fun note-reading app for the iPad created by DoReMiWorld.

The first thing you must do before having students play this app is have them watch this cute video explaining the “story” of Munchy and his family. (The Munch Story and Song can be downloaded directly from the app by clicking on the blue “world” button) Okay, it’s not a “must” to watch the video’s, but I definitely recommend it!

After watching the video you will learn that Munchy is the main character. Set in a NoteWorks factory, notes are fed through a machine and students name the notes as quickly and accurately as possible. Munchy is a cute triangular shaped character who likes to eat notes when students identify the notes correctly. If the note is identified incorrectly the incinerator fires up the note and the note is set aside. After students go through all the notes in the level, the clouds rain upon the notes putting the fire out and allowing them another chance to correct the notes that they missed. I love this!

NoteWorks covers Treble Clef, Bass Clef, Grand Staff, Tenor Clef, and Alto Clef. Players can answer via the app Piano Keyboard, Note names (ABC…) or Solfege. You might have noticed in the picture above that in higher levels students are naming notes within key signatures. Another great feature that many note reading apps do not have.

There are two ways to play the game. Practice or Challenge. Practice gives note hints for students who are just learning the notes in the level and Challenge takes those hints away. You can also customize a game, setting up the level manually for a student if they need to work on a particular level. Otherwise levels are preset automatically.

One of my favorite things about this app is you can add unlimited players for this game!!! I wish ALL apps would do this. It makes it the ideal note reading app for the studio.

The only thing that some may find to be a little tricky is the size of the keyboard. Sometimes a mistake can be made simply because the keyboard is a little small and you may hit the wrong note accidentally. However, I found out a little tip from Jon Chakoff, DoReMiWorld.com who let me know that notes are registered when piano keys are released (not when they are first touched).  So you can touch down on a wrong note, then slide your finger left or right until the correct note is highlighted, which is when you’d release your finger, and only then the note would actually sound. Thanks for the tip Jon!

He also shared that they are working on the next version (due in a few weeks) of the app, which, among other things, improves the piano keyboard functionality.  The new version will contain the above tip on how to use the on-screen piano keyboard.  The next version (the upgrade would be free) addresses this point and it includes a Russian language option, with other languages being planned.

There are a lot of note reading apps available and sometimes it can be overwhelming to figure out what would be the best app to have in the studio. NoteWorks is definitely up there in my must have list. It covers pretty much everything when it comes to note reading. The only thing that would make it THE PERFECT note reading app is to add MIDI capability OR the ability to use an acoustic piano with it. Other than that it is still a sure winner!

NoteWorks is available on the iTunes app store for $4.99 and is compatible with the iPad (IOS 5.0 or later).

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this app in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own.