Tech Tuesday: Interactive Listening iBook Review

I am super excited to share this fantastic resource with everyone today as I’ve never seen anything like it! Interactive Listening is an interactive iBook created by Pete Carney and Brian Felix. Once purchased, the iBook downloads directly to the iBooks app on your iPad. As explained on their website, “The Enhanced Digital edition offers 230 pages of videos, interactive pictures, interactive quiz questions, over 120 built in music samples…” Upon opening the book, you will be transported to an inspiring video on Music. Asking questions like when did music begin? How old is it? Why Music? Touching on the historical and cultural backgrounds, the emotions it causes, etc.

After watching the video the book will open up to a big tray of musical dessert awaiting you and your students! In the beginning of the book it explains that “Interactive Listening is a new book that challenges today’s connected but distracted listeners.” Isn’t that the truth? I hate to admit it, but I tend to also find myself in that category at times.

Chapters include:

The Ethos of art: the importance of music
Why Music?
Musical Reconstruction
The Science of Music
Musical Instruments
The Woodwinds
The Brass
The Strings
Fundamental elements- roots
Extended terminology- branches
Melodies as Characters
Articulating your Opinion
The Modern Conductor
Using the Symphony
Modest Mussorgsky
The Gnomus
The Old Castle
Global Connections
Performing Jazz

Each chapter is filled with so many interactive opportunities for students. You will find survey’s, drawings, video’s, audio files, research questions, quiz’s, podcast and YouTube links. There is so much information in this book and activities for students to do that you can literally use this resource over the course of a year. It is perfect for lab time if you have a lab in your studio, as well as group lessons or a classroom environment. Quizzes, research questions and survey’s can be emailed to the teacher (love this!).

There is a video that really stood out to me called “Orchestrating Nature” that gave little word clips describing the instrument(s) and their dynamic and artistry that was chosen in conjunction with the beautiful scenery that was being shown. My recital rehearsals are in a couple weeks and you can bet I will be showing this video to my students to reinforce the concept of artistry and how dynamics, articulation, etc… really affect the piece and tell a story.

Another section on “Melodies as Characters” that would be a fun group lesson activity is creating a fictional drama with students. Included is scenes for students to act out with Beethoven’s 9th symphony; 1st movement. The written scenes stop at a certain point and encourage students to finish their own scenes with the rest of the piece. I really like this because it gets them started and thinking and then they take over with their originality. From there you can even expand it and use another piece doing the same thing.

There are just a couple little sections that you will want to preview before deciding if it’s appropriate for all your students. Both can be found in Chapter 3: Elements of Music. The first one was the “Dark Side” section. The video, “The Ethos of Expressionism” may be a little too scary for younger students. Also in the “Dynamics section, there is a video of Spinal tap talking and both him and the person interviewing are smoking. Just a couple things to be aware of so you can decide if it is appropriate to show.

Interactive Listening is $14.99. You definitely get your money’s worth with this iBook app. You can find out more by visiting their website, Interactive Listening or visiting the app store.



Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of the i-book 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. 

21 thoughts on “Tech Tuesday: Interactive Listening iBook Review

  1. Echoing Beth’s comment… you can combine this with an AppleTV & AirPlay and you have one cool resource for group lessons that can be viewed on a large TV instead of either passing the iPad around or viewing in the small screen.

  2. This sounds wonderful. My students love interactive apps and its amazing how much even 3 and 4 year olds remember when learning with interactive apps. It would be a great addition to the other musicmapps I use to use in my studio .

    Thanks Fiona

  3. Aren’t we always looking for innovative ways to incorporate ear training as well as other phases into our studios? I appreciate the chance to find another approach to my teaching techniques. Thanks.

  4. This app would get daily use in my college beginning piano classes where students are supplementing piano study with courses in music theory, history, composition, etc. Wow! such a comprehensive app.

  5. How excited I am to finally use this app to further help my students
    Receive the best supplement in the areas of theory, history and composition. Awesome app!,,

  6. I haven’t started exploring iBooks yet. Can they be read on the iPod? Haven’t got that iPad yet. But if not I could save the app for later if I were the lucky winner. 🙂 It sounds like a great book and would be useful in many ways.

  7. The pictures are great and I love the mix of new music with the standard warhorses. I am looking for curriculum and lesson planning recourses to apply this to college music appreciation classes. Is there help with this?

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