Smart Apps For Android: REVIEW: Note Teacher Kids - music note learning for kids (best educational Android kids apps)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

REVIEW: Note Teacher Kids - music note learning for kids (best educational Android kids apps)

Bottom Line: A great educational resource for specialist music teachers as well as general classroom teachers and homeschoolers alike. Note Teacher Kids covers treble and bass clef, notes, scales and arpeggios and reinforces learning through songs. Creative play is also encouraged.

Price: FREE (in-app purchases)                   Size: 18MB


In-app purchases to buy the full set of lessons and songs

What's free: Four lessons and four songs
What's not free: Another 14 lessons and another 14 songs

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Get it on Google Play

App explained: Note Teacher Kids has been designed specifically to teach children the notes on a music score. The app opens with a choice to do lessons, learn songs or to play freely. Relaxing piano music is playing in the background on the menu screens, but that ends when the lesson begins. The keyboard used in Note Teacher Kids is an octave and a half long. The artwork is great quality and the user-interface is clear and easy to use. There are no ads or external links, but only in-app purchases to buy the full set of lessons.

The first lesson teaches the notes G, A and B. A treble clef shows a single minim and the student must touch the correct key on the keyboard below. A correct answer is rewarded with a little creature bouncing out of the note, a smile on the girl's face and a sticker that says "Great" or "Good" or "Okay" depending on how long the student takes to touch the key. An incorrect answer results in a sad face on the girl and a "Miss" sticker. The student must touch the correct key to continue. Results are given at the end of the lesson and students can then go on to the next lesson or play a song.

The songs reinforce note learning and are a scrolling score where the student must touch the correct key as the note enters the shaded area. Like the lessons, a sticker will tell the student if they were "Great", "Good", "Okay" or a "Miss" with their attempt and only a correct attempt will continue the song. While playing songs, students will also incidentally learn the difference between quavers, crochets and minims as the different length notes come through the shaded area at different rates.

Pros/Cons: Brilliantly presented with a plethora of musical information for students including notes on the stave/keyboard, scales and arpeggios. Songs include simple childhood favorites as well as more complicated songs such as Beethoven's Fifth and Moonlight Sonata. The free play section provides the opportunity for students to consolidate their learning by producing their own musical creations.

Note Teacher Kids is really a top notch app and I found it difficult to find fault. My biggest gripe is that the background music, although soothing, actually became annoying after a while as there was no option to turn it off or change it. Also, the progress tracking was a little lacking, but not completely useless.

Suggestions for updates: As usual, I would like to see better record of progress. The results of lessons are given at the end of the lesson (showing the amount of correct and incorrect answers) and stars are displayed on the lesson button of the menu. However, the results are not accessible once the students has left that screen, so the only way to keep it would be to take a screen shot and email it to the teacher. A separate results screen would be useful, with a chart showing progress that could be referred to for future reference.

Note Teacher would be so good in the classroom, working with a small group of students at a time, so the option to create individual profiles would be a fantastic addition. Also, if used in a classroom situation, it would be helpful for the teacher to be able to choose which lessons are available for students. It would also be absolutely fabulous to have some way of recording children's free play creations, either audibly or with sheet music.

Summary: A great elementary music teaching app. One I will be recommending to my homeschooling community. Note Teacher Kids is presented well, with sound educational content and makes use of technology to teach musical notes in a comprehensive and engaging way. A strong four stars for this must have music education app.

Device/s used:
Phone - Samsung Galaxy S4 (Android 4.3)
Tablet - Samsung Galaxy Tab3 10.1" (Android 4.2.2)

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Cas and her older daughter enjoy playing piano duets together

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