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#2048919 - 03/15/13 11:15 PM Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1153
Loc: California, USA
I'm looking for rhythm reading apps that could be used by students outside of lessons as an additional tool to strengthen their rhythm reading.

Do you have any favorite rhythm reading apps? As teachers have you found this idea useful, or difficult?

I searched this topic on the forum, and the most recent information I found was from a year ago (a long time for anything technology related). The search indicated "Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer" was an option some have tried. Any experiences with this app?

Thanks!
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#2048998 - 03/16/13 05:18 AM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: musicpassion]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
The ABRSM Aural Trainer includes rhythm. It is not free although there is a free 'lite' version which might be OK for beginners starting out.

There is an iPhone version, don't know about Android.

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#2049037 - 03/16/13 08:01 AM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: musicpassion]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
What about "Basic Rhythmic training by Robert Starer, and also his advanced book. What does an apps do that a book and piano can't do?

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#2049069 - 03/16/13 09:51 AM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: Michael_99]
Ragdoll Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 698
Loc: Illinois
Quote:
What about "Basic Rhythmic training by Robert Starer, and also his advanced book. What does an apps do that a book and piano can't do?


"Why Little Timmy Can't Read"

Now available on DVD grin
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Ragdoll

Never get directions from someone who hasn't been there.


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#2049222 - 03/16/13 04:46 PM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: Michael_99]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
What about "Basic Rhythmic training by Robert Starer, and also his advanced book. What does an apps do that a book and piano can't do?

Like it or not the answer is an app appeals more to young people and is more, err, mobile, convenient or socially acceptable. Read about generation X or the digital generation, but even that is now out of date! My two year old granddaughter knows 'swipe', 'pinch' gestures on smartphones, also basic navigation, stop, start of video (example you tube) controls, and use of the physical buttons on an iPhone or an Android. I'm not saying I like it, encourage or approve, but it just is.

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#2049289 - 03/16/13 07:06 PM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: spanishbuddha]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1153
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
What about "Basic Rhythmic training by Robert Starer, and also his advanced book. What does an apps do that a book and piano can't do?

Like it or not the answer is an app appeals more to young people and is more, err, mobile, convenient or socially acceptable. Read about generation X or the digital generation, but even that is now out of date! My two year old granddaughter knows 'swipe', 'pinch' gestures on smartphones, also basic navigation, stop, start of video (example you tube) controls, and use of the physical buttons on an iPhone or an Android. I'm not saying I like it, encourage or approve, but it just is.


That's exactly what I've encountered. I don't want to use an app instead of traditional means... but if there is something that can benefit my students I'll view that as a positive thing.
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#2049293 - 03/16/13 07:15 PM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: spanishbuddha]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1153
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
The ABRSM Aural Trainer includes rhythm. It is not free although there is a free 'lite' version which might be OK for beginners starting out.

There is an iPhone version, don't know about Android.


Thanks!

Checking that one out... it looks like the ABRSM uses an exam system divided into nine levels (including prep)? It looks like the aural training app is geared for the first five levels?
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#2051666 - 03/21/13 12:01 AM Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: spanishbuddha]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
. . . What does an apps [sic] do that a book and piano can't do?

Like it or not the answer is an app appeals more to young people and is more, err, mobile, convenient or socially acceptable. Read about generation X or the digital generation, but even that is now out of date! My two year old granddaughter knows 'swipe', 'pinch' gestures on smartphones, also basic navigation, stop, start of video (example you tube) controls, and use of the physical buttons on an iPhone or an Android. I'm not saying I like it, encourage or approve, but it just is.

Kind of like Michael, I am still looking for a MUSICAL reason in your post.

You also do not mention how your granddaughter feels about, and uses, books. (Rhetorical question . . .)
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#2051747 - 03/21/13 05:03 AM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: LoPresti]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1153
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Kind of like Michael, I am still looking for a MUSICAL reason in your post.


The musical reason I'm looking for as a teacher is for students to spend some more time studying their music in addition to their traditional studies.

If the technology draw of an app can encourage the student to work more diligently at home, then perhaps it can help their learning. That's my hope - but I haven't used apps in my teaching yet.
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#2051900 - 03/21/13 12:06 PM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: LoPresti]
Moosic Studio Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/24/13
Posts: 4
Why does the post have to be "Musical" in nature?

The description of the forum clearly states:

"For Piano Teacher's. Discuss lesson plans, teaching techniques, handling students, fees, methods, books, etc."

Isn't the discussion of rhythm apps or apps used by music teacher's in general covered by "teaching techniques"?
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#2052218 - 03/22/13 12:58 AM Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: Moosic Studio]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Moosic Studio
Why does the post have to be "Musical" in nature? . . . Isn't the discussion of rhythm apps or apps used by music teacher's in general covered by "teaching techniques"?

Hello, Carlos, and welcome to the Forums.

That is an excellent question, and I am very glad that you asked; even though I am having trouble thinking how to even start to answer.

Music is (or should be) at the very heart of what we do. Whether one is a teacher, a student, a player, a (piano) technician, a conductor, an instrument builder, a retailer, a music publisher, or a recording engineer, music had better be the center-focus of our work. The "teaching techniques" of which you write, are of absolutely no use if they do not effectively foster better musicians, and hence, better music.

Above, Michael suggests using one of the tried-and-true texts with which many music teachers and their students have experienced success. He then asks the more-than-less rhetorical question about a software application’s advantages. (Remember, we are discussing MUSIC, and the teaching thereof.)

SpanishBuddha does list several differences between the book and the software program:
** Greater appeal for youngsters.
** Greater mobility (I do not agree there is much, if any, difference here.)
** Greater convenience (I am not certain about this one either.)
** More socially accepted among youngsters.

I am simply pointing out that, while some of these “advantages” might actually be valid, not one of them is a MUSICAL advantage. It is sort of like the mother who chooses her child’s music studio based upon the lighting in the rest room and the coffee machine in the waiting area.

Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2052244 - 03/22/13 02:40 AM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: LoPresti]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1153
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
[quote=Moosic Studio]I am simply pointing out that, while some of these “advantages” might actually be valid, not one of them is a MUSICAL advantage. It is sort of like the mother who chooses her child’s music studio based upon the lighting in the rest room and the coffee machine in the waiting area.


Your premise seems to be that something new must be unacceptable unless it has some clear musical advantage. The musical value and the goals are the same as with a book. If it only accomplishes the same musical goals as a book but has greater apeal to the student and therefore the student spends more time with it, then it has usefullness.

I understand the whole Luddite sentiment. But I can't make smartphones and tablets go away. So I choose to acknowledge - and yes even embrace - a changing world.

Steering the topic back to the original question: how about some more rhythm reading apps? Anybody? So far there's only been one suggested.
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#2052268 - 03/22/13 04:49 AM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: musicpassion]
timtopham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 119
Loc: Richmond, Victoria, Australia.
Check out RhythmLab for ipad. Great app!
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Tim Topham
www.timtopham.com
Teaching Pop Piano Teacher Training
Teacher, accompanist, presenter
Melbourne Australia

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#2052367 - 03/22/13 09:44 AM Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: musicpassion]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: musicpassion
Your premise seems to be that something new must be unacceptable unless it has some clear musical advantage. The musical value and the goals are the same as with a book. If it only accomplishes the same musical goals as a book but has greater apeal to the student and therefore the student spends more time with it, then it has usefullness.

I do not now, nor have I ever, argued that spending more time with musical materials or studies was not "useful". You are absolutely right that IF a student will use a good software program, but NOT a book, then using the software program should be encouraged. No disagreement there.

If my proverbial mother will take her children to a studio where they do have espresso in the waiting area, but NOT to a teacher who does not, then certainly, for those non-musical reasons, the cafe-studio is to be "preferred".

Ed
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In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2052405 - 03/22/13 11:17 AM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: LoPresti]
clarikeys Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 15
Loc: US
An app offers instant feedback to the student. There is not the risk of practicing incorrectly between lessons as can sometimes happen by relying on a book alone.

Apps can help teach reading and encourage an interest in books. My preschooler has learn to read independently and an interest in the words he sees in electronic media are a big part of what has motivated him to learn.

Apps enhance, not replace traditional learning and communication methods, much in the way this forum does!

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#2052434 - 03/22/13 12:20 PM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: clarikeys]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 441
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: clarikeys

Apps enhance, not replace ......, much in the way this forum does!


Well said.

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#2052776 - 03/23/13 01:53 AM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: timtopham]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1153
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: timtopham
Check out RhythmLab for ipad. Great app!


Ok thanks.
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#2053555 - 03/24/13 04:07 PM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: clarikeys]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: clarikeys
An app offers instant feedback to the student.

So -- are we certain that is the best way to learn?

Originally Posted By: clarikeys
There is not the risk of practicing incorrectly between lessons as can sometimes happen by relying on a book alone.

If you stop to think about it, I'll bet not even you believes this to be true.

Ed
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2053583 - 03/24/13 04:54 PM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: LoPresti]
spanishbuddha Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Originally Posted By: clarikeys
An app offers instant feedback to the student.

So -- are we certain that is the best way to learn?
.

Ed

I don't know the answer to this, but a well documented difference between generations is that generation X expect and respond to instant feedback, appraisal, and gratification. So the answer for younger people may be 'yes'.

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#2053687 - 03/24/13 08:21 PM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: LoPresti]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Originally Posted By: Moosic Studio
Why does the post have to be "Musical" in nature? . . . Isn't the discussion of rhythm apps or apps used by music teacher's in general covered by "teaching techniques"?

Hello, Carlos, and welcome to the Forums.

That is an excellent question, and I am very glad that you asked; even though I am having trouble thinking how to even start to answer.

Music is (or should be) at the very heart of what we do. Whether one is a teacher, a student, a player, a (piano) technician, a conductor, an instrument builder, a retailer, a music publisher, or a recording engineer, music had better be the center-focus of our work. The "teaching techniques" of which you write, are of absolutely no use if they do not effectively foster better musicians, and hence, better music.

Above, Michael suggests using one of the tried-and-true texts with which many music teachers and their students have experienced success. He then asks the more-than-less rhetorical question about a software application’s advantages. (Remember, we are discussing MUSIC, and the teaching thereof.)

SpanishBuddha does list several differences between the book and the software program:
** Greater appeal for youngsters.
** Greater mobility (I do not agree there is much, if any, difference here.)
** Greater convenience (I am not certain about this one either.)
** More socially accepted among youngsters.

I am simply pointing out that, while some of these “advantages” might actually be valid, not one of them is a MUSICAL advantage. It is sort of like the mother who chooses her child’s music studio based upon the lighting in the rest room and the coffee machine in the waiting area.

Ed

Ed, here I am torn. I find myself both agreeing with you (because I do not like gimmicks - think of "Piano in a Flash" - but also pondering the idea.

I think there are analogies we can make between fine athletes and the very top players (music). Like it or not playing the piano is a very physical thing, and one thing something like tennis and playing the piano has I common is repetitive motion problems.

Tennis players have elbow, shoulder and knee problems. And hip. Jimmy Conners had to have a hip replacement somewhere around 2006. Nadal was side-lined for many months because of a serious knee injury. He is only 26, I believe.

If you will bear with me a moment, to extend the analogy: there are ball machines. That is technology. Then there are the composite rackets and knew string technology, faster shots, more spin. The top players are frighteningly good, strong and powerful.

I do notice something very similar going on in the "piano world". You have young virtuoso after virtuoso tearing through horribly difficult music as if it is nothing. I do not think interpretation has improved and in fact would argue that it may have suffered due to too much emphasis on perfection and not enough on more musical parts of playing, but that is another discussion...

The metronome itself is like an ap. Maybe a "pre-ap". So creating a something that goes beep beep instead of tick tock may or may not be an improvement, and so on. But playing with a rhythm machine may or may not steady down tempo for players who are a bit weak, and it might also give an improviser the freedom to experiment while still knowing that when he (or she gets with a real rhythm section, it is going to work.

My grandchildren are so good with swiping and clicking that I find it somewhat intimidating. I once had a teen, looking at me, text his mother at almost the speed I can touch type - but with only two index fingers.

So my slightly conservative stance is to look at aps and programs and devices and computer games with a good deal of suspicion re any kind of true education, but I also use them myself and would be lost without them. Take away my cell phone and I could not walk at night, score in hand, while helping a former student who lives hundreds of miles away with cell in pocket and blue tooth freeing up hands.

Color me "technology neutral". Some things kill thinking and concentration, others enhance both.

It's complicated...
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#2053757 - 03/25/13 12:24 AM Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: Gary D.]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Hi Gary,

As you know, I frequently enjoy playing the devil's advocate, especially where a technological solution is reported to be "better" than something on which you and I learned.

While doing so, I do keep an eye out for newer learning tools that are genuinely superior, or ones that actually supplement or enhance traditional methods.

I also agree that if the only way to turn a youngsters' learning to music is through electronics, then that is certainly better than completely losing the chance to teach.

But then, when someone actually asks, What does musicality have to do with it? . . . well, I need to respond to that.

I would be really interested to know if you are recommending any "electronic supplements" to your regular lessons-and-practice; and if so, do you think these additions get the young student more engaged in music. (Hard to evaluate, I know, but MusicPassion and I would welcome reading your "educated guess".)

Ed
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In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2063744 - 04/12/13 10:01 PM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: musicpassion]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1153
Loc: California, USA
Following up...

I installed a number of apps on my ipad and have been testing them with music teacher colleagues and other professional musicians to get their thoughts and input. The "ReadRhythm rhythm sightreading app" is the one most of us gravitated to. One percussionist that tried it really appreciated the way it tells you exactly your deviation from the beat.

So now, after testing the apps and spending a lot of time with them myself, I've deployed them and assigned some of my students to try them. I will update the thread again once I have experience with my students trying them.

BTW it seems that the "ReadRhythm" app isn't available for Android yet (bummer). The only app I found for android is "Rhythm Cat". I'm testing it now.
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#2063791 - 04/12/13 11:56 PM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: musicpassion]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 441
Loc: Vancouver BC
Many thanks, keep us posted.


Originally Posted By: musicpassion
Following up...

I installed a number of apps on my ipad and have been testing them with music teacher colleagues and other professional musicians to get their thoughts and input. The "ReadRhythm rhythm sightreading app" is the one most of us gravitated to. One percussionist that tried it really appreciated the way it tells you exactly your deviation from the beat.

So now, after testing the apps and spending a lot of time with them myself, I've deployed them and assigned some of my students to try them. I will update the thread again once I have experience with my students trying them.

BTW it seems that the "ReadRhythm" app isn't available for Android yet (bummer). The only app I found for android is "Rhythm Cat". I'm testing it now.

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#2064351 - 04/14/13 04:48 AM Re: Rhythm reading apps for smartphones/tablets [Re: The Monkeys]
timtopham Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 119
Loc: Richmond, Victoria, Australia.
Although I do sometimes use apps in lessons (often a good way to start a lesson with something unusual or different), they are mostly recommended for students to practice with at home.

Note learning apps like MusicFlashClass and ReadRhythm or RhythmLab for rhythm are great because students can use them in their own time to cement things introduced during lessons.

I guess it's like having a formula explained in math class and then having to do a series of problems at home using the same formula. It's good repetition with slightly different versions of the same thing.
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www.timtopham.com
Teaching Pop Piano Teacher Training
Teacher, accompanist, presenter
Melbourne Australia

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