Go Baroque with These Exceptional Apps

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Even if your studio isn't currently going Baroque (read all about how my studio is appshere) you may still find this list of music apps useful in your lessons and/or Music Tech time. Note: It's hard to give detailed information about how to plan a unit like this while I'm knee-deep in the middle of it. If you are interested in hearing more details like how I plan Music Tech time assignments and how I teach tricky Baroque style textures let me know in the comment section. Also, please keep me posted on how you are faring with your studio's Baroque Bash!

Pitch Reading

Flashnote Derby

71wtbu4erFL._SL500_AA300_This is my go-to app for drilling pitch recognition since Flashnote Derby allows you to isolate games down to two pitches. 

As many students returned a bit rusty in pitch reading skills thanks to a relaxed summer lesson schedule, students were assigned to play Flashnote Derby. Assignments include watching the tutorial videos featured in the app (tap on the light bulb icon to access them) and isolating pitches that needed review. Week one focused on treble, week two will focus on bass clef.

As I like to pair off-the-bench games with apps, students also played "matchmaker" using Wendy Steven's adorable Penguin flash cards. Follow this link and create your own set.

Sight Reading and Repertoire

Piano Maestro

pmThere is not another app I could recommend more for developing reading skills. Make sure to watch the helpful tutorials at JoyTunes.com for more information Piano Maestro.

I was pleased to find several songs from Baroque composers in Piano Maestro. To locate them, tap on Library, then tap on Songs, then tap on Classical/Opera. You'll see simplified to more difficult arrangements of Bach, Vivaldi and more.

Instruments and Historical Facts

Klavier 

6a010534998f56970b01b7c7675db2970bKlavier is ideal for students to observe the difference between the action of a piano vs a harpsichord.

This app is a virtual hall featuring three keyboards: the harpsichord, clavichord, and grand piano. A room is dedicated to each instrument. Compositions of famous composers are included, too. Perhaps the most valuable asset of this app is the close-up of the mechanics showing how each instrument strikes or plucks the string.

My First Classical Music App

mzmThis app is perfect for pre-reading and younger students. Your high school students may enjoy it for some comic relief.

Information on Bach and Handel are available on My First Classical App. Narration, cartoon pictures and musical excerpts provide easy-to-understand information for pre-readers, appropriate until around age 9. Pages dedicated to the cello and other instruments of the Baroque period are included as well.

Quizlet 

a7wyC-oWhen I opened this app, most students recognized it at once as school classrooms use it frequently.

Much of the information my students will accumulate about the Baroque period are from books and resources in my studio. Tap or click here for my list. After students read about the Baroque period and/or composers, they are asked to generate a flash card in Quizlet. Within the app, the flash cards can be reviewed with various games including a "memory" matching game.

Interactive Listening

urlRemember this is an interactive e-book and will need to be downloaded on your iPad. You will find the e-book in your iBooks app.

Interactive Listening, ideal for middle school into high school students, features correlating flash cards for in-depth learning at the book's companion website. Check out this page completely devoted to the Baroque period!

Rhythm and Polyphony

My Rhythm

mzl.ghrtgiewFor some, just reading the notes in one hand is hard enough. To help young pianists become better at reading differentiating parts between hands, My Rhythm is the perfect app. Notation is represented by boxes and dots which alleviates the reading process.

As you know, playing Baroque music means that pianists must become proficient at playing a polyphonic texture.  The box and dot notation helps students to master difficult rhythms in both hands within a groove without getting hung up on tricky rhythmic signs and symbols. Challenge: In the Create Mode, ask students to extract a measure from their Baroque piece and replicate the rhythm using the box and dot notation instead.

Rhythm Lab

589129345x356Unlike My Rhythm, Rhythm Lab offers rhythmic exercises in standard rhythmic notation for one AND both hands.

Assign students to play rhythms for two hands and challenge them to master as many levels as appropriate. Worksheets can be made from the rhythmic exercises for more improvisation and practice opportunities.

Challenge: Ask students to choose rhythms of their choice in 3/4 time. Copy and paste them into a worksheet and assign them to improvise within the rhythms to create their own minuet.

Ornaments and Improvisation

Decide Now

imgresIf you do not have my free download about how to use this app in 50 different ways, make sure to do so by following this link.

I have some plans for how to introduce and help students master various Baroque ornaments. Perhaps details will come in a future blog? To help students choose an ornament to add to a current piece, I created a wheel in Decide Now with all the options.

Tin Pan Rhythm

gjV9zY8HI used this app extensively this summer as students created backing tracks for their own compositions or favorite pop pieces. Read more about it here.

As all my students will be creating a 21st-century version of a Baroque piece, this app-- with my guidance--will help them develop a fresh chord progression and/or groove to spark a unique arrangement. Shhh...don't tell Bach, he might roll over in his grave! 

Videos

Get Inspired! Episode 12

from the Culture Concept CircleNothing pulls information together better than inviting students to see and hear the art and music of the time.  Make sure to include at least some of these videos from Get Inspired! Episode 12 in your Baroque Bash.

Looking for additional apps?

Access the Music App Directory right here at 88pianokeys.me.

Follow this link for the various categories and remember...

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