Ear Training


Auralia and Musition (Auralia’s visual companion app), are longtime, respected software programs with tutorials and drills designed to improve aural and music theory skills. The cloud-based programs are available for download on Windows and Macintosh. Both are ideal for classrooms and studios because of their comprehensive and well-organized lessons, practice drills and option to create individual student accounts for tracking progress.

RisingSoftware developed these programs years ago and recently began releasing apps for the iPhone and iPad that cover isolated subjects from both Auralia and Musition. The Auralia apps target training the ear and are priced at $0.99 – $1.99 each.

  • Chord Recognition
  • Jazz Chords
  • Scales
  • Jazz Scales
  • Pitch Comparison
  • Interval Recognition
  • Interval Singing

The suite of apps keeps growing. This means that both of these considerably large and pricey programs–Auralia and Musition— have now become easily accessible and affordable for private music teachers and their students or any musician interested in studying at home, in the studio or on the go.

ABRSM Aural Trainer Free with In-App Purchases.

The ABRSM Aural trainer contains interactive challenges to help develop your music aural skills (Listening skills). Anyone can use it, but it is designed around the aural component of ABRSM grade exams. This app contains a limited amount of audio content with in-app purchases.

The app covers the following ABRSM test style content:

• Pulse and meter
• Echoes
• Differences
• Musical features
• Melodic Repetition
• Sight-singing

AnyTune Free with option to Upgrade

This app will slow down ANY tune in your iTunes library.

Read this post to learn more: Music Apps to Build Ear Skills

AuralBook Free

Created for ABRSM (an Australian Syllabus): Even though I do not follow the syllabi, the app is quite remarkable. Ex: after playing a short melody, you are asked to sing it back. The singing is recorded, and is then analyzed. A friendly female voice offers suggestions to improve. There are numerous levels of this app–I am impressed with it capabilities and feedback. All skills and many levels.

Better Ears

This is the first app that I’ve found that drills chord progressions. It offers countless levels of exercises in intervals, scales, etc and they can also be customized to suit your needs.

Read this post to learn more: Music Apps to Build Ear Skills

Blob Chorus

A goofy yet extremely effective game for training discerning the difference between pitches. Good for all ages.

Bubble Tones

I like this app because of its simplistic and effective method of comparing pitches. It comes in handy when helping students understand the difference between pitches especially when introducing half steps and whole steps.

Ear Wizard 

EarWizard trains your ear while improving your memory skills. Repeat back a sequence of chords which gets longer with each round of play. As you improve your skills, the visuals disappear and you will have to depend on your EAR! Start off in EASY mode with only a few chords on screen and with practice, you will ultimately reach the hardest level where you will have seven chords on screen and be playing against the clock!

Easy Music

Cute graphics make this intuitive app immediately appealing to youngsters. It includes drills as well as opportunities for composing and recording the masterpieces.

Functional Ear Trainer

Carefully sequenced exercises to develop pitch discrimination within the context of scales and how they function within a scale.

Good Ear Pro

The app is completely dedicated to ear training of scales, intervals, chords and melodies. All these modes are bundled under one price or you can purchase each mode separately.

 iReal Pro

Although it is a lead sheet generator, it is a great app for learning patterns by ear.

Read this post to learn more: Music Apps to Build Ear Skills

MelodyMelody (unsupported)

Matching game where player must pair melodic phrases.


Carefully sequenced levels to develop pitch discrimination, audiation and melodic memory.

Music Cubes

A simple educational music game. Listen to the cubes and repeat the sequence of notes back. It starts with one note and after that is your turn. In the next round you hear the same first note plus one new. You must then play those notes back. Reminds me of the “Simon or Bop-it” games but with pitch only. Here’s my blog about it and a printable for keeping track of studio high scores: MusicCubes

Music Lab Pro Free with in-app purchases

This is PERFECT for young, beginning pianists to help them discern high and low pitches, match pitches and identify pitch patterns.

NoteStar Free with in-app purchases

Read this post to get ideas on how to use this app in your studio.

Right Note

An ear training app for learning interval, pitch and melody recognition. It includes

  • Four exercise modes: Interval, Interval in context, Pitch and Melody
  • Highly customizable settings
  • Lessons for beginners to experts
  • A chance to learn from your mistakes as you can retry all you want or use the show answer option

Still not sure? Try out the free version: Right Note Lite – Ear Trainer.


This is a must-have app as it reviews all essential theory concepts for the eyes and the ears. Customizable exercises are available for hearing chord and interval qualities and scales, too. It is an “app child” of musictheory.net.

Read this post to learn more: Music Apps to Build Ear Skills

Theta Music Trainer

Systematic courses and games to build ear training and music theory skills.

Tonal Recall Pairs Flash Cards

Just like the old-fashioned card game of finding matches by turning over cards, the user must tap on a card and find the other card with the matching pitch. The first level offers pitch names and the sound, the second level only offers the sound of the pitch but no letter name.

SproutBeat Leap Games

A browser-based growing library of games that include some ear training for beginners.

YY Teaches Intervals

This app has an excellent game for testing higher and lower along with drills for intervals and scales. Although it looks quite “preschoolish” it drills some pretty tough concepts. I only use it as a guest and do not have separate accounts for each student.

Other apps help to build strong ears worth noting:

Tonal Recall


Want an excuse to come to Denver, Colorado in July?  Then attend our 88 Creative Keys Workshop improvisation workshop.

At workshops you’ll learn first hand how to use AND teach with these the top music apps.


2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Hi Leila,
    This is a great list and I have diligently tried many of the apps……to little success. It’s helpful to know how intervals and chords sound, but I think its only relevant if you can hear musical context clearly.

    The best app that I know of is called “Functional Ear Trainer.” It teaches an acute sense of relative pitch, which is the first and most important stage of ear training. This app is simple, elegant, easy to use, very effective. Even better, its available for android and iOS. It’s not the be all and end all of ear training, but its the place to start, I think.

    The app is free! I’m not even associated with the app, I’ve just found it helpful and want to proselytize to other musicians who could use the help!


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