My Favorite Apps of 2014

There are more apps than this that I’ve discovered over the past year but this list comprises the ones that rise to theADD TO FAVORITES ICON top over and over and again as I integrate the iPad into my teaching.

Links are included but prices are not as they fluctuate frequently. You’ll notice that certain apps appear under more than one category. Those are must-haves for sure! I’ve included a brief sentence on how I use each one with links to posts with further explanation when possible.

What will I add (or subtract) in 2015? Stay tuned.

Interested in learning more about how I use these apps in my teaching? Perhaps I’ll be in a location near you. Check out my schedule of appearances here.


AnyTune – slow down ANY tune in your iTunes library.

Tap here to learn more about how to use this with students who play by ear.

Decide Now – a versatile and virtual decision maker for those who just can’t decide.

Tap here to learn more about how to play Piano Charades with the app.

Garage Band – a recording studio and trigger for musical imaginations.

Watch this video to see an original sound track created by students in a group setting.

iReal Pro – a lead sheet generator and backup band.

Tap here to learn how I use this to encourage improvisation.

Notion – a notation tool for composers of all ages.

I used this last spring with elementary and high school students in a studio-wide composition unit. Stay tuned for future posts!

Orphion – a unique, intriguing app that sparks melodic imaginations.

I used this last spring with elementary and high school students in a studio-wide composition unit. Stay tuned for future posts!

Early Theory and Ear Training

Bubble Tones – a simply designed app that trains pitch discernment.

Music For Little Mozarts – this covers basics like high and low, up and down and reinforces concepts and uses the same characters from the Alfred series of the same title.

Multi-Touch White Board -anything is more fun to draw when writing on an iPad white board, watch this video.

Piano Maestro – this state of the art app combines sight-reading and gamification– a must-have app for any teacher!

I’ve dedicated an entire page to this app called Piano Maestro Central because of its significant impact in the teaching world.

The Most Addicting Sheep Game – steady beat builder disguised in an addicting game.

Although this one borders on nonsense, it’s worth consideration as a teaching tool for a steady pulse AND it is addicting. Perfect for those students who need a brain break during a tough lesson.

Advanced Theory and Ear Training

Better Ears – includes chord progression ear training which is rare to find in most apps.

Here’s a video that parallels my step class to ear training. Granted, it sounds a little strange but I believe there’s a good deal of truth to this analogy.

Good Ears Pro – a compilation of Good Ears Scales, Chords and Melody.

This customizable bundle of exercises will promise challenges for the ears for years.

Octavian Basics – a visual reference for understanding theory concepts on or off the bench.

Tap here to learn how I encourage students to use this when completing theory

Right Note – a staple for building intervallic listening skills.

This app allows a listener to match melodies on an acoustic instrument and provides feedback–no cables required! Read my more about it here.

Tenuto  – this should be a required app for all music students–basic yet comprehensive drilling concepts and training the ear.

Tap here to learn more about it.


My First Classical Music App – almost in comic-book style, this app provides a broad overview of music style periods and famous composerr.

Read more about how I correlated material from this app with YouTube videos here.


FlashNote Derby – THE go-to app for note reading as you can easily isolate specific pitches. Young learners love the horse races AND the reindeer races during the holiday season.

Tap here to read my review.

ForScore – most musicians turn to forScore as THE score reader for tablets

Tap here to learn more about it and watch this to learn about my four favorite features of forScore.

Note Squish – a terrific choice when looking for an arcade approach to reviewing pitch names.

Watch this video  for ideas in group lessons.

SightRead Plus – as mastering 5-finger patterns are essential to strong technical and sight-reading skills, this app is essential.

Tap here to read my review.

Piano Maestro – this is THE app for building sight-reading as it offers feedback and fun–two crucial components to encourage early sight readers.

See Early Music Theory for more information.


Rhythm Cup Explorations  – not your typical app, but one of the hottest methods for building rhythmic skills in 2014, it had to be included.

Here’s a video showing the fun this activity can bring to any lesson!

Rhythm Lab – the app provides oodles of rhythmic exercises with increasing complexity.

Create worksheets with Rhythm Lab and use with the Notability app–blog coming soon!

SuperMetronomeGrooveBox – need something more spicey than the typical metronome app? This is it.

I recommend this free version to students as a terrific groove-builder.


Camera – come’s free with your iPad, take full advantage of this terrific tool!

Decide Now – find more info above in Creativity

Get Inspired! at – I crafted these episodes of videos to inspire my students and yours as well–take advantage of them.

Click here for an episode directory

iMovie – this app allows rookie movie producers (like myself) to easily create pretty fine-looking videos.

You may have noticed how my movie-making skills are improving. Thanks for your patience.

YouTube – if you make movies you’ll need to upload them somewhere and YouTube makes it easy.

Tap here to view my channel.


Dropbox – cloud-based storage is essential and Dropbox is the most iPad-friendly for sharing documents and images between devices.

Tap here to learn more.

Evernote – a warehouse to store all types of media–PDF’s, photos, web clippings and more.

Check out how I use Evernote when collecting online worksheets in this video.

Notability – annotate any Pdf and organize them with ease.

Tap here to learn more.


HanonPlus – yes, Hanon on the iPad!

iReal Pro  see more info above in Creativity

Bradley Sowash and I use this regularly at our 88 Creative Keys Camp to accompany technical skills and lead sheet performances.


Find more apps in the and the Music App Directory

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • The think music funding has been cancelled, apparently – does that mean we have to stop holding our breaths in anticipation of this great app? 🙁

    • Hi Julia,
      mmm…must have missed that piece of information so yes, apparently we can stop turning blue.
      I appreciate the heads up, but sorry to hear of your news about the funding. 🙁