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For some time now I've been planning to finally learn the piano. Of course, this also means being able to read music – unfortunately. Although I've also read about piano school video courses that advertise that you can learn the piano there without having to read music.
That sounds tempting, but I think you have a more solid foundation if you can also read bits of sheet music. And reading music is probably not the worst thing for understanding music theory either.
Since I always like to practice things with apps when possible, I immediately started looking for an app that I can use to learn to read music on the iPhone and iPad.
You wouldn't believe how many apps there are on this subject. Also flowkey, which I would like to address again elsewhere, was suggested to me. The app has a subscription and even an annual subscription costs almost 10 euros per month. Of course you get more on offer there than just reading music, but I didn't want to take out a subscription just to be able to learn to read music.
As mentioned, you can really find a lot of crap in the AppStore and it's not that easy to find the gems.
For very young kids I would recommend the apps "Bass cat","treble cat"And"Rhythm Cat“ recommend… they are nicely done, but too playful for young people and adults and also a bit boring due to the very slowly increasing level of difficulty.
The best app I have found so far is the app “Notes teacher“. Although the user interface is in English, it doesn't matter that much since the operation is quite intuitive. If you can translate "Practice", "Settings" and "Statistics", you have basically everything you need to use the app.
In the Notes Teacher settings you will also find various notations such as CDEFGAH, CDEFGAB or 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 over Do-Ré-mi-Fa-Sol-La and many other languages and systems.
The Notes Teacher approach is such that at the beginning you only get the notes C and D explained and then you have to recognize them. The recognition, on the other hand, works in the free version (the paid version only costs EUR 1,99 once!) with buttons that contain the note names. You then have to press these one by one, as the notes are lined up on the music tablature.
You then do the exercise for a few bars and when you're through, you get a rating between zero and three stars. Both the time and the number of correctly recognized notes are included in the evaluation. If you have reached three stars, the next exercise is unlocked.
In the next exercise, another note is added above or below the notes you already know, and the recognition is again made over a few bars. This is how you gradually work your way through all the notes.
If you don't want to learn the treble and bass clef at the same time, you can limit the exercises to specific areas. Either you only learn the bass or treble clef or you can also choose special exercises in which particularly high and low notes with many auxiliary lines have to be recognized.
Another great feature of Notes Teacher is that you can not only work with buttons on the iPhone or iPad, but also transfer the notes with a connected midi keyboard. By using the iPhone microphones, you can even sing notes or play them with a piano.
I have to say that I absolutely love this app. The premium upgrade of 1,99 euros is actually a must, since you absolutely have to support the developer of the app.
In terms of looks, the app is not super-drilled, but it is absolutely functional and clear. The many options that the app offers are also very well selected and expanded. You really have a lot of setting options and I think the app should actually be a great recommendation for everyone.
In any case, I use it almost every day and I'm surprised at how well you can gradually improve your knowledge of music with this system.
If you want to give the app a chance, you can Right this way. The app is available for iPhone and iPad. However, synchronization of progress between the two devices is not supported. That might be another feature that the developer could add.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.