Mark Reviews Chromebook Piano & Drum Apps for Music Teachers
I try to share some of the most comprehensive tips and recommendations I write up for teachers here. This is one of the most recent. When asked what is out there for music teachers to use with students on Chromebooks, particularly if those students are learning at home, I had to start from scratch. Knowing very little about what was available, I just started with the Piano apps available for Chromebooks, extended it to Android, and then added Web apps that work in the browser, as well.
The music teacher who contacted me about this also wanted to know what was available in the way of drums and drum kits. So I added that as well. Below, you will find a section for each. If you know of additional web tools or apps that may be good for elementary music teachers (with an emphasis on free), please add your comments and recommendations below.
- Music teachers have been using Chrome Music Lab as a tool in their classrooms to explore music and its connections to science, math, art, and more. They’ve been combining it with dance and live instruments.
- From the Chrome Music Lab website, here is a collection of some uses they curated from Twitter.
- Also included in the Lab is the Song Maker experiment, which lets you make and share your own songs.
- This is about as basic as it gets, but Chrome Piano does have what students need: Key Assist, Record, Stop, Play, a Music Sheet button with a lengthy drop-down list of songs that can be played (and the keys highlight when the songs are played), and there is a Tips button to get students started.
- Students will be playing the piano in minutes, and recording themselves playing. The basic features all all here, without any ads, and that is extremely rare for any free piano.
- Key Assist (labeled keys) can be toggled on or off.
- The Music Sheet button at the right is a huge plus, as it gives students a lengthy list of songs to play (anywhere from Beethoven to Beyonce, and Franz Schubert to Forrest Gump. It not only plays these songs on the keyboard, but it also includes the notes in a large text box, so students can follow along with the notes or with the highlighted keys. There is a Play Song and Stop Song button.
- It takes a bit of getting used to when first recording. First, you need to tap Record to engage the Recording feature, and then tap Record again to stop recording. Then, the Play and Stop buttons become engaged - for playback and stopping. Once that is mastered, the rest is pretty easy.
- Make sure students remember that the piano cannot be played manually by them unless the purple button says Turn Off. If nothing happens, students will need to tap Turn On. This makes sure the piano knows whether it is playing a song from the Music Selections, or being played (and recorded) by students.
- You can also open the Virtual Piano Keyboard by bookmarking this site: virtualkeyboard.nsspot.net
- Notes are saved as Input Codes to the text box below the keyboard.
- Notes can also be copied, pasted and erased, and spaces can be added.
- There is also an Old Flash version which transforms the piano into an electronic keyboard with various virtual buttons for organ, saxophone, flute, pan pipes, strings, guitar, steel drums, and double bass. The Flash version worked on the Chromebooks when tested, and you can revert back to the Virtual Piano by changing flash=yes to flash=no in the Address Bar above.
- Key Assist can be turned On, which gives the keys numerical values.
- The recording feature is turned on by toggling Recorder/Input Sample On. Toggling it Off makes the recording feature below disappear.
- This piano can be played by tapping the keys with the touch-pad, by using the individual Chromebook keys which correspond with the piano key numbers (when Key assist is On), and also by using the Chromebook's touchscreen feature.
- There are hundreds of songs in the list. All you have to do is type the letters from the song and students can be playing piano right away.
- Additional ads are also found below the keyboard.
- The keys are somewhat small on the screen and may need to be zoomed-in by students when using the touchscreen feature.
- This is a simple, realistic Web Piano that works on Chromebooks and doesn't require any plugins to be installed.
- Keys are labeled - to help students practice piano chords and scales using their keyboard.
- Songs can be saved into the Songtive web project site (songtive.com) to share with the world. The developer can be contacted by email.
- Upon further look, there is also a small menu in the top left with +New and Tools buttons. These buttons add advanced features such as a programmable Drumset with programmable, editable sections and sounds (just click the Edit button when Drumset is launched). Additional "tools" include Virtual Piano, Web Tuner, Piano Chord Chart, and Guitar Chords.
- Keys can be displayed in 1 Row, 2 Rows, and labels shown or hidden. The Instrument sound can also be switched between Piano, Xylophone, Acoustic Guitar, Cello, and Flute.
- Not as pretty or deeply customizable as the other apps, and the colorfully-labeled keys could be distracting or confusing for some students, but these labels can be Hidden by tapping the Hide button at the top.
- Social media buttons and a printer button at the left could be distracting, along with the large green "Download Now" button at the right. Students will need to avoid these.
- The only ad is found along the very bottom, so that is a plus. And this is one of the most realistic-sound pianos in this list.
- The top of the interface is rather cluttered (for some users) yet it gives a ton of features and settings all in one place, without having to search through multiple menus. Because of this, it makes the buttons/controls rather small to the touch.
- There are tiny buttons to control the Key Size (important with 88 keys!).
- The keyboard can be heightened/extended with a tiny up-arrow to virtually eliminate either of the two toolbars on top.
- There are also buttons for Piano, Flute, Organ, and Guitar sound modes.
- A Music Control drop-down menu has about seven songs that can be listened to, but the keys are not highlighted when the song plays. Tap the Play or Pause button to start and stop these songs.
- There is also a Record List which flies out and shows what has been recorded. Tap the Record List button again to make this disappear.
- Tapping some of the options, such as playing songs from the Music Control or bringing up the Record List brings up a full-screen advertisement the first time, and that can be annoying.
- This is an extremely powerful piano app for Android. When it first opens, there are the following choices: Multiplayer Game, Multiplayer Connect, Records Manager, Piano Circle, Learn to Play, and, finally, Keyboard. If students just go directly to Keyboard, it is quite powerful and easy to use. However, choosing any of the other options will yield far too many distractions, connecting to game servers, enabling video ads, and other unwanted potential messes.
- There is a menu at the right for Reverb, Sustain Control; and there is a button at the top that will transform the piano into an Organ, MusicBox, Synth, Rhodes, Bright, and other piano types.
- There is also a Metronome button in the top left (next to the Record button).
- Record mode can choose between recording in MIDI or from the MIC, and then save the file to your Chromebook or Google Drive.
- Students can also use the little arrow buttons to scroll back and forth, focusing on different parts of the piano's keyboard.
- When choosing the Learn to Play option, it brings up various pre-loaded songs that can be played with varying choices in difficulty, and saved as Favorites.
- As long as students stay in Keyboard mode only, this could be a useful app. But if they choose other options than Keyboard, that is where the annoying advertisement trouble lies.
- Choosing Multiplayer Game or Multiplayer Connect requires the user to choose from one of two Game Servers. Exiting out of this mode often loads at least one video ad which is not kid-friendly.
- This app also has ads, but the ad is found only at the very top middle, and it doesn't disrupt the use of the piano. It is probably the easiest piano app to figure out right away, and quite powerful, too.
- When recording (using either the circle or the microphone), there is a timer that runs at the right, telling you how long you've been recording.
- Recorded files can be saved as Sample, Track or MIDI.
- There is also a mode button which emulates a Grand, Organ, Violin, Synth, Sax, Electric keyboard, Bass, Guitar, Harp, Rhodes, and Harp.
- Very few cons with this piano, due to only having one smallish ad in the top middle, above the keyboard itself.
- Once switching sound modes, choose Home to return to the default piano mode.
- For a 6-minute video tutorial showing all of the features, click here.
- Also in the Settings is a Magic Piano setting where any key pressed shows the correct note. You can also listen to the song when you select it in the song list.
- The Vibration of the keys is turned On by default (and pressure can be increased/decreased), but can also be turned off with a slider in the Settings.
- Song Book is a featured revealed by tapping the hidden toolbar arrow at the top.
- Students should be discouraged not to tap any buttons other than the Menu and the Record/Play/Stop/Settings buttons in the top right corner, and leave the toolbar open. Otherwise, closing the toolbar brings up a floating ad in the top right corner.
- The biggest complaint about this app is that it is overly feature-packed and actually overly customizable.
- A big drawback right away is that it asks the student to log in (an I'm New Here button) with an Email address or Log in with Facebook. This is probably a deal-breaker right away. Then, when/if you get past that point, it asks What kind of things can you play? Nothing yet, some basics, lots of songs, or almost anything... It then asks if you have a piano to practice with: Yes or No. Then there is a free trial.
- As a teaching tool, this would be wonderful, and maybe even your best bet overall. But at the recommended 12-month plan at $11.99-13.99/mo. price, No. Move on.
- Initial prompts require students to sign in with Facebook or an email. Then it is very much like a piano tutor and works as a pay service.
- Just avoid the ads at the top of the page. 9 Exercise buttons are found below the drum kit which take students through various drumming routines.
- The Drum Games, Drum Lessons, and Advanced Lessons are pretty good, but the Drum Sheet Music must be downloaded individually, which is not recommended on Chromebooks.
- This app is all about learning how to drum. There are quick YouTube videos which load (ads included) and show how to use a drum kit. Lessons are also included which highlight the correct drum to tap at the right time. The drums sound very realistic, and the kit can be re-arranged with the tap of a Refresh button at the top. Everything can also be recorded and played back.
- Tapping on the various Drumset button on the toolbar brings up various Kits to choose from, depending on music genre interest. Each is followed by an ad.
- Tapping the blue Play button brings up various Loops which play in the background while the student drums along.
- Other tabs in addition to Loops are Recordings, Lessons, Songs, and Metronome. Recordings are anything the student has recorded with the red Record button.
- Lessons are where the drums are highlighted, the student watches first, and then taps the highlighted drum or cymbal from the lesson, so it is Watch and Play format.
- After a student taps the red Record button to stop recording, a full-screen advertisement loads. Then, the student has to locate the X button in the top right corner to close it, and remember where he/she left off.
- There is also a rather large ad in the top right corner of the toolbar, but most students will probably ignore it because they're too busy drumming.
- What makes this app different from the rest is that it does not emulate a drum kit at all, but is more of a programming interface, allowing students to plug in cells or squares into a large waffle-looking interface.
- No actual drums are seen. But students can create their own drumming routines and then save them, play them back, and add to them later. Files are saved in the JSON File Format, which can be read outside of a Chromebook and played back within this web app.
- Those who like to learn programming and who are creative types will appreciate it and its ability save what they create, but there will be a learning curve to deal with otherwise.
- The default drum kit that loads is only the "Classic" version. Then, each additional set of drums (Hip-Hop, Electro, and Metal) require separate apps to be installed. It is nice to be able to move the drums around (with the tap of a toolbar button), but full-page ads load at various times and have to be closed manually to return.
- There is an MP3 button that allows students to record, save and play, so it is also an MP3 player that can play external music files stored on Google Drive or on the Chromebook's hard drive.
- The app is optimized for screens of any size, so it can also be used on Android tablets and phones.
- Has the ability to not only play, but also to save, play, and loop the playback of your tracks. This would allow a user to play other instruments along with the drum kit.
- Menus are hidden and so are the ads when doing the drumming. The app has a very realistic look to it.
- Another nice app that is bogged down with annoying full-page ads at inopportune times when tapping essential buttons.
- Many users have reported a delay, which might make it difficult to play with others.
Hmm good postReplyDelete
The problem is that you provide may be worth our time and also effort.ReplyDelete
pakistani movies songs
Just saying thanks wouldn’t just be enough, for the fantastic fluency in your writing.ReplyDelete
inidan songs 2018
Excellent information, I am heartily very thankful to you for providing this kind of knowledge. This information will always help to everyone for gaining knowledge. Always keep sharing. Thanks. find home tutorReplyDelete