Recorder Master App Review
App Name: Recorder Master
Mom’s Rating: 5/5
Kids’ Rating: 5/5
Skills Developed: Music, Recorder, Ear Training, Rhythm
Available On/Price: Free – iPad (iPad 2 only)
Also available online for free (computer with microphone required)
Reviewed on: iPad
Recorder Master is a fascinatingly unique app – immersing your child in a wild-west cartoon, video game world filled with dangerous birds that must be defeated by playing…the recorder! Your child can use a real recorder to play the game, or play it by touch by tapping and holding the notes on the screen.
Combining true game mechanics with direct teaching of notes, fingering positions, note lengths, melodies, playing by ear, breath control, and more – Recorder Master carefully moves from level to level – each filled with games designed to teach and encourage the practicing of recorder skills.
Each level contains a mix of games designed to teach vital skills every budding musician needs. In the airplane game your child needs to play the specified note(s) to move the airplane up and down to collect the music notes. In the bird melody game your child needs to ‘pop’ the birdies (of varying sizes to represent different note lengths) to play an accompaniment to a recorded song – or as the game progresses, a full melody. The playing by ear game plays a simple melody that your child must repeat, matching the notes and the length of each as the character jumps from platform to platform in response to your child’s performance.
These games are arranged in varying orders and in different quantities (some games are played more than once) in each level and each of them records a score out of 3 music notes based upon your child’s accuracy. The main map shows the total number of music notes accumulated at each finished level. At the end of each level a big boss bird must be defeated with the recorder!
Map 1 teaches notes B, A, and G, teaching them each individually before adding them together for a simple melody (Mary Had a Little Lamb) at the end of the first map. Completing the first seven levels of map 1 unlocks map 2 (WiFi needed to download). Map 2 teaches the notes C and D and includes exciting new songs such as Jingle Bells, Ode to Joy (Beethoven’s 9th Symphony) and more.
Other Notes: This app doesn’t contain any external links (some website and email addresses are given under “About” but none are active links. No ads, no in-apps, no strings attached.
What We Liked:
My oldest daughter (8) is completely taken with Recorder Master. We recently moved so I’m not sure where our physical recorder is, but she’s been using the play using touch feature of the app to learn to recognize notes by ear, play accompaniment and simple melodies, and much more.
Perhaps this goes without saying, but we now have a new recorder on our shopping list so we can use the play with a recorder function! That will be truly amazing! I can’t wait to take advantage of the games built in emphasis on breath control, fingering, and note production as well as the aspects of the game we’re already enjoying using touch (playing by ear, rhythm, note recognition etc.).
Everyone in our house loves this approach to musical training – the music-responsive games are incredibly fun and…dare I say it…addictive – all while teaching true recorder skills. This amazing synthesis of gaming technology and music education provides a powerhouse of multi-sensory reinforcement and feedback. The kinesthetic (playing the recorder), visual (watching the feedback on the iPad screen in response to the playing) and audio (matching the notes played by the iPad on the recorder) elements of the app combine, resulting in faster learning and longer retention (not to mention more fun – this is really delight-driven learning).
What We Didn’t Like:
It would be a bonus if the app was set up for multiple players – as it is only one set of stats can be saved in the game and I don’t see a place to reset the stats for a new player.
Recorder Master is a true App Store find – whether your child is learning to play the recorder or not, the musical awareness skills taught in this app are applicable to all children (ear training, rhythm etc.) and can help your child to enjoy music more as a performer or listener. Completely free with no strings attached, incredibly fun and engaging, this is an app to add to your must-download list!
Have you downloaded this app? Let us know what you and your children thought – leave a comment!