“Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents.” ― Ludwig van Beethoven
An integration of music in the classroom can create a multisensory learning environment that is proven to improve retention and memory, increase concentration and enhance focus.
“Music stabilizes mental, physical and emotional rhythms to attain a state of deep concentration and focus in which large amounts of content information can be processed and learned. Baroque music, such as that composed by Bach, Handel or Telemann, that is 50 to 80 beats per minute creates an atmosphere of focus that leads students into deep concentration in the alpha brain wave state,” says Chris Brewer, MA, FAMI, author of Music and Learning (1995).
We couldn’t agree more! In addition to stimulating and motivating, music complements STEM subjects and is great for the STEMists’ souls!
Below are eight music -themed apps that will provide fun learning while motivating your STEMists in their quest for knowledge:
Sound Uncovered – Free by Exploratorium
Sound Uncovered, an interactive book for the iPad, demonstrates the basic principles of sound in an interactive and playful way. STEMists will discover the world of acoustics, with features of various aspects of sound and music in ‘magazine’ style that make you realize just how much goes into hearing and producing sounds. Sound Uncovered teaches you all about the space between your ears and how our brain deciphers sound. The app is a must-have for any age to experience fun auditory illusions, unique voice recordings and the creation of sound waves.
Music Theory – Free by Bold Learning Solutions, Inc.
This app offers an excellent review of music theory with flashcards to help STEMists focus on studying large amounts of information. The app features music symbols and key signatures to composer trivia. STEMists can design their own flashcards where progress is recorded, stored and listed with each round of note cards they review. Plus, you can create flashcards in any study subject organized in the fashion you choose and tailored to a specific test. STEMists will truly excel in their studies with this app. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Pickup Tunes – Free by RunFly Studios, LLC
Many STEMists can play a song just by hearing it, whereas others need to read the music notes, or practice over and over again to develop the right sound. Pickup Tunes is an app that will engage STEMists as they learn sound patterns in association to the music notes that represent that pattern. STEMists will learn to recognize notes by repeating their sounds in this interactive game. They will progress to various levels as their skills increase, and the program automatically saves your scores and progress. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Note: The free version provides an introduction to the app, but the paid version ($4.99) will be needed to continue to progress.
Kids Ear Training – Free by Ariel Ramos
Recommended for the younger crowd (children 9-11 years old,) Kids Ear Training is best suited for STEMists who have received prior musical education. The app features two learning modes with many levels that increase in difficulty as you progress and offers some customization features. STEMists will learn instrument families such as brass, woodwinds and strings, in addition to gaining a better understanding of sound concepts such as pitch and intervals. Compatible for iPad.
Note: Kids Ear Training is safe for all ages; it does not contain social media or external links, ads or in-app purchases.
Ultimate-Guitar Tab– $2.99 by Ultimate Guitar
Get interactive lessons or learn guitar from scratch! The Ultimate-Guitar Tab app can be accessed online or offline, and complements practice sessions for students learning how to play acoustic or electric guitar or ukulele. With favorite tabs and chords available, and easy to use search a library of 400,000 songs, students can play along with their favorites helping them build their playing skills. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Pandora Radio – Free by Pandora Media
Pandora Radio can provide a venue for your STEMists to investigate and discover different types of music. Pure enjoyment and opens minds to the endless possibilities of song! Available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire.
MSOLearn – Free by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
MSOLearn provides STEMists an interactive audio-visual exploration of an orchestra, featuring the different instrumental families, individual instruments and the musicians who play them. The App encourages appreciation for all parts of an orchestra and provides stunning graphics and uncompressed audio.
Jam – Free by DreamWalk
What STEMist doesn’t secretly want to be a rock star? Jam is the ultimate in groovy music fun! Your STEMists will rock out with their own virtual band. The user can sing into a digital device, and Jam will miraculously turn the song into a Masterpiece—regardless of your musical ability. Easy to use, Jam will detect pitch, key and song structure before producing original backup music to accompany song. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Do your STEMists love music and sound?
Be sure to check out “Good Vibrations” Groovy Lab in a Box where STEMists will investigate sound, pitch, vibration, sound waves, and an Engineering Design Challenge: Using only the materials from your Groovy Lab in a Box, can you design and build a new musical instrument that plays at least three different pitches?