Noteimals

Category: Music

Ages: 0-3 3-5 5-7 7-11
Price: iPhone/iPad - Free

This app is designed to build and develop your keyboard skills and pitch identification. It takes you through from basic songs using animals to identify notes, to developing to more difficult songs, removing colours to ensure further complexity, and then eventually removing the animal, so that the pupil can identify the note purely by where it belongs on the stave and on the keyboard. There are also flashcards in order to explain each note, and where it belongs on the stave, before moving onto the next one. 

Screenshots

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User Reviews

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Teacher Review

Noteimals provides the learner with an interactive, fun and engaging way to learn the notes on the keyboard. It starts with simple children’s tunes that most people can recognise, that you can select. Once selected, the notes appear on the stave, at the same time as appearing on the keyboard below. You simply have to match up the animal on the stave, to the one on the keyboard! As you play through the song by matching up the animals, it then gives you a rating of stars, as to how well you played it! You can also listen to the song by pressing the play button, in order to become more accurate in rhythm and note identification. You can move onto the next song whenever you want to, in order to play a range of songs. In App purchases includes different levels, mother, father and children notes (change from bass to middle to treble on the piano), and children’s hymns.

The other key option from the app is free play. This gives the learner the opportunity to compose or play simple tunes they already know, onto the piano. As you play in free play mode, the animals also appear on the stave, to develop and embed the learning.

Noteimals provides a great opportunity of teaching for any piano tutor, but also gives a parent enough knowledge to be able to help a child learn without a tutor, and for the child to learn independently. There are also flash cards that help you to guess and check your understand of where each animal belongs on the stave, as well as a ‘Meet the Animals’ option, which explains where each animal belongs on the stave, to help the learner remember.

A particular positive for this app is the suitability for young children. Learning through association with engaging images such as animals is a proven successful way to teach the piano. It is highly engaging, and children are likely to learn very well by using this app.

The design of the app is easy to use and navigate, with simple instructions as this is likely to be aimed towards young children, with no difficult terminology or tedious menus. It has a very colourful and exciting design, that is ideal for its’ target audience.

However. Firstly, there are not clear instructions to the app, or simple tutorials. Therefore it is just a trial error to click through in order to identify what the app does. Alongside this, there are no automatic demos or explanations as to what you need to do in order to pass each song with full stars. This means that often you play this incorrectly with a lack of rhythm, as nothing demonstrates the rhythm that you should play with. The title of the song comes up, and the notes arrive, so if you just start playing, you are likely to play an incorrect rhythm, and therefore not gain the full amount of stars. It also doesn’t explain why you didn’t get the full amount of stars, so without the knowledge or understanding of rhythm, you are unlikely to achieve this.

Also, when you press play to listen to the original song, it plays the full song, on piano. It would be very helpful if either you were able to listen to the song with words in order to learn and memorise the song easier, or to break down the song into 2 or 4 bar sections to practice and copy. This would certainly help younger students, and those learning independently of a tutor. This is certainly an issue for the fact that a lot of the songs are American based, and therefore the titles or the tunes themselves are not identifiable for students outside of the American culture.

To go back to the point about rhythm, again this is an area that the app could develop. It would be very helpful if the development of levels also demonstrated the development of rhythm to the student. This would then develop their understanding of why some notes are slower or quicker than others, with the use of duration of notes. This could then develop into the use of chords or two notes at the same time, which currently, the app does not offer, and therefore has a limited complexity.

A couple of points did not sit well with me. Firstly, the use of the terms, mother, father and children notes for the areas of the piano: treble, mid and bass. I felt this was not gender or family appropriate, in relation to the current family structures our society portrays. This could be quite a negative or confusing portrayal for learners in different family situations.

Secondly, the use of hymns rather than nursery rhymes does not portray the general target audience, but limits the learners to those who are religious. This may not be suitable for a large group of people, or may make them feel quite uncomfortable.

Thirdly, the introduction and explanation of the app states that it can be used for adults and teenagers too. I would personally find this far too childlike to engage the more mature students.

Finally, it would certainly help the app if it had options to log in somehow, in order to track the learning and progress the learner had made. This would certainly help them to feel a sense of progress. It may then lead to an option of sharing with the tutor or parent, to monitor their progress. 

From the Developer

Introduce your toddler to musical notes and piano keyboard. Works great for older children too and even for adults!

Noteimals app teaches young children the piano notes while having fun with friendly animal faces.

Follow along the most popular beginner tunes in "Play a Tune" mode or simply play around in the "Free Play" mode. Additional song bundles and Flash Cards are available as in-app purchases.

Noteimals is a newer learning program for beginning music students. The normal Standard Notes take on shapes of friendly animals, making it easier to learn the notes and apply the information to a musical instrument. The method makes it possible to start any child on piano at the age of three and, for some children, even younger.

Animal Notes are also wonderful for teaching kindergarten class the notes because each animal has a special story that helps the student to remember the animal and standard note's location on the Grand Staff. For a child who does not have a piano available for them, they can use this app to learn and practice on. It makes it easier for parents to help their children learn while having fun.

For more information about the method and its teaching materials, please visit www.noteimals.com.

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