Tech Tuesday: SightRead Plus iPad app review (and giveaway)

Apps, Contest, Reviews, Tech Tuesdays

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My all time favorite apps to use in the studio are apps that I can use directly with the piano either by midi or by mic. SightRead Plus listens to the students playing by the iPad mic, so no midi connection is needed. Another favorite feature of mine in apps is when I could add individual user names to keep track of progress. I wish all music ed apps had this feature. As you can guess, SightRead Plus includes this feature as well which immediately pushes it up high on my must use list. Just a quick note: I don’t know how many users you can add, but I was able to add 42 with no problem.

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The wonderful thing about SightRead Plus is the fact that it drills in all keys. There are 20 exercises in each hand in each key. (20 levels make 400 total exercises in each key) My only wish is that it can include hands together exercises.

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Each exercise is short 4 measure exercises which lends itself up for not only success for the student but creates a perfect tool to supplement during lesson time as it wouldn’t take up much valuable lesson time. Another helpful tool is the metronome which allows the user to change tempo. This is especially valuable for a more challenging exercise.

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Levels 1-3 begins with basic rhythm- quarter, half, whole and dotted half. These are in 4/4 and 3/4 time signatures. It sticks with 2nd and 3rd intervals.

Level 4 introduces 2/4 time and eighth notes. Level 5 is a review level reviewing all the concepts found in level 1-3.

Level 6 adds in the quarter rest. Level 7 adds in 4th and 5th intervals. Then level 8 adds dotted quarter and 6/8 time. Level 9 continues with the dotted quarter rhythm in 4/4 time. Then level 10 concludes by adding in the eighth rest.

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When it is time for the student to begin an exercise the simply push the record button. It will begin with a one measure count off before they begin playing. They will then see a green snowflake icon progressing over each note encouraging students to keep going in a steady tempo. After the student finishes they wait to receive their score. The score is based on rhythm and note accuracy. If they passed they get a gold star, if they received the high score for that exercise fireworks go off! Very motivating for students to shoot for the high score! (I even liked seeing those fireworks!) Because each student has an individual user name, their scores are saved and they will be able to view their progress.

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Now if you didn’t think the sight-reading portion was enough, it also includes 5 finger patterns in every key where students can earn points for playing correctly. I love this, what a perfect tool to use with students during lesson time!

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SightRead Plus is a winner in my book and an app I will be frequently using in my studio with my students. At $7.99, it may be a little more then your standard music apps, but well worth it. Melissa Harris, President of Cape Cod Music Apps mentioned there are more music apps in the works including SightRead Minor and a pre-reading app to use with 3-5 year olds so keep your eye out! In addition, Melissa shared the updated ver 1.1 was submitted for SightRead Plus this weekend and includes new rewards and resolves some issues with scoring of notes. Now for the fun part! Melissa Harris offered to giveaway this awesome app to one lucky reader. To enter leave a comment on how you include sight-reading in studio.

Deadline to enter is by Monday, July 8th 10:00pm (mountain time).  (*Winner MUST respond within 72 hours of announcement or another winner will be chosen*) The winner will be announced on this blog and on the FPSResources Facebook page by Tuesday, July 9th. Be sure you subscribe to the blog and on our Facebook page so you don’t miss out seeing if you are a winner!  GIVEAWAY HAS EXPIRED

Disclaimer:  I received this app in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own. 

26 Comments

  1. Nicole D

    This app sounds like just what I was looking for! I have a few students (who play by ear well so they need more sightreading experience) using sightreading books that are part of the Piano Adventures curriculum. They like knowing they only have to play the short section once and then cross it off with a big marker. Looking forward to trying this app!

    Reply
  2. Jennifer Fink

    This app looks wonderful! I have a shelf of sightreading books we use at our lessons, but am transitioning to do doing more and more sightreading with the iPad. i LOVE apps like this that give students instant feedback on their playing!

    Reply
  3. Julia T.

    Wow! This app looks great! I incorporate sight-reading in my teaching through the use of a computer lab and have also used the Piano Adventures sight-reading series. I also often lend out books from my lending library to students for this purpose or assign worksheets (Susan Paradis and Natalie Wickham have some great sight-reading worksheets).

    Reply
  4. Coo Jarvis

    This App looks great – an excellent way to get students to have fun sight reading.

    Reply
  5. Beth T

    For my exam prep students, we use the “Four Star” series of graded books. For younger students, we just sight-read our songs in the lesson. This app looks like it might fill that gap!

    Reply
  6. Kitty

    I use sight reading books, but am looking for apps to use during lessons. This one sounds great!

    Reply
  7. Bethsny

    I use sight reading exercises in the theory book, but have really been struggling on integrating more sight reading in my studio. I would love to win the app! Thanks for the great giveaway.

    Reply
  8. Beatriz Aguerrevere

    Congratulations to the developer for a great, useful app, and to you for doing the review. I’m really looking forward for getting this app but I’ll wait to see if I am the lucky winner!

    Reply
  9. Priscilla Heffield

    I had not seen this one yet. Looks great. I keep sets of books on the Clavinova and have them play along with midi. I also loan out lots of books for sight reading.

    Reply
  10. Melody Payne

    I held a HUGE sight-reading challenge in my studio throughout the entire year last year (created tons of materials for each student, sent home lots of books with them each week, etc.), and this app would be a wonderful way to continue that program with my students during the coming year!

    Reply
  11. Leia

    Please enter me! I am always looking for new, fun sight-reading resources for my students!

    Reply
  12. Kathy Gault

    This looks like one great app. I prefer apps that are quick and easy to use, and also easy to learn (for me). Please enter me!

    Reply
  13. Karen Thompso

    I have a number of books that I use with the student. I have been looking for an app to use on my iPad.

    Reply
  14. Rebecca

    I incorporate theory through the exercise integrated into the Piano Adventures books, or by using supplements like 4-Star, MMTA, or I Can Read Music. This app sounds great – thanks for having the giveaway!

    Reply
  15. Camille Conforti

    This sounds great…I’ll probably decide to buy this one. But, first, I need to buy an iPad, which I intend to do this month sometime. I noticed that this app said it needed an iOS 5.1 or later. Based on your expertise in this matter, how many other versions after 5.1 are there? Is there a special type of iPad I should be looking for? Is the new Windows one just as good as the Apple products? I don’t have any other Apple products. My cell is an Android. Main reason for buying the iPad is for my students; i.e., Piano Recitals and learning apps. Any suggestions you may have are welcome.

    Thanks for your help!

    Camille Conforti

    Reply
    • foxxpianostudio

      Camille, an iPad is an exclusive Apple product. On my blog I review iOS products (iPad, iPod, iPhone). Windows would be another format of which I’m not familiar with and do not review any of their apps. I would recommend getting no older then an iPad “3”. I wouldn’t go any older, but I would recommend actually going with the newest one’s out, then you are coming in totally up to date. I would also recommend not getting one with less then 32gb. I personally have 64gb and so glad I do. As I don’t have to worry about running out of room (yet!). I also like to put my music on my iPad. Once you get it you will realize all the possibilities and be glad you went with more memory. A 16gb would fill up way to quickly, so I wouldn’t go that route. Hope that helps! 🙂

      Reply
  16. Melody

    This app sounds great!
    I try a combination of approaches to keep my students sightreading: SightPlay Solutions or the Piano Adventures Sightreading books, and a library of fun books the students can check out (they choose books one level below their lesson book.)

    Reply
  17. muzeek

    This app is just what students enjoy doing at the lesson. They “respect” the new technology and pay good attention when using it! I’ve copied and pasted a few measures into a doc on my tablet which they love. It saves so much paper space and frees up room for other resources.

    Reply
  18. muzeek

    The measures that I copied were from prior existing material that I owned.

    Reply
  19. Coila Peterson Robinson

    This looks like a great app to have! Love your description – gives me a good idea of what to expect in using it. 400 in all the keys total – wow!

    Reply
  20. Claire Westlake

    I use sight-reading books in addition to having students sight read their new pieces each week. This app would make a wonderful addition to my app collection I use in my studio!

    Reply
  21. Gretchen Hoag

    I use all kinds of different sight-reading books now, but it seems like this app would let me track my students’ progress more efficiently, and give students more useful feedback.

    Reply
  22. Pam P

    I’m always looking for extra sight reading material. Using my iPad is always a bit hit in lessons.

    Reply
  23. Anita B

    This app sounds like a wonderful way to combine the iPad with sight-reading. Please enter me!

    Reply
  24. Erica

    I have a “Star” student who’s got great ears – could reproduce anything she hears elsewhere on the piano. I really want to help her balance the capability of her eyes and her ears out so she could be a well rounded pianist. She just started piano lesson 9 months ago, and I hope this app could help her and other students in the studio! THanks,

    Reply
  25. Carolyn

    What a great app! I have my students do different things for Sight-Reading like taking turns to clap alternate measures. But there’s always so much more to learn in teaching sight-reading!

    Reply

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