Tech Tuesday: NinGenius Music iOS app

Apps, Tech Tuesdays

There is a fairly new music app in the app store and it is a lot of fun! If you have any students that enjoy the martial arts, this will most likely be a favorite. NG5NinGenius has 3 different purchase options to choose from. The Student edition ($2.99) is for individual students learning one instrument. Scores will only be tracked for that student. The Studio edition ($9.99) will allow the teacher to put unlimited students under one instrument. And the School edition ($17.99) will allow unlimited students under unlimited instruments. (This is great if you have a studio or classroom that teachers more than one instrument) In the school edition the instruments included so far are: Baritone, Bass, Bassoon, Clarinet, Cello, Flute, F Horn, Guitar, Mallets, Oboe, Piano, Saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba, Viola and Violin.

NinGenius was developed by two brothers, Anthony and Curtis Winters. Anthony is the programmer and Curtis does the music and graphics. Curtis is a junior band & orchestra teacher in Orem, Utah, and has been using this app for several months with great success. Curtis said, “Band, Orchestra, Choir, and Piano teachers should know that we are committed to keeping it updated, bug-free, and expanded with each update, allowing teachers to use it year after year and keep track of thousands of student scores (with the freedom to delete individual students and all student data whenever they want).”

I love that they created these 3 app options so we can determine what is best for us. For the purpose of this review I will be focusing on the Studio edition using Piano as the instrument.

First to add students you will want to turn on the INSTRUCTOR MODE. This will unlock the ability to add, delete and change names. Instructors will also be able to view the play history to see how students did on their score, accuracy and speed. This is especially helpful if you aren’t right there with them while they are playing. The instructor mode does need a password. I actually appreciated this feature and wish it was available other apps like Piano Maestro as my students like to go in and change other students names thinking they are being silly.NG4There are a couple playing modes in NinGenius Music. The STUDY MODE teaches the note names AND fingerings for each note in the chosen level. The fingering mode really is what sets this app apart from other note reading apps out there. In the  Study Mode, students can choose to hide an answer until tapped. So they can name the answer and then tap the scroll to see if they got it right. When they feel they know their notes pretty well they can go on to TEST MODE.

NG3TEST MODE is where the fun begins! If in the fingering option for piano, students will see a 3 multiple choice options on the actual keyboard. For the note option, they will see the note names. In test mode there is a countdown clock as they are naming their notes. As the countdown gets smaller the background music gets faster with a higher pitch. If you have students where that kind of thing causes major anxiety I would just recommend muting the music.   When they get the note right enough times they break the board (the board gets weaker until breaking point). When they get the note wrong it can cause the poor ninja some pain. Get them wrong enough times, the ninja will pass out and the game will be over.

There are 4 levels of difficulty. (Easy, Medium, Advanced, and NinGenius) From what I can tell EASY concentrates on treble lines, MEDIUM adds in the bass clef, ADVANCED is treble and bass clef with more notes and NINGENIUS adds in some ledger lines.

NG2Scores are based on accuracy and speed. Students can earn speed bonus points for answering quickly and correctly. Once they complete their round they will earn a colored belt and a score. If their score is high enough they will make it into the Top 10 High Scores list which is found on the main screen. This is a huge motivator for trying to beat their score again and again! The high score list shows the current Top-10 scores for each level. GN6

When I shared with Curtis that I would love to see the option to customize notes, he told me that it is already on their to-do list!

Here are some ways I thought would be fun to use NinGenius:

1) The typical way (with you, during music tech time, at home, etc…)

2) Round Robin/Hot Potato style- Students lining up to the iPad and taking turns answering a note one at a time or passing the iPad around before the timer goes off. (remember to keep iPad on the floor!)

3) Projecting it on a screen and having students answer aloud while you push the answer. (or do this in round robin style, projected)

Curtis shared with me that they have a long list of ways to improve and build NinGenius. “We really want to make this the premium music education app by including rhythm games, a two-player versus mode, music theory training sessions, Game Center compatibility (so students and teachers can compare scores all across the world), bonus belts and collectible wardrobe options, etc., etc.”

He shared that he is especially eager to get several instruments (including piano) set up to where you touch the correct key or place on the fingerboard rather than choose between three multiple-choice options.

Whether your students are in a private, group or classroom setting, NinGenius Music is a very fun and engaging note and fingering game students will enjoy! I cannot wait to see what else they add to NinGenius!


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  1. mycgrimsby

    I’ve got a lot of boys in my studio who think they’re Ninjas already! 😉

  2. Julie Izatt

    This looks like an awesome app! I’m excited to try something new.

  3. Christopher Fisher

    My son would love this!

  4. Jacqueline

    This is amazing! This would fit perfectly in my studio with summer lessons starting next week! Also great to keep kids motivated at home during these lazy, hot summer days. Thanks for letting me aware of this Jennifer 🙂

  5. Kelly Koch

    How do I get so lucky? We are right NOW in the process of looking for multi-instrument lab games for our studio. (They are SO hard to find) going to check out this app today and send to my teachers to try. Thanks Winter brothers and Jennifer!

  6. Marcia Vahl

    Cute app! My students would love it!

  7. Karen

    This one is going on my wish list! I really want a studio version to add to my “tech time”.

  8. Audrey

    My son would love this as well as my piano students!

  9. Margaret

    Looks fun!

  10. Lisa DeBellevue

    This looks like just what. I’ve been looking for!

  11. Lisa S

    My students will like this app! I’m excited to find a new one!

  12. susanparadis

    Great review, Jennifer. I have several students who will like this one!

  13. Dixie

    This looks great! My boys would love this!

  14. Elizabeth

    looks like fun for boys!

  15. Sheila

    Fun learning! Excited to try it with my students!

  16. Janice

    Wow—-this looks like tons of fun!! Can’t wait to use it in my studio!

  17. jneks

    I am excited to give this app a try! Piano Maestro has been a huge hit with my studio. I am thinking students will love competing with each other to get high scores on this app!

  18. Betsy Breaker

    What a great app! Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

  19. Morgan Goodin

    This looks like fun–especially for all the little boys!

  20. Mel Dean

    Would love to win this app. Looks helpful and engaging.

  21. Saundra

    great review of this app Jennifer. All my little ninjas will love this one.

  22. Sue

    This app looks like fun but still very educational. Love apps that work!!!

  23. yvonne krotz

    My boys will love this! Thank you!

  24. Karin

    Looks like fun!

  25. annafagan

    Looks great! I’m thinking this would be a great addition to our team “Throwdown” at the end of the summer….!

  26. Jan Tuttle

    I’m always looking for another great app to help my students get better and faster at their note reading! Looks like this will be a great one to add to my library of note reading apps!

  27. Valerie

    This looks so fun! I’m excited to try it out with my students!

  28. Marilyn Brennan

    Anxious to try this out on a couple of students! This week.

  29. Jean Rock

    This sounds like a great game! The students will like the competition feature and I will like being able to track all of my students and delete and update profiles as necessary!

  30. Diane

    Thanks for the review! I’m excited to try this new app!

  31. Beth Ylvisaker

    Just the thing for my studio next term!

  32. Rachel

    Would love this app

  33. Lynelle

    Would love to use this app

  34. Kathy Cross

    This would be a great addition to my Piano Karate theme that I’m starting in September! A perfect fit I think!!!!!

  35. Lori Harrison

    This would be a fantastic addition to my studio lab. My students would love it!!

  36. Donna McLain

    I like the speed element and the idea of 2 competing against each other.

  37. Debbie

    Looks fun! Can’t wait to use in the studio!

  38. Sal

    I am a band/guitar/piano/vocal/general music/preschool music teacher. By his would be great for the large majority of my students!!!!

  39. clterhune

    This looks great, thanks for the review, will get plenty of use!!

  40. Theresa

    This looks like fun! Especially since it can be used with multiple instruments. Thanks!

  41. Kristen

    Always love new apps! Thanks so much for reviewing this – I can definitely see it being a hit in my studio

  42. janellebracken

    Thank you SO much for your review, Jennifer! I would love to win a student version for one of my students. If you draw my name for a studio version, however, please give it to some other lucky teacher, since I already purchased and played with this app last night! Great fun, and lots of options and flexibility for teachers! I can’t wait for my students to get hold of this! My own girls have already played it, too (even my undergrad sophomore cello performance major who’s home for the summer). She was trying to beat my high scores–ha ha!

  43. Rebecca

    This looks like a ton of fun – thanks for the thorough review!

  44. Geri Miller

    Looks like a great app, especially for some of my boys! And I think it’s great that Curtis teaches band and orchestra right here in Orem, Utah, where I live!

  45. Karen T

    I have a few girls that would like this too.


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