NinGenius Music – The Music Learning App (or as my students call it, “That Game”)

NinGenius Header

Hey, Mr. Shimmons are we going to play that game today?
Hey, Mr. Shimmons which iPad has that game on it, I came to class early to play it!

Those are two frequent questions I get every morning in my beginning bands now that I have started testing their knowledge of fingering through the use of the newly released iPad app NinGenius Music – The Music Learning App. This app is the type of app that I have been waiting for ever since the iPad was released 5 years ago. Why has it taken so stinking long!?

NinGenius has a simple premise and a beautiful execution (wait… the only thing that dies in the testing, errrr game are boards) The app checks your student knowledge of fingerings. The beautiful part of the app is that it tracks your students progress! Then, through the use of Teacher Mode, you get to go in and see how everyone is doing! The students have a high score list for every instrument and they also are alerted about achievements like a new personal best.

The students job is to input their name the first time they use the app then they are all setup for taking the test… or playing the game, which ever way you want to sell it! :)

They select their instrument and the level they want to test at. Then the game starts – a note is shown along with three choices of fingerings. If they pick the correct fingering the ninja dude kicks the board and if they are wrong he runs into the board. It’s all very funny. The students are graded on accuracy and speed both. At the end of their turn, which typically lasts 90 seconds, they are then presented with their score and a belt, you know – white, green, yellow, black etc… It takes each kid about three minutes total to run through one time. I tell them they have to come in early or after school if they want more chances.

Each time the students go back into the game they see if they are still on the top scores board for their instrument and their level. The incentive the students have is that if they are a 6th grader getting beat by a 5th grader they obviously don’t like this very much – plus, currently they get to pick whichever level they want so this allows for them to work at their pace.

As teacher I get to see all sorts of data about each kids progress. Take a look at my scores….

NinGenius Teacher

Being able to have this progress is going to prove invaluable next year! I have no idea why other apps don’t allow for this – like in the Music Theory apps!

This is a no brainer for any music teacher trying to teach kids fingerings. Plus the app also does note names! Plus there is a study mode too which allows students to work through fingerings or notes.

Here are some pictures of the fingerings students will see – including PERCUSSION!

Fingerings ASaxFingerings FHorn Fingerings Keyboard Fingerings TBone

This app comes in three editions….

NinGenius School

NinGenius Studio

NinGenius Student


The school edition allows unlimited students on all instruments – $24.99 –


The studio edition allows unlimited students on one instruments – $9.99

The student edition allows for one student on on instrument – $2.99


Practice+ Tuner, metronome app is free

Well this is a pleasant surprise!

Practice+ Tuner, Metronome is free today. Act fast!


Animoog on Sale – One of the best synth apps for iOS!

AnimoogAnimoog for iPhone is on sale right now for $1.99 – 

Animoog for iPad is on sale right now for $14.99 – 

Animoog is getting some serious development work done currently to get it brought up to speed with all the current iOS8 and AudioBus and InterApp updates from the past year. The app works but needs some work and that work is being done. With Animoog on sale currently, now is a great time to pick it up!

Animoog is one of my favorite synth apps – it has an XY interactive touch pad that gives you the chance to alter the sound easily even in the middle of a performance! The keys on the screen are also designed to react to the multi-touch screen of iOS – move your finger up and down the keys and you will get some very satisfying alterations of the current timbre. This sort of interactive sound alteration is what makes iPad such an excellent performance device!

Other ways to control your performance – You get access to scales – no more being stuck with a 13 note chromatic keyboard! You can also use the iOS accelerometer to alter there sound!

There is Sonoma and AudioBus compatibility as well!


VirSyn Apps On 50% Sale for very limited time – Great Music Making Opportunity Here!

VirSyn has quite a few amazing apps for iOS that really get some creative juices flowing! If you act fast you can grab several of their apps at a 50% reduced price! Act quick though because this is not a long sale!

These apps are all great options for any musician, music educator, music lover to get onto their iPads/iPhones. They give us a sonic palette that is just amazing to play around with and explore. A sonic palette that is hard to find in a normal music room but can now be held in the palm of our hands! These apps give us and our students a new and interesting way to create, perform and manipulate music. These apps used in your next performance will take things to the next level – these apps put into the hands of students given the freedom to explore and create on their own will yield music that is sure to impress, amuse and grab the attention of any listener. In fact… I would love to see videos of your students using these apps and their iOS devices in your next performance!

Tera Synth SmallTera Synth – $9.99  – Explore new sound spaces with Tera Synth that go beyond the emulation of synthesizer legends. Use the power of analog and digital synthesis combined with new modules for physical modelling.

Addictive Synth SmallAddictive Synth – $4.99  – It was never so easy to create beautiful sounds and driving loops. The unique dynamic wavetable synthesis allows you to explore an unprecedented wide range of sonic territory. From acid loops, crystal clear percussions, realistic human choirs to complex musical soundscapes nothing seems impossible with only a handful parameters to tweak.

microtera smallMicroTERA – $4.99  – Waveshaping Synthesis is a type of distortion synthesis that can create dynamic spectra in a controlled way. In waveshaping, it is possible to change the spectrum with the amplitude of the sound. A simple example of this method is the clipping caused by overdriving an audio amplifier.

HarmonyVoice SmallHarmony Voice – $4.99 – Transform your voice into a choir with up to four voices ! Harmony Voice is a pitch shifter and harmonizer with professional features including automatic tuning correction.

iVoxel SmalliVoxel – $4.99 – iVoxel is not only an amazingly sounding vocoder – the unique concept of iVoxel turns this vocoder into a singing machine. iVoxel is a combination of a voice optimized synthesizer and a vocoder.

NodeBeat is Free Today – GRAB IT!



NodeBeat LArge

NodeBeat is free today – normally I think it is a couple of dollars and worth that price!

NodeBeat is a great way just to make some music with your iOS device using a non-traditional interface – forget keyboards and guitars! This is for annoying everyone.

There have been quite a few apps recently that allow for some fun music making but with easy to use and understand interfaces. These apps are amazing for students (and teachers) to explore and create with. I know that when I ask my students to compose their own songs they are very timid and afraid of making mistakes but with an interface like this that fear disappears. Instead, they are eager to explore.



NodeBeat App Store Screen

djay 2 – free for iPhone and iPad for one week following updated Mac version! 2 by algoriddim GmbH
The #1 DJ App, now with Spotify integration! Ready to rock your next party? Introducing djay 2 – the next generation of the world’s best-selling DJ app and winner of the Apple Design Award has been redesigned from the ground up.
The Mac version has received a few major updates but the really cool news for us iOS users is that the iPad and iPhone versions are free for a week!

Reflector Intro Pricing Will Expire on the 22nd!

Reflector2 LargeIf you are a user and owner of the first version of Reflector and wish to get in on the introductory price for Reflector 2 you better act now.

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