FREE (iPad & iPhone)
Violin Racer by AtPlayMusic is my newest app and I have been so excited to write about it! It is a note-reading game in the form of a car race and students play from their instrument to pass cars and beat high scores. One of my teenage violin
students told me about this game a few weeks ago and I was really excited to see what had grabbed her attention. It is very difficult to find apps/games that appeal to my older/more advanced students and THIS. IS. IT.
When you first download the game, you only have a few cars to select from. More cars are unlocked when the game is played several days in a row. More days, more cars (even pink!). Before starting, definitely make sure the instrument is in tune (A440). Select the car, press start, and that’s all there is to it! The game will show 4 notes on the treble clef (beginning with the A string notes, HALLELUJAH!) and the student plays the notes on his/her violin to pass the car in front of them. The notes must be played with clear tone and in tune. Once a student passes about 4-5 cars, E string notes are introduced. After a few more cars, flats and naturals on A & E string are mixed in. The more cars passed, the harder the notes. At the top of the screen, there is a meter and that shows you how much time you have left before the game is over. If a student gets to a note they do not know quickly, the meter will get lower and lower and eventually run out unless the student can play quick enough to fill the meter back up.
It took me a few days to figure out the exact level of this game. My book 3 students are currently able to pass about 10 cars on average. I do not use this for students below Minuet 1 (Bach) in Suzuki Volume 1. When I use this with Book 1 students, they generally pass about 4-5 cars before it becomes too fast/too difficult (still fun, though!). At this point in the repertoire, my students are working on note reading mostly away from the instrument but I am also adding occasional exercises to help prepare them for reading while playing. To keep things exciting and competitive, I post the record score for each age-group on a sign in my studio. For older/more advanced students, I use this game as a distraction or a break from our lesson material, and I am simultaneously able to evaluate any weaknesses with sight reading. My high school students love this game the most! =)
I am finding that my students seem to be retaining the information, but as with all of the other apps like this, I MUST immediately supplement with music on paper to make sure the direct relationship is reinforced.
App Store Description:
-Violin Racer listens to you play your instrument as you quickly switch between notes to keep your car fueled as you pass other cars.
-The Game Center Leaderboards let you show off your best performances in comparison of other players.
-Unlock new cars by achieving goals.
THIS IS #5 OF A SERIES OF POSTS ABOUT MY FAVORITE IOS APPS FOR VIOLINISTS. TWEET @_RACHELVIOLIN IF YOU HAVE AN APP YOU’D LIKE TO SEE ON RACHELVIOLIN.COM.