QAstroNotes by Quaver Music

Tonight I decided to do a search of the Quaver Music apps in the App Store. I’ve been hearing a lot about Quaver Music, which is a technology-based supplement for elementary music classes (based on the positive reception of the program, I’d encourage them to simply make an overall method for elementary music [PLEASE NOTE THE ADDENDUM AT THE END OF THE POST]). To date, Quaver has two apps in the App Store…Quaver Dancer (something I’m not likely to download, but then again, I’m not the intended audience), and QAstroNotes. I immediately downloaded QAstroNotes.

What is QAstroNotes? Asteroids for the iPad. It doesn’t sound very musical, does it? Well, the asteroids that you shoot look like musical notes. The more you break up the asteroid, the smaller the note. But the general appearance is that old “glowing outlines” of Asteroids, which was a game when I was a kid.

One whole note becomes two half notes. Two half notes become four quarter notes. Four quarters notes become eight eighth notes. And so on.

So, in the process of playing a simple game–a retro game–you are learning about note values and subdivision. Genius.

I haven’t played long QAstroNotes enough to see if there are sixteenth notes, dotted notes, or triplets (that would be cool…a whole note breaks up into a pattern of two quarters, a dotted quarter note, and an eighth note). I also don’t know if there are rests. I guess I’ll just have to keep playing and find out. So far I’m not doing very well and have only made it to level six.

There are little ships and big bosses that come after you, too.

The gameplay is good, even better than “retro” asteroids, as when you stop your ship’s thrust, your ship stops (in asteroids, your ship keeps going unless you can find the right angle and amount of reverse thrust).

If you used this app as a learning center–kids will to want to play it. I think it’s a winner…and I’m glad it is available for the iPad. Now I wish that Staff Wars (not a Quaver Music product, but a old PC app from Music Interactive) would show up on the iPad (I’ve heard good things about it).

So…go buy this app, and practice your note values, too.

Addendum: A colleague informed me that Quaver is preparing a full curriculum, which is intended to be released this fall.


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