Ningenius Music App – A New Approach to Fingering Charts

I was recently contacted by the developers of Ningenius Music App, and was given a promo code to check out their app. The app itself is a new approach to fingering charts. It is a game that challenges you to name the fingering for a given note, or the note name for a given note. While there are plenty of apps that do the second feature (naming notes), I do not know of any other app that features a game based on fingering. That said, my colleague recently mentioned how many of their middle school students still struggle to name notes (they know the notes as fingering), so it makes great pedagogical sense to have both of these features in the same app.

Basically, after you choose a level, the app shows a note, and then you select the correct fingering or note name for the given note. Meanwhile, every attempt sends a ninja against a wooden beam. Every correct answer damages the beam a little more, while every wrong answer injures the ninja. Get enough wrong answers, and the ninja passes out from injury,

My friend, Paul Shimmons, has reviewed the app at his blog (iPad and Technology in Music Education), and he indicates that his students really like the app.

The app comes in three “flavors” (all are referral links):

I have had a chance to play with the tuba fingerings, and some of the fingerings are a good reminder for someone that hasn't played in a while (and this might be a good way to get back playing if you have put your instrument aside). As with most apps, you will reach a point where this app will no longer be a challenge (you will earn the black belt level on the hardest setting). But at that point, the app will have done its job for $2.99, and if you have the $9.99 or $24.99 app, it will simply keep on giving back to you, year after year.

I would like to see a mode that required you to identify both the fingering and the note name at the same time (press one button in each answer column). My only possible negative about the app is that it is centered around a ninja, and as such all of the sounds and images reflect the Japanese culture–maybe a bit too much. Perhaps I have learned to be over-sensitive, but I think that it is possible that if you have students with an Asian background, someone might be offended by the app. That's probably unlikely, but I still felt it should be mentioned.

As I mentioned before, Paul Shimmons goes into much greater detail about the app (including tracking progress). He thinks the app will be great in his teaching, and I can see this app being a wonderful addition for any elementary or middle school band teacher wishing to have their students drill note fingerings or note names.

You can learn more about the apps at their website, and also in the following YouTube video.

 

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Posted on May 20, 2015, in iPad Apps. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Ningenius Music App – A New Approach to Fingering Charts.

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