Music Learning Games

Tonic Tutor -
  • All of my students get a free login to Tonic Tutor, where there are weekly lessons in the disguise of games to play which work on reading, writing, and hearing music. It's a Flash-based website, so needs to be done at a computer. While there is an Apple app available, it is still under development and doesn't have all of the games yet. & Tenuto app - - Apple ($3.99)
  • My old favourite, it’s got note-reading and ear-training and more. It can be a little tricky to get it customized to your level, and while it keeps track of your scores, it feels more like a drill than a game. Still good, and excellent for advanced students because it can always be made harder.
PianoMaestro - – Apple (monthly $13.99 or annual subscription.)
  • This app is for playing along with! It hears your piano or keyboard using the microphone, and gives you a score according to how well you hit the right note at the right time. There are lessons that walk you through how to play a song under Journey & lots of pop tunes in their Library that you can jump to. It only goes up to a Piano Adventures 3B level, but is pretty fun for sightreading as well! 
Piano Adventures Player - - Apple (free, in-app purchases)
  • This is basically a “play along with the recording” app, except it also allows you to change the tempo, turn on or off each hand or the backing track so that you can hear each part separately (or see it played on piano keys!), and tracks along with the notation to show you exactly where in the music you are. There are three free songs for each Piano Adventures level to try, and if you love it you can purchase all the tracks in any lesson book for $6.99
Flashnote Derby - - Apple ($2.99) & Google ($3.30)
  • Learn to name notes on the staff! You can set which notes to test, and you have to answer the questions fast enough to beat the other horse. Fair warning, even when the horse is “walking”, it’s pretty fast, so little ones may want to start out with only a few notes to avoid frustration.
NoteRush - - Apple ($5.49)
  • This is note reading flash-cards, except with ladybugs, soccer balls, or planets. It hears you play your instrument, so it’s fabulous for making sure you are playing not just any C but the right C, but it isn’t going to keep you busy on long car rides unless you bring along your piano.
NoteWorks ­- Apple (free to try, $6.99 for full version) and Google (free to try, $5.44 for full version)
  • Again, more note-reading with a fun little guy who “eats” the notes if you get them right, except this one includes accidentals and key signatures not found in Flashnote Derby or NoteRush.
My Rhythm - - Apple ($2.79)
  • Pretty fun for learning, copying, and creating your own rhythms using the tablet as a drum pad, but I do wish that it used standard notation instead of dots.
Rhythm Lab - - Apple ($2.99)
  • Gives you a rhythm in standard notation which you need to tap on the drum pad. Starts super-easy but progresses right up to a Grade 10 level. Fair warning, it’s really picky about how exact you need to match the rhythm. More useful for intermediate to advanced students.
My Note Games - - Apple (free to try, in-app purchase of $9.99 for complete bundle)
  • Includes a bunch of smaller games: Tap that Note (playing your piano, matching notes and rhythms), Hear It Note It (writing out the melody that you hear), Tap that Note (note naming), Play A Day (short sightreading exercises on your piano), and Play-A-Carol (learning Christmas carols one short line at a time on your piano). The one I really love is Hear It Note It, which is surprisingly challenging.
Audio Ninja - - Apple ($1.99)
  • It looks like a ninja fighting game, but in order to defeat the clones, you need to match the rhythms! I'm currently mildly obsessed with defeating the super-levels because I'd like to think that a music teacher should be able to do it, but they start easy and get a lot harder and faster! Again, I wish that students could also see the rhythms in standard notation, but still good for hearing and matching rhythms and keeping the right and left hand (well, thumbs) coordinated. Fun even for those not studying music.

Other helpful apps & programs


Just about any one will do! A traditional wind-up clicker works, a digital clicker, or an app, as long as it's always handy by the piano.
Metronome+ - - Apple (free to try, $5.49 for all features)


Finale Notepad - - a free downloadable program for Windows or Mac that will let you print out your own music.

MuseScore - - another free downloadable program for Windows or Mac that will let you print out your own music.


Speedshifter - - free downloadable program for Windows or Mac that allows you to slow down or speed up audio tracks so that you can play along with it.

Anytune Pro+ - - Apple (free to try, $2.79 for Basic Pack and $6.99 for Pro Pack) - allows you to speed up or slow down audio recordings, adjust the pitch up or down to play in different keys, and set up practice loops. Excellent if you are trying to figure out songs by ear.

iReal Pro - - Apple ($17.99) - if you're playing from chord charts, this lets you set up a chord chart (or download tons from their online forums) and set up a basic accompaniment track with drums and guitar to play along with. Much more fun than a metronome!


GarageBand - - Apple ($6.99) - record yourself, plus use semi-automated instruments to create multi-layer tracks with drums and whatever your imagination can come up with!

Audacity - - free open-source downloadable program for Windows or Mac - a basic (and not so basic!) audio recording program.

Edmonton Music Festivals

Kiwanis Music Festival -
Contemporary Showcase -


Royal Conservatory - 
Conservatory Canada -

Sheet Music

IMSLP - - an online database of sheet music in the public domain, which is a lot of classical music written and edited more than 50 years ago. Better know what you're looking for.

Long & McQuade - - if you're looking to browse and buy right away, their store on Whyte Avenue (10832 82nd Ave NW) has the best selection in town.

MusicTime - - all Canadian online sheet music shopping!

SheetMusicPlus - - an American online sheet music store, but if you're looking for one particular favourite pop song, it's great for purchasing digital downloads.

ForScore - - if you want to keep your sheet music on your tablet, this is one of the best apps for uploading pdfs of your music, creating setlists, and making notes on the music. Add an Airturn, and you can even turn pages with your feet. 


Pianist Magazine - - a UK magazine for pianists including scores from beginners right up to advanced with recordings, tutorials, and lots of general piano news. You can usually get a hard copy at Chapters, but since international subscriptions are pretty expensive, I'd recommend purchasing issues through their Apple or Google apps.

Edmonton Public Library - - besides the obvious books (including some sheet music), be sure to check out their digital content for Naxos which allows you to stream music from their extensive classical & jazz libraries.