Aural training – or developing ‘a good ear’ – is such an important part of becoming a musician. It helps with everything from being able to harmonise through to simply recognising if you’ve made a mistake. But not everybody is born with a naturally good ear and even those who are can still learn to better refine it.
So how do we help our students develop their aural skills without the drudgery of drills and exercises? We use fun apps!
I initially reviewed this app nearly three years ago, but it has had a resurgence in my studio, with all current students really enjoying it, so it is worth revisiting it here.
Blob Chorus by Lumpty Learning is one such app, which introduces students to basic pitch recognition in a fun way. It is used in thousands of schools around the world because it also works well in a group setting, but its simplicity means it is also totally suitable for individual lessons.
The premise of the game is simple: a number of green blobs have formed a choir and they are singing for King Blob (who is purple and wears a crown). Each blob sings a note and then King Blob sings a note. The note sung by the king is the same as a note sung by one of the blobs. But which one? This is what you need to identify.
Although the game always opens with the default of three blobs, you can set the game to as little as two (which is the best place to start). As you improve, you can increase the number of blobs in the choir. The maximum is eight blobs, which is very difficult.
If the incorrect blob is selected, that blob will explode, but you are able to select another blob and continue doing this until the correct blob is selected. At any time you can click the ‘hear blobs again’ button at the bottom to hear the remaining blobs sing their notes again.
The game is separated into groups of ten questions; after each set of ten you will receive a score and an overall rating.
$1.49 on the Apple app store (but not for Android), the Apple version can be found here.
If you don’t own or have access to an iPad or Android tablet, never fear! The game is also available in a web version here; it just requires an internet connection.
They not only look cute, but they sound really cute as well 🙂
If you are considering music lessons for your child or for yourself, please contact me to discuss the options. Piano lessons are conducted at my studio in Wallsend, NSW.