Whether you already use an iPad in the practice room or are just starting out, there are some apps that any flute player can benefit from using.
From sheet music to recording, there are lots of options for apps to help you every step of the way when practicing. After a year of testing out apps, I have finally settled on the apps I use as religiously as my metronome. Check out my go-to iPad apps to boost my practice:
I love a good old tuner/metronome combo as much as the next flute player, but it makes more sense to minimize gadgets wherever possible. Tunable is my favorite tuner/metronome app because it's helpful whether you use the basic features or go all out with it.
On the tuner side, you have a basic tuner which can be changed to different frequencies for accurate tuning, drone tones, a recording option that gives you statistics on how often you played in tune and out of tune... and that's just the tuner.
The metronome gives you lots of options for meter, click sounds, light pulses, and can play while you're still using the tuner.
You do need to purchase this app, but it's honestly cheaper than any physical tuner/metronome combo I've ever bought and I've used it for myself and students for the past EIGHT years. Definitely worth the investment!
I tried several sheet music apps before settling on ForScore. There are a few free apps out there that do the same things as ForScore, like PiaScore or MuseScore. Personally, I liked the design and user-friendly navigation on ForScore the best. You can get the free or paid version, but as a full-time performer and teacher I bought the full version.
In ForScore you can make set lists for practice sessions or performances, mark music with stamps and different colored inks, play recordings along with your music, and upload music from just about anywhere. I haven't had any issues with glitching or malfunctioning, which is a relief to know it won't give me problems on stage.
3. Genius Scan
This app is a scanning app to help you digitize your sheet music library. This app also has a free and paid version, and you can do everything you need to do on the free version. Take pictures of your sheet music, crop the images as necessary, and then upload it to your Google/One Drive, email, or even print to a WiFi-enabled printer.
I went from a physical sheet music library of about 1,000 pieces to having it all digitized and stored in OneDrive. If you have ForScore, it's easy to plop all of those files into ForScore so you can start practicing from your iPad right away!
I've never given Apple Music a fair chance because Spotify has treated me so well for over a decade. If you're a college student Spotify actually offers a student discount for their subscription as long as you're enrolled in school, so it can be an affordable investment to help you find Classical Music recordings ad-free. This app is great if you already know the title or the artist that you're looking for.
Last but not least, YouTube! Even though it serves a similar purpose to Spotify (or any music streaming app), the search engine is a little more forgiving if you're not 100% sure what you're searching for. The video aspect of YouTube recordings also comes in handy for pieces requiring music, or so you can observe how performers move and breathe during performance.
Final Flute Notes
Take your time to find iPad apps to boost your practice routine. Many apps offer free versions or free trials so you can give it an honest try before you spend your money. As long as an app supports you and enhances your flute practice, it will be a worthwhile investment, even if it's free!
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