May 3, 2016

4 Online Tools to Improve Music Education

Rob Lynn
A person holds a guitar while typing on a laptop

Educators and parents have known for a long time that music education facilitates learning in other subjects. Dr Laurel Trainor, Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behavior at McMaster University, said: “Musically trained children performed better in a memory test that is correlated with general intelligence skills such as literacy, verbal memory, visuospatial processing, mathematics and IQ."

As music education comes to be seen as more of a necessity than amenity for K-12 students, we've compiled four music education tools to help students hone the skills that music education fosters.


Teach students to read the staff and note values through this interactive website. Interactive lessons include basics, such as the staff and ledger lines to second inversion triads. Once students have completed a lesson, they can test their knowledge with the included exercises. Exercises include note identification, chord identification, and even “intervals of death.” You can even create a custom exercise by clicking the exercise customizer.


Noteflight is a web-based music notation software that lets you teach the basics of composition while letting students hear the results in real time. They can select from a variety of instruments or even an entire orchestra. Just click to add notes and change their value. Even bring up a keyboard for easy note reference. When they’re done notating, they can click the connect button to share their score with the class.


Soundtrap is an online multi-track recording app. The app hosts a range of virtual instruments including percussion, keyboard, brass, woodwinds, and guitar. It even has the ability to record through the computer’s microphone. If an instrument is selected, the notes are mapped to your Chromebook’s keyboard so it can be played in real time.

They've also included a midi editor so you can quantize, change note velocity, or delete until it is perfect. Students can compose together with the various collaboration features, and when they’re done, download the mp3 file.


Search songs and play along. Chordify is an awesome web tool for anyone looking to play along to their favorite song. Just search for a song via their search bar and it will automatically load the song into their unique, easy-to-follow interface. Get chord diagrams for piano, guitar and ukulele. And with the premium features, you can even transpose the song, slow it down, or download a midi file.

There's no substitute for an experienced music educator who can hear the student play and guide the lesson, but a supplemental online tool can do wonders for their progress.