Top 3 best note-learning apps for piano students

Top 3 best note-learning apps for piano students

note learning apps piano students

When students begin studying the piano, one of the things they need to learn quickly is what each note looks like and where it is placed in relation to the black keys. This stops them having to always count up from C.

There are many ways of remembering the note locations and I use different tactics depending on a student’s age. For example, the idea of a Dog “D” going in a kennel between each group of two black keys, is one I’ve used before with younger children. You can build on this with a Cat “C” sitting on the left and an Elephant “E” in the big gap between the two and three black keys. “F on the LEFT” is another saying to remember that F is on the left of the group of three black keys.

As an aside, the easy-notes learning system is a note-learning method that uses similar ideas when it comes to note reading, avoiding the usual mnemonic method – worth checking out if you’re looking for a different way to teach note reading.

So what are my top three note-learning apps for students to use at home?

  1. Music Flash Class for iPhone (can also be used on iPad but will look small). Simple, effective and fun. I get all my beginner readers onto this app for 10 mins a day at home while they are learning the lines and spaces and note locations. Select which notes and which clef to quiz. Can also do just ledger lines which is very handy.
  2. In addition, Piano Notes Pro does the same thing but you can play the notes on your MIDI keyboard instead of on the iPhone screen – best practice app around for note learning. It can also quiz chord shapes and inversions and heaps more. For more tips on note learning apps, check out my best iPad apps for piano teachers page.
  3. Finally, check out Letter Dice on the app store for 99c. This is a random-letter generator: students enter the letters A-G into the app and it randomly picks ones for them to find on their own piano. Alternatively, those not using iPhones can try a free random letter generator like this one and away they go. 5 minutes a day for a week or two and they’ll hopefully never forget it again!

Got any other tips on teaching note locations or note reading? I look forward to your comments…

Tim Topham

Tim Topham is the founder and director of TopMusic. Tim hosts the popular Integrated Music Teaching Podcast, blogs regularly at and speaks at local and international conferences on topics such as integrated teaching, creativity, business, marketing and entrepreneurship. Tim has been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher Magazine, California Music Teacher and EPTA Piano Professional. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.

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note learning apps piano students
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  1. The best piano note learning game is Piano Notes Fun, developed by Patrick Chan, which is available only on ipad. Superb, and costs the same as a cup of coffee.

    For Android, the best I have found is Learn Music Notes by Patrick Pauli. Good, a bit cluncky, free.

    All the best from Kilkenny in Ireland, Philip

  2. thanks for the information

  3. This is a great article. I will bookmark your website. I’m looking for a music blog which talk about piano, guitar or drum for my study. Thanks

  4. I love this website

  5. My kids were taught ‘D’ in the dog house (small group of black keys) and ‘G’ is in grandma’s house (bigger group). Grandma’s house has a ‘F’ront door and a ‘B’ack door. When reading, ‘D’ is a sad dog because he keeps hitting his head on the first line. My daughter in particular took to this, and made up little musical stories and drawings with the characters. She still refers to Sad ‘D’ and ‘G’randma. My son not so much!

  6. I haven’t used any note-naming apps yet, but it does sound like a better way to get students to learn the notes at home. When it’s a game, it’s gotta be fun.

    With young students, I use the “D between the two black keys”, then we go from there. Sometimes we just learn the D, because I want to make sure that the D is stuck in there and there’s no mix-up. After that, I’ll ask what comes after D, etc. so we get through the whole alphabet.

    I also like to play games; a fun game in class would be to ask the student to “play 2 Ds with finger 3 on your right hand.” My games aren’t very complicated, because the main point is to learn the concept while having fun. 🙂

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