My students have been working with Captain Crescendo to develop their Rocking Rhythm super powers this semester. I had been brainstorming a way for students to practice rhythm drills during Piano Lessons/Lab. Originally I envisioned printing out rhythm sheets and having students work independently with a metronome and tap out rhythms. However, this lacked the accountability that most students need. Luckily, I came across Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer.
This app is exactly what I was looking for. A 2-measure rhythm drill appears at the top of the screen. You can select your tempo on the metronome and there is a drum to tap the rhythm on. Once you start, you get 1 measure to prepare. If you’re in practice mode, you hear the rhythm and you play along. It repeats continuously until you choose to stop. In test mode, after the preparatory beats, you play the drill 3 times. You get a percentage score and it tells you your deviation from the beat.
I really like the visual aspect of using this app. As you complete a drill, a dot appears under each note that is tapped. Even if you play a rhythm correctly, it shows your deviation from the beat. Red dots mean you were early, blue is late and green is right on. Since we don’t normally see what our music sounds like, this is a really useful tool to see trends rhythm and our sense of pulse.
This app is suitable for students of any level. In fact, I started several beginners recently and they were all able to use this app by their second lesson. My more advanced students have all found more challenging levels that use rhythms and meters relevant to their music.