App Title: French Horn Pro
Grade Level: Beginning through advanced french horn students, depending on the adjustments/accomodations made to the settings.
Developer Website: Click Here
ITunes Link: Click Here
French Horn Pro is an app whose main purpose of this app is to provide additional practice for french horn students on scales, note recognition, fingerings and a few catchy tunes!
Program Functionality: C
This app has over 432 preloaded scales and a few melodies! It has everything from Blues Scales and the Circle of 5ths to Whole Tone scales! They have even preloaded the Bach Partita and the Pink Panther! There are also many settings available to the user to choose from: clicks on/off, music on/off, show finger errors, etc.
- The program is set to a default tempo of 300 which is WAY too fast and causes the user to feel overwhelmed at the start. I'd prefer for the default tempo be between 100-120.
- You can only practice on one side of the horn, F or Bb.
- All tracks are played in 4/4 time.
- While there are a ton of scales (modes, blues, chromatic, etc.) preloaded, the majority are preset to two octaves. The scales are editable however. It just takes time, so plan ahead!
Overall Educational Value: A
Apps like French Horn Pro could serve to be the answer to the complications of forgotten instruments, student excuses or less-than-ideal practice environments. Users end up reinforcing the same brain connections that they would be using with an actual instrument in front of them. Teachers should be careful to reinforce that practice using French Horn Pro or other similar apps is not to replace practice on your instrument, but rather to provide students an opportunity to practice when they are unable to do so using their instrument.
Even though French Horn Pro can be adjusted to fit the needs of younger/inexperienced students, I believe its intended user is that of an experienced player (high school and on). After the first 10 minutes, the novelty wears off and you realize that this is really meant to be a "get down to work" app for those who need to be more efficient with the time they have available.
Unless the price comes down, save this for your more experienced players.
Classroom Use Examples / Ideas:
- Learn/Practice a specific scale
- Learn fingerings for extended range, including the Bb side!
- Limited teacher contact - Load a scale for the student to work on, hand them the device and let them go! The scale and tempo can be changed to what you desire. Plus, it evaluates the performance of the student, telling them where their mistakes occurred. Have them play through until they reach a certain goal (i.e. no more than 4 mistakes), pause it and then take a screen picture to submit for credit. Make sure that the "Highlight mistakes" setting is turned on.
- Instrument is not accessible - Can be used in the car, on the plane, in a hotel room, next to a sleeping baby . . .whatever, whenever!
- Spice up a practice session - Students love technology and they enjoy learning THROUGH it!
Reviewer Name: Patrick Dawson
Hey, check out our Ning (Online Community) devoted to helping teachers utilize these devices to the their fullest. Please leave a comment if you agree, disagree, or have other creative uses for this app in the classroom, etc.