Rhythm Lab – App Review

I am often amazed at how poorly my students count music. I had one student in particular who had been playing the bassoon for three years before he started lessons with me. The rhythms he played came out almost right, but when I asked him to count something out loud, he had no clue! He couldn’t even clap a rhythm. I tried using Winning Rhythms (affiliate link) with him, but that didn’t work either. I finally decided I needed to speak his language, and that language was technology.

I downloaded an iPad app called Rhythm Lab. It’s a fairly straightforward app that shows different rhythms and you tap the rhythm on the screen (there are one hand and two hand options). When you get it wrong, the app shows you exactly when you tapped vs. when you should have tapped. You can adjust how exact the timing needs to be, which is nice so students don’t get frustrated.

Here are some details from the website:

Rhythm Lab allows you to copy, save, or share any rhythm pattern as an image. Send tapping results in an email. Create worksheets and print as a pdf file, send in an email, or open in other apps that handle pdf documents. Rhythm Lab 2.2.1 is designed for students, teachers, and any musician who would like to improve rhythmic performance and accuracy. There is a large number of patterns of all types, including ten levels of single- and two-handed rhythm patterns similar to rhythms found in standardized music exams.

This app helped my student when nothing else did. I have had a couple of issues with the sound getting turned down on the settings screen within the app. This has caused students to tell me it doesn’t work. I think it’s a bug. Still, for $3.99, it’s a bug I can live with.

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