Noteflight is a fantastic website and mobile app which allows users to write, store, listen to, print, search, share and collaborate on notated musical compositions right in their browser or on their mobile device. With plans from free to premium the aim of the developers is to provide an easy, accessible tool for budding composers and performers, whilst providing an online community for sharing music resources from original compositions to musical arrangements. For teachers it’s a useful tool in fostering collaboration in music learning and introducing key elements of music theory. In fact there is an additional premium service called Noteflight Learn – an online music learning community for teachers and students.
Noteflight Learn Teacher Features:
- Set up private user accounts for students where they can compose, arrange and record their own music from a desktop or mobile device using a variety of instruments.
- Allow students to collaborate on assignments.
- Create musical resources to share with students.
- Organise classes by group of students.
- Set assignments, give feedback and monitor student’s progress.
- Access to a private secure online community for students.
- Students can record their musical assignments and submit the recordings for assessment and feedback.
- Using Perform mode students can listen to and perform along with selected parts of a score.
Sounds good but is it?
- One of the best features of the free service is the searchable database where users have published their notations to the Noteflight Public Library. As you can imagine there is a huge mix of genres, from classical to pop and everything in between with, for example, Shut Up and Dance followed by Bach’s Prelude No. 1 in C major.
- Age group wise, it is aimed at secondary school students, although younger musically talented students could definitely use it.
- Even the free service allows students to “play” with their score and learn intuitively about arranging and composing and it could certainly help students to learn how to read music as you can playback the notation.
- The simple editing palette with its point and click interface means that the child does not necessarily have to be able to play an instrument.
- It provides a useful way to explore music theory visually and aurally – for example what happens to my melody if I write it in one key and then change it to another key – how will the melody sound now? Also it’s a great way to explore all aspects of rhythm in terms of notation, tempo and feel. For example, the software allows you to change the feel of how a piece is played to swing eights as well as a broad range of tempo variations and dynamics – a really useful way to allow a child to explore this aspect of making music. In this way it is a practical aid to understanding music theory.
- Noteflight gives the user the ability to explore musical scores across lots of different genres – a great learning tool for the child who has an affinity for the written note.
All in all even the free version of Noteflight is a nice addition to music learning.