35 Free IPad Apps for Music Teachers

Anyone else get completely overwhelmed by the amount of iPad apps available in the App Store? It is just an endless list and it’s so hard to know where to even begin.

I’ve collected a number of free iPad apps for music teachers over the past few years and today I’m super excited to share this ultimate collection with you!

Generally speaking, paid apps are better supported, they offer more features and there are no in-app advertisements. However, it can be useful to start out with some free apps or supplement your current collection. Most of the apps below are suitable to use with students but please check them thoroughly before using them in the classroom, particularly if you work with young students.

The apps are divided into different categories to help you navigate through the list more efficiently. 

I hope you enjoy this collection. Do you use any free apps you think should be on the list? If you do decide to try out any of these apps and have feedback, feel free to let me know in a comment below!

Would you like to download a copy of this list?

Take a copy of this list with you and keep it saved on your desktop for emergencies! Click on the download button below and we’ll send a copy straight to your email inbox.

Click here to download

Digital Audio Workstations

1. GarageBand

  • Free with your iPad and one of the most versatile free music apps
  • Record songs, create podcasts, compose movie themes, create video game music
  • Play a huge range of instrument sounds including keyboards, strings, guitar, bass, Chinese and Japanese instruments
  • Full course AND a set of lesson plans available: The Music Teacher’s Guide to GarageBand on iPad

2. Bandlab

  • Digital audio workstation – audio recording and sequencing 
  • Record software instruments, audio and create rhythmic patterns with the inbuilt looper
  • Completely free and also works on Macs, PCs, Chromebooks and smartphones

Audio Recording and Editing

Hokusai Audio Editor

3. Hokusai 2 Audio Editor 

  • Audio recording and editing app
  • Record straight into the app or import audio files
  • Edit files: trim, copy, paste, add a fade-in or fade-out and more
  • A good option if you want something similar to the desktop app Audacity
Wave Pad Music and Audio Editor

4. WavePad Music and Audio Editor

  • Similar to Hokusai (above), WavePad is an audio recording and editing app
  • Record instruments or your voice
  • Edit audio files: cut, copy, paste
  • Add audio effects such as echo, amplify, and noise reduction

Composing, Makin’ Beats & Remixing

Loopseque Lite

5. Loopseque Lite 

  • Create rhythmic and melodic patterns using a circular one-measure layout
  • Simple to use and great for creating quick beats and patterns
  • You can have four parts: bass, drums, percussion and keyboard
  • Lite version is limited: you’ll need to upgrade in order to save your creations

Figure - Make Music & Beats

6. Figure -Make Music & Beats 

  • Beatmaker – create beats with three parts: drum, bass and lead
  • Simple interface that allows you to use premade loops to create music
  • Has a unique way of altering the premade loops by changing the meter used by the instrumental part. It makes for some really interesting patterns!
  • Use of the app requires sign-in with email or Propellerhead account
Auxy Music & Beat Maker

7. Auxy Music & Beat Maker

  • Build a song by editing or creating short blocks of sound
  • Start with the Auxy Intro demo project as an ideas springboard – students can add to this or adjust the project contents to make their own version
  • Create projects from scratch
  • There are some excellent sharing options: share a link to the song, export stems, the MIDI file, an Ableton Live Set or the Project file itself
  • Subscribe to unlock all and the full library of sounds
Medly

8. Medly 

  • Create snippets or “blocks” of music by tapping sounds into a grid-style graphic notation interface 
  • Copy, paste and adjust blocks you have created to build an entire piece
  • Would work well as a songwriting tool for students: they can compose in bite-sized pieces while seeing melodic contour and rhythmic values
GrooveMaker 2 Free

9. GrooveMaker 2 FREE 

  • Allows you to remix pre-existing loops and samples that have been grouped together in “always sounds good” songs
  • Useful for reinforcing concepts of musical form, arranging, tension and release
  • “Perform” the remix in real time, add effects and trigger sounds
  • Limited uses in the classroom, but would work well as an introductory activity for remixing

10. SoundForest

  • Compose a song using a collection of creatures, trees, flowers and shapes
  • Each icon/image represents a different sound which you add to the project area to create a piece. The vertical position of an icon will affect the pitch (even with rhythmic sounds)
  • Soundforest is very visual, using graphic-style notation to represent your piece and perfect for younger students 
  • The free version has limited projects

11. Chrome Music Lab Songmaker

  • This one is not an app in the App Store, but an interactive website which works well on iPads
  • Songmaker is one of 13 “experiments” in the Chrome Music Lab
  • Create melodies and basslines using a graphic notation style by tapping sounds on to the screen
  • This app keeps things simple from a musical point of view so it’s perfect for young students and beginners
  • Use it for composition, ear-training, transcribing known songs and creating simple rhythms
  • Best open in the Chrome browser

Abstract Music Making

The apps in this category are a little different!

Musyc

12. Musyc 

  • Create music soundscapes using a combination of geometry and physics
  • Choose shapes from the menu, add them to the screen and listen to them playback as they bounce 
  • Explore different horizontal positions (which affect pitch), a variety of vertical positions (which affects the direction of the shape and the speed at which it falls) and have fun with gravity and physics
  • This app would be perfect for a cross-curricular unit of work combining physics, geometry, maths and music. Lots of fun!
SoundRebound

13. SoundRebound 

  • Like the Musyc app, you can create music in SoundRebound by adding shapes to the screen and then adding balls which make sounds when they hit the shapes 
  • Combines physics and geometry with music
  • Great for exploring sound and creating soundscapes

Split-Screen Multitrack Videos

14. Acapella 

  • Create your own “one-person band” music videos where you sing all play all the parts
  • Video/audio record the first part of your song, them overdub the subsequent parts
  • Creating these videos is a great exercise for students: reinforces playing in time, listening, synchronising parts, performing to the camera and arranging skills
  • For 13+ only. Requires sign-up and the free version is limited to 30-second songs (upgrade to unlock longer songs and more features)

Songwriting

Suggester

15. Suggester 

  • Useful songwriting tool: explore chord classic progressions, or test out your own combinations
  • Discover what chords will work together best and hear them played back
  • You can either choose a scale and build your song from the chords suggested by the app, or you can start by selecting a set of chords and discover which scales will match
Songwriter Pad LE

16. Songwriter Pad LE-Songwriting

  • A songwriting notepad app
  • Helps with lyric writing – easily find words that rhyme, generate ideas based on emotions and access a dictionary and thesaurus
  • Capture vocal ideas through the recorder
  • Add chords to your lyrics
Chordbot Lite

17. Chordbot Lite

  • Band-in-a-Box style app that lets you put together a chord progression and hear it played back in a comping style of your choosing
  • Useful as a songwriting tool, but also useful for creating backing tracks
  • Saving and exporting requires an upgrade to the full version

Slow Down, Transcribe and Practice Songs

Anytune

18. Anytune

  • Slow down (or speed up) songs for the purposes of learning or transcribing them
  • You can also shift the pitch by semitones and set up repeated playback loops

Amazing Slow Downer Lite

19. Amazing Slow Downer Lite

  • Another great app for slowing down your songs for transcription or learning purposes
  • Repeat any section at any speed or change the key of the song
  • Free version only plays first quarter of a track. Upgrade for the full features

Notation and Sheet music

Piascore

20. Piascore – Smart Music Score

  • View, read and annotate your sheet music
  • Access classical scores via the International Music Score Library Project from within the app
  • Includes automatic scrolling and page-turning, an inbuilt metronome and tuner, an on-screen keyboard
  • Rearrange page layout and add in links so that you can jump directly to any page when there are repeat signs in the score

21. NotateMe Now 

  • Handwrite music by drawing on the iPad screen with your finger, or a stylus.  The app will translate your handwriting into “printed” digital music in real-time as you write
  • This free version is limited to single staff scores, but makes a great option for students needing to practice handwriting in a digital format

22. iWriteMusic SE 

  • Easy to use music notation app
  • Save up to 5 songs in this free version of the app
  • You can export your scores

I Got Rhythm

Real Percussion

23. RealPercussion 

  • Real Percussion includes 20 rhythm lessons with tutorials 
  • There is a collection of 15 loops for you to play along with, including: Funk, Country, Jazz, Oriental, Pop and Reggae
the Drum Dictionary Free

24. theDrumDictionaryFree

  • Great reference tool for all levels of drumming
  • Includes 40 standard snare drum rudiments 
  • Audio examples and notation for each entry

25. Steve Reich’s Clapping Music

  • An app that challenges you to play Steve Reich’s famous Clapping Music piece with accuracy
  • You can play one part yourself, while the app plays a second part
  • Your performance is scored on the accuracy of your playing. You can change the tempo and practice all parts as individual “levels”
  • For a free lesson plan Clapping Music [Free Music Tech Lesson Plan]

26. Groove Pizza

  • This one is not actually an app in the App Store, but a website which works well on iPad (use the Chrome browser)
  • Create rhythmic patterns using 3 instrument sounds, on a circular interface
  • You can build a 4-measure pattern, change the tempo, alter the meter, change drum kit sounds and more

Musical Instruments

Virtuoso Piano

27. Virtuoso Piano Free 3

  • Play chords or single notes on an on-screen piano 
  • Variety of playback sounds (including guitars)
  • Shows note names on the keys
SoundPrism

28. SoundPrism 

  • Play synth chords and bass notes with a grid-like interface
  • Play bass notes on the left side of the screen and chords on the right side
  • I love the sounds produced by this app – the default soundpack includes Rhodes, Synth, Pads and Organ
  • An easy way for all students to play and perform chords and explore chord progressions
Core Synth HD

29. Core Synth HD

  • Free synthesizer app with a 2 octave keyboard
  • Includes pitch wheel, oscillator module, low pass filter module and the option to edit ADSR

Congas

30.  Congas

  • You can have a whole class set of congas with this app!
  • 18 conga samples included

Utility Apps

Pro Metronome

31. Pro Metronome

  • 13 different metronome tones available, including voice
  • Change beat tones, accents, and even the dynamics of your rhythm (“f”, “mf”, “p” and “mute”)
  • The Pro Version unlocks more features including subdivisions and polyrhythm settings
Pano Tuner

32. Free Chromatic Tuner: Pano Tuner

  • Chromatic tuner with a visual interface that allows you to see what note you’re playing
  • Works with all instruments
Ultimate Guitar

33. Ultimate Guitar

  • The go-to chord library resource for songs
  • Includes chords and chord diagrams for guitar and ukulele
  • Pro version offers extra features
Chordbank

34. ChordBank – Guitar Chord App

  • This app contains chords, lessons, scales, tuner
  • Works with acoustic and electric guitar
  • Right and left handed support for all fingerings

35. The Ukulele App

  • Created by The Ukulele Teacher channel on Youtube
  • Includes a chord library, strumming tips, a tuner, common progressions and more

I hope you enjoy this list of 35 of the best free iPad apps for music teachers.

If you do decide to try out any of these apps and have feedback, feel free to let me know in a comment below!

Download a copy of this list!

Take a copy of this list with you and keep it saved on your desktop for emergencies! Click on the download button below and we’ll send a copy straight to your email inbox.

Click here to download

Would you like to learn more about GarageBand on iPad?

Our new course, The Music Teacher’s Guide To GarageBand is a full course AND a collection of lesson plans which has been created just for music educators. By accessing the full course and lessons you will be able to earn a professional development certificate for your learning time. For details about what’s covered in the course modules, and a list of the included lessons, head over to the course information page here.