ScoreSkills - Learn Music

App review by
Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Media
ScoreSkills - Learn Music App Poster Image
Read, write, and listen for basic music theory facts.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Pretty easy to progress through activities, though drawing notes on-screen can be cumbersome. An intro tutorial or reference guide could help beginners get a better sense of basic music concepts like names of notes, how to read the staff, etc.

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Limited content is available with free download; purchase a subscription to unlock additional content. Invite friends to download the app and earn a free week of unlocked content.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that ScoreSkills - Learn Music is an app for learning basic music theory skills by reading notes, listening to pitches, and drawing notes on the staff. Its developers describe the app's approach as Duolingo for music learning. Users can set daily time goals for completing brief activities that explore sight reading, ear training, and some basic music theory knowledge. Kids can try one level for free or they can sign up for a three-day free trial before subscribing annually or monthly -- though be careful to try it out quickly so that you're not charged for an expensive annual subscription just two days later. To sign up for the trial or a subscription, users must also create an account and provide an email address, and it's not clear if you can have more than one user account per device. ScoreSkills - Learn Music encourages users to earn one free week of the full unlocked content by inviting friends to download the app. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

SCORESKILLS - LEARN MUSIC teaches beginning music theory skills. To start, kids choose a goal to practice 5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes per day. To play, kids complete brief drills on simple music reading tasks through matching games, multiple-choice questions, and writing activities. Kids can set daily practice reminders and track their progress through levels that test sight reading, ear training, and more. 

Is it any good?

Spending a few minutes a day with these speedy drills is a cool way to learn basic music theory concepts -- but beginner music readers might need a little more support. It's a cool approach to think about learning to read music like learning a language. Kids have the chance to write, read, and listen to notes as they start learning to read music, and it's excellent that ScoreSkills - Learn Music offers so many ways to drill these basic concepts. However, for kids who are completely new to reading music, there's a lot to understand and observe on-screen, and that might make these activities more confusing than empowering.

The first levels immediately launch into questions that involve note names, reading the treble clef, and notes of different durations, and there's nowhere in the app to learn or review those foundational concepts. A reference section or even a brief tutorial would go a long way toward helping kids get started. There's also very limited flexibility in what kids study and when: Kids can't jump to the chapters about rhythm or accidentals until they complete the earliest levels. That might work well for a novice, but it's certainly less convenient for a more advanced student. 

Finally, parents should watch out for the free trial period: It's only three days long, which may mean you need to make up your mind in two days if you want to cancel your subscription before you're charged for the expensive annual fee. And a hint: Upon opening the app for the first time, kids can tap past the screen asking users to subscribe to try the first level for free without an account.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to use ScoreSkills - Learn Music to support music learning. Consider having kids use the app once a day or a few times a week to drill skills on the go in addition to their usual music practice sessions.

  • Talk about how music practice fits into your family's daily routine. How often should your kid practice, and for how long? How can ScoreSkills - Learn Music help?

  • Do you think ScoreSkills - Learn Music is a good app for learning how to read music? Why, or why not? What can you learn? What parts of reading music is this really good for? 

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (Limited convent available with free download. Unlock everything with a subscription for $20.99/3 months or $49.99/12 months with a three-day free trial. Forfeit the free trial to pay $39.99/12 months.)
  • Subscription price: Varies
  • Release date: May 20, 2020
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Music and Sing-Along
  • Size: 189.90 MB
  • Publisher: Compoze Music Solutions Ltd
  • Version: 1.2.7
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later.
  • Last updated: July 8, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love learning about music

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