Isle of Tune, an FREE online app by firstname.lastname@example.org (visit his site here – highly recommended for a unique site experience!) is an introduction to the world of music sequencing in a game-based style. The iPad version is available from the iTunes Store for a cost of $2.99 US and it comes with many other features not in the free version.
Here is one of the top examples featured on the free online site:
Do a search for Beat It, by Michael Jackson to see it live and in action.
Isle of Tune uses a town construction set where each icon (house, street lamp, trees, plants) play programmable sounds as a car passes by on the user-created street. This app focuses on pentatonic melody writing and basic quarter and eighth note rhythms, all through graphical means, no traditional notation is needed.
It is icon driven as shown below from the help screens online:
To assist the teacher and students with the musical component, I’ve created these help guides that show the pentatonic scale, tones/pitches, drums and other sounds various icons offer. Each sound must be put into place on the island to be activated when a car passes by it.
Here are my help files:
In using this app in class, I’d suggest having students explore a typical pentatonic melody and rhythms, similar to the example below. If you need a pentatonic resource, I have one here for sale from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
The creators of Isle of Tunes also provides ready loops that are wonderful learning tools, and can be modified.
Students can share, save and load previously saved work from the site.
Here is a sample of ‘Beat It’ from the top created maps section with an musical highlighting of areas I would explore with students.
I would be interested to hear your experiences with this app. My goal as an educator is for students to have some exploration time to see the work of others, create, and be guided by my curricular goals to build pitch and rhythm awareness. This blend of game based learning with a curriculum component could help students see and play with music in a different way. Who knows, this may be the key to what motivates some hesitant learners to push forward in the area of music creation.