I am excited to announce my latest software project, eartraininggames.com. This site reimagines standard aural skills exercises in the context of games. Students can use their competitive spirit to try and beat their friends’ scores or set a new personal record! All the games are completely free to play, with no restrictions. Teachers who want to create assignments and keep gradebooks can access these features for a nominal fee.
The site is launching with an initial set of five games:
- Lightning Solfege
After establishing the key with a I-V-I progression, a single note is played. The player must correctly identify the moveable-Do solfege syllable of that pitch before running out of time. The prompts speed up gradually, and the game ends when the player misses three in a row.
- Simon Sings
Much like the classic electronic game, the computer generates a sequence, adding one pitch each time. The player must remember the sequence and repeat it back correctly. Instead of just four buttons, though, this game uses a major scale!
- Interval ID
This game keeps track of which intervals players can identify, and which ones are more difficult. It then focuses on the difficult ones, so the longer the game goes, the harder it gets. In addition to the overall score, it also keeps track of consecutive correct answers and average speed.
- Chord Qualities
Players identify the quality of triads and seventh chords, but must use fuel for each answer. Faster answers use less fuel, and multiple consecutive correct answers will refill the tank. The game ends when the fuel tank is empty.
- Lightning Pitches
Players test their pitch memory. An initial pitch is played and identified, and then with no further reference, players must identify random pitches as they are played. The prompts speed up gradually, and the game ends when the player misses three in a row.
To make sure these games are actually fun rather than just more onerous exercises, I gave them to my six-year-old son to play, and he loves them. Now, he keeps asking to borrow my iPad so he can play them more! I hope my college students like the games half as well as my son does, so that they will incorporate more ear training practice into their regular study/practice schedules.