Category Archives: How to use the Menu Choices

Why use eto apps to practise?

eto Music Practice apps are not designed to dilute the value of  and need for lessons with a teacher.

We are ourselves, musicians, music teachers and music technology experts with a history of playing and performing music.

We produce and publish as musicians; the technology is second to the music!

We are absolutely not detracting from the value of music lessons…we encourage teachers to use our apps  and experience for themselves the way our apps motivate and help practice.!

The primary intention of the apps is to motivate and enable students to practise between lessons.  whatever age level of ability.

Our apps provide the music notation, a beat counter and control over practice speeds, as well as the ability to repeat bars  or sections.

We welcome and invite suggestions for new music to include.

Here are our current apps :

Let us know what you think:


Helping Hearing Impaired to Practise a Musical Instrument

Eto music practice ltd is a small private producer and publisher of music practice apps based in Llandysul, Ceredigion, Wales. The apps are used in some 35 countries and our school choir apps have been used by some 3,000 schools in England and up to 150,000 school children.

Helping hearing impaired with music practice

I was thrilled when my colleague Robert Winter copied me into an email thread about a news piece he had watched on ITV Wales News.

It concerned a young lady of 16 who played the clarinet…very well. Amazingly well considering she is profoundly deaf.

She expanded in her interview how she hears/ senses the music she plays through her fingers and vibrations and a link to her hearing support.

I immediately felt a sense of almost guilt at the time….when younger…I avoided practising my trumpet!

The outcome was/ is that Robert has written to an organisation called Fixers who help Poppy and others in similar circumstances. He offered Poppy an opportunity to choose..if she wanted…our eto Music Practice Apps to work with and to see if they help or aid and have advantages over sheet music. The audio on each app is correct for all music notation, whatever the instrument,  will certainly help students to understand the hearing and feeling of the ‘correct’ notes as well as learn to read music notation.

We also produce a range of practise/ rehearsal school choir songs, and our belief is that these will considerably help those hearing impaired children singing with their school choir.

From what I understand,  and I am hoping, is that our Apps on iPad or iPhone, with full audio,  synced to the Beat Counter above the music notation, can be ‘plugged’ into a variety of different hearing devices and would indeed enhance Poppy’s practice sessions. The app functionality also allows students to have control over their practise tempi/ speed. This allows the student to learn at their own pace up to performance tempi and repeat any bars, as they wish, in order to practise. We also believe our music player could be developed and we are open to ideas and suggestions?

We hope that the eto music player has a key advantage as it also provides audio and accompaniments, unlike sheet music. This obviously has some enourmous advantages for the hearing impaired. We at least hope it adds a little extra help!

If it does indeed help, we at eto will be thrilled and would certainly love to work with others in this field, so please, just let us know on the contact form below.

We don’t know yet how well this will work and how many benefits this will offer…let’s wait and see…fingers crossed….(but not when you are practising:) !

Eto music practice apps:

Poppy’s story :

Apps for hearing impaired and deaf young people:


How to Practise: One Big Voice Anthem (Choir in 2 parts)

Direct Links to the App Store and Google Play:
Available as an App for iPhone and iPad.

Available as an App for Android Phones and Tablets. 

This is so ‘singable’.

Perhaps a silly simplistic description but it really is a joy to perform this composition and arrangement by Donna Mawrick O’Brien..

For those lucky enough to be taking part in the August 18th One Big Voice concert at Perth, Australia, this App will help you learn your parts…….and I’m sure Donna, your Music Director will help you learn the parts the way she wants them to sound.

BUT..this song/ arrangement although the ‘anthem’ for the One Big Voice event, is suitable to be performed by all and any young people’s choir wherever you are!

After a full Band Introduction the first Chorus is sung in Unison:

This is followed by  Verse 1 where the choir splits into two parts.

Part 2 ‘answers’ Part 1. You can easily alter the volume balance of the individual Parts and Band by using the faders provided.

The song continues in this way with Part 2 answering Part 1 through Verse 2 and a third Chorus..ending with a Unison 3rd Chorus.

Therefore you can choose which Part to sing; Choose which section you want to rehearse and  be confident that whenever you have a full rehearsal you will know your part and confidently really enjoy yourself.

For those who haven’t got a choir within easy reach you can still enjoy practising with this App….

Direct Links to the App Store and Google Play:
Available as an App for iPhone and iPad.
Available as an App for Android Phones and Tablets. 

There is a link to a pdf of a score of the song within the App.


How to Practise: Kumbaya for 4 Part Choir

Direct Links to the App Store and Google Play:
Available as an App for iPhone and iPad
Available as an App for Android Phones and Tablets

On August 18th 2017 a choir of over 4000 pupils from Years 3 to 7 will be performing this imaginative choir arrangement of Kumbaya with a distinctive ‘Aussie feel’.

For those lucky enough to take part please take note of what your music director, Donna Marwick-Obrien suggests.
The App is designed to help you learn which-ever part you are allocated. I hope you find that when you get together for the concert you will really know your part and have a great time.

The choir needs to sing in 4 parts.

All 4 parts are available on the App therefore you could split your choir as you wish, or even suggest that choristers swop parts occasionally… that as many that wish can have a chance to sing the melody.

It could be that your choir is split into 4 groups. In the first two verses, two of the 4 sections could sing the solo (melody) part and then split in Verse 3, so that some carry on with the solo(melody) and others take on the Descant line.

You can choose:

  • To view and hear each part with a beat counter above the notation acting as conductor.
  • Adjust the volume of each part to suit your needs as you learn your part
  • Practise with the full band accompaniment

There are four verses.

Verses 1 and 2 are in three parts:
Part 1 (Solo) : has the recognised melody 
Parts 2 and 3: 
these provide lines which are both harmonic and simulate Aussie rhythms.

Here is the opening of Verse 1:

Here are two examples of the beginning of Verse 2 illustrating how the Harmony parts can be displayed. The volume of the parts can be easily balanced using the available faders. This will help hear each individual part more clearly when you are learning it.

Each Part can be heard on its own even. This is with the band …but they can also practise without the band.

During Verses 3 and 4 Parts 1 , 2 and 3 carry on with  similar lines but now a 4th part enters .

Here is the beginning of Verse 3 showing how the Descant part comes in ..I’ve balanced the volumes so it can be heard…but eventually, when you are ready, the part you are learning can be turned off and you can practise holding the part on your own…This will give you a lot of confidence when you go to the full choir rehearsal/s.

This new part is in some ways a Descant line providing additional harmonic timbres but in a  ‘shouting/ response’ style. This adds another different element and  ‘feel’ to the piece.

Choose a Start Bar to practise from different  places. Also chose an End Bar and set Repeat to practise awkward sections over and over again.

In other words choose whatever combination of practice tools you need.

The effect will be that you will be able to learn your part so well that you can  perform exactly as your conductor wants and really enjoy the performing.

This is the history of Kumbaya.
According to Alpha”Kumbaya, my Lord” was first recorded by an out-of-work English professor, Robert Winslow Gordon, in 1927. Gordon went on a search for black spirituals and recorded a song “Come by Here, My Lord”, sung by H. Wylie. The song was sung in Gullah on the islands of South Carolina between Charleston and Beaufort. Gullah is the Creole language featured in the Uncle Remus series of Joel Chandler Harris and the Walt Disney production of Song of the South. “Come by here, my Lord” in Gullah is “Kum by (h)yuh, my lawd”

American missionaries took the song to Angola after its publication in the 1930s, where its origins were forgotten. In the late 1950s the song was rediscovered in Angola and returned to North American where it swept the campfire circuit as a beautiful and mysterious religious lyric. That is why the song is associated with Angola in many current printed versions.

In the US, however, the song was associated with Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other campers sitting around a campfire in perfect harmony.

Direct Links to the App Store and Google Play:
Available as an App for iPhone and iPad
Available as an App for Android Phones and Tablets

User Instructions/ Tips

How to use the Practice Tools  within eto Music Practice’s Arban Study No. 1 App

Most of the what you can do is very obvious. There are a few which are handy to use but not so obvious. Please try things you won’t do any damage:)
However don’t hesitate to ask questions via the comments box. 

  • Tap Play: the Menu slides to the side and the Music Plays from Bar 1 until the end of the study.
  • Swipe the screen and the Menu and the Notation toggles back and fore.
  • Double Tap the Notation Screen and the Music Pauses
  • Double Tap again and the Music Starts from where it Paused
  • Tap the Play Button when the music is playing and the music will pause
  • Tap the Pause Sign and the music will start again

The Pause Button

  • When the Pause Button is clicked the button will change to Play and white text will appear as a prompt to remind you that you are in Pause mode.
  • If the Play button is clicked again the song will play from that exact position (no fade up).
  • To return to Bar 1 or your chosen Start Bar click the smaller button to the left of the Play button.

Setting Start and End Bars: choose a section of the song to practise over and over until correct

  • Each Bar of music has a number.
  • On the screen the numbers are displayed for every Bar.
  • They are the same as the printed music in the 2017 Pack
  • If you need to refer to the separate Rehearsal Instructions for a detailed explanation of how to navigate a score.  That is how to follow musical signs such as Repeats, Del Segno, Coda etc.
  • When you first Press Play the Song will play from Bar 1 to the very end.
  • To Play from a particular Bar enter that Bar number as a Start Bar.
  • Press Play and the Song will play from your chosen Bar to the very end of the song.

Choosing to Repeat a Bar or Section of the Music

  • If you want to choose a section or a single Bar to practise over and over again you can enter an End bar as well as a Start Bar.
  • Click on the Black Repeat icon and it will turn White.
  • Press Play and the song will fade up during the Bar before your chosen Start bar. This will lead you in, give you an introduction, in time and in pitch.
  • The song will continue to play until the end of your chosen End Bar, fade down through the next bar and then return to your Start Bar and Repeat…until you click the Pause Button (the Play Button which has changed to Pause.

Practising at different tempi (speeds):

  • Tap on the + or icons to change the tempo  at which the music is played.
  • The tempi will increase or decrease in increments of 10 beats per minute…even to half speed without any change in quality.
    As explained in the How to Practice Blogs practising slowly is very important…or put another way do not be tempted to move on to a faster speed until you are in total control at a particular tempo. At least the App will ‘keep you company’ whilst you do the hard work…it will pay dividends

 Part Mixer: This study has no accompaniment but you have the option of lowering / turning off the solo part and playing on your own with the Beat Counter helping to keep you in time.

Many other Apps have an accompaniment and/ or other parts of an ensemble. separate faders will be made available for separate audio parts. You can adjust the volumes to suite your practice needs.

How to Practise, Sing and Pronounce: Gwlad Gwlad (Mae Hen Wlad fy’ Nhadau

Do you want to learn to sing or pronounce the Welsh National Anthem?
You may even want to learn a harmony part: alto, tenor or bass. This brand new app from the National Library of Wales and etoapps will help you. Gwlad Gwlad will also give you an insight into the history of this wonderful song.
Learn the correct pronunciation of the Welsh words of Hen Wlad fy Nhadau.
Learn to sing the melody by selecting Female Melody or Male Melody.
Individual harmony parts can also be chosen and learnt: Alto, Tenor or Bass.
It can be practised from slow speeds to the speed at which it is popularly sung.
Practise in phrases or sentences. Start and stop points can be easily chosen and these sections can be repeated at the various speed until mastered.
Whilst learning your individual part you will have an instrumental accompaniment, your own part sung for you and eventually the other three parts for you to experience singing with others in harmony.
Follow the music notation and words for each part which are shown on the screen with a real time Beat Counter appearing above the music. This will keep you in time as would a conductor. The words are also highlighted in their appropriate place.
You don’t have to be able to read music to learn but you will have a better understanding of the music notation after singing with Gwlad Gwlad.
Gwlad Gwlad also gives the history of the music, lyrics and composers, illustrating the wealth of the National Library of Wales’s collections.
Gwlad Gwlad will enable people of all ages and background in Wales and throughout the world to sing the Welsh national anthem.

We are smallish very patriotic country. We all sing an anthem in the Welsh Language. Most who sing it  don’t understand the words or even pronounce them correctly…….. BUT no matter! Whatever the faults of performance it makes us all almost burst with a healthy pride.

No mention of  loyalty to a leader or indeed religion….which lessens the  problems of the rebellious nature of some…:)

It’s a pride in our Welsh heritage and culture that we celebrate.

Few emotions compare with the sense of national pride felt when blasting out the words Gwlad! Gwlad (my) Country, (my) Country with thousands of  compatriots at an international rugby match. It is the point at which the anthem reaches its stirring climax with a declaration of loyalty toward land and country and of the desire to see the ancient Welsh language endure.

‘Hen Wlad fy Nhadau (Land of my Fathers) was composed at a time (1856) when nations throughout Europe were rediscovering traditions which gave expression to their national identities.

However a romantic anecdotal reason for the words is that they were written in response to the author’s brother trying to persuade the family to emigrate to America. The words could have been a poem reminding the family of reasons to stay in Wales.

Usually only one verse and the chorus are sung. However, apart from the rousing celebration of Wales’ ancestry, poetic and musical talent of this first verse a second describes the country’s natural beauty . The final and third verse speaks of the nations survival.

If you want to learn even more of the Anthems history, perhaps help with the pronunciation and understanding of the Welsh words …or even want to have a go at a harmony part…alto, tenor or bass our App Gwlad Gwlad will help.

Here are links to a demo movie…
BBC NEWS VIDEO of the eto Gwlad Gwlad App:

……and links to various formats in the App Store, Google Play and our web site.

now also available for iPhone as well as tablet.

Learn to sing and Perform the Welsh National Anthem on iOS:!-national-anthem/id908469898?mt=8

Learn to sing and perform the Welsh National Anthem on Android:



How to practise: The Recorder Practice Apps

There are 3 Levels available for iPad :
Level 1; Level 2: Level 3
 or as a discounted bundle of all three.
Available only individually for Android Tablets from Google Play:
Level 1: Level 2: Level 3

Teachers..….A whole class can be taught in front of an Interactive Whiteboard in the Classroom.
Smaller groups or individuals can practise in front of a single computer at their own pace.
Individual pupils can buy the App to use on their Smartphones…and practise at home…
Parents: Really useful tablet activity.
Start on the Recorder, learn to read music in preparation for learning other instruments.
What a start!
Anyone who wants to learn to read music …whatever age
Buy or find a recorder or just clap or hit something to grasp how to read rhythm….

The first tune B Happy introduces one note and has, like all the other tunes, an exciting accompaniment.

Here’s is B Happy at the slowest speed …with a reminder of the note names…which can be switched off as soon as you feel they will remember the note name.

Tempi from 60 to 120 beats per minute can be chosen.

Level 1 includes 10 tunes. New notes are introduced in tunes that follow.

Each note has a clear fingering diagram.


‘Pupils will learn and improve more quickly because they’ll want to practise more.’

  • Each tune can be practised with or without a full accompaniment.
  • The sound of the Recorder can be heard which helps with keeping in tune and playing the correct rhythm.
  • A Real Time Beat Counter appears above the music notation to act as a conductor and helps with the timing of each note
  • Each tune can be practised at slower speeds.
  • Start and End bars can be chosen so that each tune can be practised bar by bar, section by section.
  • The speed of practise can be increased until the whole piece can be played perfectly.

This is a video of Alis on her second lesson reading from an iPad placed on her music stand. the smile when she finishes shows she is enjoying what she has achieved in just two lessons.
She’s gone through all 14 bars of B Happy and  from 60 to 80 beats per minute…and remembers what the note B looks like in the various ways it can be written to tell her how long to play each one.

The next step for her is to practise  getting to up to the suggested performance  tempo of 120 bpm…..and in the next lesson she will also move on to start the next tune.

Available Online for Whiteboard whole class teaching,  or on Android and on iTunes, see on the tablet apps tab: