MyOngaku app

Jennifer Visick said: Jan 13, 2016
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1069 posts

Has anyone bought and used the “MyOngaku” app (currently available only for violin volume 1)?

I’d be interested in your thoughts and reviews, including a description of the audio recordings and audio quality.

The app’s website is


Caroline Colacarro said: May 10, 2016
 1 posts

Wow! This app is incredible. Both of my sons play the violin (ages 8 and 5)and the app makes everything easy, effective and completely productive. My sons can take the ipad and work with 3 different instructors on the piece as well as the mechanics learned through the piece. Their intonation has improved significantly due to playing along with a profession in each practice. I can’t say enough about the genius behind this tool! What a breeze practicing has become for my kids and of course for me as a mom of 3! Happy bowing!

Minna Aaltonen said: May 18, 2016
 3 posts

We have used MyOngaku app every day for two weeks now. My 5yo prefers playing with the teachers on the video over playing alone. It makes practice time nicer for him.

My 5yo carefully mimics every movement of the teacher on the video and therefore his playing has advanced in many ways including:
- better timing
- length of the notes is closer to correct
- plays more in tune
- is able to keep tempo better also when plays alone
- uses more correct amount of bow
- lifts bow more beutifully
… just to mention a few.

Since my 5yo is a typical 5yo and doesn’t like to be instructed and is not too good at following instructions, this app makes my work so much easier as a parent. I don’t need to tell and show him so many things, he just gets them by watching and playing along with the video teachers. I have also more free capacity to keep an eye on his posture.

If the app would have the pieces broken down also to really short sections (1 bar preferably), it would help even more in learning new pieces. The short slower sections are too long and too fast when first learning a new piece—at least with a very small player like mine (but they are really handy after the music starts to be in the fingers, but is not quite fluent yet).

The user interface is a bit annoying since you have to use the camera to turn the page in the book (take a picture of the page). However, the videos are so good and high quality that I’m willing to use it even though using the camera is frustrating. But even though I can find things to improve I would never want to back and practice without this app. I definitely hope they get book 2 ready by the time my boy gets there! :)

So this app is definitely worth a try! Download the app, there is a free piece, check it out and decide for yourself!

Cecilia A said: Jul 6, 2016
1 posts

Is this the same application that the Association produced? I seem to remember reading about a practice application by Suzuki teachers to help with student practice. I’m trying to find out about it to subscribe and use it but can’t seem to find any reference about it now. if any one knows how to download it I would appreciate the help. Thank you.

Minna Aaltonen said: Jul 8, 2016
 3 posts

According to their web page, MyOngaku app is produced by Ongaku Learning, see App is available only for iPad and iPhone and you can download it from the App Store.

Update to my review: Now after 2,5 months we still use this app every day. During the summer break from lessons, the videos are even more important than before as my 5yo doesn’t seem to be picking up too much bad habits even though we are not seeing our teacher regularily as he constantly mimics the correct way to play. His playing has improved really a lot during the time we have used the app—the tone is so much better, his bowing looks nice and he can keep up the rythm of the songs a lot more accurately than before. Money well spent.

Sue Hunt said: Jul 9, 2016
Sue HuntViola, Violin
403 posts

I’ve uploaded this app. It looks great, but I can’t make it work on my iPhone. Am I missing something?

Minna Aaltonen said: Jul 9, 2016
 3 posts

Could you be more specific on what you have done to make it work, what you are trying to do and what is not working? It would be easier to help. Ongaku has a FAQ that may also contain an answer to your question:!faq/c1sux

Sue Hunt said: Jul 10, 2016
Sue HuntViola, Violin
403 posts

I think I’ve figured it out. It appears to be a free app, but you have to pay for each book as it appears.

This is a great resource for busy and sometimes flustered teachers and parents.

The content takes ages to download, so you need to be patient and let it get on with it. I am intrigued by how it selects pieces, by pointing the phone at the relevant page in book 1, as if you are taking a picture. All you do is touch the camera icon and the app page appears on your screen. I would be interested to see if it recognises older editions and heavily annoted music.

With the use of tapes, it is very easy to see where each finger goes. It’s good to see different teaching styles when low 2 is introduced on the top two strings. Some teachers like to use the first finger as a sign post for low 2.

Some pieces, such as Gavotte need ultra slow practice on a few difficult spots. Perhaps this will be available in a future update. Of course there is nothing to stop you making a video of your teacher demonstrating how to do it.

Some of the sections are a bit long for impatient souls who want clarification on the last few notes, but I am very impressed by the clarity of each example.

The app works very intuitively to my brain, eyes and ears. I will test it on the violin students that I am looking after for a few months.

This has given me more self confidence to make viola videos for my students.

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