Music Tool Suite is a collection of digital tools created to support music learning in studio music instructions and in music classrooms. Four tools have been developed: Cadenza, Notemaker, DREAM, and iSCORE. The tools are currently available without charge.

All of the tools in the Music Tool Suite have been developed through a partnership between Queen’s University, Concordia University, and The Royal Conservatory (The RCM). The RCM left the partnership on February 28, 2017. Two new partners joined the team in 2017: The Curious Piano Teachers (UK) and the Canadian Coalition for Music Education.

We have secured funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, under the Partnership Grants program, to conduct research on the effectiveness of the digital tools in the Music Tool Suite and to share those findings with the academic community, musicians and teachers, and the general public. Our work is also supported by a Leadership Opportunity Grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The funding period is from 2011 to 2018.


Cadenza is an electronic notebook designed for one-on-one music instruction. Cadenza makes it easy for teachers to keep track of student lessons and progress, while enabling students to structure their practice sessions effectively by setting and reaching goals, and reflecting on learning. It also contains an annotation tool, allowing students and teachers to make real-time annotations on uploaded audio and video recordings.


Notemaker is an app for iPhones, iPods, and iPads that allows multiple users have a real-time conversation about an audio or video recording. While it was designed for music practice and performance, the app can be used by anyone looking for feedback on creative or technical work, including theatre performances, dance, yoga, gymnastics, and other uses that we have yet to imagine. Notemaker and Cadenza are linked, so if you use Notemaker, you can upload your videos directly into Cadenza.


DREAM stands for Digital Resource Exchange About Music. DREAM is an online and mobile device tool that was designed to encourage teachers to learn about digital resources related to music education and to studio instruction in particular. DREAM also enables music teachers to evaluate the resources, to read about other teachers’ views of the resources, and to add resources of their own to the DREAM repository. DREAM  resources are organized into six broad categories: (a) music repertoire, (b) ear/sight, (c) creating/composition, (d) history/theory, (e) practising, and (f) professional resources. All of the resources are searchable by title and key words, and users can also filter the resources by instrument, ability level, or platform (e.g., used on computer, tablet, or smartphone). DREAM recommends resources to users based on their prior choices.


iSCORE is a web-based practice and communication tool. It is designed to help motivate students to take responsibility for their practising and overall music learning and music creation. iSCORE makes it easier for students to set goals, create new work, edit and share their work and respond to feedback from teachers, peers and parents. It also makes it easier for teachers to communicate with their students and help their students become independent learners. It includes a text annotation tool and links to recording and notation software. iSCORE is designed for use in classrooms by older pre-college and university students.