Today we’re talking with Katie Argyle (formerly Katie Wardrobe), the founder of Midnight Music – a site we’ve followed for several years because it is the go-to place to learn about cool new music tools and websites and insights on how they can be used in music education.

Katie runs hands-on workshops, presents regularly at conferences in Australia and overseas and she offers online training and support to music teachers all over the world through her music technology professional development online community – the Midnight Music Community.

She is also the author of Studio Sessions, a keyboard and technology program for middle school students and the host of the weekly Music Tech Teacher podcast.

One thing we’ve always admired is how Katie is always able to find interesting and creative ways to use new music websites and apps for real practical teaching purposes. We loved having the chance to pick Katie’s brains on how to best use music tech in education, as well as learning a bit more about her own background and what led to her having such a creativity-focused perspective on technology in music education.

In this conversation we talk about:

  • How growing up as the daughter of two music teacher parents impacted her early music education, and whether she believes it was nature or nurture that led to her becoming a music teacher herself.
  • Her opinion on whether easy music-making technology reduces (or even removes) the need for spending time learning music in the traditional way.
  • Her top suggestions for free online tools you can use today to develop your musicality in fun and interesting ways.

This conversation is packed with useful ideas for self-taught musicians and music teachers alike, and you’re going to come away with at least one (but probably several) cool new ideas for using technology in your musicality training.

Listen to the episode:

Enjoying the show? Please consider rating and reviewing it!

Links and Resources

Enjoying Musicality Now? Please support the show by rating and reviewing it!

Rate and Review!

Midnight Music founder Katie Argyle talks about how you can enrich your musical learning with the myriad of educational technology available today.



That was really cool. I have such respect for the way Katie took the formal training she started with, then had the drive and dedication to explore some more creative avenues and develop her musicality, and now is one of the main thought-leaders when it comes to using technology in creative and effective ways in music teaching.

Katie had an early start in music because both her parents were in fact music teachers. She started piano at age 5 and learned several other instruments in her school days, including a sneaky rebellious project to teach herself bassoon!

Growing up with two music teacher parents it was perhaps particularly likely Katie would herself go into music, but in her opinion it was more “nurture” than “nature”. Being immersed in the world of music was what gave her the training and ability to become a musician and music teacher herself more than any innate talent.

Although her music training was in the formal classical tradition she started exploring the more experimental and creative side of music-making, and there it helped to have a brother who was in the same boat and happy to spend time just trying stuff out.

She enjoyed trying to transcribe songs from the radio like Billy Joel and Elton John – quite an advanced skill for a young musician! What stopped it seeming overwhelming or too difficult was the insight that generally speaking everything’s based around the key. The notes are probably from the scale and the chord progression is probably going to draw from the key’s chords.

Learning to think in relative terms, interpreting notes in terms of the tonic note and thinking about chords with the Roman numeral system really helped her to sight-sing and transcribe music

Another big part of how she developed her musicality was active listening, learning to pick apart music by ear. This came naturally from her transcription practice, trying to hear the different voices present.

She gave several great examples of how you can usefully start listening to music rather than just hearing it. You can pick a particular instrument like the bass, keyboard or vocals, and try to follow that through the track. You can try to hear and sing back the tonic note. If you’ve done some ear training on recognising chords by ear you can try to name the chords in the progression by their number. You can also take a short section and try to figure out how to notate the rhythm being used.

For some of these you’d want to have an instrument, notation software or a simple mobile app handy to check your answers – but others you can do purely with your ears and brain.

Katie’s real speciality is music technology for education and I was really glad to have the chance to ask her to share some of the tools she likes and which can be used for musicality training.

She mentioned Groove Pizza, a fun rhythm sequencer that you can use to experiment with different rhythm patterns and get a feel for how to put rhythms together yourself. Also the “Got Rhythm?” test for how well you can keep a beat.

She also recommended Theta Music Trainer, check out episode 8 of this podcast for my interview with Theta founder Steve Myers. And another suggestion was Staff Wars which gives you practice naming or even playing notes on traditional staff notation.

We’ll have links to all of those in the shownotes.

Katie’s really at the forefront of how to best use technology to aid music learning and I love how she doesn’t just recommend new tools and make suggestions of what to use. She actually lays out how to use those tools and how they can fit into existing lesson plans and a syllabus in a coherent and useful way.

She has a lot of terrific resources available at, both for individual musicians and particularly for music teachers who want to better understand how to leverage new technology in their teaching. And of course she has the Midnight Music community that we mentioned where she provides full training and support for teachers in this area.

I hope you enjoyed hearing from Katie, both about how she developed her own musicality without relying on technology, and also how she now uses and teaches the technology that can be most fun and effective for accelerating music learning.

Definitely go check out the Midnight Music website and try one or more of the tools mentioned in this conversation. We’ll have links to those in the shownotes at

Thanks for listening to this episode! Stay tuned for our next episode where we’ll be talking about grid notation for rhythm, as featured in Groove Pizza and other fun music-making tools.

Enjoying the show? Please consider rating and reviewing it!