Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ella?

Ella is a sight singing app that helps you improve your musical ear with fun and engaging exercises. Ella uses the microphone on your device to detect your pitch and provide accurate evaluation and feedback.

What is sight singing and why should I focus on it?

Sight singing is the practice of singing notated music that you have never seen or heard before. In addition to being a useful skill in choirs and other musical scenarios, sight singing is a powerful ear training tool. By practicing sight singing, you can better internalize music theory concepts like scales, intervals, and chords. You can deepen your understanding of notation and rhythm, and in turn improve your compositional and improvisational skills.

What are the different modes of Ella?

The two modes of Ella are the Path and the Collections.

In the Path Ella will guide you slowly through levels that gradually increase in difficulty. This is a great place to start as a beginner.

In the Collections you can work independently on a variety of topics like intervals, scales, and tunes. This is a great place to start if you want to work on singing specific musical concepts.

Where should I start on Ella?

If you are a beginner user, we highly recommend starting on level 1 of the Path. You can also try ‘Introduction’ in the Collections.

If you are an intermediate or advanced user, we recommend skipping ahead in the path. You can do this by playing the gold hexagonal Checkpoints in the path. We also recommend exploring the Collections.

Can you guide me through an exercise?

First go to the Path, click level 1, and press play.

You will see a staff with a notated melody and hear the first note play. Your goal is to sing back what you see.

If you need any help, you can tap on any note to hear it or tap ‘Preview Question’ to listen to the entire question. Using these features will incur a small penalty. You can also press ‘Tonic’ to hear the tonic of the key for no penalty.

Whenever you’re ready to sing, press the ‘Record’ button, and a metronome will count you in.

Once recording, sing to the best of your ability. You will see a line being drawn as you sing that represents your intonation. You can also use the tuner at the top of the screen to gauge your intonation. Ella will stop automatically once you finish a question. Don't press "Stop" unless you need to start over.

Once you complete a question, you will receive a score and an analysis of your recording. You can listen back to the entire question by pressing ‘Review”, or listen to individual notes by tapping on any note.

If you want a more detailed breakdown of your score, you can click your score at the top of the screen.

If I’m having trouble with a question, how can Ella help?

If you’re having trouble with a question, Ella can assist you in a variety of ways. All notes on the staff are clickable for a 5 point penalty. You can also listen to the entire question by clicking ‘Preview Question’ for a 10 point penalty.

If you need to hear the tonic again, you can click the ‘Tonic’ button for no penalty.

If a question is too fast or slow, you can change the tempo by clicking the metronome in the upper-left hand corner.

If you have tried a question and would like to try singing it again, you can press the ‘Retry’ button. Your final score will be an average of both attempts.

Finally, if a question is too difficult for you, you can skip it, although this will affect your final score at the end of the exercise.

How does scoring work?

There are two different scores: intonation and interval.

The intonation score gauges how accurately you sing the pitch of each note. The interval score gauges how accurately you can sing each interval, not accounting for pitch. Both scores range from 0 to 100.

There are a variety of penalties that could affect your score also.

Your final score in an exercise is based on the average of all questions.

What is Practice Mode and how do I use it?

In Practice mode, you can hone in on individual questions or play all of the questions in a game infinitely.

There are no penalties in Practice mode, so don’t worry about previewing questions and notes, or retrying questions as many times as you’d like.

What are the different collections?

The collections of Ella are:

  1. Introduction: Simple exercises for beginners
  2. Intervals: The distance between two notes
  3. Triads: Three note arpeggios
  4. Scales: Ordered sequences of notes
  5. Melodies: Diatonic melodies based on the major and minor scales
  6. Tunes: Well-known melodies
  7. AP Exam: Melodies based on the Advanced Placement curriculum

How do I set my vocal range?

You can set your vocal range in Ella by going to settings and clicking ‘Vocal Range’.

If you turn on ‘Listen to my voice to set this pitch’, Ella will listen to you as you sing your lowest and highest notes and set your range for you.

How do I show solfège or note names under the staff?

If you’d like to show solfège, go to settings and click ‘Note Names’. Here you can decide whether to show scale degrees, solfège, and more.

How do I log in or out of Ella?

Ella uses Apple's Game Center to manage user data, so you will need to login or logout through Game Center in your device settings.

Ella isn’t picking up any sound from my microphone, what should I do?

Please try the following steps:

Make sure Ella is allowed to access your microphone. Go to settings, scroll down and click on Ella, and turn on 'Microphone' access for Ella.

If that doesn't work, restart the app completely.

If that didn't help, try deleting the app completely from your phone and reinstalling.

Finally, if you're still having issues, please shake your phone while noticing the issue on Ella, click report a bug, and send in a report. This will give us insight into exactly what's going wrong on your device.

You can also reach us at