The iPad has made my life easier, generally. I love Pepper Plate for keeping track of recipes, Kid Player (by PBS) for entertaining my toddler while stuck in a long line, Nighty Night to put him to sleep, Grocery IQ for my shopping lists, and Pocket as my go-to reader for all the blogs that I follow. Obviously, I’m a big fan of the iPad! (No, I’m not endorsed by Apple… do they even do that?)
Specifically, I love using my iPad while teaching lessons! No… I’m not browsing the internet while Johnny fumbles his way through Minuet in G! There are countless ways to use the iPad in private music lessons!
This is the first of three blog posts in which I’m going to share my favorite uses for the iPad in lessons by recommending the apps that work best (for me)! Today’s blog deals with apps that serve as practical tools.
For several years I’ve purchased sheet music from http://www.musicnotes.com. When Music Notes made this app available I was thrilled! Since I do lessons in my students homes, I am super excited that I no longer have to lug around 4 giant binders of music in my car (one for piano, guitar, voice and misc) because all of the sheet music I’ve purchased is immediately available to me with this app.
I don’t always let my students listen to a song before trying to sightread it but sometimes it’s necessary. I’m always surprised how little exposure my students have to good music. Most often, their musical influences are limited to Lady Gaga, One Direction, High School Musical and Taylor Swift. If I want my student to learn something by anything from Led Zeppelin to Neon Trees, I’ve got to let them hear it first. Sometimes I play it for them myself, but it sure is fun to be the one to introduce them to good bands and songwriting! (the kind that requires an instrument and some actual talent 😉 )
Anyway, I obviously can’t afford to buy all of the music that I want kids to hear (though I’m a big proponent of paying for music you consume) so, if I don’t ask their parents to purchase it for them, we listen to it on YouTube (though I recommend looking for the official music video or a “lyrics” version to be safe… or preview the video before the lesson). This app is already installed on an iPad upon purchase of the iPad.
Unlike other iPad metronomes, this one’s got some good volume. It allows you to change the time signature and to determine which beat is emphasized. It’s easy to change the tone that you hear too. This app is very intuitive and was designed to look similar to an iPod so students are able to figure out how to use it quickly.
There are several reasons I prefer this tuner to other iPad or iPhone apps. For one, using the iPad internal mic it can gauge the pitch of the string when you play it OR it can play the pitch for you to match. Most of the other apps I’ve tried can only do one or the other. Secondly, by the push of a button you can tune a guitar, bass, ukulele or violin. Since I’ve taught all of these instruments at one time or another, this tuner is super handy. Better yet, fork out $1.99 and get everything that this tuner has to offer and support a good app maker!
Have I talked you into purchasing an iPad yet? 🙂 What practical apps do you like to use in lessons? What about in life outside of lessons?
Next post: “How I use my iPad in lessons (Part 2 of 3)” – Music Theory on the iPad