Teaching Music Article: Smartphone and Tablet Applications for the Music Classroom

Chad Criswell, author of the MusicEdMagic blog, as well as the contributing author/tech editor for several music education magazines, including Teaching Music, has written an excellent column on apps for Music Education which appears in the October 2012 edition of the magazine.  It is going to be a great starting point–with 23 listed apps–for music educators getting into the iPad for the first time.

Two items were mentioned that I wanted to discuss.  First, Noteflight, an online music editor, is mentioned as being useable on the iPad.  This is partially true, and will become more true in time.  At the current time, Noteflight is not fully iPad compatible, and can only be used for viewing compositions and listening to them.  Editing Noteflight still requires Flash, although the company is working hard to make Noteflight HTML 5 compatible so it can work with all browsers (not just the iPad and Safari).  This was confirmed by a tweet today from the CEO of Noteflight:

Second, there was a quote from Jed Smart that said:

There are literally thousands [of] available [music education] apps in the App Store, and no one person is an expert on the subject.  The best resources for teachers wanting to incorporate iPads into their curriculum are their neighbors and colleagues in the music education community.

There are thousands of apps, although Apple has helped to make some of the better apps more easily found with their latest App Store layout.  Apple is featuring “Education Collections,” and one of those collections is about music apps:

 

Those apps are broken down into five categories:

And there are very solid apps in this collection.  There are thousands of music apps, and Mr. Smart is correct: nobody is going to know every app.  New apps are released daily, and others are in development as you read this post.  But there are a number of music educators out there who are experts on the use of the iPad in music education, many of them listed in the blog rolls to the right of the screen (if you are reading this as a new article in the standard blog feed, or as an individual article).  I have a pretty good grasp of what is available on the iPad, but I am always open to learning about new apps (I’ve received a few e-mails in the last weeks about some new apps but haven’t had time to write–in fact, I am only able to write this short article because our baby is in bed on a Friday night and my wife is out with her side of the family with the rest of our family).   If you know of a good app or a good blog…please take the time to send me an e-mail or a tweet!

The “major categories” of recommended apps–from my perspective–haven’t changed very much in the past six months to a year, but there are a lot of interesting apps on the horizon (both near and far), including new apps by Chromatik and MuseScore.

So, what I want to say is that there ARE experts on iPad apps out there, and the best way to find them is via their blogs and Twitter feeds.

So–a huge thank you to Chad Criswell for bringing the iPad to the forefront of music education once again, and giving music educators a good resource.  I’d also add that Reflection is a good option, and is a very similar program to AirServer, which appears amongst a list of ways to mirror your iPad in a sidebar of the article.

In other news, it looks as if the iPad Mini will be announced on October 23rd, and I’m anxious to see if the device will be good for music education or another device that doesn’t quite fit our unique needs–and to see if it is more iPad or more iPod Touch (e.g. will forScore run on it, and if so, will it be worth viewing music on forScore on an iPad Mini?)

 

 

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