New Toys & Other Things

On Thursday, I celebrated by 39th birthday. Truthfully, our fall musical is in production (opens in about 2 hours) and we’ve been spending 14 hour days at school. Any music teacher fully understands these days. And because the musical runs two weeks, there won’t be much celebrating until well after my birthday.

As a result, I’ve purchased some new toys. First, I bought an iPod Nano (6th Generation – $129 but with a Target discount and a $15 Target Gift Card) to wear as a watch, with an iWatchz watch strap ($20, but I have a different model on back order with Amazon, a Hex Metal Band for $70). The watch is really quite comfortable, and I don’t mind turning the iPod on by pressing the “wake” button. It has truly been a conversation piece…and my students (in particular) have been in awe of it. I find this humorous because they weren’t “wowed” at all by wireless mirroring from the iPad to a projector. The new version of the Nano’s software features 18 different watch faces, including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Kermit the Frog, Animal, and a variety of digital and analog styles. I’ve got some other watches–some expensive–but this is the most fun I’ve ever had owning and wearing a watch. People notice. They really do.

Second, my Pad and Quill Octavo case is no longer holding my iPad tightly, allowing the iPad to slip out when on the piano. Tonight I went out and purchased an Apple Smart Cover ($69) and and Incipio Smart Feather Case ($29). The Incipio protects the back of the iPad, Smart Cover on or off.

In other news, I’ve sold more apps and more people on the use of the iPad for music reading. Our pit orchestra director is using his new iPad to direct the entire show. forScore, in particular, is great for programming cuts (UnrealBook could be used for this, too). Our orchestra director (yet another teacher) is now scanning her scores and using her iPad as she has shoulder issues and is tired of dragging a heavy bag of music from school to school (she teaches orchestra at all three of our district’s high schools. I wrote a grant for 5 iPads, and that grant will be announced in December–so if we are awarded a grant, I will be writing all about the experience. My eventual goal is an iPad for every student in every class (a classroom set because we will not go 1-on-1), which means about 50 iPads…but you have to start somewhere.

In yet other news, Nyssa Brown, Music Education Coordinator at the Perpich Center of the Arts, has recently obtained an iPad and is working on ways to integrate the iPad into K-12 music education across the state, and Jeanette Jenson, a music teacher in ISD 518 recently presented a session about the use of the iPod in Music Education to music colleagues in her part of the state. I simply state that the revolution has begun.

As for now, I need to leave to watch the show.


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