My blogging colleague Paul Shimmons discovered that Hal Leonard is now making Essential Elements as an iBook, selling on the App Store for $8.99 a copy. You can find his article here:
I have not downloaded any of the books yet–I'm not sure I would use a level one book; and I think my 8th grade stepson will be out of book one by this time (trombone).
I think the iBook approach is great, but there are two negatives. First, you can't write in the book, and every music teacher I've ever had has written in my books. I'm not sure how that will go over with music teachers. Second, the iBook lacks the assessment component of SmartMusic for the Essential Elements method books, which is fantastic on the iPad. I believe the Internet version of Essential Elements also has some type of “SmartMusic” functionality, but I do not know if it works on an iPad.
Still, were I a band teacher at a 1:1 school (I'm not–I teach choir), I'd be tempted to encourage my students to buy this version. Then I would go out and purchase a copy of every book and send it away to 1DollarScan to be scanned for my use in lessons.
This is a really interesting decision…choosing to go with a book versus an app. And I'm okay with that. It gives Hal Leonard the freedom to ask $8.99, which is an affordable iBook, whereas that would be a truly expensive app.
Paul Shimmons reports that the iBook uses under 400MB on an iPad (some take over 2GB), so it is also easy on the memory of 16GB iPads 2s that dominate education.