I received an e-mail from Dr. Igor Borodin, a professional musician who has taught in many locations including the Leningrad State Conservatory and the University of North Texas. He created an app that was released this summer, called “Music Lesson Noter.”
At its core, the app is a sheet music reader, but it is a sheet music reader intended for music lessons rather than performance. It offers notation (different colored pens and highlighters of customizable thickness), but it also allows a teacher to record audio or video notes in a song. Video notes are a novel idea, and could be used in all kids of scenarios, including teaching from a distance.
The app has been updated a number of times, now allowing “Open In” with PDF files. I attempted to open a PDF from forScore, but when I tried to open the file, the image was blank. This may be a bug, or it may be my own user error. The app is user friendly, and even “looks” friendly and easy to use.
The app does use sound effects, and offers the ability to turn those off (I would imagine that most teachers will do so). I am not sure if you can “prepare” a lesson with notes (video or otherwise) and share them with another user of Music Lesson Notes. If not, this would seem to be a great addition to the app (perhaps via AirDrop?).
The app comes with a fully-functioning demo mode, and the full version costs $19.99 as an in-app purchase. This seems expensive in the world of $0.99 apps, but if you are looking for a music lesson tool that allows you to make video notes, this is the only app that I know of that combines a music reader with video notes.
You can learn more about the app at Vibrant Strings Studio.
Dr. Borodin's comments (from his e-mail) about Music Lesson Noter appear below:
This letter is to attract the attention of music teachers and their students to the new means of integrating modern technology into studio teaching – specifically, helping music students to better retain the contents of their individual lessons by using their iPad.
Preserving the highlights of the individual lesson in authentic and vivid form of multimedia notes is the premise of the application “Music Lesson Noter”. It enables students to capture lesson's most significant tasks in various formats – audio, video, graphic, and textual. The notes are then displayed directly within the page of music, right at the referenced music selections; i.e. contextually. That way of presenting the tasks turns the page of music into visual plan for practicing session.
Furthermore, the Audio, Video, and Text notes can be listened/watched/read instantly, with a single tap on the corresponding note marker. Such an immediate access to the notes' content allows students, while working on particular task, to retrieve the relevant instructions right at the moment when the guidance is needed. That, in its turn, makes individual practicing both more effective and engaging.
Creating a note was designed to be simple and minimally disruptive to the lesson. It takes mere seconds – 2-3 intuitively clear taps – to start recording an audio or a video note, or drawing a graphic, or dictating a text.