iPads in Music Education v. 2.0 underway

I am about to start editing my electronic book, iPads in Music Education, and I expect to wrap up any updates by the end of December. As I look through the book as it exists, much remains the same, but there are some new apps and accesories, as well as a few more resources (such as Amy Burns' FREE electronic book, called “Help, I Am An Elementary Music Educator With One Or More iPads!”).

I know that I want to feature some of the wonderful new (since the last edition) apps such as NotateMe, and that I want to write a new sub chapter on accessibility. Of course, I will also include iOS 8–although I cannot personally use all of the iOS 8/OSX Yosemite features because my MacBook is too old.

I just wanted to ask you–as readers of techinmusiced.com–is there anything you would like me to discuss or cover in greater detail in the next edition? If you have thoughts, please feel free to send an e-mail to techinmusiced@ g m a i l.com (no spaces).

The plans are to leave any updates of the book free, at least until I hit the 5th year of the book; although new purchasers will have to pay for the book. So again, the update will be free for any existing owners of the book. That said, any apps purchased via the links in the book will help provide some continued financial income from the project.

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My Interactive Book (iPads in Music Education) and iOS 7

I’m going to update my interactive book in the future (likely after the announcement of the next iPads, or better, after their release).  The book is for iPads (and soon Macs) only, and can be purchased here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ipads-in-music-education/id686288288?mt=11&uo=4&at=10l9SE

I had originally planned an update after iOS 7, but it is  clear that an update is not immediately needed.

The biggest thing that has changed, really, between my current edition of my interactive book (centered on iOS 6) and iOS 7 is control center.

Instead of pressing the home button and swiping to the right to get to AirPlay, dimming, and audio controls, you now do all of that through control center by swiping up on the iPad.

Spotlight search is different (now a swipe down on any “home” screen of apps–but not from the edge, or you will pull up notifications), there is a blue “jelly” next to any app that has been updated (important as apps self-update), and there is a unified search bar/URL bar in Safari.  Oh…and folders now hold unlimited apps, but only show nine at a time (I don’t “get” this on the iPad).

And other than an interface that looks completely different, iOS 7 works just the same–so everything else in the interactive book still holds true.  That isn’t even a chapter’s worth of operational changes.

Additionally, the iPad’s greatest flaw (access to writing to the music library of the iPad) still remains (to my great frustration).

I personally wonder if we will see any updates to iOS 7 specifically for iPads at the iPad event which should occur next month.  We shall see.

Two items: SmartMusic and PTfME (my first book) updates!

I have two items to share this evening.

First, MakeMusic released the latest version of SmartMusic for computers this afternoon. This version allows for three types of subscriptions: educator, student, and practice room. If you have an educator or student subscription, you may use any computer that has SmartMusic installed. There is no longer a limit of one computer per subscription–although you can only use your subscription in one place at a time. The practice room subscription must be “pinned” to a location…allowing anyone with a SmartMusic account to use the program.

If that sounds confusing, the new practice room subscription follows the old subscription plan: a computer is authorized versus the user being authorized to use the subscription. It looks like you can choose where to “pin” that subscription, allowing you to move it from a computer to an iPad if necessary (or vice versa).

I believe that current pricing is: $140 educator, $40 student, $44 practice room.

Here is more about SmartMusic (link), directly from MakeMusic.

By the way, this is NOT the new version of SmartMusic for iPad that will allow for student assignments…that is coming soon.

The second bit of news is that the new edition of my first interactive book on the iBookstore, has been approved by Apple. The book is called “Practical Technology for Music Education,” and should be a free update for anyone that has previously purchased the book. The book is now $9.99, reflecting my plans to continue to update the book rather than to sell different editions of the book. In the long run, that still translates to about $5.00 per book after Apple’s 30% and taxes.

If you haven’t purchased that book, you can purchase it in iBooks here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/practical-technology-for-music/id500435623?mt=11&uo=4&at=10l9SE

New features include a portrait-only orientation, corrections, and new chapters on Chromebooks and Android devices. I did remove some of the iOS information in the book, such as the iOS tips and tricks and the gigantic app lists–but there are still plenty of app recommendations and lists for each of the major devices listed in the book.

The joy of writing these interactive books is that no project is ever “finished.” I’m sure there are errors in the book, and as I find them, I will fix them. As always, feel free to e-mail with corrections, product tips, and so on.

If you are looking for an iOS (iPad) focused book, I would suggest my other work from this past summer, iPads in Music Education.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ipads-in-music-education/id686288288?mt=11&uo=4&at=10l9SE

New book on the iBookstore! “iPads in Music Education”

I have been using iPads in my music classes–daily–since the iPad was introduced in 2010. Since that time I have given dozens of presentations on how iPads can be used in music education, and I released a book on the iBookstore entitled “Practical Technology in Music Education.” Over the past year, it became clear to me that a book specifically about the iPad and its use in music education was needed. Over the past months, the book came together, and is now available on the iBookstore. It is selling for $8.99 (1).

iPads in Music Education (link)

The new book contains special interactive features, such as interactive widgets for websites and YouTube videos from Bookry, some personally-created videos only available via the book (e.g. a how-to video on wireless mirroring, which is the #1 question at presentations), and even a few 3D models from the Google 3D warehouse.

I am also in the process of reworking “Practical Technology for Music Education,” and have moved (and updated) the comprehensive iPad app list from PTfME to iPads in Music Education (there are still app lists in PTfME, but not at the same depth…the new chapters in PTfME reflect recent changes in technology, such as the Chromebook, and “Key Apps” for all those devices).

If you are looking for a how-to book on the use of iPads in music education, I hope you will consider my new book!

(1) If you are curious about why I chose $8.99, I figure that after Apple’s 30% and the government’s (national and state) cut, will yield income of under $4.00 per copy sold. Additionally, I plan to release free updates to the book versus selling new versions, making it important that the income from the book reflects that change in the ability to update the book.

Essential Elements…for iBooks? Yep!

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:

http://ipadmusiced.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/this-changes-things-band-directors-take-note/

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.

Interactive Listening

This past year, Peter Carney and Brian Felix teamed up together to bring an interactive iBook on Music History to the iPad. They have had a printed book and a website (www.interactivelistening.com) for some time, but the goal was to bring music history and music appreciation to students using technology in a way that would make them excited and interested about the subject, rather than through a traditional approach of a textbook and a CD series. The result? Interactive Listening on the iPad. Until the next version of the Mac OS X operating system is released, you will need an iPad (or iPad Mini) to buy and open this book in iBooks (The next version, Mavericks, will allow iBooks on the Mac).

From their introduction:

Teachers in the 21st century are constantly dealing with the issue of technology – not only how to incorporate it into the classroom, but also competing with the myriad devices and media that are always vying for students’ attention. While teaching at the City Colleges of Chicago, Prof. Carney and I have been faced with the fundamental question of how to keep students of the digital age engaged in an introductory music history class. Almost everyone listens to music, loves music, and can benefit deeply from the study of music if they are given a roadmap to discovery.

What we’ve found is that if the students are given this roadmap of how to interact with the music, they become infinitely more engaged and glean far more from listening and reading assignments. Typical textbooks, while they serve a purpose, fall short of bridging this gap. Combined with reading assignments and in-class explanation, this book serves as a new guide to music history for a rapidly changing era.

Our classroom discoveries mentioned above have served as the fundamental guiding principle for this book: targeted assignments for listening and reading that call the student to dig deeper into the music – to draw upon their own musical experience (trained or untrained) to unlock the secrets that the music holds.

Inside this book we’ve presented interactive listening activities for music from Hildegard to Radiohead that reaches out draws in the 20th century student. Often these assignments incorporate modern technology in order to assimilate the wider world of media that we have available at our fingertips.

Excerpt From: Peter Carney & Brian Felix. “Interactive Listening.” v1.0. Interactive Listening, 2013. iBooks.

The book features various levels of interaction with the student, not to mention the student and the teacher. There is a wide variety of audio examples, the book is popping with great visuals, and YouTube videos are embedded in the textbook (this is really important, as videos take up a huge amount of space). There are quizzes throughout the book that can be completed on the iPad and e-mailed to a teacher. The only caveat is that you will need a connection to the internet to access those Internet-based resources.

The book could be used as a textbook in a collegiate music appreciation course, a high school music history course, or as a supplementary teacher resource in any music class. Although the book may seem expensive ($14.99) from the iOS app perspective, it is a bargain as a textbook, as all the resources you would need are embedded directly in the iBook itself.

You can download a free sample of the book from the iBookstore, or you can watch this YouTube video.

I have had the pleasure to meet Peter Carney–he's a great guy, and he and Brian Felix have done a wonderful service for music education in providing this iBook, not only for the book itself and how it can relate to today's students, but also in paving the way for iBooks in music education.

Interactive Listening

This past year, Peter Carney and Brian Felix teamed up together to bring an interactive iBook on Music History to the iPad. They have had a printed book and a website (www.interactivelistening.com) for some time, but the goal was to bring music history and music appreciation to students using technology in a way that would make them excited and interested about the subject, rather than through a traditional approach of a textbook and a CD series. The result? Interactive Listening on the iPad. Until the next version of the Mac OS X operating system is released, you will need an iPad (or iPad Mini) to buy and open this book in iBooks (The next version, Mavericks, will allow iBooks on the Mac).

From their introduction:

Teachers in the 21st century are constantly dealing with the issue of technology – not only how to incorporate it into the classroom, but also competing with the myriad devices and media that are always vying for students’ attention. While teaching at the City Colleges of Chicago, Prof. Carney and I have been faced with the fundamental question of how to keep students of the digital age engaged in an introductory music history class. Almost everyone listens to music, loves music, and can benefit deeply from the study of music if they are given a roadmap to discovery.

What we’ve found is that if the students are given this roadmap of how to interact with the music, they become infinitely more engaged and glean far more from listening and reading assignments. Typical textbooks, while they serve a purpose, fall short of bridging this gap. Combined with reading assignments and in-class explanation, this book serves as a new guide to music history for a rapidly changing era.

Our classroom discoveries mentioned above have served as the fundamental guiding principle for this book: targeted assignments for listening and reading that call the student to dig deeper into the music – to draw upon their own musical experience (trained or untrained) to unlock the secrets that the music holds.

Inside this book we’ve presented interactive listening activities for music from Hildegard to Radiohead that reaches out draws in the 20th century student. Often these assignments incorporate modern technology in order to assimilate the wider world of media that we have available at our fingertips.

Excerpt From: Peter Carney & Brian Felix. “Interactive Listening.” v1.0. Interactive Listening, 2013. iBooks.

The book features various levels of interaction with the student, not to mention the student and the teacher. There is a wide variety of audio examples, the book is popping with great visuals, and YouTube videos are embedded in the textbook (this is really important, as videos take up a huge amount of space). There are quizzes throughout the book that can be completed on the iPad and e-mailed to a teacher. The only caveat is that you will need a connection to the internet to access those Internet-based resources.

The book could be used as a textbook in a collegiate music appreciation course, a high school music history course, or as a supplementary teacher resource in any music class. Although the book may seem expensive ($14.99) from the iOS app perspective, it is a bargain as a textbook, as all the resources you would need are embedded directly in the iBook itself.

You can download a free sample of the book from the iBookstore, or you can watch this YouTube video.

I have had the pleasure to meet Peter Carney–he's a great guy, and he and Brian Felix have done a wonderful service for music education in providing this iBook, not only for the book itself and how it can relate to today's students, but also in paving the way for iBooks in music education.