Category Archives: iPad Tips
Note: This post will be posted on both techinmusiced and ukestuff.
One of the best aspects of this “non-job” has been the people I have had the opportunity to meet. I can’t think of a single person in the area of music education technology that I have not immediately liked. Simply put, the music education technologists that I know are also some of the finest, most intelligent, collegial people I have met. I learn from them, as I am sure they learn from me–and I enjoy hearing about their lives and getting to know more about them.
This winter, I had the chance to present sessions at the Maryland Music Education Association, mostly thanks to Robby Burns, who has served as the MMEA’s technology chair. Robby is an incredible teacher and technology user, and has a blog, podcast, and even a book on digital organization (Buy it! Paper. Kindle. See his awesome promo video at the bottom of this post). If we have “specialties,” I would say that Robby is a specialist in secondary band and technology automation. He looks for ways for technology to simplify his life and to make automatic processes that solve problems, keep things organized (for himself, his program, and his students), and to ultimately create more free time for himself and his family. When you see Robby’s presentations, hear his podcasts, or read his book or blog, you need to know that like all the music technology experts I have met, he lives what he is teaching. The knowledge comes from real life experience, and is personally tested.
One of the highlights of my trip to Maryland was spending 30 minutes with Robby (until we were kicked out of the exhibit hall as it closed) simply talking about apps that either of us did not know. One of those apps was Any Font.
Robby discussed how he loved Any Font, as he was able to use any font on his iOS devices for anything–documents, presentations, whatever. While I should have been writing down every app he suggested (I only typed out a few–and thus, I am not the expert on digital organization), that conversation is locked in my brain.
I blogged about the new version of Chordette the other day, an app that provides a way to use a font to make ukulele chords–something of great use if you teach ukulele. However, if you use the fonts embedded with Chordette–they are not going to show up correctly on an iPad (ever get the Keynote message that a font is not available? Even if the font is no longer used in the presentation? Any Font is one solution, and there is another that I will add at the end of this post). I have also been working with the developer of Chordette to make a font set that uses the colors of the Aquila KIDS strings–and would love to use those fonts in my presentations. Fonts are always better for a smaller document size than an image–which is why a PDF of music created by a software program (e.g. Finale, Sibelius, Notion, Dorico, MuseScore) is always smaller than scanned music (embedding a picture in the PDF).
I haven’t had need of fonts other than the standard fonts embedded in iOS, but Any Font allows me to put the Chordette CGCA ukulele fonts into iOS. You send a True Type Font (TTF–most are in this format) to Any Font (you can even “Open In” from iCloud Drive or Dropbox, but easiest is Air Drop from a newer Mac to an iOS device), and then select the fonts you want to install on your device. Any Font sends those fonts as a profile to your device, enabling those fonts for the iOS device to use. If you delete the profile, the fonts go away. You can always add a font and take it away later. Any Font also offers 1,000 additional fonts for $2 as an In-App Purchase–a pretty good deal. Of course, you can find a great number of fonts on the web for free, including musicological fonts that might be helpful in documents and presentations.
So…if you have ever wanted to use other fonts on your iOS device, or have had issues with Keynote telling you a font wasn’t available, Any Font is a great way to solve both of those issues.
It does make you wonder why Apple hasn’t made it possible to simply add fonts to iOS as you can on a Mac–perhaps this will be resolved in the future. Until then, I recommend Any Font to you, and want to offer thanks to Robby Burns for bringing this app to my attention.
Final note: Are you getting the “font not available” warning in Keynote, even after making sure all fonts were in the system? If you don’t want to install the not-used but still considered “missing” font, do this: Export the Keynote as PowerPoint, import that exported file into Keynote. Save the file. Problem solved.
I have mentioned this before, but Aron Nelson (creator of unrealBook) has put together a very mice resource for PDF music readers. He has expanded the forum with a few other tech tips for iPad users as well.
If you haven’t logged into the forum–please consider joining, and asking questions if you have them!
This past week, I taught a series of Á la carte classes on technology for the Wisconsin Center for Music Education. As usual, I shared my knowledge but also left with new knowledge.
While going over the basics of iOS, Chris Telfer showed us that you use search in Settings to find a specific setting.
I have spent a lot of time searching for specific settings in the past, and I never paid attention to the search box that is built into Settings.
For example…let’s say you want to check usage, but don’t remember where it is. Go to settings, pull down on the left menu, and enter “usage” in the search box. As soon as you hit the “Search” button (where return normally is), you will find what you are looking for.
This is a great tip–and I appreciate that Chris was willing to share it with us!
Scott Kantner is the developer of NextPage, a PDF Sheet Music Reader for the iPad.
I describe NextPage as forScore-lite, or unrealBook-lite.
As a middle school choir teacher in a 1:1 setting, I found that the best-of-class PDF music readers offered too many features for my students. Instead of singing, they would be using the metronome, searching the web, or playing the piano. While I can lock them into an app with our MDM, the apps did too much. Even the free option, PiaScore, did too much (they did not understand why I asked for YouTube to be removed from the core of their app).
NextPage was a good solution, and we bought 300 copies of it. The program offers all the basic things you need in a PDF music reader.
We eventually moved away from NextPage as Showbie could be used as a PDF viewer with annotation. NextPage would be a better solution, but it is easier for me to put students into one app for the whole hour rather than to try to change apps throughout the hour. Every time you re-focus an app, strange things happen to some student iPads.
So…I like NextPage and recommend it, even though we are not currently using it. Some users might find NextPage a good, uncomplicated option for music reading on the iPad.
Scott is starting a blog about NextPage 3, and sent out a newsletter. The newsletter is short and talks about the status of NextPage–and it also has some performance tips at the bottom of the newsletter. I wanted to share it with you.
This past weekend I had the pleasure to present three sessions at the 2015 Ohio Music Educators Association and Central TI:ME conference. The conference has a unique focus on technology in music education, as the state conference turns several rooms over to the Ohio TI:ME organization, which then schedules technology sessions for those rooms.
My second session was on iPads in Secondary Music Education. iPads and Secondary Music Education 2015 Presentation (PDF) iPads in Secondary Music Education 2015 (PDF Notes)
**In the Chromebook session, someone asked if the Adobe Creative Suite could be used to edit video on Chromebooks; I replied that some parts of the Adobe suite worked, and others didn’t. From my research this morning, it appears that (as of 2/2015), only PhotoShop is working as a web app on Chromebooks via the Adobe Creative Suite.
Thank you again to the Ohio TI:ME committee for approving my sessions, and to everyone that attended those sessions this past weekend!