Friday, December 30, 2011

What Apps Should I Get for my iPad?

Many of my colleagues are writing app lists  and I had been planning on tackling a new list.  I get an email just about every day---"I just got the iPad, what should I download".  A list always leaves out stuff, and I am definitely not using the more technical music apps.

So, here it is:

  • Moments Ago.  Every teacher should download this app right now.  Got more parental feedback from this app than any other thing I've done in twenty years of teaching.
  • Twitter
  • Google.  Search, google googles, voice search, all the apps.  And it works.  I used this on Tuesday to enter live results at a track meet I was clerking.  
  • Netflix and PBS access to quality video content has changed how I operate in the classroom.  Having the ability to have a class of fifteen watch their own video is awesome.  Netflix has a TON of great music.  
  • Time Machine.  Super Awesome.
  • Flipboard Where I do most of my reading.
  • Planbook  Works pretty well (not completely sold...).  I hadn't used a planbook for years, but my stroke has forced me to write everything down.  Syncs between laptop and iPad.
  • Morris Lessmore Completely and utterly amazing.  Will change your view of eBooks.  
  • ShowMe Easy to use video/audio recorder.
  • Skitch  So fluid.  Easy to use photo editor.
  • SportsCam  great for coaches.  Also using in voice class.
  • Garageband.  Used daily.
  • MadPad.  Really cool video composition tool. 
  • Six Strings.  Great guitar/strings app.
  • Verbally.  Amazing special ed app. 
  • Book Creator  My three year old can make eBooks with this app.
  • Evernote.
I didn't add everything.  This is a basic list.  Have fun.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

iPads in Music Class

We have been using iPads in the Seymour High School music department since September 2010.  iPads are completely integrated into our curriculum.  15 iPads were purchased along with a macBook, iPad cart, sound system, and TV display.

In 2002 I piloted a 1-1 program at Derby High School that unleashed 120 Palm computers.  A review of that program found that using handheld devices increased student test scores, attendance in school, and retention in the music program.  It was a qualified success.

The concepts of mobility and accessibility are often foreign to schools.  Here we believe that students and teachers should have access to information when and where they need it.  In rehearsal, the auditorium, on the bus, wherever.  This accessibility has dramatically changed how we operate in class.  

Students create using Garageband, Google Docs, Skitch, ShowMe, and Book Creator.  Students consume using Safari, youTube, New York Times, Netflix, and PBS.  Students communicate using Evernote, Twitter, and Instagram.  None of this would be happening without the iPads.

In May of 2012 we will be premiering iAlchemy by Douglas O'Grady.  This piece is being written right now for our students at SHS.  We will be performing as full members of the Waterbury Symphony.  There will be a brass section, woodwind section, percussion section, iPad section and iPad soloist.  We are excited to stretch the boundaries of orchestral music.  This project offers mentoring opportunities for our students as they will be working closely with the musicians at the Waterbury Symphony and Western CT State University.

We feel there is no going back.  

Friday, December 16, 2011

Concert Reflections

After each concert I have all my students fill out a reflection form to show evidence of learning the musical standard "Evaluating Musical Performances".  Its a pretty basic form and I teach that writing about music is important and it has its own language.  You need to write and talk like a musician.

Some comments for "What have you learned":

I learned there's nothing to be nervous about because everyone who goes there is to support you and the students in band/music theory/choir are about music. No reason to feel weird.

Preparing for the concert taught me that effort is a large part of success. When we first began practicing these songs, many of the students did not put the effort into learning the music so we did not sound our best. However, once everyone decided to work hard as a group we successfully made music.

I learned that we all have to work together as a team in order to be successful in a choir 

I learned that there's a big difference between singing in practice, and singing in a concert.

My favorite comment from one of my favorite freshman boys.  Question: "What special qualities do YOU bring to the SHS music department"

I brought happiness and Cheer because it was a joyful concert. I'm valuable because I'm am a very open singer and connect to the audience.

Skype with My Mom

145 We had our concert last night.  It was an interesting night.  We had an ambulance call in the middle of the show.  Everyone is fine.

I always like to do "B" concerts the next day.  The music always seems to be better.  I always try to find someone to perform for.  Since my mom can't get to all the performances, I thought it would be cool to have her be the audience via Skype.  We set a call for 8:00am this morning.

We blocked it out at around 7:40 and then relaxed for a bit.  At around 7:55am we got the call.  Places!

Connection issues....  I can imagine my mom scrambling to try to fix it.  About twenty minutes of back and forth.

Finally we hear "hello"?  Places!  Everyone scrambles!

And we sang great!  Everyone was so focussed and wanted to so good for her.  We should do this every day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Integrating Technology into a School Concert

Here is how technology will be integrated into the Seymour High School concert on December 15.

1. I put all songs we are performing on our website.  I used noteflight to put some parts in for practice.
2. We use smartmusic as a play-along in band rehearsal (I have an 8 member band) which helps A LOT.  We also use it as an assessment tool.
3. We record music using soundcloud and post it on iTunes.
4. We have been doing long-distance teaching with Dean Shareski, the educational speaker, who will record a greeting for the audience that we will play during the concert.
5. Students will perform I'm Yours using the iPad app Six Strings.
6. Students will compose and perform compositions using Garageband, MadPad, and VoiceJam.
7. We will evaluate our performance using Google Docs.

I think in each concert we hit all 9 national standards.  Every band member will sing in our finale.  We sing in three languages.  We sing the oldest thing I know.

I also think we hit most of the 21st Century Skills.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

MadPad iPad App

We have been using MadPad which is one of the apps from the people at Smule.  It comes with some saved sets, but the cool thing is that with an iPad2 you can record video into each of 12 boxes.  Then you use your fingers to play the madpad like a drum or piano.  When you press the box of the video that sound will play.  Check out this video.

This opens up lots of possibilities for composition.  I have several students working on madPad for our concert next week.  I like how many of the iPad apps have exporting functions that make it easy to use.  I would love if there was a notation function (as odd as that sounds...). This is me. First try.

Bidi Bom

Bidi Bom by Brandt Schneider A week out from concert. I'm a little worried.... Always happens. Sometimes it pulls together, sometimes it doesn't.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I had an interesting Skype talk with the boys at Griffin today about how we are using the iPads in the classroom.  They have some interesting products.

Its always nice to talk to people about things.  Time like this allows you to reflect and review how you operate.  Skype is pretty cool too.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I love the regional or all-state audition experience.  I took nine kids this year (1 last year) and I am certain this will be a huge help in our growth as a program.  Even though we didn't all make the ensemble I believe all students learned sooo much in the two hours they were there.  I believe we were among the best prepared students there.

But, I hate the audition process too.  I live in a very diverse state and it seems  for many of the auditions you almost HAVE to be taking private lessons, which there is no way many of my kids can afford.  The audition pool is much less diverse than our state.  I love learning the 24 Italian Songs, but in twenty years we have not sung a Festival choir song in Italian.

The audition process has so much good.  But do we spend 90% of our MEA time on the top 5%?  Are there ways we could make the process much more diverse and inclusive?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A few tough days

Had a few tough days at school.  Kids are doing OK, but I'm just pretty tired.  I'm having a hard time keeping my head rested while at school.  Disruptions to the schedule, changes of plans, etc...are just completely draining to me.  Its like the lights go out in my head.  11 months since the stroke....

Building a program is hard.  Daily battles about turning stuff in, why we have to learn how to read music, why we have to stand up straight, etc.... We'll get there.

But I am so excited about the growth of the program.  We truly have exponential changes in the groups.

We have:

  • Thirteen students signed up for CMEA auditions (one last year).
  • 36 students in choir (12 last year)
  • We are singing two more songs than last year in choir.
  • We are playing Level 1 music in Band.  Four of the eight students started their instruments on September 12.  Some of them are really excelling.
  • Music theory is way ahead of last years group.
One month until Winter Concert.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bill T. Jones: A Good Man

Watching the genius of Bill T. Jones was so amazing.  How he focusses on the music and changes his vision up to the moment of discovery during the first performance was eye-opening.  Worth your time.

How many of your students know who Bill T. Jones is?  I have been of the opinion that if we had compulsory dance from ages 4-10 we could solve a lot of our problems.  Especially for boys.

Watch Bill T. Jones: A Good Man on PBS. See more from AMERICAN MASTERS.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Choir Assignment

I needed an assignment where I could split my group into sectionals. Twelve kids were involved in three self-directed sectionals and the remaining 24 students did this assignment in pairs (w/ and iPad). It gives me a chance to teach in small groups.

Today’s assignment should help you learn some items on your checklist.  You are also expected to demonstrate collaborative behavior.  

Work together to accomplish each task.  I must initial each for you to get points!  Plan a strategy so you get at least 100 points total.  Yes, you can get extra credit today.

I will be working in small groups today.  I will announce “I am now working on CFAs”.  If you want to join us, fine, if not keep working.

___________ Practice rhythm CFA.  Demonstrate for Mr. Schneider (15 pts).

___________ Complete iPad Nota Quiz on notes.  Get a respectable score (10pts)

___________ Complete and upload a ShowMe iPad presentation about one of the following subjects;(40 pts)

___________ Listen to choir music from our website.  Have music and pencil out. (15 pts)

___________ Play Bingo or Old MacDonald on the piano for Mr. Schneider (20 pts)

___________ Play “I’m Yours” on the iPad banjo and sing along. (30 pts)

___________ Answer the following questions about Mr. Schneider (15 pts)
    • Where did he go to high school?
    • What is his main instrument?
    • What does he coach at SHS?
    • What are his daughter’s names?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chops: The Movie

Worth the time.

We watched this today in band.  I have a bunch of beginners in the HS band (band of 8....).  They don't quite get what commitment and dedication really look like and this movie was helpful for some discussions.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Military Music

The Marines Birthday reminded me of a 7th grade general music class about 15 years ago.

We were finishing a unit on music of the armed forces.  We sang the Marines Hymn, etc...  I was giving a test:

What are the branches of the United States Military?

Student answer: roots, leaves, trunk, branches, stem.

I thought OK, thats interesting.

Then I got to the next paper.  Which had the exact same answer.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Choir Warm-ups

I had to record myself for an application.  I should do this more.  Feedback welcome.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Music NGram Viewer

.png  on Aviary.

Holy Crap!

Use the onscreen keyboard to punch in a melody and chord.  Click search and it will find scores that have used those exact notes!  With youtube video and score.  Holy Crap.

Ever gone "I know I've heard this melody before?".  Problem solved.

This NGram Viewer is quite possibly the most amazing thing ever and is blowing my mind.  Reminds me a bit of the Soundhound app.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


drinkify.png  on Aviary

Drinkify is a very interesting hack to come out of Boston today.  Very well designed site.

After typing in the box a name (Oliver Nelson?, Bruce Springsteen?) the site will give you a drink recommendation, show cover art AND play the music.

This is not suitable for display with students perhaps, but the idea of classification of music by the drinking habit of their listeners is fun (and pretty deep...).

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Power is Back

SnowtoberWe have power in my house.  We have power at Seymour High School.

I am hoping the rest of the schools return on Monday.  Some schools are up to nine days off so far due to Irene and Snowtober.

Even though we had a small crew in class on Friday we have to keep moving.  Next rehearsal for band and choir is next Wednesday.  This means we haven't had a real rehearsal for TWO WEEKS!  That will mess with your teaching rhythm.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Snow. In October.

SnowtoberOn Saturday I was at the CT Cross Country Championships.  Twelve races over seven hours.  We were the last two races of the day.  An hour before we were to race it started to snow.  Hard.  They then postponed the rest of the races.

The ride home, which normally takes 50-60 minutes took almost 2.5 hours.  Not easy.

And the races have yet to be rescheduled since 800,000 customers are with out power in Connecticut.  A mess.

Marking periods are closing, league and state tournaments are in limbo.  But.....what to do with Halloween?  Most towns are pleading with their citizens to stay home.  Limbs and wires are still down and it is not a good idea to send kids out in that.

How has technology influenced all this?  People definitely expect to be SENT their information now.  "Why didn't I get a call?" is a common refrain.  A trusted organization must reliably and consistently push information out.

I have no idea what this week will bring.  My house is down to 49 degrees.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ShowMe: Tuba

Our very quick attempt at ShowMe app. We will get better, this was a just a draft.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The difference between management and leadership

via Seth Godin:

The difference between management and leadership:
Managers work to get their employees to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper.

Leaders, on the other hand, know where they'd like to go, but understand that they can't get there without their tribe, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen.

Managers want authority. Leaders take responsibility.

We need both. But we have to be careful not to confuse them. And it helps to remember that leaders are scarce and thus more valuable.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Comments for teachers!

I'd love it if you would leave a comment!  Don't troll.

The blog is designed to be a reflective journal, an online portfolio, and a conversation.  I write here to model reflective practice for my students.  But I also want to connect with the world so I can bring great lessons back to my classroom.

The past few months this blog has helped me start some great projects.  From Dean's Guitar Lessons, to the iAlchemy project, to writing an article for Leading Notes.  This collaboration is important.  It is collaboration we all should be modeling and displaying (its in our job description).

So, I know you are there.  In fact you can all check.  Please, say hi, leave a comment, suggest a better way.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A New Day

G´day..Choir is definitely "driving the bus" this year.  While theory will take over a lot of the load as the WSO iPad project develops, and band is making great progress, it is choir that I have to devote most of my time to.

There are 36 students in there.  I am having to relearn my assessment strategies for large groups.

We got approval to add an accompanist.  This is huge.  Not only can I choose different repertoire, but I can move soooo much faster.  Having two adults in the room will change the dynamic dramatically.

Having someone to talk to about the program and choices we make will be awesome.

Interesting fact: I googled all the applicants.  Having your work online and easy to find is essential.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October News

Seymour High School Music News

Contact Info:
Brandt Schneider, Director
1-203-881-6286 (mobile)
twitter: brandtschneider

1. We have 15 students signed up for CMEA auditions!!  They extended the deadline.  Contact me if you would like to be added to the list.  Some of you owe me some money for this activity.  In choir we have been practicing every day.  
2. Legacy Productions will be recording the groups in the spring.  We will be producing an mP3 album that will be available for download.  We believe in creating professional experiences for our students and this recording is part of that goal.
3. The Partnership with the Waterbury Symphony has begun to garner some press coverage.  Prof. Doug O’Grady at WestConn is composing a piece entitled iAlchemy.  The piece will feature a string quartet, percussion quartet, woodwind quartet, brass quartet, and iPad quartet of SHS students.  This piece will have its world premiere in May.  I will be choosing the students for this activity soon.
4. Extra help is always available.  Ask.  Some grades are lower than they should be.  Practice is your homework.  Practice is assigned every day.
5. iPads are available for sign-out.  Ask.
6. Many students are behind on their smartmusic assignments.  They need to come in before or after school or during study halls to catch-up.  I very highly recommend purchasing smartmusic for home use (  A very good investment!!
7. Dress for concerts is white top, black shoes, and black skirt/pants.  More details to come.
8. Parents and students can listen to grades and assessments by logging into
9.  We have a department facebook page and an alumni page.  Join us!  

Upcoming Dates:
November 19: CMEA auditions (morning)
December 15: SHS Winter Concert 7pm (every SHS music student will perform)
December 19: SHS Snow Date
January 13-14: CMEA Regional Festival (1/20-21 snow date)
February 4: All-State Auditions (for those who make regionals)
early April: Recording session
April 12-14: All-State Festival
May 4: Spring talent Show
May 12: Waterbury Symphony Performance
May 16: SHS Spring Concert
May 18: Tentative Lake Compounce Trip

Scale and key practice

Scale and key practice by Brandt Schneider. Uploaded with SoundCloud iPhone

Sunday, October 9, 2011

They Work Harder


Found this quote today.  Isn't it true for everything (music, sports, teaching)?

Their research suggestes that once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.
Malcolm Gladwell

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oh My God!

I love this site called Second Hand Songs!

Takes a song and tells who wrote it originally and then takes us through all the other published versions.  Amazing.  And it accepts submissions.  Great project!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

iPad Apps for Classroom

Moments Ago is an app that I have written about before.  I rarely write about apps that are not free.  This one costs $3.99.

The app is an iPhone app so I imagine a lot more teachers could access the app.  It is so very easy to use once its set up.

The app comes with some built in messages "Moments ago I noticed Johnny acting very kindly to a classmate" "Moments Ago Suzy thoughtfully contributed to a discussion in class" "Moments Ago I noticed that Robert is not performing at the level he is accustomed to".  You can edit the messages.

Sending a message is simple.  Three clicks will send a note to a parent.

Parents have responded.  I have had 15 responses to these emails saying "Thank You".  Never had such responses.

Peter, Paul, and Mary

Do we have anything today that matches the passion, drive, and focus of this song (or the Weavers, Dylan, Havens, etc...)?

Has iTunes, headphones, a thousand channel TV had an effect that we don't use music to drive social change?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'm Yours

Today I went to UConn to present to music education students about the iPad in music class.  It was a fun time.  As often happens, students stayed longer than the class period and started using the iPads as an instrument.  Trying to figure out the song "I'm Yours"

So tomorrow I think I will write a lesson for choir and band where they perform and sing this song on the iPad ukelele using the Six Strings app.  We might use garageband.  I hope to post video.

Theory class will work on Dean's guitar lessons.  Why do we do things like this?  As Dean says: it is "assessment FOR learning".  The assessment is where they learn.  Connected learning is can be fun, messy, exciting.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dean's Guitar Lessons

Tomorrow we hope to start on Dean's Guitar Lessons.  Dean is a well known educator who is teaching a class where you need to demonstrate learning a new skill.  Dean choose guitar and reached out for some help.

So tomorrow our students will view Dean's videos and begin to formulate a response.  We will post their ideas here on a google site.

I'm pretty excited for this opportunity for global connections.


I just had my goal meeting with my administrator.  We spent a lot of time hashing out a goal.  We didn't get there.

He asked what issues I saw.  I replied "there is no expectation of excellence".  Now, there is an "expectation of good", but I know what excellence looks like.  We aren't there yet.

Now, we have come so very, very far in the two years I have been here.  We have more students, equipment, funds, energy, etc... I have great kids and they are doing good.  But they know they aren't pushing themselves.

So we are not expected to be excellent yet.  When you walk into many music rooms across this state (Pomperaug, Farmington, Bridgeport Central, etc...) there is that expectation.

I want the school community to expect that excellence.

How do you create that?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chris Russell: Practical Technology for Music Education

I got another request today to write an article.  I haven't written too much lately and need to do this article to stay disciplined.  I need to keep up with Chris Russell.

Twitter has changed the nature of "colleague".  One of the colleagues I work most closely with is Chris Russell and he has written a great new eBook. You can download it here.

Now, I have never met Chris, nor talked on the phone with him.  Yet I find he is one of my go-to guys when I have a question.  One thing he has done is solved many problems with technology and then written about it.  Most importantly he has published.  There are so many experts in this world, but rarely do they take the time to publish and share.

For this we are all grateful to Chris.  Keep it coming!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Are you an expert?

Inside joke.

My podcast is on iTunes.  If I get subscribers it will encourage me to post regularly.

Friday, September 9, 2011

iPad Listening Activity

We have moved to a 90 minute block schedule this year which is a big adjustment.  We see the kids for an honest rehearsal, but every other day.  We will have to reinforce "perfect practice" at home so we can continue to move forward.

Choir is up to 38!  That is a big group to manage and will take a lot of my time.

One adjustment with the block is substitute plans need to be much more involved.  A 90 minute block is hard to fill when you have to write everything down.  Doing busy work is tough because that is a lot of class time you won't get back.

I wrote up this iPad listening activity for the music theory students to use on Monday when I am out.  I tried to get an activity that gets them:

  • Listening to different music.
  • Researching some concepts using the internet.
  • Thinking, evaluating, analyzing.
Hopefully it works!  I don't see them again until Wednesday of next week.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mozart Twitter Profile

I created a twitter profile for Mozart .  I hope to have students assume Mozart's identity and tweet each day (or more).  Perhaps we can add a few other notables.  Suggestions?

 Wolfgang Mozart 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Teacher Software: PlanBook

This is not a full review but I have found a lesson plan app called Planbook.  It has a desktop component, a public web component, and an iPad app.  I spent $30 for the desktop and $10 for the app.

The interface takes a little time to figure out but it runs smoothly after that.  The app syncs to the iPad by saving the file in Dropbox.  I am not sure how this will work in real time but it moved pretty quickly once I got it set up.  You can attach standards, attachments, and customize various boxes.  You can also drag and drop one lesson to the next.

I am getting this program to help me stay organized.  My stroke really hurts my planning and having a list in front of me should help.  Also we are going to 90 minute periods and I really need to divide the class into sections.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


School Beginning by Brandt Schneider I'm trying to practice podcast and I'm trying tos et up a channel. I think I am going to use Soundcloud, but their podcast feeds are in beta. Much to learn!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Whats New

I have a lot of things I have to work on:

1. We have about 35 kids signed up for choir this year.  Thats up from 12.  That will require a lot of changes.
2. I have to get pep band music ready.  I'm not even sure who is in my band yet.
3. I am teaching two sections of internet literacy.  I need to get that course running again.  It will be completely different than two years ago.
4. Cross Country starts in 12 days.
5. I have a ton of paperwork, calendar work, website work to do.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Virtual Podium: Where are the Women in Composition?

The Virtual Podium: Where are the Women in Composition?: "A few weeks ago, before the craziness of my marching season job got going, I had a conversation on Twitter with a few colleagues. @BrandtSch..."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

140edu Conference

I just returned from the 140edu conference in NYC.  I had a great time.  The set-up of the show is everyone gets ten minutes on stage to talk about their subject, so it moves fast.

I saw lots of great things that I will be blogging about soon.  It was nice to be in a room with a lot of energy, possibilities, and hope.  Too often rooms of teachers feel a bit beaten down.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gender Diversity in Program Choices

Most of our bands have over 50% female students yet most of us program very few, if any, female composers.

I threw a question out to twitter a few days ago- of our bands our 50% female, should we program 50% female composers?  Many directors said that they couldnt even NAME three female band composers.

This has to change.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

iPad apps for the Music Class

I have finished one year with the iPads in my classroom.  I wanted to review the most use aspects of the iPad for all involved.  By and large we have only used free programs and have only purchased a few.  So there are many, many fine applications that we simply did not get to.  I didn't really get to forscore and some of the other music apps. This year.

YouTube is the #1 destination.  I am not sure if this would be the case in every class, but in a music class it certainly is.  We use it to listen to music we are performing.  We use it for lessons on guitar or piano playing.  We use it for "downtime".  It is awesome to be able to direct students to watch a video to learn their part while the rest of the class continues to rehearse.

Google is #2.  We have greatly expanded all the google functions.  From google docs, to search, to translate.  Students get information when they need it.  That is a huge shift.  They don't ask "can I go look something up?"

Garageband is used constantly.  Garageband on the iPad is an instrument which makes it very different from the desktop version.  I found that students were playing garageband.  Both to create their own music and to recreate music they had heard.

Jampad very simple synthesizer and chord generator.  Music theory kids used this a lot and it seemed to be their destination of choice.

iPod.  Students said in the survey that iPad helped them explore music they wouldn't normally listen to.  I choose the music (my music...) that goes on iPad.  Sometimes we forget that the iPad is really a music device.

Verbally is the jaw dropping app for anyone who works with special ed students.  Hands down most amazing thing ever.

I found that the gimmick apps that do 1-2 things really stopped getting used.  Music apps that show basics had a fairly short shelf life.

The aspects of the iPad that are essential:
  • Instant on.  You can't believe how much time we save.
  • Battery life.  Never a thought about running out of battery during the day (or week for that matter).
  • Ease of applications.  There are entire courses that revolve around teaching software.  Not on the iPad.  I give almost no instructions on software.  I teach music.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How the iPad has/will change the music classroom

I polled my students.  Some results:

The apps on the iPad helped me learn.

This should be setting off bells everywhere.

The iPad helped me discover new music that I wouldn't normally listen to.

A great tool for music teachers?

I wish my textbooks were on the iPad.

Big, big money is about to get involved.  Will most teachers be expected to create their own materials?  I know I am expected to.

I am waiting for two more big grant announcements.  I know that I will be getting the iPad2 (or 3?) in the next year.  I need it mainly for the mirroring.  I also will explore the MIDI and recording aspects.  I hope to use an iPad to record school games, concerts, and events.  We will become more mobile, more accessible, and more fun.

I also hope to scan music into the iPad.  I never got to that this year.

Nobody in my department can envision working without the iPads.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Music Theory Exam

Here is my music theory exam:

You must compose a piece using noteflight that is inspired by this text.  When completed you must turn in your exam using this google form.  You can consult any notes, internet, or person when completing this test.

Well, we come in for the exam at 7:30 and find that noteflight is down for maintenance from 7-8am.  Its 8:02.  Still down.  Of course, I would check on their blog to see whats going on  but that's blocked by our filter.

8:03am now.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Page Views This Week

Pageviews by Countries
United States
United Kingdom

I need to show how far this blog reaches.  Its important (without getting into too many details).  

Where are you from?  Please leave a comment.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Most Inappropriate Wedding Songs Ever

Todays music theory assignment.

Easy Questions:

1. What are the main differences between Bach’s 2-Part inventions and 3-Part inventions (I’m looking for the obvious answer)?

2. Name the instruments being played on Bernstein’s Overture to Candide by the Empire Brass.

3. How many trombones are playing on Alla Hornpipe?

Harder Questions:

1. What is the harmonization of the chorus of Fifty Ways to Leave your Lover (use roman numerals)?

2. Play the bass line of Blue Bossa.

3. Which is the more complicated song: Dancin Fool or Disco Boy? Why?

4. What is the most inappropriate wedding song on the iPad? Why?

For most inappropriate song we came up with the following.  Remember they were limited to songs that were on the iPad.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

JJ Johnson

Tenor slide trombone 3D model
From 1990-91 at Oberlin I was JJ Johnson's assistant.  I was the Wendell Logan's assistant at the time and JJ had been hired as some sort of guest artist and would come in 4 times per year for three days or so.  I was in charge of picking him up at the airport and taking him everywhere.

Some observations:

  • He was just about the nicest guy ever.  Almost too nice.  Master classes involved him saying many positive comments.  He was always helpful.  
  • I remember he was working on a conical trombone.  A mix of euphonium and trombone.  He played this horn on his recordings after 1991.  It was a neat horn.  The guy from Yamaha would come out, he would play it and then tell them a few things.  A few months later they would bring him the next version.
  • About 5 years later we saw him with James Moody at the Blue Note.  I went upstairs later to say hi, thinking he wouldn't remember me.  He immediately saw me and told me to sit down for awhile.  "Try this horn out for me, Brandt, tell me what you think".  
  • He practiced a lot.  With a silent mute in the hotel room.
  • He didn't wear a seat belt.

Friday, June 3, 2011

iPad Survey Results

The iPad is a useful tool.

I like having the iPad in class.

The iPad helped me learn in music class.

I enjoy reading on the iPad.

The iPad is easy to use.

I wish my textbooks were on the iPad.

I was careful with the iPad and treated it as if my own.

The iPad helped me discover new music that I wouldn't normally listen to.

The apps on the iPad helped me learn.

I believe the iPad grant (ipad, TV, speakers, etc..) make me more engaged in class.