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.