ipad music lessons

Integrating iPad technology into Music Education

The iPad is a wonderful tool and should be a part of all music departments and music education worldwide. In this blog I will enlighten you to its many uses and share how valuable integrating iPad technology into music education is.

We are no longer on the verge of musical revolution. We are right in the middle of a musical revolution all thanks to Steve Jobs and his crew at Apple. The iPad has changed music as we know it. No longer is it merely a toy for wannabe musicians to play around on. The iPad and its music software is now so advanced that professional musicians worldwide use it to compose entire albums. Thanks to the iPads tactile design and easy to understand music apps learning and composing music has never been easier.

Integrating the iPad into music education definitely has its place. iPad Music Lessons are here to stay and will open doors like nothing else before. Digital Music Production on the iPad has forever changed how students will learn songwriting and music production. The integration of this into music education will ultimately result in re-evaluation of traditional teaching methods. The good news is that the iPad makes teaching the technicalities of music theory, composition and aural awareness much easier and more importantly the use of the iPads allow students the opportunity to grasp these topics using the visual, tactile and audible applications that the iPad offers.  I learned music traditionally, I have been through the hoops f trying to grasp and understand theory. An iPad would have changed my life and set me years ahead when I was learning had they existed back then. An iPad is invaluable tool when it comes to music education. This is where the future of music and education lies. We as educators have the responsibility to incorporate this technology into our education systems. We need to learn to enjoy it and professionally integrate the use of iPads into music education and education alike.

Music Composition and Production on the iPad

Digital Audio Workstations like Presonus Studio One, ProTool and the rest have been at the forefront of music production for some time now. These days that computing power is available on the iPad in apps such as Garageband. Garageband has simplified the Digital Audio Workstation and made it user friendly to a point where almost anyone can pick it up and make a song within minutes. Apple provides a wealth of loop based music that is available and accessible to students. This makes teaching music and finding examples for students very easy.

For more advanced music composers and producers there are a range of more advanced Digital Audio Work Stations. There are quite a few choices and something to fit everyone’s need and desire. Auria, Cubase, BeatMaker2, NanoStudio are among a few of these.

Audio recording has also been simplified. No longer is there a need for mounds of gear, all one needs these days is an iPad, a microphone and some good headphones. Recording just got a whole lot easier.

There are also quite a few unconventional ways in which students can explore music on the iPad. Musical creation interfaces like SoundDrops, Strange Attractor and Musyc are among a few of these touch based apps.

iPad Music Notation Apps for Music Arrangers and Composers

There are even apps for notation. Any arranger will appreciate the speed at which these apps make music arranging possible. One of my personal favorites is an app called NotateMe which uses i{ads touch screen to support hand writing recognition of music notation. How cool is that!
NoteFlight and Notion are apps that allow on screen note editing of scores and arranging.

Sheet music printed on paper is now a thing of the past. The iPad can be used to display sheet music and save paper, PDF images of music can be displayed using appropriate apps. There are also pedals now to enable easy page turning. Check out AirTurn and PageFlip. I thing traditional page turns just lost their jobs. Sorry guys.

iPad Live Performance and iBands

The iPad can be played live as a musical instrument. iBands make use of the Garageband smart instruments as well as other apps that are designed for live performance. VisPerformer and SoundPrism are two really nice apps outside of Garageband that can be used for this purpose. An iBand is simply an iPad only ensemble that uses a mixture of virtual instruments played together by a group of students. These iPad ensembles open up a world of live music and performance to students that never would have had the opportunity to make music in a group situation.  These ipad virtual instruments can also be incorporated with traditional musical instruments to broaden and integrate music and live performance. Music is moving forward at a rapid rate and this technology given the correct application can bring musicians and non musicians together into a world of creativity that until now was never a possibility.

Music Theory on the iPad

The iPad has revolutionized music theory. No longer does it need to be overwhelming and complicated.  There are apps for aural training and music theory such as ClefTutor, EarBeatrer and even games that teach things like rhythm and beats in a fun way, like Tune Train and The Most Addicting Sheep Game.

I have personally incorporated music theory into iPad Music lessons with very hands on practical approach. Each aspect of music theory that I teach is practically applied into song writing as we go along. This gives students real firsthand experience on how the theory they just learned is relevant and important in the world of music making. As a student there is nothing worse than been sent home with a list of musical scales to learn and no explanation about why they should be learned. Learning scales and chords becomes fun when they can be applied to song writing and creating music as they are learned.

The iPad has just enabled us as music educators to create a fun and very practical way to teach students traditional music theory.

There are many benefits to integrating iPads into music education. Student collaboration and interaction musically will increase and a renewed interest in music will be inevitable. The iPad has provided a relevant and very efficient music making opportunity for students and should be used to its maximum effect.

iPad Music Apps for Education

Strange Attractor
Tune Train
The Most Addicting Sheep Game