Music Teacher's Helper Blog

AirTurn

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I first heard of the AirTurn almost 4 years ago, and finally bought one to use with my iPad in October. I LOVE IT!

What is it: The AirTurn is a wireless, hands-free page turner that sits flat on the floor. You use it with your favorite music reading App (I use forScore) on your iPad. The idea is that you can read your music on your iPad, play with your hands, and turn pages with your foot. I bought the one that comes with a handheld control unit that can be detached from the pedal board.

How much: $129.95. If you do not need the handheld unit, there is a cheaper version. Yes, it is a bit costly, which was the main reason I did not purchase it sooner. I just could not see myself using it enough. I am so glad I finally have one now!

Set up: Another reason I did not get it sooner was that I wondered if it was going to be difficult to set up, and if it was going to become one of those gadgets that sit on the shelf because I do not have time to read the instruction manual. Good news is that it was VERY EASY to set up! Just go to Settings on your iPad, turn Bluetooth ON, and the iPad finds it automatically, like magic! So far I have only encountered one instance where the iPad did not recognize it for some unknown reason, so I read the trouble-shooting section in the manual and the problem was quickly solved. Other than that time, I have not had to touch the manual again!

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performing with iPad and AirTurn. Piccoloist – Kate Prestia-Schaub

My experiences:

  • If you have never turned pages with your foot, it does take some getting used to. I used to swipe the pages on my iPad with my finger, so when I first started using the AirTurn, sometimes my left hand still turns the page out of habit, then a split second afterwards, my foot presses on the AirTurn as well, and I end up turning two pages instead of one. This is happening less and less as I use the AirTurn more.

 

  • I use the AirTurn with my left foot. Usually when I play, my right foot is on the damper pedal, and my left foot is on the una corda. When I first tried the AirTurn, I was always worried I could not move my left foot over in time to turn the page, so I would put my left foot on the floor, near the AirTurn, sometimes even on the AirTurn itself. This means sometimes I unfortunately pressed the AirTurn accidentally, and turned the page too early. For my first public performance with the AirTurn, I was too scared I would not turn the page in time, so I did not use the una corda at all – I did not want to stress out my left foot. Well, after about two months of practice, my left foot has learned to “trust” where the AirTurn is, and now it sits on the una corda, like it used to, I am able to use my three pedals like normal, and the left foot only goes to the AirTurn when it is time to turn the page!

 

  • It does not take much to tap the unit and turn the page, but at first, I was always worried it would not “get the message,” so I would step on it harder than necessary, and I ended up pushing the unit further and further away! Again, a little practice solves that problem.

 

  • Performing with the iPad and AirTurn is awesome! Audiences love to see the technology, no more copying, cutting, and pasting of tricky page-turn spots, and no need to leave out any notes (however insignificant) because of page-turning. Best of all, no need to carry lots of books around.

 

I have not tried the hand-held unit yet, but I plan on using that for the MTNA conference presentation I am doing with Music Teachers Helperin March, 2014. Overall, I am a very satisfied user of the AirTurn, and I highly recommend it! If you have any tips you would like to share regarding your experiences with the AirTurn, please comment below! Thanks for reading, and Happy Holidays!

 

About the Author

Yiyi Ku
Yiyi Ku is a pianist and teacher. Born in Taiwan, she grew up in New Zealand and obtained her Master of Music degree with Distinction in Composition and Piano Performance from the University of Canterbury. Yiyi also holds a Licentiate in Piano Performance from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano from Music Teachers National As... [Read more]

3 Comments

  1. Kyle Cullen

    This is very cool. As a drummer I’m wondering if I could get use to turning pages inbetween using the highhat pedal. I’m sure it could be figured out though

  2. Robin Steinweg

    This sounds like a fantastic tool not only for pianists, but for other instruments as well. For those with a bit of techno-fear, you’ve made it sound accessible. Thanks, YiYi.

  3. Maria D'Aura

    exactly what I’ve been looking for! I teach flute, clarinet and saxophone and that’s a lot of music to keep on hand for sight reading duets and trying new books out. Keeping music on an ipad will be so much more convenient. Can’t wait to get one and try it out. Thanks for the review.

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