music ipad apps

A is for Appdecide_now

My most recent favorite app is called Decide Now–only 99 cents!  Although it’s not a music-related app it is so easy to customize that you won’t be able to stop using it. A game of Piano Charades is just one example of how I implement this versatile app to reinforce music terminology by students acting out Italian terms at the keys. Here are the steps:

1) Call out words such as: piano, forte, fermata, ritardando, presto, largo, etc. and nudge students to act them out physically. This means YOU need to do it, too. For example: piano could be walking on tip toes while ritardando could be jogging in place and gradually slowing down the pace–like a train approaching a station.

decidenow-22) After all terms are physically re-enacted, have the students jot down each term to review the spelling and the definition. If they are youngsters, have them draw a picture instead of writing out the definition. Ex: ritardando could be represented with a train engine.

3) Ask a volunteer to play one phrase of a well-prepared piece as the composer intended.

4) The performer must spin the wheel featuring all the terms just reviewed without letting the others see where the Wheel-of-Fortune-like spinner stops. [···]

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On November 15, 2009–four years and 13 days ago–I posted my first blog here at MusicTeachersHelper.com. I was thrilled to be selected by Ronnie Currey and Brandon Pearce to blog monthly for the site. Since then, my appetite for writing has grown exponentially which translated into my own blog 88pianokeys.me and now a book. As I’ve done my share of reviews for others, I hope you don’t mind if I now share an explanation–not a review as yes, it would be quite biased–about an accomplishment that also began in November–November of 2012.

Sitting next to "Bella," my piano and inspiration.

Sitting next to “Bella,” my piano and inspiration.

 

After perusing my blog site, Philip Johnston–an author whose edgy approach has inspired me for years–encouraged me to write a book about using the iPad and apps. It turns out it didn’t take much nudging and over a number of months a book was conceived. Penning the content was the easy part, but finding the means to publish a book with a time-sensitive subject was the hard part.

Finally, in March of 2013, I met Tom Folenta. The easy part was talking him into publishing the book for/with me. The hard part: taking 12 chapters and building a book with a pleasing cover, some eye-catching graphics and that all important ISBN number.

Fast forward to the present. The easy part is expressing how ecstatic I am with my first, freshly pressed publication. The hard part is figuring out where to begin when explaining the cutting-edge features of this WebGINES Publishing Digital Series book.  Let me explain in more detail…

Your purchase of the The iPad Piano Studio: Keys to Unlocking the Power of Apps includes these features:

#1: Physical Paper Back Book: $21.99 (+ shipping)  PLUS a free copy of SimpleTEC Magazine AND all the additional features listed below.

Between the covers you will find information, ideas, insight and inspiration on integrating the iPad within every aspect of studio teaching. Yes, it’s called the iPad PIANO Studio, but teachers of other instruments will find the book beneficial as well. From those who are still contemplating the purchase of an iPad to those considered “veteran” iPad owners, there’s something for everyone. The chapters are concise with striking graphics and a fresh format so that information can be gathered quickly. You’ll follow my journey as I explored this slick device and along the way you’ll enjoy playing “I Spy” as there is plenty of name dropping (those who have inspired me) throughout the pages.

#2: Digital Edition: $17.99 (no shipping)

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Looking for one more reason why you and your music studio “need” an iPad.  Or perhaps, I’m just providing one more reason to justify the two I own–had to get the iPad 3 since my first generation does not have a camera.

Whatever the reason, you may want to check out iReal B and add it to your growing music app collection for your studio. Of course, the app works with smart phones and other tablets but I prefer using this one with my iPad.

The app is basically a template for lead sheets and provides a style accompaniment to go along with it. For $7.99 you get a book and a band, all in one.

With this app you can:

1) Collect chord charts for all your favorite songs and access them from anywhere. You can find 1000s of charts and download them for free from online forums.

2) Play along with a realistic sounding band to help steady that forever-wandering beat.

3) Choose from more than 30 different accompaniment styles that use a variety of instruments (purchase may be necessary).

4) Edit any chart or create charts from scratch. The app will generate an accompaniment– with a style of your choice–for your own, unique chord chart. [···]

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