Music & Technology

For years, sight reading triggered personal fear and insecurity. I feared I would fail and felt insecure when I compared myself to peers whomzl-hhqqeabm-175x175-75 seemed undaunted by the task of reading new scores.

As I teach out of reaction to my own experiences and feelings, it is essential that my students become strong grand staff readers and overcome their fears of sight reading as I eventually did. Early readers develop solid skills with continual reinforcement; in fact, a great deal of reinforcement that I find dreadfully boring to include during lessons. Oops…probably shouldn’t have said that but it’s true.

Thankfully things have changed significantly since I was a child on the bench. Now methods to build AND teach grand staff reading skills are available on my favorite iDevice thanks to various developers. Yigal and Yuval Kaminka, the master mind developers behind Joytunes‘ latest app called Piano Mania have struck gold.  The innovative, musical brothers recognized that humans enjoy winning and took advantage of the addictive tendencies of top-selling video games and paired them with essential reading skills for musicians to master.  This combination coupled with appealing music and an elite technical team has created an unbeatable, magnetic AND educational app.

 The app offers an elaborate system for building reading skills that benefit both students and teachers.   [···]

Read More
Digital Sheet Music

Need we say more?

This is a guest post from Hugh Sung. He has been an advocate for utilizing cutting-edge technologies to enhance the artistry of the classical musician. He developed a customized database to create a paperless office for his administrative work and in 2002, shortly after the first Tablet PC’s were introduced by Microsoft to the public, he adapted an early model for use as a digital music score reader with a foot pedal-activated page turning system. – 

From Paper to Pixels
Do you have a nostalgic devotion to your stacks of coffee-stained, curled, yellowed and smudged sheet music? Are you convinced that the scent of mildew it exudes somehow contains magic that makes you a better musician? Let me posit something that will revolutionize your world, if you let it:
Becoming a paperless musician will lead to faster, more effective learning and performance of music. It is physically more convenient, and will actually give you and your students the tools to become vastly better musicians. To boot, it is a great way to be more environmentally friendly.
Ok, just in case I didn’t convince you why you need to join the digital sheet-music revolution, here’s more.

What the heck is a pixel?
For my musician friends who are still dragging their consciousness (and their sheet music) out of the last century (or even the 1800s), pixels are the smallest dots on a computer screen used to make images and words. With today’s amazing display technologies, such as the “retina display” for the new iPad and MacBook Pro, these pixels are so small they make the experience of reading sheet music on a computer screen incredibly vibrant and – many might argue – better than reading on physical paper. Of course, there’s no arguing how much easier it is to read a digital screen in low light than a piece of paper music under an anemic, underpowered stand light!
Cutting-edge display technologies aside, here are 10 additional reasons why using computers to read music is better than paper:
 [···]

Read More

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. [···]

Read More