A reader asked an excellent question, “I am just wondering though, how do you utilize student iPads in the band rehearsal? I have a set of 30 iPads to use with my students, yet I find it difficult to find a meaningful way to use them other than as metronome, tuners or formative feedback using the Socrative app.”
I thought it might be good to post my reply here. I’m sure there are plenty of you that could chime in with some amazing ideas, so please add to the comments!
DIGITAL SHEET MUSIC:
If you have enough iPads for 1:1 usage then using the iPads as digital music is one option that jumps out at me as being an awesome resource. That’s the first and foremost reason I purchased my iPad. I think having 1:1 iPad’s in the band rehearsal would just be a blast! There are some amazing apps to use for this.
Another option is to use the iPads for an app like SmartMusic. Gives you an ultimate easy ways to get a chance to collect a ton of recordings and assessments on your students with a easy way to send them feedback. This is the most amazing tool I’ve found for testing and assessing students to give them feedback quickly. to allow parents to be in the loop, and to help collect data to prove progress throughout the year. SmartMusic is a subscription based app and is well worth the price IF you select some of your repertoire from their library of available titles. the fact that this is available on the iPad now is just astounding!
- SmartMusic app - this is the main app. Then when it is time to grade the kids you can use their SmartMusic Inbox app.
What about using apps to teach and drill the students on music theory skills?
COMPOSITION and ARRANGING:
Use apps to have the students compose a short melody – one per week is very doable.
- NotateMeNow (Free for single staff music now WITH SCANNING OF PRINTED MUSIC!) or the full version NotateMe ($39.99) or
- Sonja (Free) or Notion ($14.99) or SymphonyPro ($9.99) to have the kids do composition exercises.
Have the students practice sight reading rhythms. Even if they have to do this in small groups.
It is really easy to do ear training practice and have them turn in screen shots to track their progress. Again even if they are doing this in small groups with headphones and 2-3 way splitters.
- Use EarBeaterLITE (Free) or the Full Version EarBeater ($7.99) for ear training practice and have them turn in screen shots to track their progress. Again even if they are doing this in small groups with headphones and 2-3 way splitters.
- UPDATED – Use InTune to practice whether or not notes are flat or sharp – gets progressively harder as you get better. AWESOME APP! (This is only an iPhone app but it runs on iPad and is worth your time!)
Using iPads to check your students on how well they have picked up on skills taught in class is a ton of fun, gives you a quick and easy way to find out who is doing well or who needs more help and what points need to be retaught.
- Socrative Student (Free)
- ExitTicket (Free) is the student app – use in conjunction with the website http://exitticket.org
- You really should check out Kahoot‘s ! They are awesome! The website is Kahoot.it for the students and the website for you as teacher is getkahoot.com
FreshGrade is a very interesting online grade book that I have been playing with this past two months. It allows me, or the students, to upload their assignments in a variety of formats into our online grade book. They can do this themselves or I can use the teacher capture app or the website to do this myself. The parents have access as well to their students grade book. I am loving the fact that the possibilities to this are looking very nice for us music teachers who need to be able to collect examples of our students work that does not translate into a simple number very well. I have the students take a snapshot of their composition and upload it, we take a video of them performing their solo and upload it, or they could just simply record an audio file of their scales for me to grade. The fact that they can do the uploading them selves is amazing – saves me a TON of time! The fact that Mom and Dad can jump online to see the progress they are making is essential – play allows me to send instant communication to parents about their students as well!
- Fresh Grade Capture App (Teacher uses this to upload student work)
- Fresh Grade for Students
- Fresh Grade for Parents
Have the kids build presentations on composers or music history or anything. Then you can use Airplay for the kids to present to the class.
EVALUATION – HIGHER ORDER THINKING:
Students could listen to rehearsal recordings you have uploaded to the class SoundCloud…. Then they can make comments on what went well or not so well.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE…. leave me some comments below about other possibilities you see!