MakeMusic Joins Peaksware

Peaksware MakeMusic

Well that’s interesting….

August 6, 2014 – MakeMusic, Inc. announced today that they will join the umbrella company Peaksware, Inc. owned by LaunchEquity Partners, the same investment company who took MakeMusic private in 2013. MakeMusic joins TrainingPeaks, another brand already under the leadership of the Peaksware team. Each brand will remain focused solely on their respective markets of music technology and endurance training, continuing their long histories as industry leading brands.

Back in March of 2013 , MakeMusic was sold to LaunchEquity Partners for 23.8 million. Now, in August 2014, LaunchEquity puts MakeMusic under the same umbrella of operation with two sports training programs.

Here are a few quotes from the press release:
“Our vision is to provide the platforms by which performers and instructors can work to perfect their crafts. Both TrainingPeaks and MakeMusic have already helped countless people achieve mastery. Working together under the Peaksware umbrella, they will be able to reach even more,” said Andy Stephens, Chairman of both MakeMusic and Peaksware.

“Whether it’s coaches and athletes, teachers and students, or composers and musicians, we’re pioneering software platforms that help people reach their potential across sport, music and beyond,” said Mr. Fisher, CEO of Peaksware. “Our vision is broad, but it’s based on a core strategy that we’ve honed over the years at TrainingPeaks, and it will be the cornerstone on which we build a great organization.”

What I know about Peaksware…. From their website here is their “What We Do” Statement…
“We bring together industry leading brands to help guide people along their journey of improvement through a unique approach to deliberate practice.”

They have three brands listed under their direction – MakeMusic, TrainingPeaks, and TrainHeroic. So now they have one music company and two athletic companies under them.

The Peaksware website will take you about 60 seconds to see EVERYTHING they have on it. Short, precise and to the point. –

The Peaksware four step approach does make perfect sense from a teachers perspective – take a look at it here.


My Thoughts…
I will say that MakeMusic this past year has not seemed to loose traction from the first acquisition. They have just made a few nice updates to both SmartMusic and Finale 2014. We can only hope that this new partnership creates a stronger MakeMusic!

Chris Russell had a chance to talk for a few minutes with Peaksware’s CEO, Fisher. It is interesting that he has a daughter who is using SmartMusic in her efforts to learn an instrument. This helps me think that maybe the news of today is good news.

Read more about Chris’s thoughts here.

The press release from MakeMusic can be found here

Essential iPad Apps For Marching Band Directors (during the prep for marching season)

Are you a Marching Band Director with an iPad? Well then you are probably working through much of the same preparation as I am. How does my iPad help me in all of this craziness?

In the prep of the drill I have my iPad on the entire time even though I am writing drill in Pyware 3D. On the iPad I use UnRealBook Small IconUnRealBook or ForScore Small IconForScore or possibly even GigBook Small IconGigBook to display my music. I also use the annotation tools in those apps to write on top of my music all of the drill chart pages and instructions. I can not imagine going back to paper music and having to write al of this in, copying the scores, inserting into sheet protectors, using three ring binders and then just waiting for that rain to wreck it all!

If you have an iPad and you are NOT using one of these three apps along with PDF’s for you sheet music you need to go get on this task right now! These apps are some of the apps that have been on my iPad since I bought the first iPad on the day it was released! In fact, as a music teacher, this is THE reason I bought that iPad1! Which of the three should you start with? Pick one…. seriously…

I have a new app that I think is going to be amazing this year – DrillBook Next Small IconDrillBook Next is $9.99 for the Directors version of the app that I just discovered this year. After creating the drill in P3D I then simply export performer coordinate sheets which I then import into DrillBook Next – giving me my entire drill in interactive format on my iPad!

Students can also easily use the app as well – BONUS: they can use it on DrillBook Next Small IconDrillBook Next Reader for iPad ($4.99), DrillBook Next Small IconDrillBook Next Reader for iPod ($2.99) or even Android ($2.99) as well as on a desktop computer (on the computer it’s free, yup, FREE!)

The only thing missing here is being able to watch my drill and have it synced to music. After talking to Scott – the developer – though, I fully understand the copyright issues this would cause with the way access to the drill works.

I have not convinced myself to go iPad on this front while creating and editing my musical notation files yet. I have ordered my Notion5 though for desktop and am committing to digging in and learning Notion this year. I mean, come on! There is a full fledged desktop AND iPad app available for Notion Small Icon Notion! Yes, I could work with NoteFlight but Notions excellent sound have won me over!

Currently my workflow is to create and edit in Sibelius then export to Avid Scorch Small Icon Avid Scorch. I also export PDF files to use in ForScore or UnRealBook. I will say that when I use Scorch I find one extra step is needed to make great use of the size of the iPad. If I just open the full score there is always too much info on the screen. On the desktop I simply focus on select staves and all is well. In fact if you save your Sibelius file with it focused on those select staves then when you email it to yourself and open it in Scorch it will stay focused! My problem is that I want to also have a DrumLine condensed score I can jump back and forth between. Well…. here’s your Sibelius Tip of the week – I wrote this Blog Post back in Aug 2012 and I use it all the time because of dumping scores over to the iPad. This Blog Post will show you how to set up condensed scores so that they are just a tap away, just like you can quickly jump to any other part in the score.

Of course I also have to have a metronome app while arranging music – I find that I have used Tempo Small IconTempo the most of all my metronome apps. It works on my iPad as well as my iPhone. It looks great on both. This is not a metronome designed for the iPhone that I have to use in 2x mode, it was designed for both devices screen sizes.

MUSIC RECORDINGS (of our show):
CLICK TRACK CREATION – For each of my marching show pieces I always add in a click track at least for an intro measure. That way we are not guessing when the recording is going to start as we rehearse. In order to do that GarageBand small iconGarageBand works fine.

MultiTrack DAW small iconMultiTrack DAW or Cubasis small iconCubasis would work too. The process is simple – Import the recording, create another track with drums in it and record a few measures of you tapping along to the recording. Move that audio to the beginning and export the new file.

Remember – These apps would also give you an excellent way to record your groups for evaluation later! UnRealBook and ForScore allow you to record rehearsals (or whatever) while you are viewing your PDF music even!

REHEARSAL with those recordings – One of my essential apps for marching band rehearsal is AnyTune Icon SmallAnyTune Pro+. We use this app constantly all season long so we can rehearse our marching skills to a recording of the show. AnyTune Pro+ allows us to set book marks so we can quickly jump to any place in the song we want. We can slow the music down and we can even loop a section if we want to go through it a few times. In fact, if you are only going to by one app this fall this just might be your best choice!

MUSIC RECORDINGS (of any song):
I of course use my iTunes app and library to play music for the students over AirPlay – AirServer App works wonders for not having to have wires connected!

I have also started using SpotifySpotify. On the iPad it is amazing the music you have available at your fingertips FOR FREE! There is so much educational music on there it astounds me – soloists for all instruments, classical, jazz, brass band, pop and whatever else you want.

I use FileMakerGo Small IconFileMaker on my desktop and iPad all the time. I have created databases in FM that save me a ton of time every year. Want a roster of my class, tap that button. Oh, you want it sorted by instrument? No problem. What about if you want a list of your band sorted by gender but then also broken down by grade level and then sorted by last name? Every year you have to order shoes? Not a problem, here is the list…. same with shirts…. and by the way I grouped the kids names by size of course!

The drawback to FileMaker is that you have to create the database on the desktop FIRST! Then it can all be transferred and worked with on an iPad or iPhone. Of course if you have a friend that has designed a database maybe they would be nice enough to share! But seriously, go buy a database and STOP USING SPREADSHEETS! There are a few very useful sample databases that come with the download of the free iOS FM13 App. The real fun is when you can edit those to make them work in ways to benefit you and your program.

DropBox Small IconDropBox is also an essential place for me to share files with students like music arrangements as they become available or PDF’s of the drill charts (although with DrillBook Next, I think PDF drill charts are going bye-bye!)

We also use DropBox to store all of the registration and medical forms for all the kids. They send it to us, we scan it and upload it to DropBox. From there my entire staff has access to important information. DROPBOX TIP – We will also make sure to download those files to our devices so we can have access when there is no network at camp, on trips or God forbid in the hospital.

I try really hard to keep my blog up to date on wordpress by using Blogsy Small IconBlogsy. Blogsy is heads and tales better then the WordPress App. When my students are blogging I suggest they use the WordPress app because it is free and it does actually work (most of the time).

I also have a band Twitter, FaceBook and YouTube.

The Apple Calendar app is basic as is the Reminders app. The benefit to using those two apps is that I use SIRI to interact with my schedule all the time.

When I actually need to open an app though I use Calendars 5Calendars 5 or Fantastical Small IconFantastical – a huge step up from the other apps!

I also love using GoodTask Small IconGoodTask for my reminders (you know, this might need to be your one MUST buy app for the fall… hmmm….)


This is just a blog post to get started with ideas of how essential tech is in a Band Directors life during Marching Season

Exciting News – Notion Music Notation App is bumped up to Version 5!

notion 5PreSonus has been busy, busy, busy! Not only did they release a new DAW for iPad called Capture Small Icon Presonus Capture, to use in conjunction with StudioOne but now Notion for the desktop has been updated to version 5!

Notion is PreSonus’s notation app that is truly cross platform – they have a version for Mac, Windows and iPad! Notion is probably your best choice for an all around music notation program because of that reason along with a few other details. Finale and Sibelius both have apps for the iPad that allow you to view notation files on the iPad but those iPad apps do not allow you to create and edit those notation files. IF you have Sibelius or Finale you should absolutely own those iPad apps though! For Sibelius users you should download Avid Scorch Small IconScorch. Finale users should download Finale SongBook Small IconFinale SongBook. They are both free and add an amazing level of access to those music notation files on your iPad!

Back to Notion V5….

You can go visit the Notion website to read everything but let me tell you why I believe this is a huge move for PreSonus/Notion. One of the new capabilities in Notion is that is is gaining some of the functionalities of StudioOne along with the look of StudioOne. What does that mean? That means that this nice notation app is gaining full-fledged DAW capabilities! New mixer, new plug-inslike Compressor/Limiter/EQ and by using Re-Wire you can even run a music notation file in Notion right alongside a recording project in StudioOne!

Do not underestimate the importance of this integration!

Another item that caught my eye is that Notion allows you to perform you Notion files live – adjusting tempo and volume to stay with the live performance simply by tapping along on a MIDI keyboard. PLUS Notion allows you to import audio files as a part of the project too! Of course one of the big new features is the ability to work with movies now. Sibelius of course has been able to work with video for quite a while now.

The price of Notion has gone up to $150, it used to be $100. If you have version’s 3 or 4 you can upgrade for $50. Now that $150 is the FULL price not an upgrade!

Compare that to the cost of Sibelius full price being $599 with upgrades costing from $50-$100 depending on which version you are running.

Compared to the cost of Finale full price being $600 with an upgrade costing you $140.

Just which version do you think students are going to be able to afford? Now, to be fair Finale does offer several slimed down versions of Final for $50-$120 and Sibelius offers a slimmed down version for $120. Both of those apps also offer educational pricing too.

Confused yet?

One more reason to like Notion – simple and straightforward and affordable!

These apps are going to cost you some hard drive space on your computer!

Notion – around 8GB
Sibelius – around 36GB
Finale – around 2.5GB

CHOICES: There used to be two main choices for music notation – Sibelius or Finale. Now we have a bunch of options! Some apps run on desktop as well as on iPad. Then we have some other options that are iPad only now. Here’s the run-down.
Notion – Desktop and Notion Small IconiPad version – $
Sibelius – Desktop version with Avid Scorch Small IconScorch (an iPad viewer) – $$
Finale – Desktop version with Finale SongBook Small IconFinale SongBook (an iPad viewer) – $$$
NoteFlight – works on desktop or iPad through a web browser – FREE!
MuseScore – Desktop version (FREE) with an iPad viewer $

SymphonyPro Small IconSymphonyPro – iPad app $
Tabular iOS Small IconTabular – iPad app $
NotateMe Icon SmallNotateMe – iPad app $ (Handwritten music PLUS amazing music scanning plugin – $)
SmartScore NoteReader – iPad app music scanning app (read about it here on Chris Russell’s website –
Sonja Small IconSonja – iPad app free


If you only own an iPad and want a music notation app – Get Notion IF YOU HAVE SPACE – or SymphonyPro. You can NOT go wrong with either app!

If you want a great music notation app and you own an iPad plus you want to be able to work on notation files from the laptop as well as the iPad…. get Notion.

If you already own Sibelius and are as worried as I am about the future of Sibelius… (Heck, I haven’t even upgraded to version 7 yet let alone 7.5!) Notion is still going to be a great addition to having Sibelius. Especially since all three apps are Music XML compatible so you can transfer files back and forth easily!

Finale users are not worried a bit about the future of Sibelius but again Notion just might be a nice addition, especially the iPad version of Notion!

The Future of Learning To Play

capo3-logo-headerWell, I wrote about the future having arrived a few days ago when I wrote about NotateMe. I wasn’t kidding either and apparently a LOT of other people were very intrigued as well! Thanks for reading that post about the transformation from NEEDING a computer to being able to work ONLY with a mobile device in music.

Now let’s talk about the future of LEARNING how to play a piece of music. For thousands of years people have relied on learning how to play music by listening to it – they repeated sections of the piece over and over, repeating what someone played for them. Simple call and response, over and over. When learning someone else’s music this tradition has not died even now.

Now though, it is going to be a whole lot easier! If you have EVER worked on figuring out a song by ear you know how many hours it takes us! (OK, well at least me a few thousand others who are not blessed with the ability to play anything we hear by hear!) This app is going to save you hours!

Capo3 Small IconCapo has been out for a while now on a normal computer and is now up to version 3! Now Capo Touch Small IconCapo Touch available for those using iOS mobile devices!

In fact currently both the desktop version and the mobile versions are on 50% sale! So the time to buy them is now!

Capo3 Small IconCapo3 for the Mac – $14.99 (50% off normal price)

Capo Touch Small IconCapo Touch for iOS – $4.99 (505 of what the normal price will be soon!) [runs on both iPhone and iPad]

Let’s talk about what Capo is since most of us don’t know….


  • Automatic Chord detection – it will TELL you the chords for any song in your iTunes library! Doc Brown would have hated us having this tool available back when we were taking Ear Training and Music Theory back in college!
  • Slows Your Music – High quality time stretching engine that will slow that music down to a learnable pace!
  • Looping Regions – Play it again Sam! Over and over, slower if you like, until you get it!
  • Transposition – Now we can instantly change the key of the song!
  • Chord Boxes – For those of you who are guitar players (or teach guitarists) Capo will show you how to play those chords it has automatically detected AND if you transpose the song it transposes those chord boxes too!
  • Capo and Tuning Options – yup got those covered too for all you guitar players
  • Metronome, Count-Off, and Effects – Not sure where that beat is? Well turn the metronome on silly!
  • Beautiful Interface – Gives you a great experience browsing you music library to pick that next song to learn.
  • iCloud Syncing – Work on you iPhone while out and about and then when you pull out your iPad later everything will be in sync. Of course, since Capo is also available on a normal computer it syncs there as well!

There is at least one difference between the desktop version of Capo and the mobile. On the desktop version you are able to actually draw in notes on top of the spectrograph, just like you would in a piano roll on a MIDI sequencer. Then, after drawing those notes out, you will actually get TABS so that you can learn the part on your guitar.


I am impressed at all of the pro musicians they have who are backing this app too! Go ahead, click that picture below and read everything they are saying about it! Pretty cool. These are not just some ol’ teacher like me – these are people getting paid good money for the music they make!




Capo Pros Shot


The app currently has tabs, chords, and chord diagrams for guitarists. Which is awesome but I would love to see the ability to have music notation instead of tabs! Even if I could export what I have done in Capo as an XML file to use in Sibelius or another notation app it would be awesome. I currently am using Capo2 and the export function does not work very well – OK, actually I could never get it to do anything – UNTIL I imported the MIDI file into Sibelius. Once it imported into Sibelius I was able to see the notes I had drawn in. Of course it was not performance ready but it would give us non-guitar players something to look at that would be better than tabs. Now, if it would just export the chords as well!

Maybe the export functions are better in Capo3? If someone has v3 and could let me know it would be awesome!

If you are ever in need of an app to help you figure out how to play a song that you do not already have music for this is it!

In fact, this answers one of my issues I have with my own music – I play and record then I forget what I played and recorded! This app helps me solve that issue! Usually, I am composing in a DAW, like Cubasis or Logic and using audio recordings. Before this app there was no way for me to turn that audio back into any sort of notation to help me remember what in the world I played! Now, problem solved!

If you are a teacher, a performer, or an amateur musician, you would be crazy not to grab at least one of these if not both of them!

Capo3 Small IconCapo3 for the Mac – $14.99 (50% off normal price)

Capo Touch Small IconCapo Touch for iOS – $4.99 (505 of what the normal price will be soon!)



Remember – if you are inspired to purchase apps because of my blog, please click on my links and help give back to my efforts here. Each link is an affiliate link and gives me a small percentage of Apple’s profit on each app. The developer still gets their full profit.

NotateMe and PhotoScore IAP (compatibility notes too)

So I can say that the full version of the PhotoScore IAP for NotateMe works pretty well!

notatemelogoI worked on a score with 8 staves on it that was printed pretty small. Each 8.5 x 11 page had a top and a bottom to it with a total of 9 pages. When I used PhotoScore I took a picture of the top set of 8 staves and then I tapped the continue option to then take a picture of the bottom set of 8 staves. So in effect I had 18 pages to the score when I got done.

In all of that there were three major errors -

1)On one page one measure got really messed up! I’m not sure, but I wonder if I cut off a bar line or something when I was taking pictures. No way of telling now though.

2)Four of the staves where Bb Instruments and then I had a Piano, Bass and Drums. The transposition here is really messing with me. I will have to play with it more to see how to make it work right. The Piano and Bass ended up in the wrong key though. So I ended up fixing that in Sibelius.

3)The Drum part used note heads that are X’s to indicate hi-hat and ride. PhotoScore does not bring those in as X note heads but it DOES bring them in as regular note heads. When there were 2 of these cymbals parts stacked on top of each other it just didn’t recognize what was going on though. The drum part did have a bunch of measures that came through really weird and so again I fixed this in Sibelius.

Minor errors – The scanning process missed a couple of accidentals in the piano part too.

The chords in the piano part all were recognized and pulled over into Sibelius just fine!

It took me about an hour total to end up with a recording exported out of Sibelius for my students to refer to and rehearse with! That is way less time then in the past when I had to either input the notes by hand or play them all in using my keyboard. This is a WIN!

I think that with a larger score like this it may just be easier to export the XML file into Sibelius or Finale and do the editing on a bigger screen. When I was working with just one part at a time I did not mind doing the editing on the iPad but this was too much I feel.


A few people have asked great questions that I should have pointed out a few days ago… Yes, NotateMe will export XML files that will work in Sibelius, Notion, or Finale. (it also exports MIDI for that matter and even PDF files too).

NotateMe -

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 1.28.28 AM

NotateMe Now -

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 1.30.26 AM Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 1.30.33 AM

The fact that this technology is even possible on ANY iPad or iPhone astounds me! The fact that it requires the better camera does NOT surprise me at all!

What does this mean for schools and students with older devices? Well, the handwriting part of these apps still give us an amazing composition tool to use in class and NotateME Now is FREE!

Those with the older devices will update soon enough and more and more students will have access to even the PhotoScore IAP!

That simply underlines what I have said all along – make sure you know what you want to do with devices like an iPad in your classroom BEFORE you make your purchase. Plan for the future too! You know that tech and app capabilities are going to march onward and demand more power, better camera quality and more storage so go as for as big a device as you can possibly get.

If you are a teacher then the 64GB iPad is what you should be looking at and I can NOT think of a reason to not get the iPad Air. Yes, it’s a few more dollars but it will be worth it as you will be using this deice for the next 3-5 years or longer. If you are not using it then you will have upgraded to the next latest and greatest and someone else WILL be using that iPad Air!

Android users rejoice – this app is one of the few music apps for Android! You are not left out in the cold this time so go support Neuratron for their great efforts!

NotateMe and DrumLine – Percussion Parts

NotateMe Now does NOT scan in the Snare Drum parts that are on a single line staff. NOTE – The full version of NotateMe with the PhotoScore IAP will work only on 5 line staffs as well. Thanks Neuratron for a speedy answer to that question.

NotateMe Now DOES handle the Quad and Bass Drum parts very well. EXCEPT it does NOT pickup on 1 measure and 2 measure repeats like you so often find in percussion parts. So I had to keep adding in extra measures in Sibelius and used my hand-dandy-nifty shortcut that I had set up to create those repeat markings. By using the shortcuts it was fast to fix and add those extra measure.

I always kind of hate doing percussion parts by hand because it takes so long… not anymore! :)

Scanning Music With your iPad – OCR on Music Notation! (For FREE! – almost)


All I can say is “Wow!”

Let me say that one more time, “WOW!!!”

Neuratron has really done it this time! First thing they did was to bring a handwriting app to market that we never hardly believed could happen! In fact, they did THAT in total “Apple style” – I don’t think ANYONE even mentioned it before that app just “showed up”! That app is called NotateMe Now (for the free but limited to one line of music version) or if you want the full version then the app is called NotateMe ($39.99 and worth every penny of it too!)

I will say that there WAS one company that had put together a very slick looking video with the concept of having an app that would actually allow us to handwrite music on our iPads. That video was THE hot topic for awhile – let’s see now… what was the name of that company again? Ah, never mind – it never came to be from them.

Now, Neuratron has done it all again! They released a plugin to NotateMe Icon SmallNotateMe that allows you to take a picture of printed sheet music and it will then take that picture, perform magic spells on it and then turns it into a computer notated file! (OK…. it’s not really magic spells but it seems like it!) That plugin is called PhotoScore.

Let me give you a visual…. (Clicking on any of the pictures in this blog post will give you another larger version that is easier to see.)

You take Sheet Music



Take a Picture of it (I only used the free, one stave, version app – NotateMe Now. I have NOT tried the paid $29.99 In-App-Purchase – which I assume will work even better PLUS will do music with more than one stave in it!)



and you end up with this…



Now, to be fair there were just a couple of steps in between taking a picture and ending up with the Sibelius file but NOT MANY! What you will find that actually happens immediately after taking the picture in NotateMe is the app will scan the page and recognize the staves then recognize then notes. You get to watch as it does all that – it’s FAST! Then you will have this on your iPad…



Now, I made that a bigger picture so that you could really see how accurate this app is! Above you see what NotateMe scans the picture you took as and to compare, below you can see a jpg of the actual sheet music…



As you can see there were not MANY missed notes in the recognition! AMAZING! LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT! This scan has the most amount of errors that I have gotten so far. I’ve done quite a few and usually there is only one or two missed items. In this scan you can see that there are some dotted 8th-16th note rhythms that the scanning process missed along with a couple of ties.

Here is a link to a video which shows you how awesome NotateMe Now is at this whole process!  In the video you can see how crazy easy it is to edit the errors in the piece from above – it took me just 3 minutes. Most of that was simply looking back and forth to make sure the app didn’t miss anything.

Below I take you through a few  steps working with the NotateMe Now app, Notion for iPad and Sibelius on a laptop to get to a final product.
In the process of scanning some music with a lot of articulations in it I found that the app is not perfect on picking up all the articulations – it does pick up some of them but the Tenuto markings especially it has issues with. The D.S. and Coda text it did not pick up but it DID read the Gradually Softer marking. NotateMe does not read multi-rests either. So I had a few things to clean up but not much at all (In fact, I have used the laptop version of their app, PhotoScore, for years and I can say that this iPad version is BETTER!)

So here are the steps I took to clean things up…. I COULD HAVE emailed myself an XML right from NotateMe Now and imported it into Sibelius on my laptop BUT this is about exploring the capabilities of what my iPad can do. So, I choose to use Notion for the iPad. Let me show you what I did….

Re-named the Part (This seemed to help later with transposing instruments especially!


Exported the XML


Opened it in Notion


Found the correct file (I did not think this worked the first time. I expected Notion to actually pop open the file and it does NOT do that. It puts the file in the list and you have to open it yourself.


Added extra measures because of the multi-rests


Inserted the actual rests



I then edited all the articulations in Notion – I feel like it is faster on the iPad then in Sibelius (and I’ve been working with Sibelius a really long time – I even have shortcut set up to speed up the process. I just feel like it is way easier to tap the note, tap the articulation – done.) Don’t forget –  when there are multiple notes in a row that need the same marking you get them all at once!


Moved the dynamics and edited them (I’m not sure if NotateMe or Notion was putting the dynamics ABOVE the music but it was getting messed up!) There was one spot I could not squeeze in a crescendo either…



Then I finally sent the XML file over to the laptop to import into Sibelius (I really just did not feel like trying to figure out how to put all the single parts – flute, clarinet, sax, trumpet etc…. into one big score using Notion – That’s another day!)


Once in Sibelius I only had a couple of things to do – I had to work out the transposition. This was tricky…. I’m still not sure if this is me or the apps. Sometimes things worked out fine – other times I had to use the up and down keys to get the notes in the right spot. I’ll explore this issue more and write another post about it.

HINT – The one thing I DID figure out is that I needed to have the correct name for the instrument right from the get go – that’s why I renamed the part in NotateME!

So what did I have to do in Sibelius? I moved the dynamics into the correct spot BELOW the music and  I reset my beam groups – you can see in the pics below that for some reason those 8th notes got really messed up some place in all the transferring between NotateMe, Notion, XML, and then Sibelius. A couple of clicks though and it was done.


Resetting the Beam Groups in Sibelius


Moving the Dynamics to below the staf


Added the crescendo between the FP and FF that Notion would not allow me to.

I’m not done with all the parts yet – I was to excited about how well this worked! I had to share with all of you!
NotateMe Final


Why even bother with this process? Imagine being able to give a student an assignment to learn a piece of music. Now, with this technology, if they have questions about how the music is to sound they can scan it and end up being able to hear the rhythms and pitch!

How about if a student wanted to write out a duet part? Well now that process is going to be much faster – they scan the first part, add a second part, copy the easy sections where maybe they just need to raise or lower the part a 3rd, add in the other sections where it takes a bit more rewriting and then print! Plus they can listen to it as well!

What if your band has no tuba players? Take the tuba part, scan it, change it to marimba and give your percussion something else to do besides hit each other with their sticks!

The list could go on and on!

The only reason that I actually even used Sibelius at all is because I am still using the free version of NotateMe Now which only scans single stave music. I am currently working on all my marching band music and trying to get it digitized. Of course one reason I am doing that is so that the students can do SmartMusic  testing on our marching show music when we get back to school in the fall. So for every instrument I repeated the above process. Eventually I will end up with all the parts in one Sibelius file, all without hardly ever having to input anything by hand or playing it in with my keyboard.

Let me assure you – this does NOT take as long as it may seem. It takes a few times to get the hang of the process but after doing 3-4 you will be much faster at it all. In the time it took you to read this blog post I probably worked through two more parts.

For this entire Blog Post whenever I referred to NotateMe and PhotoScore, I used the free version of NotateMe Now which gives you the ability to work with a single staff for FREE! So you get the ability to handwrite music on a single staff for free AND the PhotoScore capabilities for single staff music for FREE too! Good enough for music students to make great use of in class and in lessons.

The full version of NotateMe Icon SmallNotateMe is $39.99 – Yup, I know, someone just choked on their gum. For an iPad app it seems expensive. For what it does it is not! The In-App-Purchase to get the PhotoScore Plugin is another $29.99 – Let me put this in comparison for you though – The actual computer app that does the SAME thing is $249! Plus, I’m telling you, the iPad version is BETTER!

Don’t believe me about how awesome this all is? Go get the free version – NotateMe Icon SmallNotateMe Now

Also, please make sure that you read about which devices are supported, especially for the PhotoScore app. This technology astounds me that it is even possible on a mobile device! It should not astound anyone that PhotoScore requires a camera that is of higher quality which means the iPodTouch 4th gen, iPad2 and iPadMini 1st gen are left of of the loop for PhotoScore. I mean, come on people, this is replacing a scanner for goodness sakes!

Using Notion Small IconNotion’s iPad app ($15.99) to edit the files was a joy! This app is not for those of you with only a 16GB iPad though – Notion by itself takes like 2GB! That’s because of the awesome sampled musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra that is crammed inside of you iPad when you purchase Notion.

HINT – If you are a saxophone person you will have to spring for the $1.99 in-app-purchase to get that Alto Sax sound! Same for the Tenor and same for the Bari Sax. You will get a great basic set of sounds with your original purchase of Notion but for some STUPID REASON they don’t include saxophones in that set! I HOPE NOTION IS READING THIS AND CHANGES THAT DECISION! Or should I just talk to PreSonus?

SymphonyProV3SymphonyPro – ($9.99) would work just as well and doesn’t take up as much space on your iPad. Of course the London Symphony doesn’t come with SymphonyPro either


HELP SUPPORT THIS BLOG PLEASE! All the links from my blog posts are affiliate links. What that means is that if you decide to purchase one of these apps by clicking on the links I’ve provided then I get a small percentage of the sale. The developer’s get their portion still but I get a small (very small) portion of Apple’s profit. If you appreciate the tips and ideas I share with you and you decide to purchase the apps mentioned anywhere on my blog it helps me to keep going. Thanks for considering the possibility of clicking my link first then purchasing the app from the store.






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