The Doors iPad App is Currently FREE!

The DoorsThe Doors iPad app is offering you a good taste of what the app has to offer for FREE! There is an in-app-purchase to unlock all of the content.

A comprehensive look at all things Doors, wrapped up in a beautiful app that will keep your interest WAY longer than that crappy re-en on TV tonight! Plus, who knows? You might even be able to use it as part of a music history lesson in your music class this year (actually, with as much content as there is in this app, you would be able to make more than just one lesson! Just be warned that the rating on this is 9+ for infrequent/Mild profanity and crude humor. I might not just turn kids loose with the app to go explore.

This type of app is one good reason that we teachers MUST have iPads with at least 64GB’s and I don’t even think the 128GB is an unreasonable thought. Especially since you can find the 128GB iPad Air in the refurb store every now and then which brings the price down!

Anyways…. go get the app!

Bouncing Ball Lyric Videos using Explain Everything

Katie over at Midnight Music has a wonderful tutorial to create those nifty little bouncing ball videos using the iPad App Explain Everything,.

This would be easy to use with a video like this but with sheet music I think too?

Go check it out…. If you use this technique let Katie know!

Steamworx for Alchemy Available Now – Let’s Make Music! (and meet the National/State Standards)

Alchemy ScreenShotPart of teaching any class is making sure we meet state and national standards for our content area. One of those areas for music is composition. Part of being successful at  composing is simply the act of doing it – over and over, frequently! Of course we are not ever going to want to try composing and creating if it isn’t fun. That means we have to have something inspiring us to get at it and be creative. The iPad has a ton of amazing apps to help inspire us. Here is one of those apps and it is free to start out!

Alchemy Synth small iconAlchemy Synth Mobile Studio by Camel Audio is a free iOS synth available for your iPad. The price of the app is FREE! Alchemy is one of those iOS apps that make great use of the touch interface. The app goes above and beyond what we can do with keyboards and older controllers. Once you load the app up you will see a set of 2 X/Y pads with a set of 8 morphing pad below that and then the keyboard below that. Those pads give you 8 different various alterations of the basic starting sound. It is an easy way to loose an hour or two playing around, running your finger around those pads and becoming enthralled with the morphing sounds that transpire!

There is a 4 track recorder builtin, you get AudioBus and Inter-App Audio, Drum Pads/Sounds,

The synth comes with 30 great sounds built in and you will get an additional 35 when you register the app. There are also additional sound banks, with 50 sounds each, available as in-app-purchases. Camel Audio has released its latest just recently….

For $4.99 Steamworx is available – this bank of sounds is a cinematic netherworld featuring keyboard instruments made from clocks, drum kits built with steam-powered machines, fog-shrouded soundscapes and gothic choirs.

Take a listen to the SoundCloud demos below. These could be a great deal of fun in an electronic ensemble! I am always looking for sounds that we can put to use that will be different than simply emulating acoustic instruments. If we wanted to sound like acoustic instruments then we would just play those instruments! Instead we have this amazing world of different, inspiring, weird and wonderful sounds available to us because we have electronic controllers in our hand. Of course this set of sounds would be a great deal of fun as an individual with just one iPad as well!

Take a listen – Then go download the app!



Here Is A Great List of Music Ed Blogs

Clear, a Great To-Do App On Sale.

I do not like using  a To-Do app that does not have a desktop version of the app as well as an iOS version. I also love seeing innovative designs that are clean and inspiring to look at.

Clear, from RealMac, fits both of those criteria. PLUS both apps are on sale! RealMac usually doesn’t usually offer discounted prices on their desktop software either so this is clearly a sweet deal!

Clear for Mac Small IconClear for Mac – $4.99 (50% off – down from $10.99)

Clear Small IconClear for iOS – $1.99 (down from $4.99)


Here are some highlights of what Clear does for you….

  • Simple, Gesture based design
  • Syncs your lists across devices via iCloud
  • Now you can set reminders
  • Looks mighty fine!
  • Sounds cool too – that’s a bonus for us musician types! (Unless of course you are in a teachers meeting – then you are going to want to turn your volume DOWN!)


Clear iPad SShot

AutoDesk’s Sketchbook Painting and Drawing iOS apps ARE FREE!


Well, this is a first….

SketchBook is one of the Apps of the Week picks by Apple! That means that the iPhone and iPad apps for Sketchbook, the wonderful painting and drawing apps from AutoDesk are free for one week!

If you are in the least bit interested in drawing or sketching or painting then go download them!

SketchBook Pro Small IconAutoDesk’s Sketchbook Pro for iPad

Sketchbook Mobile Small IconSketchbook Mobile for iPhone

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


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