Emerging Tech Music Teachers Should Be Taking Advantage Of! – SoundPrism Link Edition 

  There have been some wonderful emerging technologies that will be changing the way we are able to teach music. 

Abelton Link is one of those technologies. The short explanation here is that Link hooks up the metronomes and timelines in your devices WITH OUT WIRES! This has been one of those issues I’ve been facing with my electronic music ensemble… Lots of apps that do sweet things but many times there is a metronome/tempo involved! That’s all good when playing by yourself but try to sync 10 people together is an entirely different story! 

Not as much though now!

Another tech that we music teachers must take advantage of is the ability for students to create very engaging music through the use of apps! Through the use of apps that are NOT designed around the traditional piano keyboard or guitar even. I love having really young nieces around that play with my music apps, my own daughters play with them too. Because I watch them I learn some new thought. 



 Apps such as SoundPrism rocks! Now with the release of SoundPrism Link edition it will be even better because now kids can play on several devices with several different apps all Link’d together and staying in sync with each other….. Picture one kid running Patterning with one set of drums rolling, another kid using Fugue and a third using SoundPrism Link Edition…. It’s gonna get REAL, real fun, real fast!

There are several versions of SoundPrism available but the Link Edition is really going to make collaborative music making interesting. I know I will be now using this alongside Patterning in my upcoming performance with Melodic Fusion (our schools electronic music ensemble). 

SoundPrism Link Edition is $4.99

SoundPrism Bundle is only $12.99!

Patterning is an app I mentioned above – Drum programming like you’ve never seen before. I’ve written about it before. Also Link enabled!

Fugue is also mentioned above and is 

Day One (Version 2) – Journal and Notes 50% for a little while

Journaling and Reflecting On Your Teaching – Make it a least a weekly practice!

Day One 2 Icon Curved.png

Day One 2 Released!

While not really a MUSICAL post – this blog is about how I use tech to help in my teaching. Teaching has to be a constant and daily reflection on what has worked or isn’t working in your classroom/rehearsals. Teaching has to be a series of constant improvements, always looking for new techniques and reflecting on your past successes and failures. You NEED a Journal so you can look back at the great times, the little joys and the stories you and your students make every day in class.

I believe that you should have a journal you keep about your personal life in order to keep your mental state of mind solid and in good order. It is also a great joy of mine to be able to look back through some of the “Memoirs” that my father wrote about his family. These memoirs are ways to keep my memory of some of the stories he told while he was still alive. Of course I don’t want to have to make ALL of these memories available to the public on social media!

Of course I’ve never liked keeping my personal journal mixed with my professional teaching journal. With the release of Day One 2 this is no longer an issue!

DO2 Multiple Journals.png


DO2 iPhone Screen.pngDay One has been my go to app for the past 4 years to keep track of my personal journal. All those exciting things that happen to me and my family that I really don’t want to loose track of down the road. All those precious memories, trips, funny sayings from the kids, hard times, fun times, sad times and anything else that happens.

The app is well designed, simple and straight forward. I have never lost any data and it has performed flawlessly, keeping my iPhone, iPad and Laptop all in sync with each other.  This ability to sync all devices as one is of utmost importance since I never know when I will be inspired to write thoughts down.

I like what their web site says – ”

Day One is a simple way to journal.

It’s easy to quickly enter your thoughts and memories and have them synced and backed up in the cloud.

Day One is well designed and extremely focused to encourage you to write more.”



The Day One 2 app is being released as a totally new app for iOS as well as Mac OS X as it has been totally rebuilt from the ground up. This has allowed the developers to prepare the road ahead for some great upcoming features coming soon.

DO2 Photos Timeline.png

iPhone Photo Viewer

This version 2 has two other main headliner features that are improvements over version 1 – Multiple Photos per journal entry and multiple journals.


Both of these features are huge! Only being able to insert one photo into each journal entry has been one of my only gripes when using Day One. It will be very nice to be able to  include several photos now – of course I don’t think that a personal journal needs to get turned into a photo album book either!

As a teacher I am very excited that I will now have one less app to open and rely on – the multiple journals gives that ability as I can now keep thoughts from my teaching day in a “professional/teaching” journal and then keep my own journal in the same app. All the while relying on the same security built into this app that I have relied on for the past four years. BUT I do have to mention that now Day One ONLY syncs through their own servers and will no longer sync through iCloud or DropBox. This worries me because I fully trust the security of iCloud. I honestly do not know about the security of Day One and their policies on dealing with intrusions from government, hackers and other such people that may for some reason want to read my journal.

DO2 Editor (Auto Capture).pngThe Editor view for Day One has always been simple and straight forward all the while allowing for some great editing/entry features. Auto entry of things like, location, weather, activity and even the ability to capture what song you are listening to on iTunes are all wonderful time savers! I also appreciate the ability for more detailed markup of your text – want it bold, italic or do you want to make a list? What about HTML? Go for it!

I love the fact that you can add tags into your entries as well. What a great way to look back in your history at all the things you wrote about a particular child, place, emotion or thing like that amazing burger at the joint on spring break!

Speaking of Spring Break… what about all those places you check into on the way to your vacations…. all those photos you take that are geo tagged? When you incorporate that information into your journal you start to really see some pretty neat ways to view your life over the years. Pull up a map and look at all entries from that trip to Florida. Take a quick peek at some photo memories from that trip. The design of Day One 2 will inspire you to use the app more and more. Both as an active writer as well as a way to actively look back at past events.

DO2 mac-map.png

Maps view on a Mac – Simply beautiful!


If you are currently a Day One version 1 user – make sure you have your Day One version 1 app backed up on your own personal computer because as of now I see no way to re-download it from iTunes. There are three reasons you may not want to update…

  1. One is the sync that the developers have totally moved over to their own servers and away from iCloud.
  2. Two is that in it’s current state there is no Publish Feature in the Version 2. Publish is coming in future updates and is a great method to share some of your journal entries with the rest of the world. but it is NOT available now.
  3. The last reason you may not want to delete those old versions is that if you don’t have the $ right now to purchase both the iOS and Mac updates you may very well not be able to sync between version 1 and version 2. Of course with the developers offering a 50% discount currently you would be crazy NOT to skip a few morning coffee’s and doughnuts in order to purchase these updates!



The upgrade for Day One 2 will be a paid one. I am appreciative of the fact that there have been numerous updates over the past four+ years – all for free. I appreciate that the developers have put a great deal of time into creating version 2. I also feel like they should get paid for that time and skill! I am not quite sure about the new prices though…

The introduction price is a 50% cute off from the upcoming full price so what you will pay is….

Intro Price of the iOS Version is $4.99 and Full Price will be $9.99 (purchasing the iOS version also gets you the Apple Watch App)

Intro Price of the Mac OS X Version is $19.99 and Full Price will be $39.99


There may be cheaper alternatives to keeping a journal but I have not found a better, more polished and well working solution. I am convinced that Day One 2 is

DO2 Photos Timeline.png

Staff Wars Released for iOS – Great News for Every Music Teacher!

The Music Interactive has had quite a few apps available through the years on Mac and PC to help students learn music better. One of those great apps has been Staff Wars and Staff Wars v2 and now they are not available on iOS for iPad as well as working on iPhone too!

Staff War IconStaff Wars – $0.99

StaffWars Live Icon.pngStaff Wars Live – $0.99

The big distinction between the two versions of Staff  Wars and Staff Wars Live is that you have to actually PLAY your instrument in order to play Staff Wars Live whereas you simply tap an answer in the other. Each would of course have it’s play in different classrooms and settings.


The premise is simple… open the app, select your clef and range. Then you have to select what note is being displayed before it hits you clef.

Staff Wars Splash.png

If you do indeed fail your mission of blowing up the whole note (think more like asteroid) then it hits your clef, blows up and you loose points!

Staff Wars1.png


This version ups the ante by requiring the students (um…. player) to play the correct note on their instrument. Again, you select your Key, which scale you are focusing on and which instrument you will be playing. I’m not so sure that I really understand the reasoning behind the sorting of the instruments list but this is a small point for TMI to work on.

Staff Wars Live1.png

Once the game is started the fun… er, testing… begins….

Staff Wars Live 2.png


I know that this will soon become on of the games my kids are begin to play as they try to beat each others scores in class! The more we can make learning “fun” the more they will want to explore and learn on their own. It has to be our goal to get students working and exploring on their own! They should not need a teacher standing there guiding them every step of the way but they do need a draw to entice them to play. Students love playing games so in this case…. Staff Wars is a huge win for everyone! Especially since the price of this app is $0.99! Now if only each one of my kids could sign in with their own name and have the app keep track of their points.

MMC Spreadsheet of useful Information

GeoShred – Still on Intro Price Until The End of the Month

If you have been on the fence about grabbing GeoShred you have a few more days to grab it while it is still on the intro price of $14.99.

If you haven't even taken a look at this app you really need to if you are interested in using your iPad in a performing situation. Wisdom music, which Jordan Rudess is a part of, has whipped up a very nice interface for performance. Of course this is what Jordan does…. Perform!

The app is an evolution of GeoSynth from a few years back but GeoShred is an amazing new sound engine… It is a physical modeling engine. There are a bunch of YouTube videos Jordan Rudess has done to demonstrate the capabilities of the app so check it out.


Attention Band Directors- NinGenius is on sale! 

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 11.01.45 PMIf you are a band director the NinGenius Studio app has GOT to be in your list of apps that you can not do without. Here is my original post form May. This is one of the most used apps in my room. Kids ask to take their tests!

NinGenius SCHOOL EDITION – $8.99

There are three versions of the app. Teachers should get the School Edition version as it allows access to ALL instruments fingerings  as well note names!

NinGenius Music StudioThe STUDIO EDITION  $4.99 right now ($9.99 usually) allows unlimited students to play and test on ONE instrument, which is chosen at startup – not one different per student. One instrument to be used by ALL students

NinGenius Student.pngThe STUDENT EDITON is $0.99 right now ($2.99 usually) This is the app for students to get when they want to practice their fingerings and note names.

iPad in Education Just Got A HUGE Boost Today! Apple Previews Upcoming iOS9.3

Big news for iPad usage in Education! Things are gonna get better! Thanks for the love Apple!

Apple today has announced some previews of the upcoming iOS 9.3 update and the news for educators is huge!

It will become so much easier to use iPad in education thanks to the upcoming features!

Take a look at this graphic pulled from Apple’s preview for Education website…

9.3 Preview.png


The Shared iPad feature sound like one of Steve Jobs visions are coming to the iPad – the day when you can grab a device, sign in and all YOUR stuff is right there! I’m not quite sure how this will work after reading the info available right now. It might mean that all ten (or however many) students sharing iPad #1 will be able to sign in and see all their apps, documents, and books. But from the way I read it I think they will be able to sign into ANY school iPad! If they have grabbed the same iPad as the day before they just will not have to wait for their content to load. If they have a different iPad form before then the content will have to load from the servers.


Classroom App 9.3.pngFrom the Apple website – “Every teacher can use a little help. With Classroom, you can launch everyone’s apps at the same time, then guide what students are looking at on their devices. So teachers can focus on teaching, and students can focus on learning”

See any given iPad, share that iPad to the big screen, launch and lock apps remotely, and teachers reseting forgotten passwords without IT help.

Good golly – what joy! My friend Chris over at http://techinmusiced.wordpress.com has been teaching in a 1:1 setting. Having students not in the correct app has long been one of his complaints!


One spot for admin’s to create Apple ID’s (which are associated with your school and created for education by the way), build courses (um…. lol…. I think Apple got THIS one wrong – I don’t see my IT guys building MY courses! Maybe simply creating a class and making sure all my students are assigned to that class), and access everything to deploy iPad in Education! AND… it’s all done from a web browser! (So easy even a PC can do it!)


Managed ID 9.3.pngManaged ID’s are designed just for schools, so you can easily reset passwords, audit accounts, create IDs in bulk, and create customized roles for everyone in the district.

Which makes me wonder how this will work when I want to use my own personal iPad in conjunction with my school iPads and all they will now offer. It seems as though this may be easier for the school to control many issues. I’m not sure if I will need ANOTHER ID to add to my list of growing ID’s I already have!

What does this mean….

As my school is not even close to an 1:1 district I can not say how much easier this will be for that sort of setting. I can say that now with these tools it will become a much easier job to convince districts like mine to further invest in iPad devices for our students!

My principal is already impressed when she compares what I am able to accomplish with a few iPads vs other teachers who only wish to work with a whiteboard! With these capabilities it really would be a game changer to be able to get every kid an iPad in the band room!

What do you think? What does this mean for you and your district?

Click here to see the full Education Preview for iOS 9.3.



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