Marching Season is Almost over

During marching season I used my iPad in my high school marching band all the time. I used it for score reading, my drill was on it, schedules, locker numbers and combinations were looked up on it and many other things. Like listening to a movie and music on a few of the band trips while riding the bus. Here are my thoughts.

POSITIVES: I love having my music all in this one little device! I am able to read all my marching scores just fine, sometimes I need to zoom in but that is easy to do quickly. I am also reading Jazz Combo and Middle School Concert Band scores just fine. I did still mess up the scanning part of several of the scores while getting it onto my iPad this sumer though. Some of the scans were too big and turning pages just simply was NOT fast enough in a couple of my scores.

I was excited that UnReal Book had incorporated a “shake to turn” feature. Excitedly, I turned it on and explored using that feature. Of course I then forgot about it being turned on until the next day in class. I was playing along with the bass drums and had my iPad sitting on the drum and the pages kept turning by themselves. I could not figure out why. It would flip pages that day while I was conducting too…. while holding the iPad with one hand and conducting with the other. I thought the vibrations from the bass drum had hurt my iPad – it wasn’t until eating lunch and thinking (read as worrying) about this that I remembered that I had turned on the shake to turn feature. Boy was I relieved!

I have been printing PDF scores from Sibelius as well as Logic Studio. Those continue to work really well.

Keeping schedules, lockers and combinations, uniform assignments and all that sort of stuff on my iPad proved invaluable because it meant I did not have to go running for the laptop.

I have been creating Keynote (powerpoint for you windows people out there) files  for use every day in class. I am actually liking doing this using the iPad better than using the laptop. I use Keynote for announcements, daily rehearsal information and anything we do in class that is music theory work. Like working the kids through Major scales and the intervals, terms, patterns and review/quiz work on that sort of stuff. We have a set of Turning Point clickers I use with Keynote to get instant feedback on how well kids are understanding the information taught in class. That information is in the form of a slide in keynote that they respond to with their clicker. Then at the end of class I grab the laptop and print out a report with each students response listed that then gets put into the grade book.

ISSUES: I am not able to give up the laptop though. I really like the bigger screen space for some things. For other tasks, like creating scores and recording music in Logic there just simply isn’t a great way to do that on the iPad yet.

Our school network is still giving me problems though with using Feedler to read my google news feeds as well as using Evernote. Neither one of these programs work with the firewall we have. Considering that I am one of four iPad users in the whole RESD, I don’t see those issues getting fixed.

WISHES: I can see the HUGE benefit to having bought the 3G version of the iPad. Of course I couldn’t wait the extra time, I JUST HAD TO HAVE the iPad the day it came out! So I bought the wi-fi version. The biggest issue is that I am not going to pay a data plan for an iPad AND my cell phone both. So… for now I’ll live.

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