Apple Technology for My Trick or Treat – My Apple Watch, iPhone and iPadPro Experience.


Well, I’ve gone and done it! I pulled the trigger on an Apple Watch! I have been interested in them since the day they were released but did not have the money. Then by the time I did then I had read enough about the gen 1 that I had realized I actually wanted to wait until the 2nd geo so that apps and such updated quicker on AppleWatch. Then WatchOS 3 came out and made many people much happier with the gen 1 speed and usability. I still waited. Then Apple FINALLY announced the new updates – bringing us the faster processor and updating the Watch to either a Series 1 or a Series 2 with the biggest difference being not the processor but a built in GPS and better waterproofness. Well, that sealed the deal for me! I’m a kayaker! I went Series 2 and ordered my watch. Of course I didn’t order it on day one like my son did but I had to wait a week later. That meant he actually received his Series 2 Apple Watch a full MONTH before me! Good thing he lives 12 hours away – that way I wasn’t quite so jealous! 🙂

Anyways – it has taken a month, yup, a MONTH to come!

The really fun thing was that I stopped in at my Verizon store to pay our exchange students  phone bill and the nice lady took a look at MY phone bill too. She was kind enough to inform my wife and I that for $1 more a month she could upgrade my iPhone 6+ to an iPhone 7+ which immediately made my wife roll her eyes and mutter something I couldn’t quite hear but fully understood. My wife was kind enough though to sit and wait while we did the paperwork because the Verizon lady said that she indeed did have a 128GB phone in stock! So we did all the paperwork and at the end she finally went into the back to grab the phone. She came out with TWO! Turns out that the 128GB phone she had was only the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7+ was only a 32GB version. I was bummed. My wife saw it immediately too. In fact SHE was the one who told the Verizon lady, “oops, you lost him!”

THE INTERESTING disinformation sales people try to pass on!
The next ten minutes was interesting – this lady was a good sales lady but I did have two squabbles with her.

  1. She tried convincing me that the 32GB version would be OK because I could use Verizon Cloud to make up the difference! (Of course this made my wife roll her eyes once again as I had to educate the nice lady as to what benefit a “cloud” service ACTUALLY provides and more importantly, DOESN’T provide!)
  2. She tried convincing me to switch to Android. (Which made my wife laugh out loud – no, really!)

I’ve got to tell you people something here. I am fully aware that Android has come a very long ways since the days that I’ve had one BUT for a musician it still is not there. The apps available on iOS and on Android for musicians don’t even compare. I have PLENTY of “friends” who HATE Apple but will NOT use an Android because of this fact. When Android has the ability to provide the quality of apps like available on iOS we can talk lady!

Do you want my list so you can go look? Here is a starter –

  • DAW’s
  • Notation
  • Music Readers (ForScore, UnReal Book style not those proprietary things)
  • Instruments – Like Alchemy (yes, I know it’s no longer available but I own it along with a BUNCH of other people and I love it!), GeoShred, GeoSynth, the VirSyn apps, Thor, Nave, DrumJam/ThumbJam and a TON others.

Anyways, my question to the nice lady as I was putting my iPhone 6+ back in its case seeings as how I wasn’t getting a new phone THAT night was “How long until we can get one in?” – to which my wife said, “yeah, you’ve been waiting a MONTH for your Apple Watch! The nice ladies question was, “which color?” – to which my wife said, “which one can you get the quickest?” (Yes, my wife knows me well!)

At first she was only seeing the end of November and the middle of December and then for some reason the plain black showed up as shipping immediately! NOW she had me again! I was smiling once again!

So what ended up happening was the UPS guy was literally dropping my Apple Watch off on my porch as I received the notification that my iPhone 7+ was being delivered at the Verizon store in town! IT was like Christmas in October! Best Trick or Treat I’ve ever had!

THE BIG iPadPro and Apple Pencil
My iPad Pro and Pencil I was able to get last spring break while down in New Orleans at the end of our Spring Break. Never been to New Orleans but we did have fun there – it poured rain the entire time we had downtown to visit BUT I got my iPad! 🙂 I sat there outside the Apple Store in the mall and played blissfully while the girls shopped! This 12.9″ size was exactly what I had wanted for a couple of years! It was perfect for reading sheet music on plus the added benefit of having the Apple Pencil was amazing! I fully believe Steve Jobs was correct when he stated, “IF you need a stylus to use a a tablet/phone then you have failed.” I also fully believe that the use of Apple Pencil is not NEEDED it is utterly and simply a HUGE benefit! There ARE things that I CAN NOT do with my finger on an iPad in the same manner that I can when using that Apple Pencil. Chris, from and I discuss some of the benefits/drawbacks to using an Apple Pencil along with Aron Nelson, developer of UnRealBook, on our latest ME&T Podcast. You should go listen!

Because this blog was started with a post about the purchase of my first iPad – the very first iPad on the day it was released. That was also at the end of our Spring Break, while we were in Washington DC. It’s a good read and a good story – go look it up!

Can these devices change our teaching though? That’s the question I’ve always had. Along with, Can these devices change the way we create music?


This is why I share…. to expose others to the possibilities and to make them aware that this tech even exists. To make others think outside the box of “traditional” music ed./music creation.

I just today, had an alumni look at my iPadPro in disbelief as how large it is while she immediately understood why I wanted it for music (I was filling in on piano for her church and had of course scanned the hymns for the morning and had them on the iPad). But she had never seen a tablet so large. She knew though why I had it!

The other day in class my 5th grade beginning percussionists were staring at me in disbelief when I kept telling them that they were hitting the snare drums more than once with each stroke they took. They for some reason could NOT hear it even with me demonstrating (the rest of the class could though – it might be a long year, lol) So I took out the iPhone and fired up the slow-mo video and had them play. I then used AppleTV and AirPlay to play the video back for them which IMMEDIATELY showed them exactly what I was telling them! The kids loved seeing the slow-mo – they wanted to do more – again, we are talking about students NOT being what some define as “digital natives” of technology even though they exist in the same world and use that tech. Their use of that tech is very limited and if we as teachers do not SHOW them how to leverage it to LEARN they may NEVER do so.

Here is a link to that video we took the other day!


Please help me out though with suggestions for how you use YOUR Apple Watch in your classrooms and music creation! Leave me comments, send me email, or connect via whatever other method you like using! I would love to share things you are doing with our other readers. I will share too!


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