iPad & Technology in Music Ed makes it into a top 100 Music Ed Blogs List!

Hey will ya look at that nice shiny award!?

So the kind people at FeedSpot, which just so happens to be one of the RSS news feeds that I use, listed this blog in the Top 100 Music Education Blogs list!

If you are interested in finding the other 99 then follow this link…



iOS11 Podcast with Robby and Chris

Robby Burns has a wonderful Podcast and this past school year he was focusing on doing podcasts with his friends that related to the book he wrote, “Digital Organization Tips for Music Teachers.

This time he invited Chris Russell and myself to talk about updating to iOS11. We had a great time talking together and exploring the new features that Apple has brought to us all in iOS11.

Updating to iOS11 – Robby Burns with Chris Russell and Paul Shimmons

If you have thoughts about how iOS11 is going to affect your teaching/performing/studying music please leave me a comment below!

iOS11 and High Sierra Updates for the Music Educator

So we now have both iOS11 and High Sierra available for all of us to update to! Or do we?

I keep hearing from major companies that we should all be holding off on updating our hardware to the latest software! In fact, take a look at THIS update from a software/hardware company that I just received today….

  • “Apple has announced its new macOS version, High Sierra, to be released on September 25. On October 17, Microsoft releases Fall Creators, their latest update to Windows 10.
  • From the end of October on, we shall begin testing our current line of products on both these operating systems.
  • Therefore, we strongly recommend to wait with the update to macOS High Sierra and Windows 10 Fall Creators until the entire compatibility chart for all Steinberg products has been published. This is especially important to customers relying on a trouble-free operation of our products.”

Um… the END of October you will START to test your products for compability? Seriously? The end of October? That’s a MONTH from now! Let me remind you that you manufacturers ALL have the same, or better, access to the beta software as what I do! I mean come on people – I’ve been running iOS11 since JUNE!

If you come to me and say “We’ve been testing our products since we’ve had access and we STILL are not ready to make our products compatible because we are having problems making it happen.” I’d understand THAT.

I do not in any shape or form understand what is going on when you say that you will START to test your products a full month AFTER the new operating systems have been released. 

OK – So with THAT rant over…. I will also add my word of caution to all of you eager to upgrade to the latest and greatest operating system… make sure you actually know what will work and what won’t after updating! Chris, Robby and I have a podcast recorded that discusses these issues a little bit. Of course the real reason we recorded the podcast is because we were discussing iOS11 and all that brings us! I will post a link to that podcast soon!

In the meantime… I’d love to hear if you had issues updating to iOS11 or High Sierra with any software/Apps/hardware that is Music repeated. 

iOS App Sales this weekend!

Oh wow! Must be because it is officially fall? Who cares! Save now on these amazing apps!

If you don’t have ANY of these wonderful music making apps then you really need to pick up one or two or more! IF you are looking for a drum machine sort of app then look at iMPC Pro. Every single other synth app here is simply outstanding!

iProphet LargeiProphet ($5 down from $10!)

iMiniiMini Synthesizer($5 down from $10)

LorentzLorentz Synthesizer ($6 down from $8)

RedshrikeRedshrike Synthesizer ($6 down from $8)

Mersenne IconMersenne Synthesizer ($6 down from $8)

LaplaceLaplace Synthesizer ($6 down from $8)

iMPC Pro for iPad.pngiMPC Pro for iPad ($8 down from $12)

Poseidon SynthPoseidon Synth ($12 down from $20)

MagellanMagellan Synth ($5 down form $10)

iTuttle – Free Music App

Well it’s free today at least….

iTuttle sounds amazing! You just never know when you find a free deal but this one rocks!
iTuttle is an Awesome Fat & Warm Subtractive Monophonic/Paraphonic Synthesizer. Fat by Design with its 9 oscillators section, all waveforms but “Sinus” use generalized PWM (called “Ratio”), so you can tune/modulate the waveform of each oscillator / LFO

Newzik In the Newz

Newzik is one of the Digital sheet music apps that really is taking an aggressive and innovative approach. This comes with great benefits to us musicians!

Chris Russell and I talked with Raphael Schumann CEO of Newzik back in December 2016 on our Music Education and Technology Podcast. If you jump to 29 minutes into the podcast you will find that discussion with Raphael.   The discussion with these app developers is always an amazing time ad we get wonderful insight into the people behind the apps. We also get a feel for what their app is all about and where it might be headed in the future.

Anyways… Newzik has released a nifty YouTube video highlighting the use of Newzik in the Yorkshire Young Sinfonia and how their conductor Tom Hammond feels Newzik is a benefit.


A Big Shout out to Bose and Apple Support!

Apple repair and the Apple Genius that worked with me rock!

Bose customer care rocks too!

And tonight, once again, I am rocking thanks to some wicked fast and genuinely nice people who work for those two companies!


Take Apple for instance…. I use Apple for so many reasons but one of those reasons is that their devices simply are rock solid and I’ve hardly ever had an issue with an Apple device NOT working! Trust me… I’ve got a TON of devices under my eye in my household or at school so I’m more than a little confident in their devices!

but…. my shiny MacBook that I just bought in the spring time suddenly had a space bar that would not work at all on the one end! So I jumped on the Apple Store app for a Genius Bar appointment. I was a bit surprised at the two day wait to get an appointment but that’s simply good news for Apple. I could easily have chosen to simply mail the laptop in if I would have wanted the repair done sooner.

So off to the Apple Store we went, my son and I. My appointment was for 5:20. We arrived at 3:30. Upon checking in they suggested we wait towards the back of the store where there were chairs and a table. Of course we wandered around looking at all the nifty shiny tech, that is of course why we went early. After about 10 minutes an Apple employee approached and said they were ready to tale care of us! I sure wish doctors would employee this sort of mind set! Upon showing the Genius my space bar he took one look and said, “well that’s certainly not right!” Then he checked to make sure I had everything backed up, had me sign the repair slip and that was it. We were done! That was Sunday. Today, Wednesday, about 2PM my laptop was back at my house! Space bar fixed AND they even found a crack in my display that I had not ever noticed and they replaced THAT as well!

Well done Apple, well done!

Now… let’s talk about Bose. I’ve had Bose headphones for a long time, the wired ones that is. Then at Christmas a while back I got the bluetooth AE headphones. Same headphones but bluetooth. I’ve never been very happy with them. They were very difficult to connect, plus the worse part was the spotty connection!

Well last week I tweeted about it and tagged Bose. Within 10 minutes I had a direct message from their customer service department. They asked me which headphones I had, asked for my serial number and suggested that I try three things. I sent a message back stating that I had indeed done all they had mentioned plus several other things. Upon hearing that they stated that they wanted to send me a new bluetooth module even though my headphones were NOT under warranty any longer!

A week later and my headphones are working much better so it appears that the issue was indeed a faulty Bluetooth module.

Bose Customer Service restored my faith in their product!


I would dare say that our parents and students have the same sort of glowing remarks about teachers when we show that we genuinely care about each individual child in our care.

Performing with Todays Technology – Multi-Tracks and Loops

In the process of looking for new music to listen to and to perform I’ve run across and excellent CD created by a new worship band/church I’ve never listened to before. The really interesting thing is that they offer backing tracks. It’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve looked for these backing tracks and boy has the process changed.

River Valley Edge of WorshipThe CD is Edge of Heaven and it is by River Valley Worship. River Valley has all the chord charts to their songs available for free on their website linked above! THANK YOU!

The service they use for loops and backing tracks is through MultiTracks.com

Playback IconThat is linked to an app called Playback

The app has a free preview track per week inside of it. I’d suggest that if you’ve never experienced this to go download the app and that one free track! It’s something else!

I’m also very interested in knowing who out there is using this service, to what extent and how you like it! Leave me comments below.

Here is the iTunes Description:


Playback is an iOS App created by MultiTracks.com that turns your iPad or iPhone into a simple, yet powerful MultiTrack player for all of your Original Master MultiTracks and CustomMix® content. Playback comes with a library of ClickTracks and we always give you access to a free song each week that we call the “Play of the Week” so you can try out the app right away! Playback has 3 Subscriptions: Intro (Free), as well as Pro and Premium (30 Day Free Trial).

***Please Note*** Because of the access given to Original Artist Master MultiTracks through our free “Play of the Week,” account registration is required for every account to verify your identity and insure compliance with Terms of Use.


• Playback all the parts within a MultiTrack or load only those you need.
• Access to import all your tracks from MultiTracks.com and MultiTracks Cloud™
• Free ClickTracks in multiple time signatures
• Free “Play of the Week” every week in the app
• Adjust Start Time and End Time of each song
• Visible Waveform Display with Grid Overlay
• Auto-fade your tracks while click continues
• Create a Playlist and “AutoLink” songs together
• Songs subdivided into “Song Sections”
• Solo and Mute functionality on every channel
• AutoPan your ClickTracks left and MultiTracks right
• Press and Hold a Song in “Edit Mode” to reorder within Setlist
Free – All Intro features are completely free.

Playback Screen2.png

A Great Movie for Music Educators

BEWARE-You will have to edit this movie as there are several spots that make this inappropriate for showing at school!

You know, as a Band Director I do not like to take very many days off from teaching. When I do I know there are precious few substitute teachers here that are qualified to teach band. It also mean I’ve got to do an awful lot of work before and afterwards that I’d rather not deal with as well. When I DO have subs I tend to have my students focus in on listening assignments. Our students are NOT listening to a very wide range of musicians and I like to expose them to new ideas/horizons.

I’ve found two new movies that I think are going to be just simply amazing for my students this year that I wanted to make sure everyone else was aware of as well.

Score ArtThe first is called Score: A Film Music Documentary.

This movie has an astounding number of people involved with it and it gives us a great glimpse inside of composing for films. That part of the film industry that our current students could easily find themselves involved in in the not so far future.

If you take a look at their score-movie.com they even have created some wonderful listening guides/quizes/worksheets for the classroom that are free to download!

Here is the trailer for the movie: