BIG ANNOUNCEMENT – ME&T Podcast – The Place for Music Educators to Get Music Tech News

Today is a great day! Today is the day that Chris Russell and I announce our joint venture that will hopefully benefit anyone wanting to know the latest and greatest adventures of two music teachers trying to integrate technology into the music classroom!

Chris is a blogger over at
I blog here at

Chris is a Choir teacher in Minnesota
I am a Band teacher here in Michigan

We both enjoy finding ways to use technology in our daily jobs. Both of our goals is to find ways that technology allows us to do our jobs better, different, and easier. We also want to put technology into the students hands so that they can learn more, learn different and have a way better experience than what we did when we were going to school.

We became friends because of the fact that we both started blogging around the same time about the subject…. Technology integration in music education. In fact I was a bit jealous because when I did find his blog I thought the name of his blog was better than mine! I started writing a blog because I bought an iPad the day it first came out and wanted to share my journey of figuring out what that meant as a teacher. So therefore my blog name – iPad in Music Ed

So the big news is this – Chris invited me to help him produce a Podcast that allowed us to have discussions about what we both enjoy doing! Our goal is to interview app developers, give tips, talk about what we are currently working on and discuss the ways in which technology continues to amaze ourselves and other in the world of music education.

The name of the PodCast is ME&T Podcast which is short for Music Education & Technology Podcast.

For our first Podcast we discuss one of the biggest reasons that I actually purchased an iPad for in the first place – using it for sheet music. We had hoped to interview the developers of ForScore but that just did not work out like we had hoped but we spent a decent amount of time talking about ForScore along with the fact that Finale 25 has just been announced and the fact that Dorico is heavy into development.

We are not sure exactly where this Podcast journey will take us but we sure did have a great time chatting. Boy are we excited about what we do and we hope that those of you that are looking for answers or who enjoy the integration of music and technology, join us!

Developers – Music Companies –

  1. If you would like to be featured in a future PodCast email us at – Chris and I will both be checking that email.
  2. If you would like to sponsor a Podcast episode or more we are trying to figure out how to handle hosting costs and such for the Podcast so your sponsorship would be put to good use.

Teachers – Colleagues – Musicians –

  1. Have a question you want more info about?
  2. Want to know more about a certain app?
  3. Have something you’d like to see us discuss?

Email us at

Here is our first Podcast – Hope you enjoy it!

Notion 6 Update and Notion for iOS Sale!

Notion LargeFirst things first – Notion for iOS is almost 50% off currently which puts this in the category of – if you don’t have it then what are you waiting for!? Read more about the iOS version below. But Notion, alongside NotateMe makes for one of the killer capabilities in todays world of music technology!

So one of our wonderful desktop music notation programs received a nice update along with a version bump to version 6!

Notion, which is the only notation app available on desktop as well as iOS BOTH, is now at version 6. Notion costs $149.95 (Come on guys, really? Just price it at $150!) the upgrade will be $49 if you own Notion 3, 4, or 5.

As a music educator some parts of todays update may not at first glance seem of such critical importance but once you stop and really ponder the implications this will have for us going forward into the future you will have to think twice. A major factor in todays release is not just the Notion news but also in how Notion integrates with PreSonus’s DAW, StudioOne 3! These two apps now work hand in hand like never before! I know that many music educators never have even opened a DAW before but that may be about to change. There are so many of us that live in the world where music notation rules. We have also become very used to the fact that when working on musical scores it is difficult to get realistic playback of those music notation scores. It has been getting better and better through the years – I still remember only having 128 general MIDI sounds available so I KNOW how much better life is today!

So, here is the news….

First of all, straight from the PreSonus/Notion website I have this graphic that gives you a glimpse at the highlights of Notion’s updates….

Notion 6 updates.png

The first thing that jumps out at me it that PreSonus wants us to know that they listen to their users! They are indeed awesome at this!

The second thing that jumps out is that Notion now brings handwriting to desktops! This is awesome news for those of you using Windows tablets with pens (or whatever you guys call them) Notion’s music handwriting is powered by MyScript and is the same engine as what we have been enjoying on the iPad for awhile now! It’s AWESOME!

The third item that jumps out at me is the fact that Notion is now going to be able to handle page layout WAY better than the past. Good thing because page layout was one of my gripes about using Notion.

Then you have better sounds and more sounds, the ability to work with video faster and easier.

Fourth thing on that list is improved XML! Hugely important for anyone who uses more than one music notation app.

The last part of that graphic highlight is all about the unprecedented side-by-side workflow with StudioOne 3! This part is exciting!

and that’s it…. oh wait… one more item on that graphic – Notion now has a library of public domain files available to you. Of course I’m not clear as to whether or not those are free or paid. Could be useful?

If you want the full and entire list of new features/improvements then click here –

New Features/Improvements in Notion 6

Notion on iPAdThe reason I am a Notion user is in huge part due to the fact that Notion exists for iPad alongside that this is not a scaled down reader app for the desktop version. Notion for iOS is a full featured notation app! The iOS version does more than the desktop apps I have used for many, many year! The handwriting plugin alone makes it worth the entire cost!

Which I should mention Notion for iOS is currently on an almost 50% sale! Notion for iOS is only $7.99 currently. I have no idea why every single musician doesn’t have this app! This app alone makes it almost worth buying an iPad for by itself!

Notion 6 Updates

Keep checking back and I will continue to update
Real quick ….. here are things I picked up on from watching the webcast. 
Handwriting comes to the desktop!

Layout improvements – show layout handles allow you to drag things around for better layout. You can drag individual items around as well, like rests or dynamics.

You have multiple input options. Including layout mode now. 

Brand new Pipe Organ sound that has at least 5 different stops that automatically change during playback. 

New score library. 

MIDI over reWire.  So now if you live mostly in the notation realm and work better in that mode reWire now allows you to drive StudioOne 3.3 via Notion. 
StudioOne and Notion6 work together

You can record MIDI data inside of StudioOne and then send it over to Notion and print out music notation!

You can send this data between devices running on the same network! SWEET!

Pressing tab allows you to see the MIDI through sequencer overlay. 

There is a tool that is called randomize events – hmmmm.

Now if someone has a song they are recording in StudioOne they can send you the audio mix down! This arrives in Notion allowing y9u to quickly and easily add more parts to their recording via music notation. 

You can do the same thing in reverse. You can take a project y9u are working on in Notion, send it to StudioOne and all your parts that WERE in music notation arrives in StudioOne as audio files complete with all the mixer settings you had in Notion!

Both of those things can be done OVER THE network!

This type of integration between StudioOne and Notion really is amazing!
STUDIO ONE 3.3 Updates

Uncle Justin’s favorite Updates

One click buttons for all the plugins. 

Disable tracks allowing you to free up CPU useage and turns off every thing that is on that track also.

New Video integration – new video engine! Because windows is ending support for QuickTime PreSonus has decided to find a new way to continue finding new and innovative ways to continue supporting!

MultiTrack quantize and slicing! Auto fill is cool because it fills in those gaps that occur when slicing. 
Don’t forget that Notion, StudioOne both have educational pricing!  Contact their educational guy for more info!

Technology That Helps Teachers Communicate With Students and Parents

Remind Small IconRemind – Almost every single parent these days have a cell phone that texts. Texting messages to parents is what I call an “In their face, can’t miss it” sort of communication. You send the message, their phone goes ding ding, they read the message. There’s isn’t another app to install, they don’t have to remember to go check your website, they don’t have to dig around in their email or sign into a web page.

So why wouldn’t you want that sort of communication?

Oh – it’s free. Did I mention that?

Class DojoClass Dojo – Have you ever needed to keep track of students points earned, behaviors in class, their achievements, or how about the fact that they didn’t bring an instrument or lost their music? Now, how much time do you have to mark those points down? How much time does it take you to go look up a parents email and send them a message about their childs amazing achievements during class on any given day? How many times do you send home a written note that NEVER makes it home about something going on in your students lives?

What if I told you that in a matter of seconds you could send any given parent in your class a message detailing the fact that their child just did something amazing in class? What if you could on the spot within seconds send a message to any given parent that their child had forgotten their instrument? Would you want a tool like this?

What If I told you it was free?


SeeSaw – How do you collect homework? How do you give your students feedback on that work? What if you could create a movie where you wrote things on a childs paper while talking to them and explaining ways that they could improve or things that you love about their work? Have we gone a step beyond the traditional red pen and ink?

We music teachers have a different job from other teachers. Our students should be turning in assignments in a multimedia format. The students should be charge of turning it in and keeping track of it – not you! The students should be building a collection of their work throughout the entire school year so that they can show their progress in very obvious ways. They themselves/along with their parents/along with your administration can quickly access, see, listen to and observe the progress being made if they can manage to create a collection and keep it organized!

What if I told you there is an app so easy to use that 1st graders can create these online portfolios/collections? What if I told you that you could open a discussion about students work between yourself and each and every student? How hard is it for you currently to get to every single student to discuss their class work? I’m teaching a High School Band class with 80+ kids in it! How exciting! BUT without the help of technology I don’t know how in the world I can openly converse with each individual student about things they each need to improve on or about how amazing their work is.

What if I told you that this app was free, kind of?

Oh… we can’t forget the recent improvements to Google Classroom! How exciting! What about the upcoming announcement from What do you think THAT is going to be about? ooooooo oooooh what about PreSonus – they have new announcements coming too! AND Dorico is soon to enter the beta testing stage! Wait… what about the update to NoteFlight that now allows students to actually record AUDIO into their musical compositions! (Did you know Noteflight is pretty cheap – especially compared to any individual student attempting to actually BUY Finale/Sibelius/Notion!

Over the next few days I will write about how I intend to incorporate each of these apps/service into my music classes. I still have yet to find ONE single app/Gradebook that does it all. Maybe someday…………..

iGrand and electric on Sale – SampleTank Updated

Well this is good news as we go into a new school year! But you better hurry because this is a quick sale – only until the 21st of August!

IK MultiMedia has put a couple of their very useful apps on sale – Music Educators should take advantage of this!

iGrand icon smalliGrand is 50% off and is currently $9.99 and all the IAP’s are also 50% off. the Ivory Keys IAP is very nice! Buy a cheap MIDI controller like the Novation Launchkeys, plug it into your iPhone and you have a super great sounding piano!

Electric Piano Synth SmalliLectric is 50% off and is currently $9.99

SampleTankSampleTank is $9.99 which means it is also at 50% sale price! The app has been brought up to version 2 which has given a new breath of life to the app that will come in very useful for educators. The app is now 8 part multitimbral! Now you can have even more parts going!

This does come with it’s drawbacks though as this version2 will NOT support older iPads/iPhone – you have to have an iPad Air or higher and an iPhone 5s or higher. Get ready people because the older devices are NOT going to be supported by every app for very long!

• 8-part multitimbral professional-quality sound and groove module
• Expandable sound library with 600+ instruments in 16 categories
• Completely redesigned Sound Browser
• Layers feature lets you easily create zones on your controller for multi-part performances
• Live and Song modes optimized for composition and live performance
• Streamlined interface for faster workflow
• Integrated 8-track MIDI recorder with song export
• MIDI learn feature makes programming external controllers a breeze
• Play interface with piano keyboard, scale keyboard and enhanced drum pads
• Plug-and-play compatibility with iRig interfaces and controllers like iRig Pro Duo, iRig Pro, iRig MIDI, iRig Keys and iRig Pads
• Universal app compatible with iPad and iPhone with iOS 8 and later

Last Few Hours on Korg App Sale!

if you haven’t pulled the trigger yet then click a link in my post and tap the buy button! It’s gonna be a long time before their next sale!

And don’t forget that the extra IAP sound banks are an amazing price too! These two in particular for Korg Module are outstandingly great!

Passwords and Security on iPods/iPhones/iPads – USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE!

I have talked about the issue of passwords, security questions and backing up your devices here on my blog before. I want to do it again!

The worst story I have is of the student who came to me with her iPod that had pictures on it of her Grandpa who had just passed away. Some other student had gotten a hold of her iPod and changed her password on her. Because she did not have everything set up correctly – in this case she should have turned on her Photo Stream – she ended up losing those pictures that were irreplaceable!

Our devices hold some of the most valuable parts of our lives on them! We need to use the tools Apple has given us and make sure we have things taken care of and backed up! We also MOST educate our students and our very own kids about the proper way to set up accounts, pick good security question and then WRITE down the passwords and answers someplace where we can access them! Kids and our parents are pretty non-experienced about this sort of thing – DO NOT BUY INTO THAT “Digital Native” line!

First things first – when someone gets a new device they need to be shown that iCloud is their friend! Set up an iCloud account with them! Pick good security questions and pick a good password that isn’t going to confuse the heck out of them later when they have to figure the darn thing out!

Second thing – write down all the passwords and security question answers you have just set up. Write them down someplace you can find. You could use Apples notepad or better yet use a password app like OneSafe or OnePassword.

Third thing – use the tools inside of iCloud to your advantage!

  • Turn on Find Your iPhone.
  • Turn on at least the My Photo Stream – different from iCloud Photo Library. My Photo Stream saves your last 1000 pictures into the cloud and it is accessible from your phone/iPod/Mac Computer
  • Turn on most every thing actually – EXCEPT
  • Backup – you may think that this is out of place but honestly I’ve never found the backups from Apple to work anyways. Plus…. everything of mine is in the cloud most of the time anyways! THE BIG REASON THOUGH – it’s going to suck up the free 5GB of storage available for free to you. If you really feel the need then turn on backup on from a computer.

Fourth thing – for goodness sakes show them how to find contacts and calendars and how to create reminders using SIRI! That stuff is just ultra cool!

Take care of those around you! If you know someone who is setting up a new device HELP THEM!


If you don’t write down those passwords and answers to the security question I can promise you that it is a pain in the  behind to reset everything!


Money Lover App FREE Today – via appGratis

So do you ever spend money? Ever have to manage a school budget for your music department? Wait… what? You have NEVER set up a budget at ALL? Well today is the day you’ve been waiting for… (Maybe)

AppGratis (Sam) sends me emails everyday with a free app. He’s the master of making deals with developers. Today’s app is Money Lover by Quang Tran Hong. I’ve never used the app and have never seen the app before today but after taking a quick look at it I think it may be useful!

Here’s the main blurb from the web site for the app…

Money Lover Screen Info

Plus, since the app is free today via Sam – you follow the instructions I received in his email and you get the premium version of the app! There is a sync that keeps your phone, laptop and even the web version of your money all in sync! Love it!

Here’s the email and the link! The link is obviously not my affiliate link but is instead Sams… Let me know if you use this app already or if there is another app you like better in the comments below!

MoneyLover Free

ChordUp and Clawtar both are free!

Looking for some great apps that allow for an alternative playing interface? Dmitry Klochkov has a couple of great apps that are both free currently!

Chordup IconChordUp is an app for both iPhone as well as iPad

Clawtar IconClawtar is an iPad only app

The best way to let you see what these apps are, what they look like and what they do is for you to watch this YouTube video… Go download the apps and enjoy!