Friday, July 16, 2010
Music Education on iPad
The first time I held an iPad I fell in love. Of course, I wanted one for my own amusement and enjoyment and also the convenience of being able to check the internet on a bright touchscreen. More than that, though, I immediately realized what benefits a tactile surface as this could have for music education. Children already interact well with technology. If that technology is also musical, then we have a great vehicle for teaching. A couple of days after my iPad arrived I had found enough great apps for music education that I agreed to host a session on "iPads in the music classroom" for the Maryland Music Educators Association conference in the fall. In that session I'll be demonstrating lots of wonderful music apps such as the one in the picture - "Percussive". It's just 99 cents at the App Store (http://bit.ly/b1xDYx). It has four instruments - xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel, and kalimba, with celeste and vibraphone to follow later in the next update. There is no delay in touching the screen and hearing the sound, it has full polyphony so many notes can be played at once, the sounds are gorgeous samples, and it looks beautiful too. If you though Orff pedagogy was disappearing because of the influx of electronic instruments, think again. This app allows many kids to play at the same time, you never have to go hunting for beaters or missing bars. Children with limited hand movement or arm strength can all play, and you could have a full classroom Orff band with just a few iPads. You could of course combine this app with regular mallet instruments and it would easily hold its own as the sound is so good. I'm looking forward to the first Percussive ensemble on youtube.