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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 ( 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.


edtromba said...


I'm a musician, private teacher and software developer and appreciate the music education community.

I want to let you know about some iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad apps for trumpet/french horn/trombone players. I believe these apps can help with finger and slide positions as well as helping the student learn scales and chords. They are only meant to supplement practice and are NOT a SUBSTITUTE for actual practice. I envision it helping the brass playing student when the instrument is not available or when waiting in line for the bus, etc. It's actually fun as the student is scored for accuracy and speed and can share his results with others.

The apps and video tutorials are available on the following sites:



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