Incorporate the iPad into your music program
If you can believe it, the iPad came out way back in 2010! Since that time, it’s become a ubiquitous device in our personal lives as well as our professional ones. Students, doctors, lawyers, small business owners – it seems everyone has a use for the sleek tablet. Not to be left out, music educators and band directors have found many ways to incorporate iPads into their classrooms, rehearsal spaces, fields and concert halls.
iPad applications for music teachers
One great aspect of the iPad is the ingenious apps that cover nearly anything you can think of, including hundreds for musicians of all types. They include options like:
- The “iReal Book” offers hundreds of songs and the ability of use it as a play along unit for practicing! It uses simple MIDI sounds that are listenable, especially for practice. You can set the tempo, the key and even the style of each song. You can also input songs that aren't in the library.
- "Circle Theory" is an app that any student of music theory should have handy. It’s a useful tool to help you navigate the Circle of Fourths/Fifths and familiarize yourself with keys and key signatures.
- "GarageBand" is a long-running staple for Mac users. On the iPad, it's taken on a whole new life. GarageBand allows you to create quick, on-the-fly recordings that work great as demos for your ideas. The interface is easy and the sounds are great.
- There are literally hundreds of other apps that you can use to teach, entertain and engage your students. It’s certainly worth your time exploring the App store and reading articles written by music educators to see what you can incorporate.
iOS devices and accessories
Beyond the apps, which we’ve barely scratched the surface on, there are so many amazing peripherals and accessories to go with the tablet that will help you use it in your music teachings. An entire industry has been built focused on creating iOS accessories to use with your iPad to make music, teach skills, create good practice habits, record professional sounding tracks and more.
Whether you’ve had an iPad for years or you’re thinking about incorporating the tablets into your music program, here are some excellent products to consider from top brands like Korg, Gemini, K&M and IK.
The Korg microKEY Air 25-Key Bluetooth MIDI Controller lets you break free from cables with a device that runs on AA batteries. The Natural Touch mini keyboard assures playability and makes it easy to play chords or rapid phrases. Choose between 25, 37, 49 or 61-key configurations to suit your students’ specific playing style and your program’s space/travel requirements.
The Gemini AS-12TOGO 12 in. Portable Wireless Bluetooth Loudspeaker is a portable 12-inch speaker with a rechargeable battery and Bluetooth connectivity, meaning you can use it to deliver incredible sound from your iPad or iPhone, no matter where you are.
The K&M Universal Tablet Holder-Mic Stand Mount is a universal tablet holder for microphone stands, allowing your students to easily and comfortably read music and lyrics from a tablet. The holder even allows for tablets that are enclosed in protective cases (which is great to keep them from being damaged by the daily rigors of student use).
The IK Multimedia BlueTurn Wireless PageTurner Footswitch is an innovative and compact Bluetooth page turning solution for iPhones and iPads. It features two highly visible, backlit, soft-touch buttons that students can trigger with their feet to turn pages, leaf through lyrics, scroll slides and more while they’re performing!
Looking for more iPad and iOS information?
These are just a few of the incredible products designed for use in a musical setting with an iPad, iPhone or other iOS device. If you’re interested in more information, check out this article on making music with your iOS device. You can also browse through the dozens of iOS devices and accessories we carry to see what makes sense for your program.
If you’re not sure how to approach using an iPad or other iOS device in your music teaching, our experts are here to help. Give us a call to discuss your needs and we’ll help you choose the best technology products – and we offer incredible educator discounts on almost everything we carry. We can help stretch your music technology budget!