iPads in the Elementary Music Room – Creating Music, Reading Notes and Rhythms, and Virtual/Acoustic Ensembles

Today was our course’s “long day.” This meant that we had our usual morning class time of 8:00-12:30; however, we also had our nighttime class from 7:00-9:30. I felt for the Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 1.39.10 AMparticipants today as I went through the same course load when I worked on my Masters at CCSU and it can be an exhausting day. Especially if the participants had an afternoon class on top of the morning and evening classes.

Our topics for today included creating music apps, note and rhythm reading apps, and virtual/acoustic ensemble apps. Apps that we explored for creating music were:

  • GarageBand – We explored creating music to a guided form and created a song with an accompaniment track and a vocal tract. Price: Free (with in-app purchase)
  • SoundBrush – This app is a nice way for younger children to create music by using the paint brush to draw on screen. One point was made today that since the app is so dark, it would be difficult to view on a big screen. Price: Free (with in-app purchase)
  • Pitch Painter – Similar to SoundBrush, however, takes it to another level by having you paint music and then selecting instruments from four different parts of the world to perform what you painted on screen. Price: $3.99
  • Monkey Drum (Deluxe) – This is such a lovable app! We utilized it to practice rhythm patterns and to create music. Price: Free (with in-app purchase) and Monkey Drum Deluxe is $3.99.
  • StoryBots Tap & Sing – This app was a hit today in class. The storybots can sing on solfege and you can use them to sing solfege patterns for the students to echo or they could create a guided song with the storybots. Price: Free (with in-app purchase) 
  • Songify – My students love this app because they can write a rap, perform the rap into the app, and the app will autotune their voices and add a fun background accompaniment. Price: $2.99
  • Sketch a Song –  The younger students can color the page, which adds music to the empty pictures. Price: .99

We experienced how to use these apps in a one iPad classroom to a few iPads in the classroom to a 1:1 iPad classroom. In addition, we experienced apps about virtual instruments (ratatap drums, iamguitar, and more), note reading (note squish, flashnote derby, staff wars, and more), and rhythm reading (rhythm cat lite, rhythm repeat, and more). Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 1.33.18 AM

Finally, Jon Francis from Jamhub, digitally joined us to speak about Jamhub studio. He showed how Jamhub studio can positively enhance music creation with iPads in the classroom. He also showed us an eight week elementary music curriculum using GarageBand and Jamhub that can be downloaded for free from here.

All of these apps are featured in my free ibook that is coming out soon: Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! 

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Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award and the 2016 NJMEA Master Music Teacher Award. TI:ME . You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com
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