iPads in the Elementary Music Room: Creation Apps

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In today’s class, we explored many music apps that create, record, and loop, such as Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 6.24.57 AMLoopy HD (they did a great job recreating Jimmy Fallon and Billy Joel’s performance of The Lion Sleeps Tonight), GarageBand, Wavepad, Old Mac HD (where they could record their voices into the app singing the song), and more. In addition, we explored creation apps, which are apps that are not “music apps”; however, they can serve many purposes in the music classroom. The creation apps that we explored are ones that I have seen the classroom and Spanish teachers use at my school successfully with their students. This motivated me to explore and experiment with them, and eventually enhance my classroom with them.

Explain Everything: Explain Everything is very similar to Screen Chomp and Educreations. Music educators can use these apps to create video recordings of Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 6.19.59 AManything they do on the iPad screen within that app. Some educators have used these apps in their flipped classrooms, where their lessons would be created with Explain Everything and then exported to the school website so that the students would access the lessons, view them from home, and come to class ready to learn more. I have also used it for rhythm dictation where the students have to write the rhythm patterns on the screen. I would hand them the note heads and press the record button.Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 6.21.56 AM They would write the rhythm stems and give the iPad back to me. I would press the stop button and then the play button. I now can see how they worked on their rhythm pattern. It has been a great learning tool in my classroom. I use Explain Everything because I find that it can export the easiest out of the three apps listed. Price: $2.99 (The other two apps listed are free).

Book Creator: My students and I adore this app! I have had students create books as Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 6.22.52 AMan assessment tool. For example, this year my third graders created recorder books for the next year’s third graders. The books had recorder tips, music, recordings of the students performing the music, videos of the students with correct hand position and sound techniques, and pictures of them holding the recorder correctly. My second graders created books about Beethoven including facts, pictures, and recordings. The app is self intuitive for the students and they love it. Price: $4.99 (the free version allows you to create one book).

I also showed how to use Tellagami as a fun way for the students to write rhythm patterns (fun for them, assessment for you), Sock Puppets as a way for them to have a conversation in solfege (the students singing sol-mi patterns through sock puppets), and Aurasma to show your bulletin boards and more coming to life.


All of these apps are featured in my free ibook that is coming out soon:



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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, Indiana, St. Maarten, and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award, the 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, the 2016 NJ Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award, and the 2017 Non-Public School Teacher of the Year Award. You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com

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