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#2257566 - 04/06/14 09:55 AM Music technology, how you have come to embrace it (or not)
Rebecca Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/02/13
Posts: 55
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Obviously, everybody on this board has some level of proficiency when it comes to dealing with technological devices but I wonder how many of you have truly come to embrace the digital age, and to what extent? Has the infamous tablet or iPad come into your teaching? Do you email homework assignments (or type them up, rather than writing them down)?

For me, I only just learned two days ago, how to make my own music worksheets from scratch. I was surprised to find that it was more accessible than I thought (I thought I needed to learn to use notational software like Sibelius or Finale Notepad, I have tried Finale Notepad in the past... it the free edition, when it first started to come out, and it annoyed me more than anything). I'm also putting money aside for a tablet, but if digital paper digital paper gets any cheaper then I would love to own it!

I know how to use photoshop so all of my promotional material (flyers, cards, etc) was made from scratch, on my own. I can now make my own worksheets (but I'm not great at any of the notation software)... I'll write more after I read your responses. Feel free to talk about some of the technological flaws and pitfalls that you might have come across
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University Undergraduate Majoring in Music
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http://www.pianolessonswithrebecca.com/

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#2257656 - 04/06/14 01:21 PM Re: Music technology, how you have come to embrace it (or not) [Re: Rebecca Piano]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11968
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I purchased a tablet, and I wanted to use it for teaching but I haven't really found a way to implement it well. It lacks a decent keyboard (unless I wish to attach one) so then typing up assignment sheets isn't really practical. Also, my first few attempts at doing my Skype lessons on my tablet didn't go so well. I should try that again, but still, it's no different than me using a laptop.

I'd like to incorporate more if I can, so I, too, and curious to see what other teachers are doing. I'm especially interested in sight reading materials and apps that are geared towards theory exercises.

I have heard of apps that work in conjunction with digital pianos, but so far what I've seen is they are simply tracks to play along with or different sounds to use. Again, I am largely ignorant of what is out there and would like to learn more.

I think it would be cool to have phone or tablet apps that students could buy and use on their own at home too.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2257857 - 04/06/14 08:46 PM Re: Music technology, how you have come to embrace it (or not) [Re: Rebecca Piano]
Rebecca Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/02/13
Posts: 55
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Hi Morodiene, what kind of tablet do you have? Is it an iPad or a Android, Nexus or Samsung one? Apple seem to have a lot of products for music teaching - some of them include 'Garage Band,' there are a great range of iBooks that are available to download as well - one of my lecturers (who is a specialist in all things that have to do with technology and education) made up an iBook that is titled 'The Speaking Piano.'

I searched up musical notation games last night and found a few very interesting games - music theory.net has a good game but I have a few issues with it, one is that it isn't very goal orientated - the amount of notes you can guess is an infinite number. There are a few other music notation games that are similar - you can adjust and limit the amount of notes, that the student is confronted with and time them. Some of them are damn hard to play like music notation game this one are difficult and don't always reflect how well you can find notes. I'm trying to play a few games a day, to kind of do a bit of research, so that I could give my beginning students another way into learning musical notation.

What have you done on your tablet so far? And do you feel like it is a worthwhile investment?
_________________________
Independent Piano and Music Teacher
University Undergraduate Majoring in Music
Total Foodie
http://www.pianolessonswithrebecca.com/

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#2257877 - 04/06/14 09:52 PM Re: Music technology, how you have come to embrace it (or not) [Re: Rebecca Piano]
hreichgott Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 1036
Loc: western MA, USA
The only technology I've fully integrated into my teaching is imslp.org. That was a game-changer. And I do use email for most of my studio communications although I know anything important must also be mentioned in person at lessons. The big issue is that many of my students do not have tech-savvy parents/grandparents, lack access (no working devices or internet), have weird combinations (like having youtube access but no CD player), or just can't keep track of things that don't have a physical piece of paper. I could never use a studio-wide online calendar to schedule lessons, for example, because only 10% of my studio has the combination of easy access, know-how, and ability to remember to go do it.
_________________________
Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com
Sounding the depths of small pieces: Beethoven Op. 33
Daily attempts at 16th notes: Chopin Op. 10 no. 4, Pischna
Totally loving Fauré/Barcarolles and Ravel/Tombeau de Couperin
I love Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and new music

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#2257930 - 04/07/14 12:14 AM Re: Music technology, how you have come to embrace it (or not) [Re: Rebecca Piano]
Rebecca Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/02/13
Posts: 55
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Hreichgott, I think the CD is beginning to be outdated. I haven't used my CD player for years (even though I own one), my laptop also doesn't have a CD drive in it (a lot of them are made sans CD drive).
_________________________
Independent Piano and Music Teacher
University Undergraduate Majoring in Music
Total Foodie
http://www.pianolessonswithrebecca.com/

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#2257945 - 04/07/14 01:13 AM Re: Music technology, how you have come to embrace it (or not) [Re: Rebecca Piano]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5936
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Rebecca Piano
Hreichgott, I think the CD is beginning to be outdated. I haven't used my CD player for years (even though I own one), my laptop also doesn't have a CD drive in it (a lot of them are made sans CD drive).
Well I couldn't get by without mine. I don't want to have to be online to listen to music, or have headphones on, so they'd better stay around for a few decades yet!

I suppose the main thing I use (apart from email) is my notation program. I've been using Finale for 20 years - worksheets, extra pieces, exercises, note charts etc.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#2258054 - 04/07/14 09:16 AM Re: Music technology, how you have come to embrace it (or not) [Re: Rebecca Piano]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11968
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Rebecca Piano
Hi Morodiene, what kind of tablet do you have? Is it an iPad or a Android, Nexus or Samsung one? Apple seem to have a lot of products for music teaching - some of them include 'Garage Band,' there are a great range of iBooks that are available to download as well - one of my lecturers (who is a specialist in all things that have to do with technology and education) made up an iBook that is titled 'The Speaking Piano.'

I searched up musical notation games last night and found a few very interesting games - music theory.net has a good game but I have a few issues with it, one is that it isn't very goal orientated - the amount of notes you can guess is an infinite number. There are a few other music notation games that are similar - you can adjust and limit the amount of notes, that the student is confronted with and time them. Some of them are damn hard to play like music notation game this one are difficult and don't always reflect how well you can find notes. I'm trying to play a few games a day, to kind of do a bit of research, so that I could give my beginning students another way into learning musical notation.

What have you done on your tablet so far? And do you feel like it is a worthwhile investment?


My tablet is an Android, Sony Xperia SGP311. I refer students to musictheory.net, but maybe they go on there once and that's it. I know there are apps for iPad, so hopefully those will come out in Android soon.

Since the assignment sheet idea failed on the tablet, I don't really feel like it's been a good investment so far.

What I would like to see in apps:
-a practice log that is detailed where you can put in your assignment and then the student can check it off when it done. You can either enter the time manually or set a timer for the task
-a good, comprehensive sight-reading app with lots and lot of examples

My partner and I have an extensive library on dropbox.com with tons of sheet music that we either purchased as pdfs or are public domain (usually downloaded from imslp.org). We give students access to these files so they can print them out themselves. This is great for when we have group projects where multiple copies need to be distributed. I also store student assignment sheets here so they can access them in case they misplace their paper one. OF course, Skype students access their sheets via their dropbox folder as well.

We keep our calendar online via Google Calendar, which is free. We can update using our phones or anywhere else we have internet access and know when one another is teaching. This is great for when students have questions about make-up lessons because we can put notes on the appointment, so if there's a no-show or last-minute cancellation, we know right away if they get a make up.

Also, we use Google Drive for maintaining our business records. We have our current policy, rates, and registration forms, as well as spreadsheets for accounting purposes. We use Quickbooks to maintain who pays and when, so I upload backups to Google Drive in case the computer dies. Again, it's easy to share this information with one another or to access from our phone or anywhere with internet.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2258059 - 04/07/14 09:44 AM Re: Music technology, how you have come to embrace it (or not) [Re: Rebecca Piano]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3207
Loc: Virginia, USA
In the past I would record performances and recitals on a small digital recorder (Zoom H2), edit and normalize on Audacity, and burn CDs for the players and singers.

Now I usually export to mp3 and load them on Box, and send the link to everybody interested. This is much more convenient.

Notation programs will usually save to MIDI, so I send practice material via email for people to hear their part before rehearsals.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2258254 - 04/07/14 03:52 PM Re: Music technology, how you have come to embrace it (or not) [Re: currawong]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4810
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: Rebecca Piano
Hreichgott, I think the CD is beginning to be outdated. I haven't used my CD player for years (even though I own one), my laptop also doesn't have a CD drive in it (a lot of them are made sans CD drive).
Well I couldn't get by without mine. I don't want to have to be online to listen to music, or have headphones on, so they'd better stay around for a few decades yet!

I suppose the main thing I use (apart from email) is my notation program. I've been using Finale for 20 years - worksheets, extra pieces, exercises, note charts etc.

I didn't know that you have used Finale for 20 years. So have I.

There is a long learning curve for Finale. There are things you can do with it that are not online anywhere.

I have a macro program that I use in conjunction with it. This allows me to toggle through all the commands way faster than the Finale menu normally allows.

Notepad is free, but also horribly crippled for writing music. There are a zillions things it won't do, and all of them are important.

I do all assignments in the lessons. I do not EVER write anything by hand unless I am in a jam. It is too slow.
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Piano Teacher

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#2258298 - 04/07/14 05:38 PM Re: Music technology, how you have come to embrace it (or not) [Re: Gary D.]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5936
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
I didn't know that you have used Finale for 20 years. So have I.
But I'll bet you're not still using the 20-year-old version (Finale 3.2) like I am! laugh
I didn't buy it for teaching; I bought it purely as tool for producing good-looking scores of my compositions. Then I realised there were other things I could do with it as well. I never upgraded my version because it did all I wanted it to do from the start. If I had my time over I would upgrade, but for practical reasons, not necessarily because of features I actually need. (I don't compose at the computer, for example - I use pencil and manuscript paper, and only use Finale for preparing the finished score)
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#2258339 - 04/07/14 07:17 PM Re: Music technology, how you have come to embrace it (or not) [Re: currawong]
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4810
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: currawong
Then I realised there were other things I could do with it as well. I never upgraded my version because it did all I wanted it to do from the start. If I had my time over I would upgrade, but for practical reasons, not necessarily because of features I actually need. (I don't compose at the computer, for example - I use pencil and manuscript paper, and only use Finale for preparing the finished score)

I don't write anything by hand unless I have to. smile

However, I will scribble things down when I know what I'm doing, and I don't need anyone else to know.

Problem is, a week later I can't read my own manuscript.

I used to painfully write final copies, but it took so LONG. frown
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2260560 - 04/12/14 04:35 AM Re: Music technology, how you have come to embrace it (or not) [Re: Rebecca Piano]
musicpassion Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 998
Loc: California, USA
I have an Ipad mini with a Zagg keyboard attached. I bring it to every lesson. I keep records of what the student is working on and I type the assignments and email it to the student/parent. Some don't check their email or don't have email, so for those students I still write out the assignment on paper.

I also use music learning apps on the Ipad.

I have used music notation software in the past, but got sick of it eventually. I write mostly by hand now.
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Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2260595 - 04/12/14 07:52 AM Re: Music technology, how you have come to embrace it (or not) [Re: musicpassion]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11968
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: musicpassion
I have an Ipad mini with a Zagg keyboard attached. I bring it to every lesson. I keep records of what the student is working on and I type the assignments and email it to the student/parent. Some don't check their email or don't have email, so for those students I still write out the assignment on paper.

I also use music learning apps on the Ipad.

I have used music notation software in the past, but got sick of it eventually. I write mostly by hand now.


Which apps, and how often do you use them (are they good)?
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2260672 - 04/12/14 12:19 PM Re: Music technology, how you have come to embrace it (or not) [Re: Rebecca Piano]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5505
Loc: Orange County, CA
I have come to embrace technology, but the problem is the parents--most of them can't or won't follow through at home.
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2260734 - 04/12/14 04:13 PM Re: Music technology, how you have come to embrace it (or not) [Re: Morodiene]
musicpassion Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 998
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Which apps, and how often do you use them (are they good)?

My original hope with apps was that I would assign for students to install them on their devices and practice with them away from lessons. Unfortunately parents often fail to follow through. But I still try. I use apps in lessons sometimes, partly to encourage use outside of lessons. It can also be a good, brief learning activity while I look at a theory assignment, or if I need to have a conference with the parent. Overall I would say that yes, the apps are good. But of course there is no magic bullet. Flashcards and hand drawn worksheets are old school, but just as good for learning.

Noteworks - I use this fairly regularly for students are struggling with learning the letter names on the staff. Perhaps the student might spend two or three minutes with it in a lesson, maybe every other week. I also use it as a diagnostic to see how the student is progressing

Pianoflash - this one is also good, although basic. I think it is a good tool for students developing their reading. It shows a note on the staff and then they need to play it on the onscreen keyboard.

ReadRhythm - my favorite rhythm app - highly recommended. I only use it for later intermediate and advanced students.

Rhythm Lab: it seems too complicated, or for some reason I just don't like it as much as ReadRhythm

Rhythm Cat: I haven't used this much, but one of my students was using it so I downloaded it also.

LineSpace: works with letter names again, a little more game like

Pitch Improver: The ear training app I have right now. Pretty good.
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