Category Archives: iPad Ideas

G. Henle Verlag iPad App Review

G. Henle Verlag is one of the highest quality music publishing companies in the world for urtext classical music. I have Henle editions in my library, and they are excellent.

Recently the company announced an app for the iPad and coming soon, Android.

Since I have experience with Henle editions, I downloaded the app to take a look. I thought that either the app would cost a fortune or it would have high-priced in-app purchases. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the app is free and the music is quite reasonably priced.

First of all, it is obvious that Henle has spent a lot of time and money on this app. True to the German way, it is very well done and elegant in its simplicity. I am not the most intuitive person when it comes to technology, but, honestly, this app is easy to use.

When you open the app, you are offered a free score and I chose a Beethoven Sonata. The app allowed me to:

  • Write annotations on the score.
  • Move annotations around on the score.
  • Print or email my annotated version.
  • Delete the fingerings in the score and even change them. You need to watch the video because this is an amazing feature!
  • Change the layout, making it bigger or smaller, and move the staves further apart. The music will wrap around to the next page automatically.
  • Use a Blue Tooth pedal page turner.
  • Turn on the metronome.
  • Use the built-in recorder.
  • Use the Apple pencil or inexpensive stylus.

You can check out the videos here that show what the app can do.

You are probably wondering how much these magic scores will cost. They are purchased with credits and the price starts at 10 credits for $.99, 20 credits for $1.99, 100 credits for $8.99  and on up.  [Prices are US dollars.] I decided this is very reasonable so I bought a favorite Chopin Nocturne for $.99. One Henle print edition Nocturne is about $7.00. The complete book of Chopin Nocturnes is 220 credits and the complete book of Bach Inventions is 94 credits. The purchases are through the Apple store, so Apple is getting 30% of the purchase price.

There are a few things that will improve the app. First, it really needs an eraser or undo in annotation mode. I tried the suggestion on their website of using the white pen tool to erase, and if your annotation is on top of a stave, the score is covered also. This was a real problem for me even though the original is not changed.  Also, the screen enlarges too much in annotation mode and it would be nice if that was adjustable.

I think most musicians from my generation love our print music books and I’m no exception. But it is nice having a digital library, and this is a great addition to my collection of apps.

[Disclosure: This is an un-solicited, non-commercial review. I have not been in contact with Henle in any way and received no compensation.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blank Staff for iPad or Print

Blank Staff for iPad

Blank Staff for iPad or Print

This is a black and white line drawing of a staff that I made especially to use on an iPad. Students can practice drawing notes, accidentals, and clefs. This document can also be printed for drawing and coloring. So if you don’t have an iPad you can still use it.

Many iPad apps have the ability to write on documents. Over the past 5 or so years I have tried out many different ones. Some have free versions for you to try out. Some allow you to record audio instructions. My suggestion is to find one you like, but be open for new features that are in different programs.

Why would you want to use a worksheet on an iPad?

  • To go paperless and save ink.
  • To store them in your iPad and save space in your studio.
  • To have them easily available when you need them.
  • It’s more fun for students.

If you are in the Dallas area and are interested in attending an interactive morning iPad workshop, send me an email and I will put you on the waiting list.

IMG_9191

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Piano Adventures® Player

 

Piano Adventures® Player is copyrighted by Dovetree Productions, Inc.

Piano Adventures® Player is copyrighted by Dovetree Productions, Inc.

During TMTA Elizabeth Gutierrez announced that the Fabers have a new iPad and iPhone app, Piano Adventures Player, to go along with their piano method, Piano Adventures. This is a free app, with in-app purchases for more music. [Disclosure: I am not associated with Piano Adventures and I was not compensated in any way for this review. The opinions are my own.]

This purpose of Piano Adventures Player is for students to play pieces from the Piano Adventures method books with high quality musical accompaniments. The accompaniments are lots of fun to play along with.

When you open the app, on the top of the left hand side there is a menu where you can select an individual level of Piano Adventures. So far, there are 4 levels in the app. Each level includes 3 free pieces from the book.

Once you are in a level, select the tab “Get More Songs” and you are taken to a page where there is a $4.99 in-app purchase for the accompaniment tracks for the Method, Performance, and Technique books of that level.

Piano Adventures Player is easy to use with your acoustic piano. Select your level, set the tempo, and start playing along with the accompaniments. I like the visual representation of the count-off so you know exactly when to come in. You do not need any other equipment but a good set of speakers is nice.

If you have a MIDI keyboard or piano, there are 2 other ways to play along with the accompaniments:

  • In the Follow Mode, the accompaniment will follow along with the student’s tempo.
  • In the Wait Mode, the accompaniment will wait until the student plays the correct notes.

In order to connect your iPad to a digital piano/keyboard, you will need Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit. I connected mine with my old MIDI In and MIDI Out cable with a USB plug on one end. If you are new to this, I do not advise you to buy these cables without someone to help you.  Also, there are different iPad camera connection kits, and you need to know which one your iPad uses before you buy.

There are more features in this app, such as the ability to set loops, adjust balance, parts, and a keyboard view with light up keys. I’ve probably left something off!

Piano Adventures Player is a wonderful addition to piano pedagogy. I hope that more methods will consider this approach to accompaniments, now that CD’s are becoming obsolete.

For more information about this app, go to http://pianoadventures.com/player/

If you’re in San Antonio this weekend, June 27, 2015, come to Elizabeth Gutierrez’ Piano Camp for Piano Teachers. Elizabeth has some great sessions planned, and I am presenting a session that will walk you through how to use this app and a lot of other good ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fun With Frogs: Easy Notes on the Staff

Fun With Frogs Easy Notes on the Staff

Frog Notes on the Staff

Frog Treble and Bass Notes

I hope you didn’t give up on me posting the final set in the Fun With Frogs series. I was out-of-town several days, meeting all the wonderful teachers at the Texas Music Teachers Convention.   The Texas convention is huge and there was so much going on. I lost my iPad containing my presentations, found it, lost my iPhone, found it, and walked and talked a lot.

It was so exciting that my friend and teaching colleague Elizabeth Gutierrez won the TMTA pre-collegiate teacher of the year!

Speaking of Elizabeth, my next presentation is in San Antonio where I will speak at her Piano Camp for Piano Teachers. I’m going to open the iPad on-screen and show you how to use it. Elizabeth has some great sessions planned, like how to teach technique after the elementary level, the best classical pieces, and how to teach secure rhythm. Her students play so beautifully and polished, so I am looking forward to that.

Today’s post has piano worksheets for the notes around middle C position for young beginners. Print these sheets or open them in your iPad.

If you like these, you will probably like the others in the Frog series. These are all free downloads, because I just like to share!

Learning Piano Keys

Beginning Rhythm

Finger Numbers and Left/Right Hands

Frogs in Flip Flops – This 12-measure song uses only two notes, F and C. There are words and a teacher duet.

Below is something I did with my student to help him remember treble F. We had a lot of fun with Mr. Frog!

Mr Frog Learns F

 

 

 

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Filed under Group lesson ideas, iPad Ideas, Preschool Music Resources, Worksheets