A Music Education Major's iPad Use
Lately, quite a few music majors have been purchasing iPads. I asked Sara Glogowski, a fourth-year student worker in the music library, to write about how she uses her iPad as a music education major.
As a student with very little spending money, I'm trying to make the most of my $600 third generation iPad. Besides using the old standards, such as mail, calendar, facebook, and twitter, I like to store as much information as possible in my relatively light iPad.
As a trombone playing, music education major, many of the apps that have simplified my life are music related. I have had the "iBone" app since I first got my free second gen iPod Touch with my MacBook way back in 2009. This app is not only fun, but practical. All of the slide positions are correct, and it's great for working on memorizing music when my chops are tired from sitting in seven hours of rehearsal that day. What else does a music major need but a way to find even more hours to practice?
I also have the ProTuner app, for those days when it's just too difficult to pull out my white Korg tuner from my trombone case while I'm practicing clarinet or violin. Of course, I usually use this app more on my iPhone, which is what it was made for. I also sometimes use Tuner+ for pitch finding purposes when SAI, the professional women's music fraternity which I am president of, needs a start up pitch on the go. I also used this app a lot when I was taking String Methods and I didn't want to cheat by seeing if I was sharp or flat, but I just wanted to match a pitch given to me. Metronome is another handy app to have in the practice room when I'm practicing other instruments than my trombone, I can't afford having a metronome with each instrument that my degree requires me to practice, but I can carry this around on my iPad and iPhone.
However, these last two apps have been getting a lot less use since I added forScore to my iPad. This music app only cost me five dollars at the App Store, and has already gotten me out of numerous sticky situations when I've forgotten my music at home. Not only does forScore have the capability to store all of my solos that I'm working on for my trombone lessons into one small tablet, but it can also store numerous etude books into this one device. So when I'm teaching my seventh grade trombone player how to slur cleanly, instead of carrying 10 etude books to the nearest classroom where I teach, I can just pull out my iPad, pull up any number of etude books, and scroll to the correct page in the matter of seconds. While I still prefer the hard copy of music that I can touch with my fingers to this electronic version, it sure is nice to keep my music locker clear of books so that I can fit even more instruments inside. As well as giving a place to display all of this music, forScore includes features such as a built in metronome, with both audio and visual capabilities, a pitch finder, and annotation devices including different colored pens, highlighters, stamps, and markers, all of which are completely erasable, unlike sharpies on my $50 out of print original score. As a brass player, one of my favorite utilities is the built in piano. I can now play out hard to hear intervals while still looking at the score without needing to find a practice room in our over populated music building. Another aspect that forScore has to offer is the forStore, where you can buy scores and download them directly to your iPad. However, I already own physical copies of all of my music I will need on my Senior Recital this fall, so I used GeniusScan, an app that convert any bad picture of text into a properly cropped, flattened, with crisp black and white contrast into an easy to read PDF.
I also use GeniusScan for my non-musical needs. Whenever I have a professor who likes to bury me in a hundred handouts, I just scan the reading into my iPad instead of trying to keep track of a bunch of loose papers or carrying around bulky three ring binders. I then use the pdf-notes app to store all of these handouts by class. I can color code the title page to easily see which ones I haven't read yet, as well as highlight and type on the document.
I learn best by typing up my notes, and the Google Drive app helps me to store all of my documents in an easily accessible place for free. This way, I can not only type them up on a computer outside of class, but I can add to them inside of class on my iPad, as long as the professor is okay with technology, of course.
Overall, the trip to the practice room has been much lighter and much more fun since I invested in this pocket technology.
-Sara Glogowski, Senior Music Education Major
What apps do you use for the research and study of music?