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iPads in a choral setting

I am wondering if anyone uses an iPad or class set of iPads in a school choral setting.  If so, please share your ideas.  Thanks!
Kim Kroetsch
Replies (9): Threaded | Chronological
on July 23, 2014 5:46am
The 3 male choruses in which I sing do not have your ipad concept, but i have had the idea for 3 years.
The sheet music would be scanned into the master "ipad" and shared with the conductor, accompanist and singers.  Perhaps this could be done thru Noteworthy Composer or Sibelius software.  The conductor would touch the measure on which he wants to start and everone's device would be directed to that measure.
Is there a techie around who could make this happen?
Marty Edelman
Mendelssohn Glee Club of NYC
University Glee Club of NYC
Yankee Male Chorus
on July 23, 2014 9:08am
Have you looked at forScore for the iPad? You can share PDFs with other forScore users and I believe there's a cueing option for broadcasting page turns and/or program changes to nearby iPads. It's not exactly what you're wishing for but I would not be surprised if forScore comes up with these options in the future.  I've been using this app for my harp gigs for a couple of years now and they're always adding new features.
on July 23, 2014 10:55am
After 4 years of teaching in a school setting with outdated technology, I moved last year to a 1:1 school where all of my High School choirs have laptops, and all of my Middle School choirs have iPad Minis. 
The iPads were new to the students last year as well, so we did a LOT of learning together.
To begin with, we mostly used the iPad for researching song lyrics or composers, and submitting quizzes (mostly internet and email applications). We ventured into using it as a self/group sound recording device, and eventually into utilizing the camera functions to watch and record ourselves as we sing. (vowel shape, mouth opened or closed, etc) Students also used a drawing app to create rhythms. 
My goals for this year are: to make octavos available for students to use on the iPads, (I've used Sheet Music Direct, and also just a pdf reader on my teacher iPad this summer.) to utilize QR codes for existing lessons on careers in music, sight singing, music history, and theory, and utilize camera/audio recording for assessment, and to create student portfolios for progress record (admin loves data!)
I've also done some training for various apps that we can use in the music classroom. I've done a lot of pinning on pinterest and personal research. I can send you a list of apps I'm in the process of researching/learning how to use. It is a lengthy list, but email me if you'd like it. (brandi.hallford(a)
My favorite "new to me" music apps are: Kahoot (gameshow style quiz response using a smart device), SightReader (I LOVE this app), Rhythmix (game kind of like Guitar Hero using classical music...probably will use on sub days or as an incentive), Ear Trainer (I used LITE becuase it was free, and I wanted to try it first. Great for independent or group work, exercises on intervals, melody, chords and scales. Might be too hard for some students without a lot of teach guidance.) 
As with any technology integration, you have to have a backup plan, and you have to take time teaching how to use the technology. I also try to remember that the goal of using the technology is that it needs to aid in the process of mastering content.
Brandi Hallford
Director of Choirs 
USD 490
El Dorado, KS
Applauded by an audience of 3
on July 23, 2014 5:04pm
I use my iPad hooked into an overhead projector. I turn the pages with my AirTurn foot pedal so we are literally all on the same page.
The ForScore app allows for marking the score in various colors so I often do this while attached to the projector to facilitate learning. The legal questions arise at this point. I buy enough paper copies so everyone in my group could use them if I chose to let them. I keep the copies and just use the overhead.  It works well most of the time. Occasionally there are glitches as with any other technology. Songs are easily loaded on to the device via scanning then email. I even use this with my beginners as young as first grade.  They look up to see the lyrics and tone production is better. This also removes the temptation to look at other areas of the iPad during rehearsal.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on July 29, 2014 8:09am
We'll be on our 3rd year of 1:1 ipads in our district this coming year.  I have been teaching at the elementary level for the past umpteen years, but am moving to junior-senior high this year.  In the past, I've used the ipads with my students on a lot of theory related stuff.  Check out  AWESOME site.  The free apps are great.  The creator now has a paid app in the app store that I requested for my elementary students before transferring to the HS.  Staff Wars is the name.  
Anyway, this summer I have worked a lot in GarageBand and wrote a unit I'll use for composition.  If you go to on the site, this teacher has created an awesome unit one can purchase.  
After becoming better acquainted with GarageBand, I figured out how to tap in the notes of the SATB pieces I've chosen to created rehearsal tracks.  I use the "edit" part instead of trying to play it on ipad keyboard.  It's much easier and flawless.  During rehearsal, I plan on plugging my ipad into the sound system and use these tracks when I don't want to be at the piano.  It allows to turn down the other parts, if for instance, you want to hear all 4 parts, but you want to hear the tenor part a little louder.  I asked our district tech person to create a YouTube channel for us.  There I will load the GarageBand projects created.  Students will be able to practice outside of choir AND listen to their parts during choir rehearsal with earbuds if I'm working on another section.  It will also help when I will split them into sections to work apart from the group.  
There are so many more things that can be done with GarageBand and the ipad IMHO :)   I'm guessing the students will be teaching me as well.
Jennifer Gylland
Choir Director District 146
Barnesville, MN
Applauded by an audience of 2
on July 30, 2014 5:25am
Playing devil's advocate here and I am also finding ways to use technology in rehearsals but......  wouldn't it nice if kids could be technology free for one period a day?  What if our classrooms were sometimes a respite from it all?
Randi Carp
Phoenixville Area HS
Phoenixville, PA
ACDA National Show Choir R & S Chair
Applauded by an audience of 3
on August 1, 2014 6:13am
Randi, we'd have pretty weird classrooms if our's were technology free. No HVAC? No piano? No printed music? No chairs?
Our students don't need a break from any technology; they need good instruction and musical experiences. If an available technology makes instruction and/or music-making better, we should use it as we have the expertise to do so. Is using the most advanced technology required? Hardly. 
Tom Seniow
on July 31, 2014 8:33am
on August 5, 2014 12:34pm
Because I do rights clearance as part of my job, the publishers aren't always on-top of the technology. If you want to be legal, it is difficult to get an entire program cleared for digital conversion is not fun nor worth the wait or staff expense.
The environmental impact of printing is is less than the electricity used (paper pulping actually returns electricity to the grid because the Kraft process is endothermic).
if you perform on book, you can't do it in the performance due to the light reflecting up from the iPads to the faces giving a "ghost story by the campfire" effect and a disco-ball backdrop as all the ipad glare moves around.
I find the glare distracting. You are shining a light into your eyes and then you have to look up to a much more dim conductor. Professionally-printed music is never on white paper: it is on cream, off-white, ivory in order to reduce eye-strain. Combine this with the less-than-spectacular results of amateur digital engraving, you get music that doesn't read well.
And, of course, quite a few students are going to check their e-mail.
We can brag about reading programs, but score marking is an art, and I don't think the profession is doing enough about "annoation fatigue." In my professional experience, the best musicians are the ones that make the fewest markings, so when a marking comes up, you are serious about following it. If you circle every single hairpin and dynamic marking, then the really important ones don't stand out. I have a full Symphony of Psalms score I found in a trash heap where every part is highlighted. I can't quite figure out the system, but there are so many markings the effect is better than most psychedelic drugs.
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