In July of 2020, my father gave me an awesome gift. An iPad Pro. This was before the pandemic shutdowns and online teaching became my main way of earning my living. I had no idea at the time how much I would come to love and depend on my iPad for just about everything I do musically these days.
Here are the ways I make use of my iPad. I am only including things that I can use on my iPad that don’t require my student to also have an iPad.
I use the Forscore app.
This app. allows me to have all of my music in one place. I can organize it by genre, I can tag and label pieces for specific students or special events. The app allows me to make setlists for concerts or gigs.
I can either upload and PDF into the app or I can scan it in with the built-in camera. I can also screen share with my students and write on the music in real time. Highlighting things like accidentals, dynamics, etc. My student and I can go through the score together and add any markings necessary.
Since my website, palomapiano.com features hundreds of PDF files (including method books, scales, solos, classical selections, duets, theory, and much more!) I have everything ready for super easy access. Which for me is a total slam dunk! https://forscore.co/
Speaking of PDF files, the International Music Score Literacy Project has thousands of works in the public domain. These can be downloaded into Forscore in a flash. https://imslp.org/wiki/Main_Page
I use the iPad to play games like Note-Rush and Foyumin Music Reading. For Noterush My students can actually play the notes on their instrument and the app. hears it. Fuyomin I have the student call the notes out and I enter them. Cool!
I love to pull up awesome music videos to watch with my students. YouTube doesn’t allow screen sharing however I can set my iPad in front of my computer (Macbook Pro) and they can see and hear the video very well.
I can use the iPad to record videos of my students playing. I also do this by setting up the camera so that my students can be recorded from my computer screen.
I have a dice app. that I use to play games with my students. We “roll’ the dice to decide how many times they will play a section or how many times per day they will practice a certain skill. Or who will play a new piece first?
For my more advanced students as well as for my own practice I use the iReal Pro app. This includes backing tracks for hundreds of jazz tunes. I can set it and my students can hear it and play.
I also have a notepad app, which allows me to keep notes on each student. This way I always know what they are working on and if I need to send any new music, contact parents, etc.
I also have the Kindle Cloud Reader and a Kindle account. Most piano books are now available as eBooks, so I have a few books on my Kindle reader. I have had students show up online with new books such as the music from Harry Potter. When this happens, I just pop over to Kindle and purchase the book. It’s not as convenient as the Forscore app which allows me to write and notate on the music but in a pinch, it’s great.
I take my iPad to choir practice weddings, funerals, and anywhere else I would take sheet music or music books. You can even get a page-turner foot pedal. Although, I have not found this necessary as page-turning in Forscore is easy. One caveat is to disable SIRI because sometimes a random sound will cause her to turn a page when you don’t want it turned. (I found this out the hard way. But once SIRI was turned off I had no more such problems.)
I am sure I will find even more uses for my iPad. I have the 12.9 inch iPad Pro 4th generation. I knew I would be using it a lot, so I went for the 512GB memory. But the 128 or 256GB is plenty for most needs. The iPad comes with many great features. I also have an iPencil which helps with writing while screen sharing. I also purchased a magnetic cover to protect the investment.
The iPad Pro is not cheap, and you can do all of these things with a smaller model. For performances and rehearsals, I like the bigger screen.
The iPad has been great for use during in-person lessons and a Godsend in running my studio online.
If you are interested in getting an iPad I recommend you shop around for the best price. And don’t forget to save your receipt, in the U.S. this purchase is considered a business expense and is tax-deductible.
If you would like to find out about becoming a member of Paloma Piano we have a number of very attractive membership options including a free membership that offers a large number of piano scores, teaching resources, and games. The free membership is forever free and no credit card is needed. Check it out!