In this article by Leila Viss, you will learn what “apps” are, where to find and purchase them and the basic apps essential for you and your studio. Be sure to read iPad 101: Should I Purchase an iPad for My Studio?
Article by Leila Viss:
The app world is overwhelming to say the very least. Where to begin can be troublesome, so below is my attempt to wade through the apps I own and whittle down an organized list of the essentials beyond the built-ins as listed in the first article. Please remember, this list is generated from my experience and not necessarily from my expertise.
Where’s the App Store?
Your iPad will have an icon labelled “App Store”. Just click on that and you can begin shopping. It’s easiest to type in the name of the app you want to buy, however, there is an option to search for types of apps as well. The App Store is part of the iTunes Store and to purchase from either you will need an Apple ID.
The “Starter Kit” below contains apps for various functions and are labelled accordingly. Also, the title of each app is hyper linked directing you to a site providing an in-depth description of the app and a link to download the app.
The New York times declares this one of the “Top 10 Must-Have Apps”. Being one that does not want to miss out, I immediately downloaded the app. I must confess, my favorite part of this app is the ability to make as many lists as I want and check them off. There is SO much more to this app. It keeps notes organized, captures any ideas from the web, allows you to access them on any device and helps you find all this stuff fast. It also has some slick app “partners” that I’ll mention in the last article.
Price: Free/Upgrades Available
2) File Sharing
The founder of Dropbox, Drew Houston, was tired of keeping track of his USB flash drive and therefore designed an app that allows users to store and share files and access it from any other device and invite others to see it as well. This is a free service (with limited storage) that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. Although there are other cloud services, the Dropbox app was perhaps the first of its kind to simplify the task of viewing and sharing files on the iPad. Click here to read about how valuable I find Dropbox. FYI: Google Drive is similar to Dropbox and recently came out with an iPad app. Looking forward to trying it out!
Here are just two reasons why I consider Dropbox an essential to your App “Starter Kit”:
1. It’s Simple: To share pics of summer camps with my parents, I dropped a good portion of them in my Dropbox and sent parents the link in my latest news letter. It was SO easy! Here’s an article on my site that discusses Dropbox in more detail.
2. It’s Green: Thankfully, Wendy has created Rhythm Menagerie in pdf format and therefore, I can view the pages from my iPad saving paper and ink.
Price: Free/Upgrades Available
Even though Amazon created it’s own tablet for reading books, you can still download the Kindle App and read any book in the Kindle ebook collection along with those at the iTunes store. Two of my favorite reasons for reading from the iPad:
1. When reading in bed, the iPad screen is lit and can be read in the dark so if I start dosing, I don’t have to lean over and turn the lamp off.
2. By holding my finger on any word that I don’t understand, a definition will pop up on the bottom.
Teaching Tool Apps
1) Recorder (and more)
This is a hefty program with some major features, however, I’m placing it in the “Starter Kit” list because of the recording option. By tapping “New Song” and swiping the screen until you see the microphone icon called “Audio Recorder” you can record your students playing, singing, whatever. Once the recording is complete it can be sent via email or to iTunes with a couple of taps. There is so much more to unlock in this advanced app but for the price it’s worth the investment and your time to learn more about its creative potential.
2) Sheet Music Reader
Exclusively for the iPad, this seems to be THE app for reading scores.
Add scores to your library from mail attachments, downloaded from the web and even from your Dropbox account. For convenience, forScore offers a store to find free scores and scores to purchase as well. Besides the options to organize your library, you can edit the score, write in notes, highlight…Pages turn with one swipe, but, require NO hands if you purchase Air Turn, a foot-operated, blue tooth wireless page turner. Stay tuned for a blog about that in the future. Here’s the manual--I like to save manuals for all apps (if needed) in my Dropbox or eBooks for reference when I run stuck.
3) News Stand
For years I saved all my old periodicals–Clavier and Keybo
Price: Free (however the digital subscription runs $12.99)
4) Sheet Music
With nearly 250,000 sheet music arrangements available instantly, the iPad app for this site is invaluable. It is easy to purchase and in minutes, the score is on your iPad. This also features editing options. Also, if you purchase a piece at your computer, it will automatically sync to your iPad.
The fantastic thing about apps is that they morph your iPad into new tools with ease. Steinway offers a free app that I find works well but many highly recommend Metronome Tempo by Frozen Ape. With either one, you immediately have a metronome that requires no winding and no watch batteries!
Price: Steinway: Free, Frozen Ape Tempo: $1.99
These are not apps but thought they could be considered essential in the Starter Kit (plus, I’m a fan of accessories!)
1) Stylus: Fingers are stubby, clumsy, and usually oily and even dirty. I purchased some inexpensive stylus’ or “pens” to use with my iPad. I like them as do my students.
2) iPad for Dummies: I’m not proud, sometimes I still like a book with real pages and am thankful for a resource that explains things in my limited “tech” lingo.
3) Secret Stash: Make sure to write down your Apple ID along with your password and make sure you can find where you wrote these down. You won’t be happy if you misplace them and you need them every time you want to purchase an app.
This App Starter Kit will set you up with basic tools that you will use daily in your teaching and business. However, the huge pile of educational apps has not been touched–stay tuned next week. I would be interested in learning which apps are a hit with your students.
ipad image by leondel