Power Tools

Amazing Slow Downer $14.95

An app that slows down songs from your iTunes library. Here’s a description

Anytune  Price: Free/Upgrade $14.99

This was discovered when I saw a “slow-downer” gadget for sale that promised to slow down tunes (not just MIDI files). It made me curious if there was an app for that and within minutes I found and downloaded the free version of Anytune. I was stunned by its capabilities. This app takes ANY song in your iTunes library and will slow it down, change the pitch, loop sections for repetitive practice and more. Here’s a video I made explaining how it works.

Garage Band: Free

An app that promotes creativity more than any other! Although I am more familiar with the software program, it didn’t take me long to figure out how to lay tracks to create my own loop with the app version. As you learn to create with it, remember the recording feature–Garage Band will record anything and share the file to iTunes or email with ease.

Home Concert Extreme  $39.99

An n award winning MIDI score-following program that follows along as you play.  With the correct equipment (MIDI keyboard, MIDI USB cable, MIDI files and a camera connection kit) your iPad provides not only the score but, hands-free page turning and orchestral accompaniment. In the “Learn Mode” the accompaniment will wait for you and correct any wrong notes. Among other things I use this app to drill students’ sight reading –this puts a terrific spin on one of those skills that needs SO much review!

Here’s Tim Topham’s blog about using MIDI files with this app.

Mario Ajero’s videos about using this app:

iAuthor  Free

Although this is a Mac App, I included it here because with this app, you can create your own interactive, multi-touch text book for the iPad. Simply marvelous, I hope to create one someday!

iMovie Free

A confession: I was perfectly happy with my first generation iPad but really liked the HD camera offered in the iPad 3. So, now I have two and have never regretted purchasing the new or keeping the old–I use them both! With the iMovie app I can edit clips and create themes, titles and credits within minutes and send it to YouTube. Here’s how this app enhanced a recent studio 12-bar-blues project.

iREal Pro: $7.99

Bradley Sowash told me about this app and this too will become a staple. As I encourage my students to play pop and jazz from lead sheets, this app will enhance their playing as it provides a back-up band for built-in jazz and pop exercises and chord charts. It also allows you to create and edit your own lead sheets.  Here’s  how Bradley uses it with his students and a video of how I use it with students.

Jot $4.99

Here’s how Susan Paradis uses this white board app.

Keynote:  $9.99

I’ve been a huge Keynote fan for years and now I am designing my next presentation on the handy iPad. I have seen others successfully hook the iPad up to a projector so I look forward to doing the same.

Notion $14.99

I have not purchased this YET, however, will do it soon. According to my sources (see this blog) this is the up and coming app for notation!

Scale Blitzer  $4.49

Here’s a blog from the makers of the app that describes how this could be used. I hope to use it soon with my students.

For beginner through to advanced musicians, ScaleBlitzer makes technical work fun and interesting (instead of boring and tedious ☺).
Simply enter the scales/arpeggios your teacher sets you for the week, and ScaleBlitzer will ask you to play them in such fun and interesting ways that you won’t want to stop! The self-rating system encourages listening and critical thinking, rather than just playing through.
ScaleBlitzer will keep track of your ratings and test you more on the scales you’re having trouble with. You can also make recordings of your best playing and PROVE to your teacher that you got it right at home!
Your teacher will be super impressed with your progress and you can compare your points tally with your friends at www.scaleblitzer.com

ScaleBlitzer is currently available for the following instruments/levels:
Piano – Stage 1 (elementary/Grade 1) through to Stage 5 (advanced/Grade 8+)
Flute – Stage 1 (elementary) through to Stage 3 (intermediate/Grade 5)
Clarinet – Stage 1 (elementary) through to Stage 3 (intermediate/Grade 5)
Saxophone – Stage 1 (elementary) through to Stage 3 (intermediate/Grade 5)
Trumpet – Stage 1 (elementary)
More instruments and levels are coming soon!

If you play more than one instrument, you can purchase additional instrument packs for your user account. You can then switch between your packs depending on which instrument you’re practising. Your statistics will remain separate for each instrument, but your overall points will accumulate for all instruments under your username.
You can create as many users as you like, and all users will have access to any of your purchased packs. Perfect for teachers!

Go to www.scaleblitzer.com/tutorial to watch the new user tutorial.

Skitch Free

Ever wonder how to add circles or arrows to a photo? Wonder no longer! Skitch, recently acquired by Evernote, makes it simple. To take a screen shot of your iPad, push the Home and Power Button at the same time. Skitch can add arrows, labels, shapes to a screen shot, maps or any photo.  You can even create your own picture and use all of these for presentations, recitals, newsletters, white boards?…most of the pics included in this series of articles were created/edited with Skitch. Here’s my blog with more info.  UPDATE: not the same app since purchased by Evernote… 🙁

Square  Free app–%2.75 per swipe

The next time a family is late with a payment and claims they’ll bring it next time because they forgot the checkbook, you can happily say: “I accept credit cards!” Simply download the app, and a free Card Reader will be mailed to you. Once you link your bank account, you plug in the card reader and begin swiping.  A great addition to any studio “store front”!

Tonara Free with In-App Purchases

Wow, this score-reader app displays digital sheet music, listens to you play it, follows along and turns the page and even records your performance. One drawback, you must purchase all sheet music through the Tonara in-app store. Still worth your time as there are many classical freebies such as Bach’s Minuet and more. Recently, Tonara struck a digital content development deal with Hal Leonard Corporation. Now HL scores will be available for purchase via the Tonara in-app store!

White Board $1.99

There’s nothing like writing on dry erase boards and I’m happy to say I have recently acquired one (with staff lines!)  for my studio wall. Another studio essential: the Hal Leonard All-Purpose Music Flash Cards. However this white board app provides a fun twist at lessons–students love using the iPad for any reason and has some wonderful potential. Click here to read how.


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