FAQ about Integrating Technology

What questions do you have about tech-savvy tools for music teaching? Please let me know and I’ll add the question AND the answer here! – Leila

Q: What digital piano or keyboard do you suggest?
A: I adore both my Clavinova 505 and I recently purchased two Yamaha P255’s that I really like. Read more about them here.

Q: Do I need to get an iPad or can I get another tablet?
A: If you plan to integrate a mobile device into your teaching, you will be disappointed if you purchase a tablet other than an iPad. The iPad is an exclusive Apple product and runs on the Apple operating system called iOS. Most developers prefer to create music apps for iOS before other systems made for Samsung, Surface and Kindle tablets. With the iPad you’ll have access to the most music apps.

Q: What model of iPad should I purchase?
A: Plan to buy the most recent model with the most memory you can afford. If you live close to an Apple store, I suggest purchasing one from them. Even if you can find a cheaper price online, the Apple store employees will offer you so much help and get you up and running with confidence. If you don’t require a good deal of help, Amazon has competitive prices. Or consider buying a certified refurbished model from Apple’s online store.

NEVER purchase an iPad with only 16G of memory. You will be crippled by the lack of storage for all your apps!

Q: What do I need to reflect my iPad on to an HDTV?

A: This set requires two things beyond an HDTV and iPad.
1) An HDMI cable to connect the TV to your iPad.
2) A Lightening to HDMI adaptor for the iPad so that it can connect to the HDMI cable.

When you have both of these, then, you’ll need to locate the MENU on your TV, go to INPUT and look for the correct HDMI port that matches where you plugged in the cable. The iPad will reflect immediately on to the screen.

I use this set up repeatedly when teaching group lessons. Not sure how I taught with out it!

Q: How do you find time to use apps and off-bench activities in your lessons?

A: All of my students have one-hour lessons. Two students arrive together and while one works with me at the piano for 30 minutes, the other completes assignments on the computer, iPad, worksheets, theory books, or listening to repertoire. Virtually anything I can dream up that I’d like my students to complete (even practicing!) that may not get done at home. Then the two students switch.

Advancing high school students spend 45 minutes with me and 15 minutes reviewing concepts with iPad app drills, listening to repertoire or completing theory worksheets.

If you go with this format,  you can charge more ($1 per lesson up to one-third of your what you charge per lesson) because you are offering longer lessons. In reality, your students are getting twice as much time with you but, your parents will not be paying twice as much.

Find a “script” for selling this idea to your parents here.

Q: What apps do you use with younger beginners?

A: My favorite apps are those that keep students engaged while I work with another student on the bench. It’s a little more difficult to find apps for younger students with more wiggles. Those that work well for me include Music Lab Pro, Piano Maestro, The Most Amazing Sheep Game, Blog Chorus, My First Classical App, YY Teaches Intervals. The links to these and more can be found here.

Q: Should I upgrade to iOS 11.0.1

A: The short answer: not yet. Unless you like suffering from glitches that make your beloved device act differently than it was, I suggest holding off on the upgrade.

Let Apple fix the bugs and then make the switch BUT, be prepared for certain apps–favorite teaching apps–to not work any more!

Jennifer Foxx posted the “bad news” listing all the apps that will not work with the new upgrade and why that happens. Read it (and weep) and learn which apps will be working to stay up to date with the latest upgrade here.

So, what can you do to spare yourself from this agony?

Keep your “old” devices, treat them kindly and avoid any upgrades. I do this with my oldest studio iPad so that I always have access to the apps that are likely to disappear when Apple decides to upgrade the system I’ve just grown accustom to!

What question can I answer for you? Just respond to this email or leave a comment at the FAQ page and I’ll be happy to give you the best possible answer. And remember, there is no silly question!

What question can I answer for you? Just respond to this email and I’ll be happy to give you the best possible answer. And remember, there is now silly question!