Despite some obvious difficulties this is probably the best time in history to be a music teacher. Instrument manufacturing has reached a high point and technology is adding fun new layers that never existed before.
Check out these six apps for iPhone. For under $35 (a fortune in iPhone apps) you and your students can have an unforgettable and enriching experience in music class!
1. Easy Beats
EasyBeats LE is the free 808 style drum machine. The app lets you create great sounding 4 bar beat loops. Your class will love how rich a piece becomes with a nice beat behind them. And, you don’t have to put your conducting baton down! The baton will still show your students accents and expression.
2. Amazing Slow Downer
If you did not know this already: Guitarists love to learn songs by repeating a song (or part of a song) over and over until they get it. This was a pain with vinyl, but the Amazing Slow Downer has you covered on this. The app lets you slow down a piece of music and retain the pitch. This technology would work very well in a classroom setting where you’re trying to help a class figure out a tricky piece!
3. Four Track
Tell your students that cavemen used to record with Four Tracks. In all seriousness, four track or multi-track recorders are a fairly recent innovation which helped artists such as The Beatles create Sgt. Pepper. Most people don’t use Four Tracks anymore (shame to say), but this app will allow you to record your class and help them hear how great they sound – and show their parents that they’re doing something in school.
(Full Disclosure: Sonoma Wire Works – maker of Four Track – sponsors the Teaching Guitar Workshops. Thanks in part to them, thousands of music teachers are teaching hundreds of thousands of kids!)
This tone generator alters its tone as the user (you) moves the phone around–a little like the way a classic theremin works. The app creates unique sounds – not like a synth. Imagine walking through your classroom and trying to play a melody based on your location.
Looking for an excuse to put your iPhone in your mouth. This may not be the best idea as electronic gear and water (and spit) don’t usually mix, but you can now play your iPhone like a harmonica. So, break out the Dylan song book!
6. Grade Book Pro
It’s still school and music teachers still have to grade their students and take attendance. Make your classroom paperless and put all of their info in your smartphone.