I have had my iPad since July 2010, and I love it! I have found it to be extremely useful in helping me manage my studio. Unlike a desktop computer or laptop, the unit turns on in a second; I can check my emails multiple times a day without wasting time waiting for machines to be turned on and off. The built in Calendar and Contact Apps are a dream to use! How did I ever live without them?! I still love the look and feel of a Moleskine date book, but the electronic calendar’s ability to quickly enter repeating events and finding open slots for trial lessons, rehearsals, and scheduling makeups, is simply unbeatable. I am still relatively new to the world of Apps, but the following two really stand out from the crowd:
- iBooks: This is a free App. You can purchase and download just about any book that is published today. What makes this App so great for me is that I have found many music books available for FREE download. I am talking about books that are currently in print, many of which I actually bought from Dover Publications such as Piano Mastery by Harriette Brower and Great Pianists on Piano Playing by James Francis Cooke. I have found at least two dozen music related books that are FREE! Reading on iBooks is such a pleasure, too; you can change paper color, font, size, brightness, highlight, bookmark, write notes, there is even a built in dictionary. I don’t know how it is that these books are available for free download; I used to scoop them up whenever Dover has a sale. If you love to read, these books are such classics; the fact that they are now in electronic format is even better for quoting and blogging!
- forScore: This is a paid App, but for $4.99, it really is the best thing since sliced bread! There are over 1300 pages of built in sheet music, you can scan your own PDF files (take your most favorite pieces on the go), and best of all, you can download from IMSLP – the free public domain music library – right from within the App! This means you can download a popular student piece, say Beethoven’s Fur Elise, right onto your iPad, view and play from the forScore App (page turning is just a simple tap of a finger) and email to your student! Of course, the student still needs a published, paid copy if they want to enter exams or auditions, but if they just want to learn the piece first, and you have not had a chance to get hold of a copy yet, this is such a time saver! The reality is, there is a lot of public domain music that is available for students to use for learning purposes, and this App makes it easy for me as a teacher to find it and send it to the student without having to print it out myself. The iPad sits so nicely flat on the music stand that playing from the App actually is easier than using some of those thick anthologies that never stay open!
Are you also an iPad lover? What is your favorite App? Do share in the comments below!