5 iPad recommendations and how to use them

I’ve been recently diving into melody and style with my students. I’ve been trying to get them to hear the instruments, listen to the notes going up and down, and mix their own melodies. Here are my top 5 apps I’ve been using with my students and how I’m using them in my class;

GarageBand– Starting to really love this app. It’s great for my 4th and 5th graders who have already learned what it means to be a melody and now need to move on to form and style. What we have been doing so far with it is taking the loops and creating either a one or two section song. They are in two groups due to only having 2 iPads and pass the iPad around each inputting one loop the way they choose. Each class has learned how to manipulate the loops the way they would like and I have even gone so far with one class where they have brought in their band instruments and recorded their own tracks to put into their song.

Symphony Pro– In my opinion the best app for simple notation on the market. My students use this app usually either in large groups or as a notation center. It has a great selection of symbols and notes to input and you can add to the composition by pulling up the piano tool and simply touching the keys. For centers I will have students a list of instructions to complete on the app which usually pertain to something we are learning during full instruction time in class. In big group settings I project mine on the projector and the students are in small groups hunkered around the other iPads getting to try it out for themselves.

Moozart– LOVE this app, my K-2 enjoy it so much it gets asked for over and over. What happens in this app is there is a staff and animal sounds that change in pitch wherever they are placed on the staff. There are also pre programmed songs in it in which you can pull up and have students watch and sing along. I love to use this app because it helps my K-2 crowd understand hi/low, up/down, notes on the staff, and overall melody and harmony. I can put a pattern up and discuss these elements with them while they enjoy listening to the funny sounds.

Beatwave– This is a fun app to do small and short activities with. So far I have drawn students names in it and have had some of them draw symbols. We listen, and then I let them give me 3 comments about it. Its a great way to break the ice, get them thinking about music, and having the students start thinking critically.

Dolce Music Flashcards– Best flash card app ever..It has cards for bass and treble notes, symbols, and key signatures. I can put my IPad up on the projector and set it for 10, 25, or 50 questions and have students raise their hand or cold call them to answer the question. It gives 4 choices for answer and you can time them or not. This activity can take me about 5-10 minutes at the beginning of class to help students practice quickly identifying notes and rests.

These are just 5 awesome apps you can use in the classroom. There are so many out there, I’ll keep looking and trying them out if you will!

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