StaffPad Music Notation App – Awesome

28 04 2016

StaffPad is a wonderful looking new music notation application for Windows. Unfortunately it is not available for Apple. Although I haven’t tried it out since I am an Apple guy it sure does look incredible. So clean and quick. You can notate your ideas before forgetting them!  It cost a modest US$69.95  Check it out at

Great Composition App for Music Students & Mashups

2 05 2014

One of my music students found a great FREE online application today while trying to make a mashup.  They wanted to find the tempo bpm of a song and the key it was in, so searched for an app and found  This application will do that plus a whole lot more.  They have a beginner music composition music theory ibook for purchase at $14.95 as well as two wonderful online applications that are totally FREE.  This interface is slick and easy to use and it will even create a notated score using western notation and even tabs if needed.  Composing is simple and fun.  Everything is colour coded and the application will even suggest chords to go with your melody.  Checkout THEORY TAB for composing.  The snap shot below gives you an idea of how everything look.  Pretty straight ahead and if you have trouble figuring things out there is an online manual with video tutorials.  CHECK IT OUT YOURSELF ONLINE.  


Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 6.01.16 PM

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 6.01.29 PM

Cool New MIDI Instrument – Percussa Audio Blocks

28 05 2012

Screen Shot 2012-05-28 at 8.33.01 PM

Audio Blocks is one of the coolest new instruments I have seen.  These look like so much fun.  Audio Blocks by Percussa are a new MIDI instrument that you can input your own samples to create completely original and new compositions of your own.

I wish they were a bit cheaper to buy.  A set of four blocks runs around $600 US.  A little steep.

Here is some info from their site.

Improvisor is a MIDI sequencer application which plays back multiple step sequences with up to 64 steps in length.

Each sequence is entered using velocity and semitone patterns, relative to a root note.

Semitone patterns can be played back using different velocity patterns or the other way around.

Semitone patterns can follow each other, which means they will add to each other’s relative semitone steps.

By drawing your own semitone and velocity patterns, and making patterns follow each other, you can create completely new melodies, which you didn’t imagine before!

Song Composition – Rapping Romeo and Juliet

14 09 2011

Rapping is both an interesting and accessible composition style that can teach students all about musical form, rhythm, phrasing, dynamics, timing, lyric creation, digital audio recording and more.

For a lesson idea that will link you into the English department, ask them which play they are including in the years curriculum. In my case it was Romeo and Juliet. I got them to translate the soliloquy into modern language and create a rap performance. It was not only hugely successful and fun, the students learning more about song construction, music theory, and performance than they will ever know.

Seven Great Apps for Teaching Music

4 07 2011

Free Technology for Teachers has pulled together a great post of 7 wonderful applications that music educators and students can all use to enjoy and learn about music. They are all well worth looking at and incorporating into your classroom teaching. Check them out!

Music Listening and Analysis – Great Resource by Rob Kapilow

11 01 2011

If you are looking for a great resource for teaching Listening and Analysis of Music you should check out Rob Kapilow’s wonderful podcasts and recordings. I previously did a post on Rob Kapilow and have found it so good I decided to make another about another album he has on another piece by Mozart. I came across his podcasts while looking for info on Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony for my grade 11/12 IB Music History class. Rob gives a wonderful commentary of the music as it is played so the listener can home in on what to listen for. Well Done I have since found another title of Mozart that Rob has analyzed as well as a radio show on NPR. Give your students the knowledge to become better listeners. Rob Kapilow

Things are not Always what the Seem in the Entertainment Industry

21 07 2010

Did you know that this sign originally was the sign for a pesso! Things are not always what they seem.

NPR is one of my favorite online sites for finding interesting articles on the people that make up our entertainment industry.

Here is an interesting story about the avenue two Scottish musicians (Gavin Bain and Billy Boyd) took in order to survive in the entertainment industry. They became “American Rappers”. Little did they know what they were getting into living the lie. Brought to you by NPR. Give the show a listen.

Indaba Music for Music Educators – Resources and Sharing

14 07 2010

Idaba Music

I believe that educators should share information and Music Tech for Teachers is all about sharing information on music and technology and how use it in the classroom. After many years working in the entertainment music industry I started this blog to share ideas about how music education can better prepare students for jobs in the multi-billion dollar media and entertainment industry. One of the ways we can make music education programs more current are to develop music composition using digital media. Now you can do this online using many of the new web based softwares. A fellow educator developing some of this technology sent me a nice note the other day.

I received an email from Alexandra Stewart at Indada Music pointing me to her online service for music educators. The site’s main focus is on collaboration using their online suite of software to compose, edit, and mix original material online using an online music recording software called “Mantis”.

Artists such as the famous cellest YoYoMa have put their stamp of approval on the site and it really does look interesting. They also offer a chance for music educators to link up and try projects together. I have done this in the past with friends teaching in other countries and it really is an exciting experience for everyone involved. Check out the Indada Music site for yourself here.

They offer a basic membership for free and charge a minimal fee to upgrade if needed.

Affordable Digital USB Interfaces for GarageBand

13 07 2010

If you are looking for a simple yet effective and affordable way to input audio into GarageBand try this interesting group of products by Apogee Electronics. They have several useful interfaces for composers including a guitar interface, a single channel called the One and a two channel iput interface called the Duo.

iPad Can Make a Great Touch Contol Panel for Music Recording

13 07 2010

Entrackment by Talkative

If you work with GarageBand you probably find yourself wishing for a controller surface that you can use for panning, track volume, etc. Unfortunately control interfaces usually cost hundeds of dollars or more. Well the guys at Talkative have developed an affordable app ($2.99 – yes that is three bucks) for the iPad called “Entrackment” that turns it into a controller for GarageBand and apparently soon to be added support for Protools, Logic Express, Logic Pro, and Record.