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

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!

My Perspective – My Most Useful Music App for Teaching

8 01 2011

Everyone is making lists of their favorite apps from 2010. For me making a list is too finite. There are so many great apps out their but my most useful app that I used in 2010 as a music educator that I would not want to do without is NoteFlight. It is a music notation and playback application that has made a huge difference in my classroom. NoteFlight is not a granddaddy music publishing and notation software like Sibelius or Finale. However, it does include all of the most common and useful features you would need to teach general music and composition. My students make use of the fact that you can notate and print, save as a sound file, or a midi file for import into GarageBand (or other music DAW software). And the basic student membership to NoteFlight is free, it is online web software so the platform of computers you are using does not make a difference. Homework can be done with any computer with an internet hookup. Teachers and heavier users can buy a higher level membership at a very affordable price that allows more flexibility for sharing to larger numbers of students. This allows templates of exercises that can be shared online. I also can make comments in text on the music and share it back with the students. And not least the Interface is the best I have come across for notation software. It is simple, clean, and easy to use. No need for thick and heavy manuals. Check it out at

Music Lesson Plans – One of the Better Online Collections for the Arts

28 08 2010

The Kennedy Music Center has a wonderful site for teachers of the Arts called ArtsEdge.

It is a wonderful place for music teachers to explore their great collection of lesson plans. Great as an all inclusive download and deliver lessons or take the many lesson ideas as a starting point to create your own lessons. Thank-you to the many teachers that have shared their ideas thus far.

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.

Music Notation App for the iPad

13 07 2010

Symphony Pro

The iPad has already proven to be a cool and useful interface for music but one app that is very exciting for me is a music notation app called “Symphony Pro”. For music composition and music education the ability to create music via notation is one of the best ways to learn how music is put together and developed. Check it out.

Great Video and Pic Downloads for Education Projects

13 07 2010


I teach classes in music technology and media technology. Areas of investigation include creating audio soundtracks to video and still pics as well as video editing. I have dicovered that old TV shows are perfect for this type of project. They are fun to work with and you don’t have to worry about copyright issues. One great place I found for downloads (some free) is at a site called LTV Liketelevision. They have everything from old vintage cartoons to old commercials. You can download from the pay library for minimal costs.