Learning How to Play Guitar by Playing a Game

22 03 2013

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String Wars is a game that can be played using a real guitar

“The most enjoyable and effective way to learn guitar!”

So many of us are gamers and love music as well.  Stringwars is a great way to do both at the same time.  I can see it being a tremendous boost for getting students to practice.  When we are having fun learning it doesn’t seem like practice.  I unfortunately do not play guitar myself but I am going to get my students to try it out and see what they think.  You can even record your performance for assessment.  Great fun!  Learn to play guitar and enjoy music.  Try out String Wars

Online Music Mixers for Music Production

21 03 2013



Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 1.05.41 PMLoopLabs is one of the many new Music Application in the cloud sites that offers the ability to upload and remix music online.  Some pretty heavy names have been users including: Bacardi DJ, Lebron James/Sprite, ESPN, Microsoft, Sony/PSP, Calvin Klein, Miller Brewing, Coca-Cola, Heineken, Dodge, Toyota, Maverick Records and many more.  Check it out at LoopLabs

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.

GarageBand – More Than Just a Music App!

21 02 2011

GarageBand is a great and versatile software. One of the ways I like to use it is in a non music way. Part of our curriculum for middle school students is to investigate music history and learn about technology. Here is a fun project that covers both areas and is a great way to teach kids a little more info about how Garageband can be effectively used.

I get my students to investigate the history of the recording device. They then need to make a timeline that introduces their findings. GarageBand is perfect for this. I get them to import pictures of the inventions they want to discuss into their timeline and open a real instrument track.

They then create a script that they will read and record their voice comentary. Mix it down and save it to iTunes. From there open it in Quicktime and you have a stand alone movie that can be uploaded to YouTube or any other movie sharing site.

To share the finished work I like to post them on “posterous” . There the other students can leave feedback on other students work.

You could do almost any kind of project his way. Of course you could also use iMovie with more flexibility, but it would take a little more time.

Try it out.

Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony No.41 – IB Music

3 12 2010

One of this years prescribed works is Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony No. 41. If you are looking for a great resource to help deliver this piece to your students check out this recording by Rob Kapilow on iTunes. “What Makes It Great?: Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony” The recording includes discussions on each movement as well as the music of Mozart.

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.

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.


“Soundtrack” Music Recording Studio App for iPad

10 07 2010

Sonoma has released an interesting new multitrack music studio app for the Apple iPad called SoundTrack. It gives the user multitrack recording capabilities in an affordable package. Selling at US $39.95 it is a fraction of the price of most multitrack software. I haven’t been able to try it out yet but if you are interested check it out.

If you are interested in finding out more about music apps there is a very informative blog post about many of the music apps currently available for iphone and ipad at “Create Digital Music” by Peter Kirn. Peter has included DJ mix apps, multitracking, music notation, as well as digital piano apps.