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Palen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, February 20, 2012


Palen Music Center is dedicated to helping children experience excellence, personal growth, and joy through involvement in music. We carry out this mission by supporting area band directors through weekly service, support, educational programs, and quality products. This weekly Quick Note newsletter strives to highlight topics that are immediately helpful in the classroom. Comments, suggestions, ideas, and articles are always welcome.


Looking for help on a particular topic? Be sure to check out our Quick Note Catalog of back issues!

Finally, Here's Justification To Buy That iPad :)

For the past week, we have been asking how you use an iPad in your teaching. We compiled some great suggestions in the article below....Thank you! We also had a director asking if there are people who are finding creative ways to use their SmartBoards. Please submit your ideas to Thank you very much!!

Several educators are using their iPad mounted at the podium and then project content to the front of the classroom via projector or TV. This is a fantastic way to project announcements, run a tuner, put up a schedule, and more. Remember that we now carry a very cool iPad mount called the GigEasy and also have Bluetooth foot pedals for turning pages. Read the January 23rd Quick Note for more information.

You can click on the graphic to jump to the iTunes App Store for more information on each program. Enjoy!


This application is intended to be used as a score reader. Scan in your scores or import from a variety of electronic print music sources. The application responds to swipes for quick page turns and even does "half page turns" in landscape view. You can quickly organize tunes into a setlist for seamless use at a concert or gig. This application pairs perfectly with the AirTurn pedals for hands-free page turns.

SmartMusic Inbox

This basically takes everything you can do in your SmartMusic gradebook on the computer and makes it accessible on your iPad or smartphone. The only real limitation is that you can either look at the visual results or listen to the mp3, but can't do them both at the same time.

We contacted SmartMusic to ask when and if a full-feature version of SmartMusic would become available on the iPad. They said that the current processor in the iPad cannot support the full program because SmartMusic must both play music, record, and analyze at the same time. They are hopeful that future versions of the iPad might be able to support the full program. At least the Inbox allows you to do grading offsite.

Keynote and Keynote Remote

The combination of Keynote, Keynote Remote, and iCloud make a perfect combination to create announcements, lesson plans, booster meeting minutes, and share them for the group. A VGA cable, iPad adapter,and projector are needed in addition to the software. You can create the documents in Keynote, store them in iCloud (where you can also access them via desktop computer or iPhone) and then show them through your iPad/projector. There is another application called Keynote Remote which allows you to use your iPhone as the remote so that you are not tied to a particular location.

iStroboSoft by Peterson Tuners

Peterson Strobe Tuners popular StroboSoft tuning application for the iPod touch® and iPhone™. iStroboSoft™ offers the unmatched accuracy of a mechanical strobe tuner for the highest degree of precision available in a software tuning application.

Idea: Do you have a Smartboard, TV, or projector in your classroom? Keep you iPad at your podium and project the image at the front of the classroom.


This is a great app for creating improv tracks for jazz combo kids. Use it to record rehearsals or in private lessons.

Here is the description from the AppStore:
GarageBand turns your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch into a collection of Touch Instruments and a full-featured recording studio — so you can make music anywhere you go. Use Multi-Touch gestures to play pianos, organs, guitars, drums, and basses. They sound and play like their counterparts, but let you do things you could never do on a real instrument. Enjoy a full range of Smart Instruments that make you sound like a pro — even if you’ve never played a note before. Plug an electric guitar into your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch and play through classic amps and stompbox effects. Use the built-in microphone or a guitar to record, or capture any performance. Then mix up to eight tracks to create a song you can share.


Dropbox is quickly becoming the industry standard for document storage and sharing across multiple devices. This is a perfect tool to quickly access documents across all platforms. Create a document on your school computer, save it to your Dropbox folder, and then instantly access that document at home, or on your mobile device. If you are not already using Dropbox, this is a must! Have instant access to class lists, insurance documents, school contact lists, and other important files.


This is an app made by They basically took all of their exercises from the website and added a couple of extras and made it a very user friendly customizable app for things like note, keyboard, guitar fretboard, key signature and interval identification as well as ear training exercises.

Here is the description from the AppStore:
Tenuto is a collection of twelve customizable exercises designed to enhance your musicality. From recognizing chords on a keyboard to identifying intervals by ear, it has an exercise for you. Tenuto also includes four musical calculators for accidentals, intervals, chords, and analysis symbols.


This piano application features adjustable reverb, automatic time stretch, master tuning, and fully configurable keyboard. This is great for playing simple melodies, working on a music theory project, giving reference pitches (possibly for a timpani student or for warm-up tuning), for ear training, and more.


iBone XL

iPad trombone. Enough said.

It's neat because you can move your finger across the screen and play the different positions and partials and can even just use it in class for a visual. Are your beginning trombones not holding a uniform 3rd position across the section? Open the app and show them the visual of where it should be and they can compare to the screen. Finally, it is cool to play the trombone. ;)

Pitch Pipe

Here is the description from the AppStore:
It's a chromatic pitch pipe, ideal for a cappella singers and timpanists. With thirteen pitches, each a half step above the previous, Pitch Pipe provides all of the notes of a single octave, so a singer can start in any key required by Western music. To use, play the initial key note or tonic of the piece to be sung. You can also play the first sung note of the song, particularly when the song begins in unison or with a solo.


Here is the description from the AppStore:
Now anyone can play the bongos anytime, anywhere with Bongos! Featuring high quality sounds and graphics, Bongos! is the ultimate drumming app for the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. You can play the Bongos, Conga, Bongos and Mini-Bongos, Bongos and Conga together, or a Bongo Jam that allows anyone to jam out on the bongos.

Play alone, to the metronome with over 20 different sounds, or to our unique Pocket Beats and Loops. You can even play along to your favorite music on your iPod!

History of Jazz

This is a great chronological timeline of jazz styles and artists that is linked to YouTube videos of their performances and gives a short background. This is an easy-to-access reference for some specific listening or biographies on an artist.

Musical Terms

This is a very extensive music dictionary with easy access to over 1,000 terms.


This is a great application to have on as students enter the room. You can feature a particular artist or genre of music. Perfect for jazz band, music appreciation, and more.

PDF Expert

This application allows you to view and modify pdf documents. You can scan your scores or music into your iPad, then use the pens and markers (in a variety of styles and colors) to mark your scores.


This application is a wonderful organizational tool. There are corresponding applications for your iPhone and desktop computer. As soon as you create or modify a note in Evernote, it is immediately available on your other platorms. You can add photos and can even search for text in the notes or in the photos.


Like PDF Expert, this is another popular pdf reader. You can scan scores and view, annotate, and edit them using iAnnotate.

Trumpet w/Stuck Mouthpiece + Assistant Principal + Pliers = Ruined Trumpet w/Stuck Mouthpiece
Yes....this really happened this week. What you can't see in this picture is that every solder joint is also popped loose. It was an administrator with good intentions but definitely a bad decision. Yikes.

Contact Your Local Palen Music Center Representative


Can we assist you with anything?  Please contact your local Palen Music Center school road representative for all of your music education needs.


Springfield Bob Hopkins, Wayne Blades, Jason Moore, Mike Steffen, AAron Bryan (417) 882-7000
Columbia Paul Bowen (573) 256-5555
Liberty Ken Crisp and Victoria Clymore (816) 792-8301
Joplin AAron Bryan (417) 781-3100
Broken Arrow Jeff Lawless, Walter Pitts, and Mark VanVranken (918) 286-1555


If you would like to submit material, make corrections, give comments, or wish to be removed from this mailing list, please contact Eric Matzat.  

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