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Palen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, September 30, 2013


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!

What Apps Are You Using? by Melissia Goff

Over the last few weeks a myriad of band directors were survived a very simple question, “What apps are you using in your rehearsals?”  The results varied from, “what are apps?” to several that were repeating examples of excellent technology being used daily.  On the average, the apps generally focused on tuning, rhythm, fingering charts, recording and tone production.  Standard examples are Garage Band, iStrobosoft, Pro Metronome, ProTuner and Visual Metronome.   The following are apps offering some notable features.

TETuner is a free app that can assist with general tuning, sound production, articulation and releases. The students like the smiley face that comes up when they center the pitch. The analysis page plots the sound wave to show attacks and release. You can even plot dynamics!  The app also allows the user to produce sounds from different symphony instruments. The app is free.

Tenuto is a great theory app that can be used by students individually or within the class room.  It can be used from simple pitch and rhythm identification to theory exercises and even ear training.  The app costs $3.99.

Dotbook is an app that can replace the paper coordinate books students use on the field.  The program allows students to map all their coordinates and even creates a 3D simulation of the show.  The app cost $0.99.

Coach’s eye is an app that offers endless feedback options for the students.  For years directors have been recording rehearsals.  This app will allow you to take pictures or video then immediately review the video and slow the motion down. You can also draw on the video to point out areas that need addressed.  Another great idea for the app is to review the video, make your notes in the video images directly and email the results to the students.  The app costs $4.99.

Some of the apps not listed above but worth checking out are Score Keeper, Names in Arts, Symphony Pro, PDF expert, Decibel 10th, Scott Lang, Karajan Pro, and even Facebook for group pages.  As you can see the list is endless of what is available.  Thank you to all the directors who participated in the survey. Students today almost always have their phones and notepads with them.  Why not encourage them to use them to improve as a musician rather than chatting and playing games? 

Melissia Goff serves as a educational consultant and road representative for Palen Music center. She is from Willard, Missouri. She performed for years with the Phantom Regiment drum corp, graduated from Missouri State University and has teaching experience in Missouri, Illinois, and Nevada. She has achieved many things as a director including leading her marching band to the BOA Grand Nationals Semifinals and directing her concert band all the way to the Missouri Music Educators Association state convention. If you would like to learn more about her, check out this great article that appeared in the April 2011 edition of Teaching Music. Melissia is available to assist our partner schools with marching band clinics, concert band clinics, literature selection, assistance with recruiting, beginning band instrument testing, and much more. You can contact her by email at [email protected].

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