• Shawn

Technology in the Band Room

In our middle school band program, we use the following tools during rehearsals:

Smartboard/Apple TV - we screenshare from our laptops a google slide agenda for each day. Students enter, they know what music to download, etc.

Yes, I said "download." Our kids use iPads. They import PDFs of music from our Schoology class and they share with a partner (except those who are singletons or require more space).

They export the pdf to an app called PiaScore, where they can annotate and edit using different colors for different elements like dynamics or style.

For warm-ups, we use SightReadingFactory. This is a fantastic resource which utilizes chorales and straight rhythms. It's very versatile and user-friendly. You can adjust and save settings for each ensemble like key and time signatures, difficulty level, etc. At the time of this writing, it's an annual subscription of $35.

We also use Tonal Energy Tuner and we play a tuning game. This is a blast, the kids love it: The app has a green circle that transforms into a smiley face if the students hold a pitch in tune for long enough. We "tune" one section per day. When the kids make the smiley face, we have a cartoon on the board, like an avatar, that adds details for each time they succeed. It's great - they clap for each others' improving intonation! ($3.99)

We also tune to a Cello Drone sound on Spotify. We have kids tune to a Bb for brass, an A for woodwinds, and an E for Tenor Sax.

We use metronomes quite frequently during rehearsal. There's a free metronome if you just type it into Google!

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