iPads in Music


This year I have been Working Closely with Weston College to promote the use of Ipads in music with particular focus on a series of instrumental lessons called Itutorus. Each Ipad had a series of 30 progressive video lessons (including PDF) on either the guitar, bass guitar or drums.

The students are first introduced to the construction of the instruments and then progress through the lessons. The students are free to watch each clip as many times as they need. This has proven to be an excellent way to introduce students to playing an instrument. At present I estimate I have 140 students using Ipads and Itutorus as part of their daily music lessons. This method of teaching has also helped students to develop their sense of independence as well as a healthy appreciation of the dedication needed to be able to play fluently.

Garage Band

The other major use of Ipads is with Garage Band. With this programme students are able to record live as well as pre recorded sound. The sounds are stacked up as a wall of ‘Tracks’ which can then be moved, edited or deleted. There are a wide range of instruments to choose from and you can input your music by either tapping the screen or through an interface.

Garage Bands come with a wide range of ‘Loops’ which are prerecorded samples of music that students can ‘Cut and Paste’ into their music. This is an excellent way to make their music sound great and is a major incentive in music.

When using an interface device Garage Band allows you to select your amplification device. Pictured is Ryan a year 8 student playing his guitar through a virtual Marshall amp. The sound is surprisingly good.

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QR codes

I’ve really found the use of QR codes within ipad lessons really useful. Often pupils struggle to find website addresses, even when you have them listed on the board, so the codes really make it easy for pupils to switch between information sites. I think it really helps to promote independent learning.


iPads last Thursday P5…

8AS used the iPads to do their assessment of performance piece on the Crashed Tanker module. They planned news articles containing science from the topic and then performed these as ‘on the spot reporters’. The original idea in the topic is that they do these as newspaper articles. The students made a success of their films, which were produced far faster than the equivalent newspapers would have been. It was clear that students who are less confident in the written medium were able to use this opportunity to display their knowledge whilst the most able in the group produced an in-depth and rather creative piece. As the students were operating in teams I was also able to use the exercise as a measure of the student’s PLTS skill in that area. Dave

Using the iPads for peer teaching

After a few attempts at using iPads in my lessons I have found that they work really well for peer teaching activities. An activity I have found to work well is where students have to produce a 5 minute mini-lesson in groups and can use the iPad to create support materials. After the end of the preparation time one student then stays with the iPad (“teacher”) while the other students visit other groups (“learners”). Having the “teacher” staying with the resource avoids the problem of having unfinished resources and by having set questions the “learners” have to answer it avoids the mini-lessons from straying off focus.


Using Educreations app to demonstrate learning

Educreations app turns the iPad into a recordable, interactive and mobile whiteboard. Now sharing a tutorial or educational video is very simple and easily combines voice with annotation of pictures and photos. The possibilities are endless for this app in the classroom. Teachers could use this to show students some key concepts or students could demonstrate there learning to produce a short video to help peers and share with the world through email, facebook and twitter.


• Record and replay your voice, handwriting and drawings
• Add photos from the iPad camera, Photo Albums or Dropbox
• Animate images by dragging them around while recording
• Pause and resume recording anytime
• Create multiple whiteboard pages
• Undo and redo your actions
• Choose from 10 different ink colors
• Create a free account on educreations.com and choose who can view your lessons
• Share your lessons via email, Facebook and Twitter
• Embed your lessons on your blog or website

Using Socrative app for iPad – AfL the fun way!

I have recently started to experiment with the Socrative app that is available online and via apps for iPad, iPhone and also Android mobile devices. Any device that access the internet can utilise Socrative in the classroom.

Socrative brings smart clickers, student response and ease of use to a whole new level. Students can be engaged all lesson with educational exercises and games. You can gather feedback instantly from all students anonymously.

Socractive has a wide variety of activities to use when assessing students learning. Students can access the specific ‘room’ of the teacher to answer the question that have been verbal asked or from a pre setup quiz.

All feedback can be seen instantly by the teacher and can also be shared at the end of a quiz via a report. These reports offer a breakdown of each students response to the question. It even marks the quiz and responses for you!

I recently used a ‘Space Race’ quiz that I had made as a starter activity to assess prior knowledge of a topic and the students loved it. The loved it so much that the students developed there own ‘Space Race’ quiz during the lesson to use during the plenary exercise.

The students can watch their rocket fly across the screen and compete with all members of the class to complete the exercise. Excellent motivation for learning and AfL combined.

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