Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Mish Mash of iPad Apps

It is really hard to find time to blog. I've found some fun apps, but just haven't written about them here. I have done a little on my classroom blog, so I think I will recycle a few of those posts here so you can see what we've been up to.

The iBand - I'm sure you've all seen the viral Christmas You Tube from North Point's iBand. Here is a post I wrote about the apps used in that video. One of these days I'm going to write a child-friendly arrangement for iPads, but again, time is an issue.

VidRhythm - This app is fun. I can't really see much educational value in it, but the kids love it. It makes a great motivator for those last couple of minutes of class if you've accomplished your learning objectives for the class period.

Dr. Seuss Band - I found this app earlier in the month, but I really haven't had a chance to play with it. It was one of the "New and Noteworthy" apps in the iTunes App Store, so I downloaded it to look at later.  It's $0.99. I did find a review of it at

I'm doing some app research today, so if I find anything exciting, I'll try to post. I'm on the look-out for a good primary app that K/1 kids would be able to use independently when I check out the iPad lab for them. So far, I've only found apps that work in whole group situations with them. I'd love to hear suggestions if anyone out there has some.

I'm always open to hearing about how others are using iPads in the elementary music room. If you have something to share, please send me an email or comment on one of the blog posts.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Nutcracker Musical Storybook for iPad

I haven't posted in a long time. I have plenty of ideas for posts, but a real lack of time to do the writing. I'm sure you understand what I mean.

I don't have a good, kid-appropriate Nutcracker story book, so I went looking at iPad Apps. I found one I think will work for $2.99 (cheaper than buying a book) called The Nutcracker Musical Storybook. It has nice illustrations that are slightly animated. It plays excerpts of Tchaikovsky's music at the appropriate times in the story. The website for the app has a trailer that gives a good idea of what the app is like. It's not very interactive, more like a movie. It takes about 25 minutes to get through the whole thing, so I plan to break it into shorter bits for the kids. I like that the title screen has a Christmas Tree with numbered ornaments that are like bookmarks in the story so that you can do a little at a time and come back to that spot. There is no narration for this app, which I think is slightly odd, but I plan to read it to the kids anyway. You can choose to run the app as a movie or swipe to turn the pages as you would an ebook.

Title Screen of The Nutcracker Musical Storybook