iPad in teaching music

This school year I focussed my attention on working with the iPad on how to use it in my music lessons. Besides all the usual possibilities of using it as a useful tool or to present music examples on YouTube and so on in my lessons, I found out a quite “big thing”:
After Thomas told me about it in spring, I worked on preparing to use “iTunes Match” for quite a long time. In the end – by the beginning of November – , now the system works!
What is iTunes Match?
Probably everybody, who uses music on iTunes, might know, that you can synchronize your whole music library (up to 25.000 songs!) in the cloud for a quote of 25 Euros a year on up to 10 devices, which is not very much money, compared to what you get.
So, now what is the “big thing” for our music department?
Well, all teachers (we are only 5 now!) can use our whole school music library on their mobile devices, mostly iPads/iPhones or MacBooks. In our case it will be one MacBook and 4 iPads. I managed to digitalize all our CD´s in school in a several months process and in the end we now have a 25 GB library, you never have to have physically on your device, because everything is streamed, even very unknown songs or even songs, produced in the lessons. So, this is one big advantage: nearly unlimited music with no extra GB´s on your iPad. That means, 16 GB can be again enough for music teaching (That´s what we will have now.). Every music teacher gets his “personal” iPad and the really smart thing is, first of all you must not always go to find the right CD from our teacher´s preparing room, but you can even listen to all the music of our school music library while preparing the lessons at home for example or while you are just staying in Stockholm or in Australia…!
What are the disadvantages?
25 Euros a year is no real disadvantage and up to 10 devices neither. But it´s a hard work to digitalize the CD´s, one. Every device is fixed in the list for at least 90 days, before you can change, so students can´t participate, it´s only for teachers, two. Payment is quite tricky, because Apple now insists on a credit card account, even if you have prepaid enough money on your Apple account before, three. And last, but not least, you can´t have a parallel second private music library on your iPad, because this will be erased , when activating iTunes Match – so it´s only to be used at “work” and demands to have an “offical” iPad/iPhone/MacBook (besides your private device), four.
But in the end: I really love to use iTunes Match, because it´s very helpful!


Author: Michael Rosenthal

I'm a teacher at Lichtenberg school for music and religion.

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