Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Foxx Piano Studio Goes iBand

In preparing for my summer piano workshops, I really wanted to try this iBand concept out with my students. There are several video's on YouTube that you can check out.  Since it was the first time trying this idea out, I thought I would try it with my intermediate students. Most had an IOS device so using some free apps plus Garageband that were on my IOS devices, we went to work.  

Our summer theory workshop was 3 consecutive days and the majority of time for piano camp workshop was focusing on theory so we had limited time. At the end of the first two class days (students were here for 3 hours each day) I gave some time to figure out what “instrument” they wanted to play for the iBand and play around with some ideas with rhythm, melody, etc… By day 3 they had a good idea of what they wanted to do and thus the iBand was born.

In this video clip, Foxx Piano Studio Goes iBand, we used the apps Melodica, MusicStudio Lite and Garageband. Melodica and MusicStudio Lite were free and there were two of us that had Garageband. I didn’t want them to have to purchase any apps for this experiment.

We all had a great time putting together the iBand. Students were joking with each other and one asked “What instrument do you play?” and the other responded “The iPad”. All laughed.

I would really like to try this concept again at a group lesson next year. This time I would like to have two piano parts and different instruments. One doing a melody and the other doing chords and harmony.

One thing I noticed is the speakers on the iPad are much better than on the iPhone and especially the iPod touch. So the ideal would be to have either all iPads or external speakers that can plug in the iPhone/iPod touch. I did have one external speaker that I was able to plug in for the “piano” part. I would have loved to have that for some of the others because they were harder to hear, especially the strings.

All in all it was a fun experience!