I’ve been enjoying the wonders of my iPod Touch 4g for nearly two years now. However, recently, my hubby and I upgraded our cell phones to the glorious iPhone 4. There isn’t really much difference between the two, other than that now I don’t have to carry both a phone and the iPod around with me everywhere (my iPod had my calendar with teaching schedule, so I tried to keep it with me always), and now I can access the internet anywhere I go.
I know many piano teachers are using iPads in their teaching. The iPhone is no different from the iPad, other than the larger screen and the fact that there are certain apps designed only to work on the iPad (because they require a larger screen). My hubby has an iPad 1, which he allows me to use occasionally. Someday, I’ll get my own iPad, but there are too many more urgent things on my studio wishlist right now! :)
Here are the most frequent ways I use my iPod/iPhone in my teaching:
- Calls/texts from parents, obviously. (I love that parents text me — it’s so convenient!)
- Checking my email quickly and easily — between lessons if need be.
- Recording audio/video for instant feedback for my students. It’s an incredibly effective teaching tool!
- Pulling up YouTube videos of piano pieces or orchestral pieces (my beginners have great pride about playing the “Ode to Joy” theme after they’ve seen and heard an orchestra play it in Beethoven’s 9th!). I have an external speaker ($2 from a rummage sale) that I plug into my iPhone to increase the sound quality — it makes a night-and-day difference!
- Playing tracks that are on my computer (it’s easy to sync whatever iTunes albums you want onto your iDevice), like the accompaniment tracks for the My First Piano Adventures books.
I have downloaded some music apps too, but I will admit that I am very, VERY picky! I do not use apps during lesson time unless I am convinced that they improve the teaching or learning process in some way. Many of the music apps I have tried fall more on the fun/game-y side of things, at the expense of being very educational — which, of course, is fine for students to do at home. But for during the lesson, I only use that which I feel is highly educational and effective (being fun too is a plus)!
It has taken some time (I probably haven’t been looking hard enough), but I have finally begun finding some apps that I feel are valuable enough to use during lesson time. Stay tuned for some upcoming reviews.
Update: As of June of 2013, I now have an iPad Mini! You can check out my reviews of various music apps on this page.