Mobile Apps for Group Instruction

You probably already know that mobile computing devices—such as iPad, Kindle Fire, and other tablets and smart phones—offer a lot of functionality for the educator who teaches either individual lessons or groups of students. At this point in time, there are lots of educational apps available, from metronomes to flash cards, to full-blown MIDI programs.

I am starting this series by discussing mobile apps that can be used in a classroom or other group situations and expect to devote the next several blog installments to this topic. Eventually I’ll move on to individual lessons and public performance.

Which Mobile Device Should I Get for Group Instruction?

In a group situation, you will get the most functionality out of a large tablet. A large tablet has much more screen real estate than a smart phone or an iPod touch. For this reason, the apps are easier to use and tend to be more sophisticated.

Which tablet should you buy?


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One student, one teacher, 1500 miles

A year ago a former student of mine told me her son’s piano teacher had quit, and she was having a difficult time finding a suitable instructor for her son. When we talked the second time and she was not having any success finding a teacher, I asked her if she wanted me to teach him via Skype until she found another instructor (they live in the Midwest; I live in Southern California). I was curious to see how this format would work, and my hope was that I would no musical harm to her son.

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Is it right to drug our way to better playing?

It happened several years ago. Thirty minutes before I was going to accompany a young man on his high school senior violin recital his mother handed him a pill and some water, and then turned to me and asked if I would like one, too. When I asked what it was, she replied that it was a beta-blocker for nerves. I declined the offer – I wasn’t that nervous about the program, and I had no idea how it would affect my playing. I must say, however, I was rather shocked by the whole incident!

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Happy New Year!

For students and teachers, this time of year is the beginning of a new adventure. In their school classrooms, students may experience the smell of new crayons, the uncertainty of how their new teacher will accept them, and the joy of seeing their friends again. What questions come to your mind and heart as you begin this academic year? Below are some questions I’ve contemplated for 2012-2013:

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Welcome, fellow companions!

Greetings, and welcome to the first installment in our “PianoMag” blog. This space will feature regular contributions from a variety of writers. Entries will come from Clavier Companion staff as well as guest contributors, and we intend to provide interesting and entertaining content relating to piano study, piano performance, and the magazine.

Read more: Welcome, fellow companions!