(cross-posted from PlayingWithMedia.com)

Yesterday I facilitated an hour long iPad app exploration session for “Tiger Club,” which is an after-school program our church offers for students at Central Middle School in Edmond Public Schools. I wanted to introduce the students to some fun apps which can be used for musical creativity as well as eBook creation. The three musical apps we started with were:

BeBot is a fun musical app which doesn’t require any prior knowledge or experience with instruments to use playfully. The same goes for Singing Fingers, except it helps if you can sing a little! JamPad is mainly a keyboard app but it includes some accompanying beat/musical track options, as well as an electric guitar. For folks who are less instrumentally experienced (I fit in that boat) it might be easier to create dissonant noise with JamPad than pleasing melodies. All these apps are definitely fun to play and experiment with, however.

After playing with those apps for about thirty minutes, I showed the students how to use PhotoBooth (free, comes with the iPad) to take some photos with fun effects, and then how to insert them with audio to make a creative story using Book Creator for iPad ($5). The students didn’t have time to actually finish their eBooks, but everyone seemed to have fun getting started and playing with the apps.

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Ever since I attended an amazing TCEA conference breakout session circa 1998 called “Bridges to Musical Creativity,” I’ve been enthralled with digital music software, apps, and peripherals. David Warlick became one of my digital learning heroes years ago for multiple reasons. The first time I saw David present at NECC in Seattle, he was traveling with a small MIDI keyboard and composed his own music on his laptop, on the go. I don’t often make time to play with musical apps like we did yesterday, so this was a fun opportunity.

Creative play with digital music apps is inherently a good thing! (It can certainly keep a group of middle schoolers entertained and engaged for quite a while, too!)

What are your favorite musical apps for iPad or iPhone/iPod Touch? I created a new linked list of my favorite, creative iPad musical apps on Appolicious.

Best iPad Apps for Musical Creativity (Nov 2012)

I need to give a BIG shout and thanks to Brandt Schneider for recommending I check out MadPad as well as Six Strings, Voice Jam, DustBuster, and Beat Wave. I removed the apps Magic Piano, PocketGuitar, Video Star, Virtuoso Piano Free 2 HD and Voices 2 from my original list so I could add Brandt’s recommendations. Those other five apps no longer included in my list are also cool, but I think the addition of Brandt’s apps makes this list MUCH better! I’m eager to try these new five apps myself. Here are direct links to them:

For some additional iPad-related / after-school club related info, check out my posts from last spring after I taught a 5 week series of classes for Tiger Club: “Lessons Learned Using Puppet Pals on iPads in an After School Program” and “Teach Your Students to be Digital Artists (and learn from Kevin Honeycutt)“.


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