Reply To: iPads in the Music Classroom


Hi everyone! I think this is an interesting topic we should be exploring further than technological aid. All of the tablets are very powerful for increasing efficiency in the classroom, however, I find more interest in giving students the tablet. This gives them the ability to use it as a musical instrument. Personally, I’ve been using an iPad in high school performance ensembles. In marching band we use it as a control surface, a student then controls everything from triggering custom samples, volume levels, microphone filters, effects, etc (extremely upset that DCI has not adapted this yet). In the concert hall, we’ve been using it as a standalone instrument. Students get their own musical part, controlling software instruments and more.

What makes this all possible is the tablet’s adoption of Open Sound Control (OSC). OSC basically transmits MIDI-style information wirelessly. There are plenty of apps out there that turn your iPad into a wireless, compact version of the midi keyboard you have sitting in your tech lab. This has made a huge impact in the entertainment industry! Entire digital mixers and light shows are being controlled by a single designer on an iPad.

I am trying to put together some research to share this information with teachers. It is extremely accessible and very DIY if you want to make your own instruments and controllers out of a tablet or even just a laptop!

(These are also interesting topics that work really well in high school music tech classes).