5 Ways to Use FiftyThree’s Paper In Music Lessons

It’s been two years since I started using FiftyThree‘s Paper iPad app in private teaching and I am still going strong! Paper makes it easy for my students to visualize musical concepts and sketch and draw staffs, clefs, notes, rhythms, and more in their music lessons.

Here’s five different ways that I use it to compose, notate, and innovate with my guitar and bass guitar students.

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Google Drive and Private Music Lessons

I’ve gone paperless in my private music studio!

I use screen sharing with my online students and teach with my iPad for in-person students. And all of my students, no matter whether they’re online or in-person, work from digital chord charts and progressions.

Even though I’ve been using cloud-based storage and collaboration tools like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box for as long as I’ve been teaching private lessons, I only just made the switch from emailing resources to saving them in Google Drive folders a month ago.

Here’s a brief overview of why I chose Google Drive and how I use it with my private music students.

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Getting the Best Video Chat Performance for Online Music Lessons

Online lessons can be just as effective as in-person lessons for teaching you the basics of your instrument, developing technique, and achieving your musical goals! Learn about how to make sure that your computer’s hardware and internet connection will give you the best video chat possible for your lessons.

High-speed internet connection

A fast internet connection will help you see and hear me during your online music lessons. We’ll probably be using either Skype or Google Hangouts, so let’s take a look at the minimum requirements for each video chatting service.

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MuseScore in Online Music Lessons

Screenshot of MuseScore notation software showing an introduction to rhythmI’m always looking for new ways to connect with students during online music lessons! After putting it through its paces, I’ve come to find that MuseScore, a free music notation software, is a great tool to have in your arsenal!

I’ve written before about FiftyThree’s Paper.app for iPad and how it’s proven to be a great way to notate pitches, rhythms, and more during in-person music lessons. MuseScore allows me to do these same things — and more! — during online lessons.

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My First Experiences with Online Music Lessons

I took 3 weeks off from my normal private teaching regimen to move from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to San Diego, California. While I miss the land of 10,000 lakes (though Michigan has more 😉 sorry, native Minnesotans), I’ve been grateful for the fact that through TakeLessons, I can offer online music lessons with Skype! The technology has allowed me to continue working with two students from the Minneapolis area as well as take on new students in Illinois, Virginia, and North Carolina.

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Why I Like App.net

Described as “a real-time social network without the ads,” App.net (ADN) sucked me in despite its entry fee. All users either pay a monthly ($5) or yearly ($36) fee, depending on their choosing, and I spent some time wondering who would do such a thing to have access to something that, via Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc., was provided freely.

After thinking about it, though, and setting it in the context of my own experiences working for a startup, it starts to make a little more sense. The networks above can provide a product or service for free, but they’re also at full liberty to change the way items show up in followers’ feeds, how developers can utilize their API, whether they can utilize an API at all -this article mentions ADN founder, by the way -, or advertise at will (… I couldn’t just pick one link because you see this in a lot of places). I completely get it that it’s their right and really, in their best interests to provide a product or service and expect to recoup some gains as a result. Servers cost money, after all.

So why pay to access a social network?

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FiftyThree’s Paper.app in Private Music Lessons

I primarily use my iPad as a teaching tool for private music lessons. I actually rarely use paper (I do make an exception for two students who prefer paper for chords/tab); many of my students prefer being emailed links to tabs and chord sites, and a lot of them also have iOS devices of their own and have invested in the same apps that I primarily use.

Today, I was working with a student who stated that she learns better when she can visually see rhythm patterns. I looked through my selection of apps for something I could use to draw and modify patterns easily, and found Paper!

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