Tag Archives: music

Apple Music

App: Apple Music

Cost: 9.99 per month

Pros: You have access to almost every song every made.

Cons: Monthly subscription fee.

This has been a life saver. I have access to any song at any time. When I am teaching if a student requests a song,  if I think of the perfect music for across the floor or warm up or a student wants to find music for their dance piece this is the solution. You can download any of the  songs into your playlist. It is truly amazing!! It has more selection than spotify. It also has Beats radio which is the first global radio station.

Conclusion/Commentary: You do have to pay the monthly fee but it is very worth it!!!

4 stars

WhoSampled

App: WhoSampled

Cost: 2.99

Pros: Middle School Students love it.

Cons: Monthly subscription fee.

Describe how the app was used: This app is a great tool for music appreciation. I play a variety of music in my class including popular music. This is a great app for students who get excited about new music but connects them to the history of the song. When you play a song with a sample it provides a link to the original.  For example Drake’s “Hotline Bling” (2015) sampled Timmy Thomas “Why Can’t We Live Together” (1972). From there, conversations can start about how music is reimagined and reinterpreted.  What tools did the artist use to change the song-timing, speed, pitch.

Conclusion/Commentary: My students really love this app and has given them an appreciation for the older music I play.

4 stars

“Notetracks” by Notetracks, Inc.

Price: $4.99

App Overview: Notetracks can be used by dancers and dance teachers for writing and planning out choreography with music.  It allows users to take notes, sketch drawings, and add symbols along an audio timeline.  Advanced audio features include markers for easily returning to specific points in the music.  You can also share your audio project with others.

Pros: The app has some great audio playback features like the markers, which make it easy to track specific sections of the music. Being able to add notes makes it easy to organize.

Cons: The app is a bit pricey and only does a portion of the work, which is the music. I would pay the $4.99 if it included a video portion to connect the music with.

Overall: Great app for those who use music as a main source of their choreography. I would even recommend this for the initial stages of choreography set to specific music. You can note some ideas you may have for certain sections of music while you are still working on the choreography as a whole.

“Freeze Dance” by Bombing Brain Interactive

Price: $0.99

App Overview: This app retrieves pre-existing music on your phone  for use in the game. You start by choosing a song from your library. The app then stops the song at random intervals for a period of seconds and then continues playing.

Pros: A nice feature of Freeze Dance is that you can turn the automatic stop on or off, adjust the intervals between stops, and change the length of freeze time.

Cons: The only con I see with this app is that it isn’t free. Otherwise, there are no cons.

Overall: Great app for anyone working with kids of all ages.  It is also great that you don’t have to stand at the stereo to stop and start the music.

Browsec – a site that unblocks YouTube at schools

Name of the website: Browsec

Cost: Free!

About the website: the website enables you to surf the web freely bypassing blocked websites like YouTube by hiding your IP address. It allows you to visit sites blocked by your ISP or corporate firewall.

Possible classroom applications: The site offers a platform that enables teachers to access certain internet websites that are blocked on conventional servers. Teachers can offer videos and articles that are normally not available in educational institutions. Surf to the

Pros: Ever been in a bind, and discovered that you have missing instructional materials? Browsec is your friend during these times. It works on practically any computer and any browser.

Cons: Many high school students have learned to avoid blocked web content, but it would be best to not share this resource with students that are not “in the know.” There is a solid reason why certain websites are blocked, and it would be in the students’ best interest to keep it this way.  I have encountered the site to be down on two occasions, so it’s not a back-up system that one can count on 100%.

Rating: 4 out of 5

“Dances for an iPhone” – a gem of an app…

Name of the app: Dances for an iPhone 3 (a.k.a. iDances 3)

Cost: Free!

About the app: the app is a collection of choreographic works created especially for iPhones and iPads. This is the third episode of the app, and previous renditions are currently unavailable. Recently iDances 4 came out, which is dedicated to Stephen Sondheim. More info can be found at dancesforaniphone.com.

Possible classroom applications: The app offers a salient alternative for performance reviews. Students can select one of the dances and write about the work in their journal or answer a prompt for an essay. Since many of the dances are performed by NYC dance icons, it’s also a valuable addition to biographies of them. Some of these icons are Carmen de Lavallade, Risa Steinberg, Deborah Jowitt, and Janis Brenner.

Pros: These days youth is obsessed with mobile devices and technology. This is a terrific way to build on their interests! iDances 3 is a worthy alternative to live performances, and can be used as the basis of dialogic conversation, written essays, and comp study classes.

Cons: Dance-for-film is a terrific medium that can integrate everyday-life and the performing arts. It baffles me that the videos all have been filmed in dance studios. What’s stopping the makers of this app (Riachard Daniels a.o.) to venture out to the streets and perform the dances on interesting NYC locations? Last but not least, these dances expire after a while. iDances 1 is currently unavailable, and iDances 2 will disappear soon as well!

Rating: 3 out of 5

Choreoloop

Name of the application: Choreoloop

Cost: Free!

About the app: the app is created for dance makers and is the perfect tool to loop music excerpts. Choreographers can custom-create a loop anywhere in a song, and practice their movement sequence. The app is also perfect for musicians that wish to practice a song excerpt.

Possible classroom applications: the app is perfect for rehearsing freshly taught movement phrases. Young dancers often learn through repetition and Choreoloop is a great way to practice a sequence without having to find a starting point in the track time and time again.

Pros: The app is easy to use and helps public school dance educators save valuable time during sessions. It’s the ultimate set-it-and-forget-it during any type of movement rehearsals.

Cons: The app works seamlessly with your iTunes library, but unfortunately can’t be used with other music apps like Spotify. Also, the iTunes search engine cannot be used through this app. Graphics look grainy when used on larger iPad screens.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Dot Dot Dot, an app by 2wice…

Name of the application: Dot Dot Dot

About the app:
Dot Dot Dot is an app that offers a maze of video dances filmed from various perspectives (i.e., bird’s-eye view, eye level). The user can switch perspectives by swiping the screen. This digital tablet platform features one male dancer that performs in a white world covered in red and black dots and pillars. Choreography is by NYC-based Tom Gold, who’s work is classical ballet based.

Dot Dot Dot is $0.99 and is worth every penny! It combines dance, music and interaction. When seeing the dance from above the app is interactive, and great fun for younger students. It was launched in 2013 by 2wice Arts Foundation.

Possible classroom applications:
The red and black dots seen on certain screens are reminiscent to spot markers often used for younger children. This offers a great opportunity for kids to connect to the dance on-screen. I plan on using this as a culminating event to an elementary school unit that plays with these dots, kinesphere, and general space. Students can compare and contrast their dances to the one offered in the video in a classroom discussion.

Pros:
The app offers countless screens that guarantees hours of classroom fun. It’s effective for younger students, and offers soothing and playful choreography and music. The app can be the basis of movement explorations, but also can offer a culminating event to a unit.

Cons:
I have so far not found any glitches or problems with this app, but will report if I do in the future.

Rating:
5 out of 5!! (Gold star, A++!!)

Pandora — For Any Time and Any Mood

I have always been a fan of Pandora, since I first discovered it and listened to a variety of music on a big chinky desk top computer before the days of iTunes and iPads. Now that there is the Pandora app for iPad, I am able to listen to an array of music at anytime and in any location. It is wonderful and has been a huge help to access a pandora classical station on my iPad while studying for finals in the library, or warming up my body to the “Best of the 90s” mix. The Pandora App works well for anytime, any place, and any mood.