531: Teaching with GoodNotes, with David MacDonald

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What a great episode! David is the perfect kind of guest: Knowledgeable and passionate about his subject, very considerate, cares for his students, plus he is nerdy in the perfect sense of the word by paying a lot of attention to detail and doing it right. Although, the music field is nothing I am very familiar with I greatly enjoyed listening to this episode. Got many ideas for university teaching out of it. :relaxed:

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Those Good Notes tips for in class presentations really intrigued me. Cool for training and onboarding at work as well. Cool episode and great listen. Am on my second listen now, just to get the all the tips.

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Great episode, thanks David for such useful tips. As a teacher in higher education myself, I’ll be applying some on the advice, especially the GoodNotes and Dropbox idea.

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+1 for alphabetical list of apps, and moving them off the home screen unless the user puts them there.

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Dr. David, if you’re checking this, can you share the instructions you give students for scanning homework to PDF? I’ve been doing many of the things you talk about for quite a while (with Moodle, our version of which seems much friendlier to the iPad), and I’ve been wanting to create just such a guide for Latin and Greek homework. Having suggested Android scanning apps would be a big help!

Great episode with lots of great ideas. I love the idea of Hazel backing up students’ notebooks to shared drives.

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Here’s what I post on the LMS for my students about making PDFs. I put in on my site to share with colleagues when we had to move online.

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Thanks for posting this. Nicely done, and I appreciate getting the information about Android scanner apps.

Curious if anyone can recommend a good and hopefully subscription free app for iPad for doing music composition on a score?

MuseScore is free, with Pro features costing US $49/yr. Its core functionality is good: WYSIWYG creation and editing, support for unlimited staves, unlimited score length, a plug-in architecture, and good-looking notation. It’s no Sibelius or Finale but it’s the best free alternative I saw when I checked it out a couple of years ago.

https://musescore.org/

If you only need short-term access the best-of-breed Sibelius can be rented for $13/month (with academic discount when applicable).

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I don’t believe MuseScore has an iPad app that allows composition. I use Notion for iPad notation creating and editing. It is…OK. It isn’t anywhere near as powerful as a desktop notation program but it can work in a pinch. One advantage is that it can be used in conjunction with Notion for Mac so you can edit files across devices. Another newer option in the space is StaffPad. I have not tried it yet (although I am tempted). It is significantly more expensive than Notion but has the advantage of being specifically designed for tablet use and is 100% reliant (good or bad) on handwriting input. Dr. David did an excellent review on scoringnotes.com.

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Musescore, which bowline mentioned is not available for iPad. The best options on iPad are Notion, Symphony Pro 5, or StaffPad. None of these is as good as a pro option, but they’re the best available for iPad. For a Mac, Musescore is a good starting point, but the only way to get professional results is to use a pricey paid application. I use both Dorico and Sibelius, but Finale is also more than capable of great scores.

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Now I wish I could change my username to Dr. David here.

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You’re right, I now see that the iPad app only allows viewing sheet music and changing tempos and transposing. Never composed sheet music on iOS, but I knew MuseScore had iOS complements, and assumed. Ah well.

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Thanks Dr. David and thanks for being on the show!

I’m an educator myself, though not in music, and the episode was a big inspiration.

I do, however, have a big affinity for music as I also work for a Danish classical music label on the side, and classical and opera is a big passion of mine.

But I never wrote or practised music myself, but after listening to your episode I thought it might be fun to do some composition on the iPad Pro, and then hear the result of it.

Which of those composition apps would you recommend to someone who has a very basic knowledge of music, but can follow a score of a classical piece, and just want to play around with classical music composition for fun and then listen to it afterwards, and build it from there?

I think you could start with Notion and then if you feel like you want something more, you can try something a little more fully featured. If you’re open to working on a Mac, I think Musescore is a better option.

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FYI the latest episode of Music Ed Tech Talk focuses on StaffPad:

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Regarding StaffPad:

Just. Mindblowing.

3 hours of building a James Bond like piece. I am drooling over this app. But I could never do it justice. But, man! What fantastic tools do we have available to us!

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I am truly speechless. Dumbfounded is probably closer to the correct word. Thanks for sharing!

Hi, thanks for the excellent episode.

I’ve written a similar short piece about how I use Apple tech in the classroom where I linked to this episode, I hope that my linking to your site is OK.