How I Use It
I have an older iPad 2 and connected it to my PC laptop in order to use it on my SmartBoard. I connected a very good set of speakers for the orchestra recordings. I believe this enhanced the experience.
I used this product for discussing composers, time periods, conducting, performances, music reading we even used it to discuss music careers!
The app works flawlessly. I just wish it had some of the more "popular" pieces.
The app has a recording of different orchestra pieces from different time periods. The orchestra is setup to correspond to the time period. Multiple simultaneous videos of the orchestra (and conductor) can be viewed while listening to the performance. As an extra bonus, in addition to viewing the videos, you can follow the music. The music goes by in real time as either the printed music or as tone lines. Only drawback is that you can only view a few instrument parts at a time. Another added feature is viewing the performance via sound dots. The dots brighten when the instrument is playing, and also brighten in rhythm. The intensity of the light also changes depending on the volume (not noticeable to younger students, it is subtle).
After viewing the pieces, you can also view a section that has a description of the instruments, a 3D representation of the instrument, and a discussion by the performer.
For me in the classroom when I discuss instruments all I can show the students is a photograph. When I decided to take a chance and purchase this app I was hoping I could use it with my students. It was a hit from the start. Many of my students had never seen an orchestra performance before and the way the company filmed the orchestra performing made it even more interesting. They would have closeups of performers and the conductor too.
It opened up many more conversations beyond discussing instruments and music pieces. The students asked about facial expressions and why the performers moved as they played.
This app is well worth the money.