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Tech Ideas for Creative Musicking

Technology can sometimes complicate things but it can also make things much easier for everyone. I know that getting your learners to be creative and being creative yourself can be a challenge. As classically trained musicians, we tend to over-think improvising and composition but these are not as complex as we make them seem. Here are a list of apps and technologies to get you and your kids creating music in a simple, real-life, and practical way.

Stay tuned for this and more in my upcoming book called Creative Musicking: Practical, Real-Life Ideas to get Your Learners Creating Their Own Music.

Easy Tech Ideas for improvising and composing with your learners.


GarageBand is really under-rated, the only problem with it is that it’s exclusive to Apple products so ‘regular’ ol’ PCs, Android devices, and the like cannot support it. If you’ve not used it yourself, you should. It gives a really easy way to get over your fear of improvising and composing and it is a lot of fun. Here are a couple of screen shots of how the app looks on an iPhone 5S:

And here is one for iPad:

Image result for Garageband screenshot for iPad

There is just so much to this very versatile app. You can create really ‘good-sounding’ chord progressions with a variety of instruments from guitars to orchestral strings just with the tap, or the slide of a finger. As well, you can create drum loops, cool patterns, and there is even a collection of scale patterns converted to play in all the ‘white keys’ so you cannot possibly play a ‘wrong note’ even if you tried:

Here are the scales it lets you play with:

  1. Major (1-2-3-4-5-6-7)

  2. Major Pentatonic (1-2-3-5-6)

  3. Major Blues (1-2-b3-3-5-6)

  4. Mixolydian (1-2-3-4-5-6-b7)

  5. Klezmer (1-b2-3-4-5-b6-b7)

  6. Minor Pentatonic (1-b3-4-5-b7 but I like to think of this one as 6-1-2-3-5)

  7. Minor Blues (1-b3-4-b5-5-b7 but I like to think of this one as 6-1-2-b3-3-5)