iPad Apps - iBand and the Future of Music

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A hush came over the audience at the Frisco School of Music Spring 2011 Concert when the MC announced; “And now for our surprise guest performers...Ladies and Gentlemen...Welcome the iBand!”

Frisco School of Music
Playing using an iPad App has been fun and different in many ways

From their seats in the Frisco School of Music performance hall, the iBand members one by one approached the stage. First, the drummer walked on stage and started the basic beat for the first tune on his iPad using the Garage Band app. The other students began playing their iPads as they walked up from the audience to take their place on stage all using different music apps.

The audience was taken by surprise as the iBand had been rehearsing in secret for the past several weeks and few of the crowd new of their existence. It goes without saying that their performance was the highlight of the concert.

“Playing using an iPad App has been fun and different in many ways. It changes the way everyone thinks of instruments, as it was harder to play in some aspects. It is also very fun to play with at there are some advantages to playing the iPad,” ~ Idrissa Ndiaye (Piano)

The idea was conceived by one of the school’s owners, Steve South, “I had seen a professional group on the internet who played some familiar seasonal songs all on iPads, and I really liked the unique idea. So, obviously I thought our music students could do something like that and and learn a lot about making music along the way.”

Five intermediate music students were invited to be part of the experimental iBand. Each student was issued an iPad loaded with apps for their instrument. The students had a great time exploring the apps and came up with fun ideas to incorporate into the songs for the upcoming concert.

A faculty member at the Frisco School of Music, Gabriel Bautista, was tapped to lead the group. His background in composition and technology, as well as teaching piano, guitar, bass and more, made him the logical choice - and paid off with the great success of the iBand.

“The purpose of our iBand project is to engage the music students on a different sensory level and to accept the limitations of a flat screen and yet convey musical ideas through it,” said Bautista. “Because of the nature of the device, we have some obvious limitations that need to be addressed. Such as the lack of dynamic variation or the flat glass screen that makes it impossible to ‘feel’ your instrument the way one would normally do. However these difficulties are quickly over powered by the huge advantages in the shape of almost limitless possibilities using the iPad.”

The concept was simple: to familiarize the students to a new way of playing their instruments and to achieve a musical level similar to their current one. Mr. Bautista feels like this was certainly achieved.

The iBand performers are: Allison Ponthier, 15, Vocalive; Cal Simpson, 13, Guitar-Garage Band; Colin Climie, 15, iJ Bass HD; Idrissa Ndiaye, 15, Piano-Garage Band; Montana Brock, 13, Drums-Garage Band; and Gabriel Bautista, Instructor, Pocket Organ.

The Frisco School of Music teaches exceptional private and group music lessons for all ages and levels on all instruments, plus Rock School Band, Jazz School Band and summer camps.

The School is located at 9255 Preston Road in Frisco, Texas. For more information please visit us at http://www.FriscoSchoolofMusic.com or call Steve South at 214.436.4058.

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