Scotland Music Instructor Brings iPad Lesson to St. Joe Students

Published 03/05 2012 06:36PM

Updated 03/05 2012 09:40PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) St. Joseph students are benefitting from international instruction this week.

They're learning ways to combine technology and music education with the help of an instructor from Scotland.

Sixth grade students at Edison Elementary and Lindbergh Elementary are enhancing their music classes with their iPads.

The technology is part of Project Connect.

Students are beginning to learn and experiment with a variety of music applications including garage band.

"The real bonus of using a touchable interface is that it's so much more engaging than anything else. When you are using books or maybe just using a keyboard, this is all the sounds of it and nothing to stop the creative process," said Neil Johnston.

Johnston, of Store Van Music based in Scotland, is used to composing music for TV, film and video games.

He is taking his passion for music a step further by enhancing music education.

"If they're learning through the music they are listening to, then we are getting it right. I think that is the most effective way to engage learning specifically for music," said Johnston.

Students attend music class 2-3 times a week and by using their iPads, they have learned chord progression and a variety of virtual instruments.

Kids have been picking up quickly on music theory and even creating their own melodies.

"I would say that it is greatly going to enhance and explode. The potential is there for them to just blow it out of the water," said Darren Verbick, St. Joseph School District Fine Arts Department.

Since aquiring the iPads in February, fourth, fifth and sixth grade students are using their iPads daily in the classroom. They have expanded the learning possibilities and have the potential of driving student creativity off the charts.

"I think it's made them more excited about learning, and it's made them learn in a different way - ways that we couldnt provide for them," said Rachel Harrison, music instructor.

Kids are also learning to take notes and even put together virtual book reports on their iPads.

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