Celebrate the Arts in you!

iOS 8 Now!

Apple iOS 8 is available now.

Apple - iOS 8 at 10.51.03 am


Apple - iOS 8 - What’s New at 10.50.18 am


Apple - iOS 8 - What is iOS at 10.52.02 am

iOS 8 will work on the following devices:

iPhone 4S – some concern
iPhone 5
iPhone 5S
iPhone 5C
iPhone 6
iPhone 6 Plus
Pad 2
iPad 3
iPad 4
iPad Air
iPad Mini
iPad Mini 2
iPod Touch 5G

iOS 8 requires at least 4.7 GB of storage to install.

Remember to check for comments, posts, or tech sites for suggestions about updating your device if you have any doubts.

Example: if you don’t want to have your device sync with iCloud, choose – not now, or set up later.

Intro to Mixing Your Sounds

Here’s a FREE app that will allow you to get a feel for mixing your own sounds with no musical background required.  Give this a try!

Mixing sounds is best thought of as playing one sound followed by another, and so on.  The result is a pattern.  This leads to a loop which is a repeated pattern.   Before you know it, you know what rhythm is all about.

Example: bass drum, followed by snare drum – if you are practiced, then you could add a high hat rhythm over top of these two at the same time = drum pattern.

Enter Keezy, a free app from Elepath.


Keezy’s philosophy, according to their website is,

Music is a human universal, but today’s music software is way too complicated for most people.

We think this problem is solvable by designing incredibly simple, fun tools & toys.

As an educator, I agree with this statement and encourage fellow music educators to consider this app as a enjoyable introduction to sound creation, rhythm, patterning, and chord progressions.  Keezy segues nicely into using GarageBand for iOS or other sequence app types.

Use Keezy to:

  • make a unique, organic drum kit
  • create sounds for a story telling – Halloween’s coming!
  • express single word or short phrases for poetry
  • practice vocal expression
  • reinforce a new language

Have fun!

The Mobile Composer

Handel Shaw

Writing Music on the Go!

If you have any interest in trying your hand at writing music, or you are an experienced composer, this attached PDF offers a glimpse of a few of the top mobile music notation apps available, all at affordable pricing.

These are my overall observations in reviewing these apps.  My intention is to be as accurate as possible, but mistakes and/or updates happen, so please check the information at the App Store before purchasing.

  • You get what you pay for!  Put out the cash to get the best sounds, input, useability, and import/export features.
  • Spend some time using your apps as often as possible – it takes time to learn to use them fluently and with confidence.
  • If you want to input on one app, export to another, check the features of each.  For example, GarageBand for iOS doesn’t import MIDI, so you have to look for other options to make it work.
  • Most low priced or free music notation and DAW-type (Digital Audio Workstation) apps often do not save/export to the iTunes or Music app on the iPad.  Learning the routine of syncing your iPad to your Mac through iTunes and adding files from your computer to the Apps – Documents section of iTunes will speed things up.
  • These apps are in no order or preference.  Use whatever works for you.

Click on the document below to download the PDF – A3 size version, perfect for printing, if desired.

Evaluation of iPad Music Apps 2014 small

I hope you find this app comparison useful.  Please email me with your thoughts, experiences, or suggestions.


Apple Quicklook

iPhone 6 - Pre-order the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. - Apple Store (U.S.) at 10.39.15 am

iPhone 6 - Pre-order the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. - Apple Store (U.S.) at 11.12.31 am at 11.13.11 am             iPhone 6 - Pre-order the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. - Apple Store (U.S.) at 11.12.41 am

  To compare specs, click on the new iPhonesApple at 10.23.33 am

Important Considerations

iPhone 6 - Pre-order the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. - Apple Store (U.S.) at 10.48.05 am

iPhone 6 - Pre-order the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. - Apple Store (U.S.) at 10.49.16 am

iPhone 6 - Pre-order the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. - Apple Store (U.S.) at 10.48.32 am

Apple - Apple Watch at 10.54.31 am

Coming Early 2015

Click on any of the Apple Watches for full details.

Apple - Apple Watch - Overview at 10.55.05 am

Apple - Apple Watch - Overview at 10.55.25 am



 Just in case you didn’t know…

Apple will be hosting it’s latest media event on September 9, 2014 to finally present the facts about the new smartphone, the iPhone, and information about its wearable device, the iWatch.  There have also been rumors about a larger iPad in the works.  Of course, iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.

Until 9.9.2014, patience, as all you are going to get from Apple is,

Wish we could say more.


Summer Inspiration Photos

After taking hundreds of photos while vacationing in Canada this past summer, I’ve narrowed them down to my 10 bests.  I hope to use these photos as impetus for future music compositions and one or two for my father (George Shaw) to use as subjects for his acrylic paintings.  It would please me if you derive some appreciation from viewing them.  Please share your thoughts.





















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