Celebrate the Arts in you!

What’s New

This page is dedicated to new (ad)ventures in my life, education, Arts and technology.

November 2015

I am presenting a talk and workshop for parents, students and teachers on the topic of Tips to help Primary students learn English through free apps in association with Blossoms Education Centre.  Mobile technology and a variety of specific apps will be presented giving participants advice and research – proven skills to make informed decisions when selecting from potentially thousands of free apps.

Blossoms Talk Poster

Tips for Primary Students Talk Keynote, Today at 12.51.27 PM.jpg


Tips for Primary Students Talk Keynote, Today at 12.52.24 PM.jpg

March 2015

Two full-day Music Workshops presented for the 21st Century Learning International.

GarageBand for iOS Cranked Up!
Mobile Technology and the Music Programme

I had the absolute pleasure presenting and working with 19 talented and enthusiastic music educators from South-East Asia at the UWCSEA, Singapore on March 5th and 6th, 2015.  These educators teach a span of grades from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

Photos are here.

November 2014

Two full-day Music Workshops presented for the 21st Century Learning International.

GarageBand for iOS Cranked Up!
Mobile Technology and the Music Programme

both in Hong Kong to a talented and inquisitive group of educators from Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Beijing.  Please read the comments from some of the participants in the Kudos section of this site.

Preparing for the next workshop in December at the 7th Annual 21st Century Learning International Conference in Hong Kong.  This one hour presentation is on GarageBand for Mac, the computer version.  Mega topics will include writing music to video and remixing.  These are hot topics with people, today.

I’m completing my Master’s course in February, 2015.  The leadership course for school technology departments is almost finished, and the final course is ‘Teaching and Learning with Multimedia’.  I look forward to this online course.

I am currently playing with the iPhone 6 plus as a replacement tool for my iPad mini for school classroom use, control of Keynotes, demonstrations of apps, and for testing of apps that allow for notating, recording, and translating musical ideas ‘on the go’ to other apps for mobile and computers.  Please check out my poster about Arts Apps for the Mobile Educator.

The team that create the Symphony Pro have kindly added me to test their beta of the universal Symphony Pro app for the iPhone 5 and 6.  So far, I’m impressed what can be done while ‘on the go’.  I’m able to write music directly from a virtual keyboard, in real time, or input one note at a time.  This app is going to be on my hot list, for sure.  It has an impressive amount of export/share features!

Photos are here.

April 2014

I have just completed my Google Apps For Educators (GAFE), an online course approximately 8 weeks long.  This is a valuable course giving me a more thorough understanding of the advantages and potential of Google Apps/Drive for education.  You can view my final project on Vimeo.

Marshall Shaw.pdf (1 page) at 9.54.12 pm

January 02, 2014

I recently finished my presentation –  GarageBand: Arts Fusion to the Max, at the 6th Annual 21st Century Learning Conference in December 2013, in Hong Kong.  Please see my Workshop tab for details of this workshop, available for schools.  I was also a participant in many fine workshops on creating online courses, paperless teaching, iPads in the Classroom, and numerous keynote speakers, Gary Stager, Carmel McNaught, and George Couros.








I will be starting an Action Research project with a school in Hong Kong looking at the effectiveness of tablet technology on the learning of abstract concepts in music during the months of January – March.

I will continue my online courses to fulfill my requirements of my Master’s degree, possibly looking at a course on Google Apps in Education.

Musically, I am searching for new inspiration for a piece of music to start.  So far, it’s got a title of ‘Cyparissae and the Aurora Borealis’ and I’m playing around with ethereal and mystical textures, as well as playful and evocative melody.

Technology-wise, I continue to be inspired at a variety of things from app development, graphic design ideas, to completing a portion of an eBook for innovative ideas for students to use GarageBand.  My free .pdf portion of my eBook, called GarageBand Secrets is available here.

September 29, 2013

I have started the online portion of my Master’s degree in technological studies through the State University of New York (SUNY) with the first course on research methods in education.  This marks the half-way point and I hope to be finished in under a year, if all goes to plan.

Musically, I am exploring my Garritan sounds bank with Finale 2012 and Logic Pro X.  I’m trying to find an easier way to audition sounds and somehow remember what they sound like, after I’ve listened to them, months later.  There are hundreds of unique sounds, and the names the various companies attach to them, don’t always help me remember.  I’d like to know if anyone uses a system to classify their sounds.  For example, a sound called Icy Space, might have a timbre description that includes adjectives like crystalline, steely and percussive, with a hint of high strings, and blends of high woodwinds.  The pitch may waver,  stay focused, or modulate expansively.  This type of description would help.  I know some companies preview their sounds on SoundCloud.  Again, to audition each sound is very time consuming.  Your thoughts?

Technology-wise, I’m curious about the new Apple iPad and MacBook Pro line coming out later in October.  QR Codes and Aurasma in education are of interest, iPads with stylus and PDFs for student collaboration, and developing iPad GarageBand challenges connected to my website are under my lens of scrutiny.  It seems Hans Zimmer and I are on the same page in regard to building a sound library for your compositions… now, that’s good company!  I love his music, especially The Da Vinci Code, Gladiator (2000), and parts of Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End (One Day and Drink Up Me Hearties/ending).

Education-support for teachers and students includes developing a checklist for teachers and technology people to use when evaluating new apps or software.  There are many out there, but I need something that considers the latest goals of 21st century education with the likes of Daniel Pink, ISTE.Nets, Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy, M. Dunleavy, S. Dexter, W. F. Heinecke, J. Hattie, G. Stager, and Ken Robinson to mention a few, and not even mentioning the outstanding repertoire of new information daily on the Internet.  I’m a strong advocate for using what natively comes with the iPad for many purposes, not always looking for apps for specific purposes.  This would include Pages, Keynote, iMovie, iPhoto, and Numbers.  See here for details from Apple.  I would add GarageBand to this list.

eBook: I continue to work on my eBook called GarageBand Cranked Up!  Above the Basics.  This will include projects that teach the advanced features of GarageBand for iPad and basic composition and theory in an extraordinary manner that gives dull theory a purpose, creating and innovating for your future, and using your creations in other projects you are involved with.  My focus is where other GarageBand resouces and blogs don’t focus on… music notation made easier, hearing it from GarageBand, and seeing it both in graphical and traditional notation.  I will preview one chapter here for your valuable feedback.  You can see some of my earlier work at Scribd.com

August 26, 2013

I am currently composing a piece of music on the iPad GarageBand using sampled sounds of birds from Eastern Ontario.  This is an unbelievably musically rewarding exercise, as it allows you to ‘sound mine’ each bird sound, cropping/trimming certain aspects, useful for the soundscape.  I’m looking for portions of sounds that are tonal, rhythmic, and has unique timbre and texture for contrasting with other layers of bird sounds.  What I’m discovering is that our bird friends are very musical, some with clear pitch calls (two notes, a fourth apart like the , and some that are dramatically ominous or hilariously funny.  I wouldn’t want to meet the Great Blue Heron based on it’s prehistoric-sounding, guttural call!  I’ll be posting the first of a few of these wildlife soundscapes in the next few weeks on SoundCloud.

July 11, 2013

I am currently working on two pieces:

Heroes theme – inspired, strangely while walking the streets of Bangkok a half a year ago.  This piece is rhythmically stimulating with a bold and powerful brass theme.  This piece has given me quite a challenge in finding/modifying brass sounds that are authentic, not too brassy, and tight in resonance.

Desert Wandering – inspired by the Byzantine scale to create a wash of sound evocative of northern Africa.  I love this scale!  Email me if you wish a copy of the scale I am using.

New: Sounds and music of a Canadian lake – Summer, 2013.  Trying to find what typical Ontario lake environment music would sound like, complete with loons in the background.


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