Lawrenceville Elementary School (Lawrenceville, NJ)

  • Instructor:  Daniel Beal
  • Location: Lawrenceville Elementary School
  • School Profile: Public Elementary
  • Class Title(s): General Music, iPad Music Education, JamHub Music 
  • Grades Levels Included: Pre K-5th Grade 
  • Structure of NTM Class(es):  3rd Graders - 90 min a week (two 45 min periods); 2nd Graders - 90 min a week (two 45 min periods); 1st Graders - 45 min a week (1 period); Kindergarten - 45 min a week (1 period); Pre-K - 35-70 min a week (two classes alternate - 35 min one week, 70 min the next)

    Music technology, mainly iPads, affects all of the students at Lawrenceville Elementary school - Pre-K through 3rd grade.  Pre-K does not use iPads too frequently, but they are introduced to many music making apps that foster creativity and curiosity in music.. I use one iPad at a time, and I allow each student to come up and create music with these apps one at a time, while the rest of the class observes.

    Kindergarten is a bit different then Pre-K. I have had success with the 1:1 ratio with this age level. I use many music making apps with kindergarten in my classroom. All of the ones mentioned above with Pre-K, but also these:  LambeatBox, Beatwave, Soundrop, Falling Stars, Arpie, Finger Stomp, Singing Fingers, Doodah, MelodyStreet, Bluescats, Storybots Tap And Sing, And Doremi 1-2-3.  Students do not save and record their work at this age level, but they are able to develop their listening skills, improvisation skills, musical engineering skills, and pitch/rhythm skills.

    1st Grade uses the same apps as kindergarten, but they have the chance to apply 1st grade music curriculum to the apps they are using. For example, in StoryBoys Tap and Sing, the students can develop their solfege skills by tapping on each note of the scale. Students have the chance to record their own compositions using iAmBeatBox, a simple loop based program that is easy for all ages to use. Students can learn about pitch, and high and low sounds by using Pitch Painter, Soundbrush, Tunetrain, And Singing Fingers. Students start working on beginner ear training using the app: Blob Chorus

    2nd Grade takes a huge step forward with iPads at my school. This is the first grade level that uses GarageBand, and actually composes their own song using pre-recorded music loops and playing digital instruments. Students are guided through the process of deciding tempo, key, bars/measures, and remixing their song track by track. Through GarageBand, students can use inter-audio apps to record tracks in GarageBand. 2nd graders learn several elements of music theory: Staff, lines/spaces, quarter/half/whole/eighth note pairs, treble clef, bar lines, etc. And there are many apps on the iPads that allow them to enhance their skills: Playpad Pro (staff), Flashnote Derby (naming notes on staff), Staff Wars (star wars staff game), Rhythm Cat (tapping out rhythms on a staff), Rhythm Training (basic rhythm practice), MyRhythm (two handed rhythms).

    3rd graders participate in all the same activities and use all the same apps as 2nd grade, but they also use recorder apps such as JoyTunes Recorder Master, Play Recorder, Recorder + Lite, and Ace Recorder.

    Across the board, the use of iPads is providing my students with a modernized 21st century music education. Although we do learn how to sing songs for concerts, play classroom instruments (and perform on them in concerts), my students are provided with ample opportunities to compose and improvise music. Not every student is cut out for being fluent musicians that read music on a staff - but I believe each person can express their individuality through composition and improvisation regardless of their music literacy ability. The songs that they record, and share with their family are permanent, and become historical tidbits for them to look back on years from now. My hope is that I am creating life-long appreciators of music by giving them a chance to integrate their own musical input into their music making.

  • Software Used:  Toca Band, Madpad HD, Little Fox Music Box, Pitchpainter, Drummachine1, Finger Stomp, Loopy HD, Playpad Pro, Flashnote Derby, Staffwars,  Myrhythm, Abc Music, Carnival Of The Animals, Doremi 1-2-3, Thumbjam, Bebot, Jordantron, Geo Synth, Joytunes Recorder Master, plus others noted above.
  • Hardware Used: iPads, JamHub, USB Instruments
  • Class NTM Activities:  Every student in my building develops into a confident singer. By the end of 3rd grade, every student can play tone chimes, boomwhackers, and recorder. All of my students are exposed to iPad music making apps, and will develop skills in composition, musical engineering, improvisation, and music collaboration. We have a JamHub and up to 7 students at once can plug into JamHub to make music together on iPads or other digital instruments. Students can either listen on headphones, or plug into a speaker system and hear their music in studio quality sound.
  • Success Stories from NTM Activities:I received a $3500 grant to purchase 6 iPads for my classroom. The main reason for this was to have 6 iPads that I can have available at all times for students to use with Jamhub. Also, I can now use iPads in my daily instruction, and have students use these iPads as digital instruments, and for group projects.
  • Advice to Others Starting NTM Project: Get to know music technology! Students LOVE it and it gets them so excited about music!
  • Additional Comments: Feel free to contact me anytime at Also I am on Twitter at @LESMusicMan
  • Date Submitted: April 2015
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