May 14

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The Joy of Apps

I'm finding myself saying, "Back in my day," quite a bit these days.

And I think that's fair.

Kids don't know what dial-up internet, VHS, or Y2K were.

Meanwhile, kids I taught in college are having babies now, and students I've taught since second grade are graduating high school.

It's a recipe for a full-blown midlife crisis.

But that's another blog post for another time. Maybe even the 1,000th-post special.

But for now, back to today's "Back in my day."

Back in my college days, software was expensive. Like...really expensive.

If you wanted a program to make your own backing tracks for improvising or composing, Band in a Box was a whopping $500. That's like a million dollars in college-student currency.

If you wanted Finale or Sibelius for music notation, it was about the same price tag.

So, we did what most college students did at the time. Find a hacked copy, or download it from a black hat website. 

The viruses that ultimately destroyed the computer seemed worth it at the time.

But now, we have the joy of apps. What once cost a fortune and could only exist on your computer, you can now have for the price of a few coffees and fit it in your pocket.

Instead of Band in a Box, you can create backing tracks with iReal Pro for $15.

Instead of buying expensive looping equipment, you can download Loopy for $7.

If you can't afford Finale or Sibelius, you can download MuseScore for FREE! And one could argue that it's even easier to use than Sibelius.

For all of technology's flaws, apps have changed the world of music making.

What used to be only accessible to the wealthy (or people who were good at saving money, which let's face it...college students aren't...), is now accessible to anyone.

And that's pretty cool.

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For parents, students, and anyone else who believes that music can and should be a meaningful part of everyone's life.

About Jonathan Roberts

I am the founder and director of the South Shore Piano School, and I have been teaching the piano for nearly 20 years. My work centers around bringing music to the lives of kids, parents, and adults in an enriching, meaningful way. At the South Shore Piano School, my incredible colleagues and I accomplish this through skill-based teaching, community, and an innovative, people-first business model. You can read more about me here.


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