Sunday, July 28, 2013

Using your iPad - a few basic questions answered

There were so many questions posed in the DREAM STUDIO/GEEK BAR at the NCKP conference!!! 

Here are a few of them answered in print: 


Q. How do I make folders on my iPad?

A.  Simply hold your finger on an APP until it wiggles, and then drag it on top of any other APP.  Now they have become a new folder.  You can rename it by clicking the little X at the right end of the long white bar at the top of the folder window.

You can pull APPs out of a folder by opening the folder and then holding your finger on the APP, waiting for it to wiggle, then drag it out of the folder.

To stop the APPs from wiggling, touch the HOME button (the round button on the surface of the iPAD). 

TIP: I like to keep FOLDERS of APPs in my DOCK for my students. I have labeled these MUSIC, MUSIC2 and MUSIC3. Then, I can easily find the APP I need to reinforce a certain concept.

Q. How do I close APPs on my iPAD? 

A.  This is important, since open APPs can drain the battery.

Double-tap the HOME button (round button on surface of iPad).  The screen will appear to 'lift up' and will reveal a list of APPs along the bottom of the iPad.  These are all the APPs that are currently OPEN (RUNNING).

Hold your finger on any APP you wish to close.  You will see a little red circle with a straight line through its center. Click on that little circle and the app will close.  Notice that all of the apps along the bottom got red circles after you clicked on just one.  That makes it quick and easy to just hit all of those red circles and close the APPs you don't want open any longer. 

There is NO QUICK WAY to close all open APPs on an iPad.

Q.  How can I organize which APPs appear on which screens on the iPAD?

A.   From the home screen, just hold your finger on any APP.  This will cause all of the APPs to wiggle. Then you may drag any wiggling APP to any other place on the screen, even to the dock at the bottom. You can even drag them to another 'page' by dragging them far to the right or left of the screen.  A new page will open up and you can drop your APP there if you like. 

Q. How can I quickly find an APP? 

A. From the HOME SCREEN (main window), swipe to the LEFT and you will get a search window.  Type the first few letters of the APP and several choices may appear.

Q. How do I move files to my iPAD?

A.  You can move files to your iPad several ways: 

My favorite way to move files to an APP within the iPAD and keep them organized is to use a program called DISK AID on my MAC. All you have to do is install this program (which is about $20) and then you plug in your iPad to your computer via a USB cable.  (NOTE: You can also do this wirelessly as long as the computer and iPad are on the same wireless network.)  DiskAid allows you to drag and drop folders from your computer into any APP on the iPad.  It's so simple!  For example, I use the program Home Concert Xtreme with MIDI files so that my students can play along with a virtual band/orchestra on their pieces.  I like to keep these MIDI files organized by method book or composer, so I leave them in folders and drag them into the window inside Disk Aid.

You can also move files using iTunes. This works well for PDFs that you might be moving to PiaScore or Adobe Reader, for example. I don't like to use this method for Home Concert Xtreme, since it will not keep the files organized in folders. 

You can also put files into DROPBOX and then open them in the DROPBOX app on your iPad. Then DropBox will ask you which application should open the file.  Quick and easy!  Dropbox is a free service for storing files online. (Only free up to a certain size limit, however.) 

You can sync some files through iCloud.  Certain apps work very well with iCloud, including Keynote, Pages and Numbers. 

You can EMAIL the files to yourself, and then open them in the email on the iPad and then choose an application to open the file. 

By far, my favorite method is DISK AID! It is available for Mac or PC!  Here is a link to their website:

**Oh, and did I mention that Disk Aid also works for transferring things to/from your iPHONE!? 

Q.  I am walking into a concert hall.  How do I silence my iPad? 

A. Um, well, you could just turn it OFF all the way.  That is accomplished by holding down the top button (power button) until a screen appears that says 'slide to power off.'  Then just slide your finger along the red arrow and the iPad will shut off.

If you don't want to turn off your iPad for any reason (for example, you're writing a blog!), but want it to be totally silent, go to the SETTINGS (grey/white APP on your home screen) and scroll down to SOUNDS.  On the right side, then, slide the ringer and alerts to the left (off).  You can also set 'change with buttons' to On/Off, so that you can easily silence the sounds of the iPad using the volume buttons on the side of the iPad.  At the bottom of this right-hand window, you'll also see LOCK SOUNDS and KEYBOARD CLICKS.  The lock sounds are when you slide your window across the unlock/lock screen (if this were 'on,' you'd hear a swooshing sound when you swipe; frankly, it's annoying!). The keyboard clicks are also VERY annoying, so I choose to leave mine OFF. You can turn them ON if you like the simulation of hearing clicks with each key that you type.  Those of us that grew up with typewriters are used to the sound of clicking upon each key stroke, but it seems odd and out of place on the iPad (to my ear!).  It's up to you!  Also, on this screen, you can set the various sounds you might hear with each notification on the iPad, including ringtone, text message tone, the sound heard with new mail/sent mail, facebook posts, etc.

To ensure that SIRI doesn't suddenly start talking in the middle of the concert hall, you might also want to go to SETTINGS and then GENERAL and click on SIRI on the right side and turn OFF.  Siri has a funny way of speaking when she shouldn't...

Q. How do I keep using my iPad but prevent notifications or calls from being received? 

A.  Turn your iPad on 'do not disturb.'  You will find this in SETTINGS, then DO NOT DISTURB.  Just slide that to ON and no notifications will pop up on your iPad screen and no calls will come through. You will not even be notified of text messages.  

Note:  You can schedule a 'do not disturb' time by going to SETTINGS, then NOTIFICATIONS.  On the right side, DO NOT DISTURB will be at the top and you can touch that to open another screen to schedule a time to put your iPad into DO NOT DISTURB mode.  On that screen, you can also choose to allow calls or messages to come into the iPad from people on your Favorites list, everyone, or no one. 

TIP:  I recommend using DO NOT DISTURB mode while you are teaching, especially if you are with a student on SKYPE!

More iPad tips to come... 

Post your questions below and I am happy to answer them!

Copyright 2013 Kathleen Theisen

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Noontime recital ... Saturday -- Sean Chen

The amazing SEAN CHEN is performing a concert right now in the main ballroom. The program includes Bach: French Suite in G Major, Ravel: Valse nobles et sentimentale and La Valse.  Wow, just wow. Sean is the 2013 Christel DeHaan Classical Fellow of the American Pianists Association and was also the third prize winner in the Cliburn Competition about a month ago. Sean lives in New Haven, Connecticut, where he is pursuing the Artist Diploma at Yale. His Bachelor and Master degrees are from Juilliard. 

If you'd like to sample his playing, go to YouTube! There are many recordings there, including his incredible performance of Beethoven op 106, Das Hammerklavier, from the Cliburn Competition. 

Ratko Delorko session: The History of the Piano

Saturday morning 11:15 ... Ratko Delorko, who gave an amazing talk on Friday, is back on stage now.

The MONOCHORD has been used since the fifth century. 

It was not a musical instrument yet. 

Viennese fortepianos 

Clavichord - limited touch dynamics, after touch
He showed an inverted keyboard by Silbermann 1765. The white keys were UP higher and black keys were down.  Static down weight of 16grams. 3 mm key dip. Dynamic down weight 18-800grams
It has restricted dynamics 
This was Bach's preferred instrument. A lot of the well-tempered clavier was "born" on the Clavichord. 

Professor Delorko has several video clips of the period instruments from his collection, with him performing, and he alternates these with modern grand "live." 

The SPINET is louder, but no dynamics. Requires a high finger action. 

VIRGINAL: strings are parallel to the keyboard. Sounding board is located toward middle of strings. 

1570 example of virginal by Floriani... Live video clip. 

On the modern grand... Heartbeat tempo, Focus on central registers. Old Italian embellish from the main note! Trills cannot be fast. (Because notes are plucked toward the center of the string) ... compressed dynamics, agogic  like a speaker. 

Harpsichord - lengthwise stringing, no key dynamics. 
Example: linked keyboards change the down weight. 
8 foot ... See handout... <insert notes here later> 
Need high finger action. No dynamics. 
On modern grand: nearly flat terrace dynamics, agogic like a speaker, embellishments respect same rules as Bach-improvise!, heartbeat tempo.

In England, Kirkman produced a harpsichord w a pedal that opens the llamellae.   That creates more sound.
On the modern grand:  constant non-legato, except in harmonic fields, interval steps are broad, jumps short. Turns are legato on beats. Anapest and Dactylus are short. 

Cpe Bach book: true art of playing keyboard instruments. 
Separation in steps and jumps... See handout... 
Harmonic fields... Can connect ... See handout... <insert later> 

'There is nothing written and you can't call these guys. We don't really know how it sounds. We play the wrong instrument.'  

Scale phrasing... Bearings are extremely important. 

Playing in every key without retuning.., Andreas Werkmeister 1691 

Christofori invented the hammer pushing principle

There is an action he designed "can't really work, but it does." 

1730... Bach tried Silbermann's instrument and Bach condemns it. 

1732... Piano music starts to have "piano" and "forte" indications. 

Knee levers... 

Video clip of Ratko performing concerto in A Major on the fortepiano with orchestra.  He pushes on the moderator to make it quieter. 

Beethoven sonata op 49 no 2 on a Schantz fortepiano (video of him playing this piece on this instrument) on the modern grand... No slurs... Play non legato. Long palling in select sections only. Try 1/2 and 1/4 blow too. Dynamics equivalent... 
Use professional editions. You may extend on beats. Scales may speed up a bit. Allegro doesn't necessarily mean fast!!!! 

Presto is different from today. What was fast then? Horse!  "Today we drive a car on the highway going 120 mph talking on a cellphone."

Video of Schubert Impromptu... Tempo switches in different modes/keys. 

English principle: 

Broadwood 1785 makes the first pedal at outside edges of the piano. 

Una corda shift limiter. You can go to two strings or one string. 

Damper pedal was split on some of these instruments. Beethoven had one with split piano. 1815. 

Clementi piano... You could depress half the pedal for different sides of the piano. It also had the una corda shift  limiter. 

John Field ...invented the Nocturne, not Chopin. 
On the modern piano, you can get the "sf" by playing a little early. You can't get the true "sf" on the modern instrument. 

1830 Irmler piano.   Video: Schumann: Romance in F# Major. This piano has a dark, baritone-like tone quality. 

1847 Erard ... Chopin used between this and Pleyel. 
This instrument begins to sound more modern. The dampers are beneath the strings and they react very slowly.  He played a video of Raindrop Prelude on this instrument, then demonstrated on a modern grand. 

1853 Beckstein, Steinweg, and  Blüthner  Started piano factories in different cities. 

1856 leather coved hammer... Getting worse... 
Video of Liszt on a Bösendorfer from 1856

The new, heavier pianos made people invent things like finger stretchers... Bad! 

1859. Steinway patents cross-stringing. Now we are heading toward the modern instrument. 

Brahms: Intermezzo, op 118... A Major..... Action comes from above... Video 

1885 first dishwasher developed 
1886 coca cola invented... Atlanta. 

Scriabin on a Blüthner.... Video ... Piano had real gold ... 1905... BEAUTIFUL SOUND! 

Modern concert grand  - he listed the static down weights, etc, for modern as compared to all others he spoke of today. 

Schimmel Pegasus... Cover opens electrically. You sit on a seat attached to the piano. 

He ended with an amazing performance!