This past spring, Microsoft introduced StaffPad, a note writing program that is compatible with windows devices that allows you to compose music by simply using your stylus on your touch screen. Very recently, StaffPad was updated to work with the new Windows 10, and coincides with the release of the new Surface 4 and Surface Book. The key difference in StaffPad and other note writing programs is the use of the stylus on your touch screen device. Let’s see what you can do with StaffPad.
5 key features of StaffPad
♪ Allows you to draw freehand lines on the staff to represent your notes. As the program gets to know your style, it will intuitively transfer the lines that you draw into notes.
♪ You can easily edit things such as rhythm, key signature, and even modulate into different keys during the piece.
♪ There is an immediate playback feature which allows you to hear your composition as its being written.
♪ Your scores are automatically saved and feature several export options.
♪ You can include as many instruments in your piece as you like, or write a full symphony.
StaffPad isn’t just great for composers, it’s also fabulous teaching tool.
Students love actively engaging in what they’re studying, and StaffPad allows them to do just that. My students love using this over traditional flash cards or composing by using pencil and paper, as they can see and hear what they’re writing as soon as it is written, and it can be easily saved. The ease with which they can write music encourages their passion for learning more and working harder on their piano studies. And most of all, it’s fun!
5 key uses of StaffPad for Teachers
♪ Allows students to learn note names and where they are on the staff
♪ Teaches students time signatures and how to set up measures in a piece
♪ Teaches students key signatures and where to place them on the staff
♪ Teaches students how to mark dynamics throughout a composition
♪ Allows students to immediately playback what they’ve composed
Make sure you check out my latest YouTube video that goes into a lot more detail about how to use StaffPad.
You’ll learn how to write notes freehand with your stylus and will be able to see how quickly the program learns to recognize my markings to turn them into music. I’ll show you how to fill in your key signature, time signature, measures, dynamics, including some edits so you can see how easy it is to make changes. You’ll also learn how to playback your composition, and how to save it and export it for later use.
I recommend StaffPad for anyone using a windows device that wants to learn or compose music. You can basically train it to understand your handwriting and symbols at first, and it will remember from them from that point on. It is a great teaching aid that students love and have fun using while learning.
Share your questions and experiences with StaffPad and feel free to respond to anything posted as we are always learning from each other!
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