Archive for the ‘accessories’ Category

A couple more additions to the lineup of singer-friendly iPad/tablet cases and hand straps via Schola Cantorum‘s Pinterest pinboard, iPad/Tablet Folders, Cases, & Holders for Choral Singers:

Tablet Strap PRO

The Tablet Strap PRO is made by the same company that makes HeloStrap, but the materials look more comfortable and ergonomic than the original HeloStrap. The hand strap is on a rotating mount. It fits a variety of tablets and can be used over a case.

Credit: Hēlo

Grabbit for iPad

The Grabbit for iPad was recommended by a choral director. It is a case with a hand strap on a rotating mount. It has a detachable hard shell front cover that you pop off in order to access the screen. They offer a model with a black hand strap as well.

Credit: Grabbit

Related Posts:


Chris Russell at Technology in Music Education has posted some great slides from his recent presentations on the topic of iPads in the choir room. Although music educators were the intended audience, much of the content is useful for musicians of all stripes.

His August 9 post has slides from two sessions. In the session “The iChoir: Are you ready for it?”, the first half makes a case for the iPad as the device of choice in the choral classroom. The second half describes “seventeen ways to integrate an iPad in choral music” and even includes app suggestions for library/apparel/robe management. The second session, “Technology ‘How-To'”, was more of a hands-on session, but the slides have some general tips for getting started with the iPad as well as more specific advice for scanning sheet music and accessory recommendations.

His August 14 post has another pair of slide decks. “70 (85) iPad Apps in 70 Minutes” is a hard-core listing of general and music apps – you’ll want your iPad on hand and opened to the App Store as you follow along with these slides. “Essential iPad Skills for Music Education” covers much of the same material as “Technology ‘How-To'”.

I’ve been posting lately about wanting some sort of a portable iPad scanning stand that I can bring to the music library to scan scores and reference materials.   (See my previous posts: iPad scanning stand / document camera productsPreliminary experiments for do-it-yourself iPad scanning stand / document camera, and Portable scanning of scores & reference materials: smartphones, iPad, scanners.)  Following up on that theme, I’ve put together another Pinterest pinboard, this time with do-it-yourself ideas and parts for building an iPad scanning stand or document camera stand:

iPad Scanning Stand / iPad Document Camera Stand: Do-It-Yourself Ideas and Parts

Before sure to price things out before building – depending on the parts used, it might end up more expensive than a ready-made commercial product.  Two of the DIY designs I found especially notable:

1.  Retort stand iPad document camera / scanning stand

I believe this design is originally attributed to John Mikulski at Classroom in the Cloud.  It’s made from parts borrowed from a science classroom or lab.  Alternatively, you can buy the parts from a laboratory supply company or used/cheap on eBay.

Credit: John Mikulski /

YouTube has an excellent 10-minute tutorial for building this stand:

There is also a useful blog post by James Hollis at Teaching with iPads – he built this stand and shared some tips he learned in the process.

2.  PVC pipe iPad document camera / scanning stand

Amy Oelschlager at Confessions of a Nerdy Teacher tried building this design, and her blog post has lots of photos documenting the process.  Here is her photo of the finished product:

Credit: Amy Oelschlager /

I believe the design is originally attributed to Clint Stephens, Technology Integration Specialist for the Southwest Educational Development Center in Utah.  His video below has a parts list and detailed instructions.

Lastly, if you’re looking for more ideas for different iPad mounts that could be used in a DIY scanning stand, this Pinterest pinboard by Lauren Enders should provide some inspiration: Mounting Systems for iPad

Related Posts:

I’m still planning my project to build a portable iPad scanning stand for scanning scores and books from the music library.  But first, I wanted to know if there are products out there for this.

These are my desired criteria for an iPad scanning stand:

  • Portable – disassembles or folds flat and fits in my backpack
  • Can fit a whole US-standard letter-sized page in the iPad camera’s image (see the required measurements from Preliminary experiments for do-it-yourself iPad scanning stand / document camera)
  • Can accommodate different page sizes larger or smaller than US letter
  • Can accommodate bound books – even large ones (e.g. orchestral scores)
  • Won’t break the bank

I had a stroke of inspiration the other week and realized that instead of Googling “iPad scanning stand” to find such products, I should search for “iPad document camera stand” instead.  I’ve posted the results of my product research on Pinterest.  It’s still a nascent industry with just a handful of standout products (that still don’t meet 100% of my criteria).  Also, with one exception, all of the products currently available will set you back anywhere from $30-$200.  In light of this, I’m going to follow up with a post on some existing do-it-yourself approaches to building an iPad document camera / scanning stand.

Here is the pinboard I created on Pinterest:

iPad Scanning Stand / iPad Document Camera Stand: Products

Related Posts:

Today, Chris Russell from Technology in Music Education brings us two posts of note (thanks, Chris!).

The first post relates his chat with Matt Sandler, Co-Founder and CEO of Chromatik, a new music reader app for iPad and browser-based platforms that’s planning to release this fall.  Chris reports that  Chromatik will have a number of features not available from music reader apps currently on the market, such as support for more file formats, internal tracking of page/measure/rehearsal numbers and codas/repeats, built-in music distribution to your ensemble, and the ability to record while simultaneously playing a reference recording (useful for individual/group practice or student assessment).  Chromatik has also attracted $1.1m in funding and some high-profile beta testers, like American Idol.  This music app/platform is worth keeping tabs on – sign up for the beta here.

The second post is a review of some favorite styluses, plus a link to an even longer stylus review list.  A stylus can be very useful for a musician in the digital age.  Apps like forScore allow for annotation stamps and typed-in text annotations, but sometimes you just have to write things in, and if your finger isn’t accurate enough, a stylus can help.  I’m using an Adonit Jot Pro, it’s pretty good so far but it’s my first stylus and I need to spend more time with it to form a solid opinion.  I’ve also heard good things about the iFaraday for smooth, accurate writing.  Palm rejection, or lack thereof, is one of the annoyances about using a stylus on a tablet, and I was tickled to find this solution:

Credit: SmudgeGuard

The top glove is the Hand Glider and the bottom one is the SmudgeGuard.  Or, as other stylus users have done with satisfactory results, you can go the DIY route and cut fingers off of a gardening glove or stretch knit glove.  Personally, I’m waiting until the gloves above are available in Silver Glitter.

Related Posts:

I’m thinking of building my own portable iPad scanning stand (which could also be used as an iPad document camera). As I mentioned in the earlier post Portable scanning of scores & reference materials: smartphones, iPad, scanners, it would be great for taking to the music library. My blog stats also indicate that there is a lot of reader interest in the topic, so I want to share what I learn.

As a first step, I want to figure out where the iPad must be positioned in order to photograph a US-standard letter-sized sheet of paper and maximize its size in the screen.

To do this, I turned the iPad’s camera on, then grabbed some random household items and used them to elevate the iPad above a page from a music score. Here’s how my setup looked:

Top view:

I then took some test photos of the music. You can click on them to view at full size and get a sense of the image quality (this is from an iPad 3). Here is a photo of the entire page, including margins:

And here is one where I lowered the iPad a little so that the margins are left out:

Image quality is quite good, even though I gave no special attention to the lighting (it’s a mixture of daylight and room light). I could totally read music off of this image.

Finally, I measured the position of the iPad relative to the page. Turns out it needs to be offset roughly 5.75″ down and 2″ to the left of the sheet of paper, and it needs to be raised about 9.3″-10.5″ above the paper in order to capture most or all of the page.   (Click on the images to view at full size and see the measurements.)

These measurements should help me choose, position, and assemble the components of my iPad scanning stand.

(Side note: I used Skitch to annotate the photos above.)

Related Posts:

Credit: DODOcase

Two new recommendations come to us from Loren F. by way of his YouTube comments on the videos featured in the earlier posts Using iPads and Tablets for Choir Rehearsal and Performance and Presentation on forScore for iPad.  (The comment threads are here and here.)

The first is Skim, an application for the Mac which Loren uses to crop the margins from his PDF scores in order to make the print bigger and easier on the eyes when reading scores on the iPad.  Skim can actually do a lot more with PDF files than that.  The description from their webpage:

Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file.

Their web page has a list of 25+ features.

The second recommendation is the DODOcase for iPad:

Credit: DODOcase

Loren has used the DODOcase when performing with ensembles that require a traditional-looking black choral folder that matches other singers and renders the iPad invisible to the audience.  This case is not cheap, but judging from the pictures, it’s very elegant and attractive.  If it just had an exterior hand strap and an interior bottom strap like the Black Folder sold by (shown below), the DODOcase would be even better as a choral folder.  (I wonder if you could mod the folder yourself to add straps, or ask to rivet straps to your DODOcase as a custom job, or use CHOROgrip as an add-on strap.)


Speaking of iPad cases – I recently noticed that the Pinterest link to the list of iPad/Tablet Folders, Cases, & Holders for Choral Singers has been broken for a while due to my fumble-fingered blog edits.  So if you’ve been wanting to check that out, the link should work now.

Thanks, Loren, for these two recommendations!

Related Posts:

This video playlist is a webcast of a presentation given to the singers of Schola Cantorum on using iPads and tablets for choir rehearsal and performance.  The first part of the presentation is about the practical and logistical considerations of using an iPad/tablet as a singer and in a choral setting.  There is much useful information and Q&A here, including many issues that you might not have thought of if this type of tablet use is new to you.  The last part is (more…)

Wallee Hand Strap

Credit: The Wallee

The Wallee iPad case and hand strap is another addition to the lineup of singer-friendly iPad cases.  Here’s a description from the iPad/Tablet Cases & Holders for Choral Singers pinboard on Pinterest:

The Wallee iPad Case has a lock mechanism on the back that can attach to the adjustable Wallee Hand Strap or any of the desk stands or wall/dashboard mounts made by Wallee.

Related Posts:

Easel  Easel as iPad stand

I wanted a simple and inexpensive iPad stand, and this picture frame easel fit the bill.  I didn’t need a real dock because I don’t dock it very often for video/audio output or iTunes sync, just for charging.  And I sure didn’t want to pay $30 for what is basically a glorified easel.  I like my easel because it is lightweight, inexpensive, folds flat, doesn’t scratch my desk, and unlike Apple’s dock, I can put the iPad on it in either portrait or landscape orientation.  (I made sure to get an easel that raises the iPad enough to leave space at the bottom for the dock cable and plug in portrait mode.)  Cost was about $4 at Michaels craft store.