Who knew there were so many smartpen music ideas? Although Livescribe smartpens are great for recording notes with audio, they can also record and playback any sound or music they “hear,” creating many opportunities for those with musical minds and ideas.
When using the smartpen in musical endeavors where tone and quality really make a difference, try making some experimental recordings using both the built-in microphone and a set of 3D recording earbuds. Then play them back on some external speakers to really hear and appreciate the difference that the 3D recording earbuds can make.
We're certain you'll find some awesome smartpen music ideas below to try in your music classroom!
Make Practice Time More Efficient with Recorded Notes & Audio From Lessons
In this case study with the Livescribe 3, Amy Beth Horman of Horman Violin Studio explains how she and her students have made practice time more efficient by recording the audio while the instructor takes notes with the smartpen.
This links the notes and audio together, allowing students to see notes and hear the audio so that they know exactly what they need to work on, making the very most of their practice time at home.
Show Progress with Recorded Practices
Students can record their practice at home with a smartpen to document their practice. Practices saved and compared over time will show progress and likely encourage students to practice more!
Name That Tune/Composer
It's easy to record snippets of classical music pieces for the students to listen to. This makes for an easy game of "Name That Tune" or "Name that Composer," in which students race to see who can identify the correct title or composer first. This can be easily identified to include identifying genres of music or sounds of instruments.
Watch this example of a Livescribe paper activity that a teacher created to help students recognize different composers.
Basic Piano Skills
Students can use the built-in Piano app on the Livescribe Echo smartpen to construct their own piano.
The piano app is found in the smartpen menu and accessed with the Nav Plus, the paper-based, five-way navigator found in the lower corner of Livescribe notebook paper that you can use to navigate the Main Menu on your smartpen.
The piano sound can be changed to a variety of different instruments, and students can even add background rhythms to their piano! When students are ready to take the piano to the next level, try these step-by-step instructions for adding sharps and flats to the piano.
Listen to Danny Boy being played with a Livescribe smartpen piano in this video, and notice the "sheet music" that has been created to help the piano player play the tune.
With a class set of smartpens and earbuds (or even just enough for a music station), students can have fun playing tunes on their smartpen pianos for which you have already created "sheet music."
Take this a step further by having students compose their own tunes or jingles to play for the class, allowing them to experiment with the different instrument and rhythm options. For older students, you might require that they use a computer to create "sheet music" for their tune.
Creating a Portfolio of Concerts and Recitals to Share
Proud parents (or teachers and students) may want to record and share concerts and recitals. It’s probably just fine to share these very privately with relatives but don’t share them publicly if the music is copyrighted.
In addition, this allows a student to create a nice electronic student portfolio, which is a winner in performance-based classes.
Correlate Music with Stories
This video by Math Stuff on Youtube shares an ingenious smartpen music idea created as a print-on-paper activity. Simply print a story on a piece of Livescribe notebook paper using the print-on-paper method. Then, record linked dots with the appropriate recorded music clips tied to certain parts of the story. The video uses the song Peter and the Wolf as a great example.
This activity demonstrates very well the takes full advantage of the easy recording ability of Livescribe smartpens. The creator has then gone on to create an interactive sort of assessment that allows students to match the musical theme with the character and instrument.