Music_practice_rooms.jpgI thought I would share a bit about how I benefited from the Lenovo Tablet 2 last semester as a music student.  While there are not quite as many apps in Windows 8 as there are for Apple devices, I was able to find several piano apps that allowed me to again be more mobile:  I was no longer tied to a physical piano in order to complete some of my music homework and I cannot begin to describe how freeing this was.  In addition, I found a free app called "Winterval Trainer 8" which plays a series of notes and allows you to quiz yourself on intervals and gives you tips for how to recognize them.  This was a huge help in my Aural Skills class when we had to be able to identify and correctly write down a series of notes that are played for us.  

Piano KeyboardI was able to download pdfs of music and play some songs off of that.  I found that the screen size made it difficult to read a full piano score, however it was possible to read chord charts.  I was not able to test this feature, but a friend of mine wound up scanning his music for choir and reading off of that so that he did not have to worry about turning pages or finding the correct page/book.  This was very effective for him and I hope to do the same next semester.

Mozart ManuscriptI also wanted to expand a bit on my experience with the Surface Pro as a musician.  While I am not a composition major, I do have to compose for various school projects.  As a test for the Surface, I downloaded a free trial of Finale, the primary music notation program we use on campus, and proceeded to engrave the first page of a Mozart sonata.  I tried various methods of entry (touch, stylus, mouse, and USB piano keyboard) and determined that the best way to enter music into the Surface was via a USB piano keyboard and a mouse.  Entry was rather slow without a number pad, and the size of a screen only makes it realistic to enter music for 1-3 instruments, but the software worked and proved that the surface can be used as an effective idea capture tool.  (Note, I only used the free Finale Software and did not install the Garritan Sound Bank.)  It would be interesting to see a Finale App for a tablet so that I could split my screen and have on half be a piano keyboard for entry and the other half be the Finale software.

Building up the toolbox: Pinterest

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
PinterestFor one of my assignments in the Event Planning class I took, I had to sign up and begin using Pinterest.  While I definitely use social media, I tend to be pretty slow to jump onto new tools as I know that these tools can be as much of a hindrance as they can be a help.  I had not heard of Pinterest before and was apprehensive of adding yet another tool to my toolbox.

Pinterest is a "virtual pinboard" that allows you to collect and store information visually.  The saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" really applies here.  Pinterest allows you to digitally store links to articles and instructions pictorially and organize those pictures in digital pinboards for future reference.  It is much easier to find information when you can see a picture of it, rather than have to read a text description.

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Front of my Mickey Mouse Pop-up Birthday CardIn a previous post, I shared a pop-up design I created using a cylinder technique to create a patriotic hat.  I had a request to share my templates and instructions, and since I have wanted to post a pop-up card tutorial for some time, this seemed like a great opportunity to try my hand at one.  As this is my first attempt, you'll have to be patient with me as a lot of the steps are very difficult to photograph.  I'd love to hear any feedback about this tutorial!

Inside of my pop-up birthday Mickey cardAlthough the request was for instructions to construct Uncle Sam's Hat, I needed to make a birthday card  and decided to kill two birds with one stone.  I used the exact same template and technique to create my Birthday Candle, and I will include a few notes along the way of how you can modify it to make the patriotic hat.  

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Guidance in Homeschooling

Sunday, August 8th, 2010
We have now been home schooling 13 years.  While the routine of it gets a bit easier throughout the years, the desire to do and teach your children more continues to grow.  I'd love to go back and do it all over again - there was so much more information to learn!  This morning I read this piece by Janice Southerland.  It is a beautiful reminder to allow God to guide us through our endeavors to teach and raise our children.  

Fashion, Clay, Books, and more...

Thursday, July 29th, 2010
These last few weeks have been rather busy for us.  Amy and I are hoping to audition for our church's orchestra and have spent many hours practicing.  We are also starting a bell choir at the Pine Mountain Club church, and have been going through materials in preparation for that.  Amy also designed another fantastic clay box which I will be sharing soon.

Both Emily and Kelly received some fashion kits and dress models for their birthdays and they have been going to town creating new fashion designs.  Emily had so much fun wrapping the fabric around the small doll and twisting it to make new fashions that she decided to pull out a sheet and wrap the fabric around Kelly to create life sized fashions.

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Disney Archivist for a Day

Sunday, July 18th, 2010
Picture of Dave Smith.jpgWho would you like to be for a day?

That's an easy answer for me - Dave Smith - the official archivist for The Walt Disney Company.  This man either knows everything there is to know about Disney, or has the access to find out.  What a cool job!

Mr. Smith wrote one of my favorite books - "Disney A to Z".  If you love to learn about Disney history, I strongly recommend this book.

In the meantime, here is how you can access some Disney knowledge online:

Mr. Smith, if you'd ever like to really wow this homeschooling mom - just invite me to be your shadow for a day!  (hint, hint)

Incredible Audio Books!

Monday, June 14th, 2010
Since our family does not have cable TV we enjoy listening to audio stories whenever we clean, do crafts, or drive somewhere.  Here are some of our family's favorites.  We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Here are Some Resources for Terrific Audio Books/Stories

Adventures in Odessy audio story cover.jpg

Nothing can top "Adventures in Odyssey"

This company has an incredible inventory

Christian Book Distributors offers these:

In addition to "Adventures in Odyssey", here are some of our very favorites:

Peter and the Starcatchers

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