A few years ago I ditched the bag I was bringing to all my lessons, and went paperless. This has been a revolution for my teaching,, and I thought I would share some of the benefits. I bought at 32 gig iPad with cellular data capability for this occasion. My school wifi accounts were so restricted it was impossible to use the internet for the purposes of teaching music. So, some type of mobile device is obviously required for this. Preferably something with a screen large enough for you or your students to read music from. The good news is this purchase can be one of your many tax write offs for the year.
Communication increased significantly for me once I went paperless. I could respond to emails in between lessons during the day, rather than dealing with fifteen to twenty unread messages later that evening.
My amount of paperwork decreased dramatically. I was able to do all my scholarship paperwork using a type on PDF app. I was acquired the necessary student signatures via the pen function of this app, and then emailed completed paperwork to the band directors. This has become a major timesaver at the end of each month.
I used google documents to upload my weekly teaching schedule, as well as to edit the document with who has and has not paid for their lessons that month.
Google drive also became a valuable asset for me. I uploaded pdfs of the material I work with my students on to my google drive. Then, when a student forgets his or her music, its right there on the iPad. With the cellular data working on my iPad I was always able to call up these files when necessary.
Additionally I was able to play recordings for my students via the iPad from my own music collection or YouTube. This also works well for play along backing tracks for jazz studies, or playing a drone for tuning.
Lastly, I used this device to record students performing, with their permission. Students could listen back and determine how they are playing a passage.
With the iPad I was able to eliminate bringing my hard copy schedule, notes on who had/hadn’t paid, solos, etudes, and monthly paperwork. Additionally my drive home was enhanced by using the Waze app for real time traffic info and better driving routes to avoid rush hour congestion. Now, all I need is my horn, iPad, and a pencil when teaching lessons.