Let me preface this blog by saying as of April 30th I was SO anti-smartphone. I did not understand why I needed this fancy thing, when I knew it would just break and cause me many headaches. I know I sound like I’m ancient, and most 25 year olds have a smartphone of some sort, but I just thought it was excessive. This brings me to my blog—Why I love my iPhone!!!!!!!!!! I am loving it for several reasons, but obviously since I’m blogging for work purposes I will blog on the ways I am using my iPhone to help my music therapy practice. I’m sure there are a million more ways as I have only had it a month, but this is what I have done so far:
1) Documentation - For the students I see I used to carry around goal sheets. These were cumbersome and obviously a waste of paper. I downloaded the App called “Documents.” I now have my goal sheets right on my phone in an Excel file. Obviously, I don’t use any identifying information in these documents. Why is it cool? Saves paper, kids love to enter in their data, and I can upload it right to my computer. A huge time saver!
2) YouTube - If you do hospice music therapy you know the plight of being on the road, no office, and the nursing home lunch hour. You basically can’t see anyone from 11:30-1:00. Now it's time not wasted. I can YouTube songs that have been requested (that I have saved in my notes on my phone). I can learn the chords right from my phone and actually have a productive lunch.
3) “Do you know the song that says something about watermelon and roller skating?” - These are the weird requests we get all the time. Google the lyrics and there ya go. Bring it up on youtube, play it for the patient, they can identify if it’s the correct song. One of my patients said “I need to get one of these!” Never thought I’d hear an 85 year old say that about a smartphone.
4) Recording - Now obviously you must have releases for recording, but this has been very helpful. Write a song with a client, record it with them, and they can listen to it as reinforcement. I recorded one of my clients to show the teacher how he was doing in music therapy. She has never seen him in action, so that was an easy way for her to visualize what was going on in the session.
5) Tuning - Yep, there are a million apps for that. I have Epic Tune (free) and it hears your pitch and tunes your guitar just like a conventional tuner, which is one less thing for me to carry around. I still prefer my conventional tuner that clips on my guitar, but if I'm without it, this is the next best thing!
One day I'll have an iPad and never have to carry around a piece of sheet music again. Awww, wouldn’t that be nice. Comment and share ways you use your smartphones to better your practice!