Tech Tuesday: iOS 7 and an iPad app giveaway!

Last week was a crazy busy week and I’m just starting to catch up. Last week as many of you know, was the anticipated iOS 7 update. There were articles going around to hold off on updating if you had in particularly some “older” products (ie: iPad 2 etc…). I ended up upgrading my 4s iPhone to a 5s, so that made everything most current. I am enjoying the new iPhone 5s especially the fingerprint scan feature. However if I was coming from a iPhone 5 I wouldn’t have bothered to upgrade. I recently upgraded one of my iPad 3’s (I have a personal one and a studio lab one for my students). For the most part it is fine, but I do have some apps that keep crashing on me. So I’m hoping those updates to fix the crashes will come soon. I decided to hold off on updating my studio lab iPad for that reason until some bugs get fixed. Still trying to get used to the look of the update. There are some things that I felt didn’t need changing but were etc… Not too sure how I feel about the look of iOS 7. My husband calls it the “fisher price” update because of how it looks.

There is a video that the Technology in Music Education blog made showing the difference between the iOS 6 and iOS 7. I wanted to share this especially if you haven’t upgraded yet as I found it really helpful when I did upgrade. Video

ON ANOTHER NOTE…

It is time for another iPad app giveaway! A couple weeks ago we gave away the SightReadPlus app, a wonderful sight-reading app for major keys. This week it just makes sense to give away the SightReadMinor app right? So that is what we are doing! If you missed the review on the SightRead Minor app you can read it here. Remember if you already have this app, win it for a lucky student in your studio!

Deadline to enter is by this next Monday, September 30th; 10:00pm (mountain time). (*Winner MUST respond within 72 hours of announcement or another winner will be chosen*) The winner will be announced on this blog and on the FPSResources Facebook page by Tuesday, October 1st. Be sure you subscribe to the blog and on our Facebook page so you don’t miss out seeing if you are a winner!

***GIVEAWAY BONUS TIP***

If you missed out last week on winning the SightReadPlus app for yourself or a student, The Fame School Blog is giving a copy of this app this week. Deadline is THIS Thursday, September 26th so be sure to visit and enter to win!

Tech Tuesday: Moosic Studio Update (and giveaway!)

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I am excited to announce that the version 1.1 update that everyone has been waiting for with the iPad app, Moosic Studio is officially live and kicking! Yes, teachers Moosic Studio now includes invoicing and more!

So let’s find out what everyone will see with the new update. I know billing was the most anticipated, so we will begin there. There are 3 main new features related to billing:

1. Invoicing- (hoorah!) This feature has been one that teachers have been chomping at the bit for. With this feature, teachers will be able to invoice for any period of time. Whether or not you invoice monthly by the semester and such, you can make it happen. If you need to make an adjustment (add a charge, give a discount, etc…) you can. In addition you can easily add flagged student expenses to your invoice so you are able to get reimbursed. When you mark an invoice as paid, Moosic Studio will automatically mark all the associated expenses as “PAID”. Do you have parents that still pay by check? You can now easily capture an image of the check for your records. How convenient is that? The nice thing about the invoicing feature is being able to view a list of invoices for whatever month you need to. You can group them by paid or outstanding so they are easily tracked. If you use Evernote, Dropbox or similar service, you would be able to send their invoices through those services as well as emailing or printing them out.

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2. Per Student Expense tracking-  Part of running a business is making sure expenses on all sides of the coin are tracked. In the Student Detail page, you can now track expenses for students. Just tap on the Student List and then the student, scroll to the bottom and start adding expenses. You can track them entirely independently from the studio expenses. If you collect a yearly “Materials Fee” to pay for materials or events (music, recitals…) you will be able to easily track these expenses with this feature. Maybe you don’t have a materials fee but rather just buy the materials and get reimbursed? You can then add a flag to the expense to be added to the families invoice so you can be sure you are reimbursed!

3. Studio Transactions– This can track both debits (for expenses) and credits (for additional income). This is an important feature especially come tax time. Moosic Studio now allows you to track and itemize studio expenses and additional income (church jobs, accompaniments, etc.) and keep a running balance for it all!

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A few other updates you will find in Moosic Studio:

Dashboard-

– New multi-currency icon
– Cents are no longer displayed
– Large amounts will be displayed properly

General
– “Billing” has been changed to “Financials”
– Students and parents are now displayed with a case insensitive sorting
– Student emails pre-populated with Student and Parent’s email when emailing a lesson

Lesson Creation-
– Changed “Theory” to “Theory Lesson”
– Cost type (Flat Fee & Per Lesson) is now required if the lesson cost is anything other than $0.00
– If lesson frequency is weekly, days of week are now required
– Removed auto-adjustment of dates and times when creating a lesson
– Added lesson summary and confirmation when creating a lesson. This means that users will have the opportunity to review lesson details before they save them. So if you need to make any changes, you can do so until you get it right.

If you are a teacher that held off on buying Moosic Studio but now thinking, darn! I should have bought it, I could really use something like this in my studio! Well, I have the giveaway for you! Carlos is offering one lucky reader a free download of brand new off the press updated app to try! But DO NOT WAIT ONE SECOND to enter! Enter right now because you only have until 10:00pm TONIGHT mountain standard time before I pick a winner! Yes, that is right, one of you lucky teachers will be able to start using Moosic Studio within 24 hours for free if you win! But you can’t win unless you make a comment below on why you want to win Moosic Studio.

Be sure to like Moosic Studio on Facebook so you can stay up to date with this great app! And just a reminder, if you don’t have an iPad (YET!) but know you will be getting one in the near future, go ahead and enter because you can still download the app now. It will sit in your iTunes store until you sync your new iPad. So what are you waiting for, enter now! Be sure to like FPSResources on Facebook as well!

Moosic Studio is compatible with the iPad (iOS 5.0 or later) and is available to purchase for $69.99. (Totally worth it when you consider all that it includes and no monthly expenses!) Customer support for this app is superb! Carlos Fontiveros is always willing and able to help teachers navigate around Moosic Studio and always keeps the needs of teachers in mind. Thank you Carlos!

(You can see my original review of Moosic Studio – 6 months ago- before these updates here.)

My new studio toy…

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I’m sure you have seen the Hoberman Sphere before and thought it was pretty cool toy. But have you ever thought of a way you can incorporate it into your lessons? Well now you can!

I will be using the sphere in my studio to visually demonstrate: dynamics (perfect for crescendo and dimuendo!) and articulation (sfz, accents…). You can even demonstrate it for phrasing and breathing.

In case you have never seen one of these, here is a short video sample of the sphere expanding:

I had bought the Mini Hoberman Sphere that expands to 12 inches as I didn’t think I would need one that got really big. (The one in the video example is a mini sphere) I received mine last week and am excited to start using it especially with those visual learners!