The iPad Keeps Me Humble

This week I bolstered up the courage to read a score from my iPad for this Sunday's prelude. Using my Page Flip CicadaPageFlipCicada-FrontAngleL-bd32e96a9154e9a388b28182d5d3fb2c to enable hands-free page turns with the help of the forScore app, I played James Koerts' arrangement of "All Hail the Power of Jesus Name" from his new collection Joyful Adoration. In case you are unfamiliar with the process of reading scores from the iPad let me step you through it.

  1. Purchase a digital edition from your favorite composer.
  2. Save the purchase in your Dropbox, iBooks, or Google Drive app. I created a folder in my Dropbox labelled Sheet Music and within that folder I made new folders for each composer as I purchase digital editions on a regular basis.
  3. Purchase forScore as this score reader app comes highly recommended by most iPad fans for reading scores and is compatible with the PageFlip Cicada.
  4. Your purchase of a PageFlip Cicada comes with instructions on how to wirelessly pair it with your iPad thanks to the magic of bluetooth.
  5. Open the Pdf of the digital sheet music and tap on the sheet. You will be offered a prompt to OPEN the Pdf in various apps, one of them being forScore.
  6. Once you open your score in forScore your PageFlip Cicada should allow hands-free page turns when you tap your toe on the pedal.

forScoreEach time I sat down to practice, I not only rehearsed the tricky large leaps, RH octave passages and some blingy fillers, I spent a great deal of time perfecting each page turn using my foot instead of my hand. By Saturday evening, I felt prepared to play the prelude with the assistance of my iPad and Pageflip.

Fast forward to Sunday morning and I was a little concerned. Confession: my prayer each Sunday as a church musician is that my efforts will enhance a service and not distract from worship. As you know technology can be flakey and I was taking a chance with my high-tech "toys." Thankfully the 8:00am service prelude went well, every page turned as planned and both hands were available for every note between pages. Hallelujah!

But wait...the story continues. My morning duties include an 8:00 and an 11:00am service. Between services I returned home, ate breakfast, completed a few tasks and double checked the error-prone spots. My review confirmed that all systems were go. JAcover-115x150Once I arrived back at church in time for choir rehearsal prior to the 11:00 service, it was apparent that my PageFlip Cicada did not find its way back in my music bag. It was where I left it--on the floor by my studio piano.

Could this be a prime example of how God continues to humble those who rely on the will of  technology instead of the will of God? Maybe? There's no "sacred" excuse, just another example of my periodic forgetfulness. As you might imagine, it took a moment for me to forgive myself for leaving the pedal behind, and then it became apparent I would need to master the gentle tap required to flip the pages with my finger AND determine which notes to eliminate for each page turn, all within a few minutes.

To my relief, the 11:00am prelude went equally well but I did miss the hands-free page turns. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the magic of Koerts' arrangement. It was incredibly fun to prepare and successfully lead the congregation into inspired worship.

Will I use the clever iPad and Page Flip combo again in a church service after the initial disappointment with myself? Yes, but mistakes are information and you can bet that I will TRIPLE check to ensure that the PageFlip Cicada is in my bag prior to each church service. :-)

The iPad will continue to keep me humble.


For those of you who attended the Columbine Music Teachers Association this past Friday, I had a wonderful time meeting you all, sharing what I know and swapping ideas. Thank you for hosting me. 

Want to learn more about transforming your studio into an iPad Piano studio?

Purchase a copy of my book here.

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