I recently had the pleasure of trialling my first iPad page turner and it’s fair to say that I’m hooked!
As most readers will be aware, I’m fairly tech-savvy and have been using an iPad in my teaching for many years (see my post: Best iPad apps for piano teachers).
However, I’ve only recently tried using my iPad as a performance device.
Given that pretty much all my music is already stored on the iPad, it made sense to use it for performance, but I was always held-back by the pain of page-turning. If I could do it quickly enough, I’d often touch the wrong area of the page and end up going backwards instead of forwards, etc. Incredibly frustrating.
As an accompanist and teacher, I don’t have a lot of time to memorise works, so most of the time I perform with the score. While I can spread out a whole lot of pages on the music rest if I’m using paper, with the iPad, I’m much more restricted…. until now.
The Airturn BT-105 is a two-pedal wireless page-turner that works with any Bluetooth enabled computer (PC, Mac or iPad).
It was extremely simple to set up and did exactly what it said it would: click on the right pedal to advance a page, click on the left pedal to go back a page (also works in apps/software such as Adobe PDF, Word, Keynote for going forwards and backwards in documents/presentations).
Basically you just turn on the AirTurn and the iPad and follow a couple of simple steps in the manual to pair the iPad and AirTurn via Bluetooth. It took all of about a minute and I was ready to play.
I’ve been testing it heavily using forScore for a couple of weeks without an issue. The only thing you might notice is that given the AirTurn is considered by the iPad to be a remote keyboard, the on-screen keyboard may not show up while you’re using the pedal. Thankfully AirTurn has thought of that and one click of the red power button on the AirTurn will bring up the on-screen keyboard without having to un-pair it.
If you’d like to find out more about AirTurn, please head to the website: airturn.com. They’ve got a whole heap of music-related tech accessories, so be sure to check out their other products.
AirTurn has kindly offered readers of topmusic.co a promo code to access a free download of their eBook: From Paper to Pixels (or $10 off the paperback version with any purchase). To access the code, please share with your friends below and go to the AirTurn Store to redeem.[wpsharely id=”4299″]FREEP2P[/wpsharely]
The great news is that with this nifty device, performing with an iPad actually becomes a realistic proposition. Despite the smaller iPad screen size, with good-resolution scans and effective cropping in forScore to maximise the readable music area, I have a feeling that this will be the way of the future.
While there may be other wireless page turners on the market, the AirTurn is a solid performer – not too expensive, fully featured, sleek design, lightweight, long-lasting between charges and does exactly what it’s supposed to do without any fuss or hassle. They’ve got great support and are quick to reply to emails.
Have you been using your iPad for teaching and performance? Let me know how you use it and whether you’ve tried a wireless page turner by leaving a comment below.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary device for review purposes. I was not required to write a favourable review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own.
Tim Topham is the founder and director of TopMusic. Tim hosts the popular TopCast show, blogs regularly at topmusic.co and speaks at local and international conferences on topics such as pedagogy, business, marketing and entrepreneurship. Tim has been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher Magazine, California Music Teacher and EPTA Piano Professional. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.