If you use an iPad to store your sheet music (and who doesn’t these days?!), then you should definitely invest in a Bluetooth Page Turner from a company like Airturn.
It makes shuffling through pages on your app (you use Forscore, right?) as absolute breeze, allowing you to go forwards or backwards with the touch of a foot. Keep your eyes up, your hands on the keys and your teaching or performance flowing.
A while ago, I blogged about my experience with the original BT-105 in my post: AirTurn | Hands-free iPad page turner for musicians.
I’ve used this device heaps over the years and quickly found that it was just as valuable in lessons as on the concert platform. If I’m playing duets or 2-piano works with students or just scanning through a book of pieces to demonstrate, I use the pedal all the time.
AirTurn’s devices work on all the main tablets, they are easy to use, reliable and use barely any battery power.
My only criticism of the older models was to do with the setup and connection of the device which was all done through one button one light that flashed different colours and different numbers of times to indicate what was going on.
Needless to say, I didn’t find it very user-intuitive.
I found that if I didn’t use it for a while and needed to remember how to pair it or turn it off, I’d need to look up the manual online and check that the flashing light codes were telling me the right thing! It didn’t take long to work it out, but I always wondered why they didn’t just add some extra buttons.
Enter the brand-new PED models that solve exactly these issues, and look a whole lot better in the process!
While the old BT-105 continues to be my main page turning device, I was excited to read recently that AirTurn have completely upgraded the look and functionality of the pedal and released the AirTurn PED.
This new model seems to have fixed all these issues and AirTurn have created a much more aesthetically-pleasing, slighter and more slim-line model that looks much more modern.
This model is touch sensitive, so if you’re interested in the ‘feel’ of pushing a pedal, then this one doesn’t provide that tactile sensation, however I don’t see the need.
Most of the time, I’d just tap the pedal quickly to flip pages anyway, so a touch responsive unit makes good sense.
Best of all, the new model has a lot more indicator lights on the top showing you what it’s doing, when the battery is low, when you’re connected, etc.
It’s really lightweight, very responsive and completely silent. And it doesn’t take up any room!
Best of all, it only costs $69. Considering the older model cost over $100, this is a complete bargain!
If you’d still like the sensation of the movement of a foot pedal, then the BT-105 has also been updated with much better functionality and indicators on the top panel.
The new model is called the AirTurn Duo and retails for $99.
It’s got much the same functionality as the older BT-105, but much more intuitive user interface and functions. Oh, and it’s a bit lighter too.
(I’m pretty sure you can get refurbished BT-105s from the website at the moment for a decent discount too if you’re happy with the older model.)
I’d love to hear your thoughts on your own experience using a Bluetooth Page Turner. Do you use it in your lessons or just for performance? Leave your comments below.
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.