iPod Center

I’ll be the first to admit.  I drink the apple kool-aid.  I should be embarrassed by the amount of apple products littered through-out my life but I’m not.  An iphone has been connected to my hand since 2008.  My macbook runs my classroom on a daily basis and I use my ipad for everything from reading the news to tracking my many to-do lists.  I’m a full-blown member of the cult.  You may judge all you like.  Ready? And……go!

Okay, really, a positive about going through the Apple product line is that it leaves you with a selection of retired devices that are still in perfectly good use.  The iPod center I created at school is just that.  Instead of actual iPods, I put my old iPhones.  They weren’t being used and they still work perfectly fine.  I completely wiped them of anything personal and/or inappropriate for student eyes (not that I keep inappropriate things on my phone but they don’t need to know about ALL the pictures I take of my dog or all the random yet hilarious apps I have to keep myself entertained sometimes).  They don’t work as phones anymore and I disabled the internet, camera, app store, and basically anything other than the music apps I wanted them to use (insert evil controlling laugh here).  They are also password protected so the students that are tech savvy can not enable the things I’ve locked.

There are an endless amount of music education apps out there.  Seriously, I’m constantly adding new apps to these devices.  I take student suggestions, I am always on the look-out for quality apps and I only pay money for apps if they really impress me.  Since I’m pretty cheap, that doesn’t happen often unless the app is seriously amazing.

Its not the most attractive center but it works.  The headphones came from dollar tree because, again, I’m cheap.  Plus, earbuds are not something to share.  They’re gross actually.  Even though I have quite an impressive of unused earbuds, its just too gross.  These headphones are not high quality but I’ll probably use next year’s budget money to buy better quality ones.

Now, this gadget is awesome.  It adds the capability of having five sets of headphones listening to one device.  It was $15 at Kohl’s (I know, random place) but it is fantastic.

I do have a selection of classical music on the iPhones for the students to listen to but they mostly play around with the apps.  Here is just a random sampling of some of their favorites:

Composing Apps: Songify, DooDah, Isle of Tune, Electro Beats, Music Sparkle, Little Mozart

Instruments: Congas, Dance Kit, Learn Piano, Pocket Bells,

Games: Piano Hero, DoReMi 123, NoteBrainer, Music Theory 101, Music Studio,

This is one of their favorite centers and I love that they stay engaged because they have the headphones to block out sounds from the other centers.  If you have any app suggestions, I’d love to hear about it.  The one problem I’ve run into with using these older devices is that some apps do not work.  That’s only been an issue with a few apps but it’s disappointing when a really cool app just doesn’t work.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to any suggestions or comments.  I haven’t done centers in YEARS and never this many technology centers so any helpful advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading!



7 thoughts on “iPod Center

  1. What a fantastic idea for old Iphones! And thank you for the App suggestions…I’ve used a couple of those with my children, but most were new to me (and I love that you’re cheap like me and like free apps!).

    I have a question about how you run your centers. Do you assign students to centers and then run a circuit with them? Do they do one center each time they come? How often do you do centers? I’m trying to re-work my centers for when I *hopefully* move off my cart and back into a room next year (I’ve been on a cart for 2 years and HATE it!!!) Thanks!

    • Hi Jenn,

      Thanks for reading!

      I assign each student to a group and each group rotates through the centers. There are six centers so there are six groups. I assign who goes where each day and keep track in my gradebook. I do centers as a unit to end the school year. The kids have frayed nerves and fried brains because of all the test prep so I like to have low key things going on in music. I see students for 40 minutes so it’s just enough time to go to two centers each class period. They will get to go to each center twice and it will take the entire last 6 weeks of school. It’s worth it since the kids are exhausted and so am I. Let me also mention that I only do centers with my older kids right now (3rd-6th grade). My 1st-2nd graders are progressing through Mallet Madness and both kinder and pre-k are working towards performances in May.

      I can’t imagine teaching on a cart. My sister did that for a semester on a volunteer basis (the school didn’t have a music program so she, as a college music student) volunteered to teach it. I will hope with you that you move back into a classroom very soon!

      Thanks again for reading!


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  5. Ummm. this is fabulous! I have been using centers for a while, but I just got an iPad for my classroom and an old iPod, so I was looking for great ways to incorporate them into my musical routines. AWESOME! Thanks for sharing all these great apps. Checkin’ them out right now! You rock!!!

  6. Pingback: ipod center for music classroom. Find this device! - elegant decor

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