Blogging on the Go: How I Do It

We live in a very On-The-Go society. Everyone always has somewhere to be, and we are rarely in the same place for a full day. That is why many people have come to love their smartphone and tablets, because they allow us to stay connected to others no matter where we are. Whether we are on opposite sides of the room or opposite sides of the world, we are able to keep in touch. This is important since group projects are becoming more popular. I, Hannah Haefele, am the sole owner of this blog, but I love being able to write something and post it for the world to see. I love being a part of the world of social media. But since I don’t really have a central office where I do all of my work, I love my iPad and iPhone, especially for using the Internet. For this post, I want to tell you all about how I use my iPad and iPhone to keep up with not only my blog, but all of my social media outlets from blogging, to Twitter to my sheet music website through a site called MusicaNeo.

IPAD
I love using my iPad Mini to work on my blog. When I am writing a post, I use the Blogger app (free on the App Store, probably free on Google Play). The app has a nice, simple layout. The compose screen in the app is very simple and clean. You just have the option for Bold or Italics, a camera button, and the “Done” button, and the onscreen keyboard unless you decide to use an external keyboard. I, personally have never felt the need for one. This post was drafted in Blogger.
If I need to put the final touches on a post, I use the Blogger website on either Safari or another browser called Puffin. The app costed me about four US dollars, and I have had the app for quite a long time, so I am not sure of the price now, but for me, the cost is totally worth it. With Puffin, you are able to bypass the “mobile” restrictions found in Safari. It even has the option of enabling an onscreen mouse/trackpad within the app. I use Safari to check my MusicaNeo site, and I use Puffin via Dropbox if I need to upload a new piece of music on the go.
For other forms of social media, like Facebook and Twitter, I use their native apps.
 
IPHONE
If I happen to not have my iPad with me, which is rare since it fits in a small purse, I will use my iPhone to do anything quick when it comes to my blog. I usually won’t write full posts on my iPhone, but I might edit them or schedule a post to go up. If I do anything with my blog on my iPhone, I will use that same apps and websites as on my iPad. I prefer my iPhone to my iPad for checking Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I like viewing them on a smaller screen for some reason.
 
As I said before, we live in a very connected world. We all have places to be, and we don’t always have the time to sit down for a long period of time at a desk and write a blog post or do whatever type of work it is that you do. Tablets and smartphones are a great way to help us get things done. I hope you enjoyed reading about how I manage my blog and social media.
Thanks for reading!

You can download the apps I mentioned here, all are free unless otherwise stated:
iOS:
Blogger
Puffin Browser Pro ($3.99)
Puffin Web Browser

Google Play:
Blogger
Puffin Web Browser

 

Holiday Wishlist for College Students

Now that Hanukkah and Christmas are over, we might not see much holiday stuff until next fall. Today, I am going to tell you about holiday gifts by reflecting on my wishlist this past year. As you get older, the number of toys and physical gifts on your list decreases and the number of practical gifts and gift cards increases. My list this year totally encompassed that. What did I ask for? I asked for a new backpack,
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a new planner,
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two music books (I am a music major, after all),
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The Flute Book
and gift cards. I think the magic of the holidays is still there, but it is a different kind of magic when you are 18 or 20 than when you are 8 or 10. I think that it is normal-good, even-that our interests change as we get older. I don’t know about you, but the things that I like now are completely different from when I was a kid. Just remember that change is good.
Thanks for reading!
Follow me on Twitter at @itsmixedarts

*Updated* My Favorite Apps (for Musicians)

Click here to read my other post regarding apps for musicians.

There are quite a few apps and programs for streaming and downloading music and people have reviewed those apps. This post will be a little different, I have a list of apps for people who are musicians. I have explored the iOS App Store quite a bit and I have come across some good apps for tracking practice time, working on theory and aural skills, and composing on the go.

SymphonyPro
($9.99) available on iOS
This app is only available on the iPad, but it is my favorite for composing and arranging music when I don’t have my laptop with me. It does cost money, but I think it is completely worth it. The app has most of the features of a full computer notation program, plus the touch screen gives it a very user friendly interface. You can create a score right in the app and you can choose from a bunch of instruments. Most contemporary orchestral instruments as well as voice, guitar, and possibly a couple others. You can write all instruments in concert pitch and then the app can transpose the parts accordingly when the piece is complete. You can change both the key and time signatures in the middle of a score, add repeat signs and first and second endings, and use various articulations. You can also change a track to a different instrument if you like, this is only for the entire piece. My favorite feature is probably the onscreen piano keyboard. It allows you to enter notes very easily and you don’t have to worry about inputting the wrong note.
NOTE: The three following apps are available on iOS in a bundle.
Music Journal
($6.99) available on iOS
This app is a good way to keep track of what and how much you practice each day. You can time yourself as you practice, or you can input an amount of time if you want to log your practice that way. You can add folders and different “songs”. I have a folder for each of my instruments and various songs for different areas of practice such as warm ups, technical exercises, and études as well as a track for each repertoire piece I have. In order to organize everything further, you can color code the different items you have. If you don’t have a metronome, there is one built into the app, and you can use that to track your progress with regards to tempo. I have never used this feature, however, because I have another app for that which you can find later in this post.
Do Re Mi Ear Training
($6.99) available on iOS
I have not used this app a ton yet, but it is great if you need to work on your aural skills. It plays a chord and then a single pitch in the key, and you have to correctly guess the note. You can have the app play between one and three (possibly more) notes in a row for you to guess. There are different levels of difficulty that you can choose from to practice and test yourself.
Do Re Mi Voice Training
($9.99) available on iOS
This voice training app helps you improve your pitch accuracy. You need to give the app permission to use the microphone so that it can detect the pitch of your voice and determine how close or far you are from a note. I have only used it once, but it is cool how the app knows what note you are attempting to sing. I plan to use this more in the future to help me with the sight singing part of my aural skills class.
NOTE: This ends the bundle.
MusiciansKit
(Free) available on iOS
This app is great to have on your phone, because it has a tuner, metronome, and voice recorder all in one. The tuner allows you to select whatever pitch you want to play, and it can sense the pitch of your instrument. With the metronome, you can set the tempo from 40-280. You can also set the number of beats from 1-16 and subdivisions from 1-8.
YouTube 
(Free) available on iOS & Google Play
YouTube is great for listening to recordings of pieces that you’re working on. YouTube is also a good place to promote yourself and your music.
YouTube Capture
(Free) available on iOS
If you post videos on YouTube for fun or as a way to get your voice out there, you should get this app. It allows you to post videos to YouTube very easily, but it still takes time for the video to go through the upload process.
A PDF Reader
Many are available on the different smart phones: search your app store.
The PDF reader to get depends on you and what you need. Some allow you to highlight and annotate documents, others are solely for the purpose of reading a document on your device. An app like this is good for viewing sheet music on the go or when you are at home. You can view the music for a piece you are working on and decide whether or not you want to download it. If you play flute, check out My Favorite Flute Sites where I list a few sheet music websites that I have used.

As you can see, most of these apps are for iOS. That is the platform I use for my phone and tablet, even though I do not actually use a Mac. I plan on going into more detail on what I like about iOS and how I use that software and Apple hardware in a post sometime in the future.
Thanks for reading!

My Youtube (I am not currently posting videos, but I would love to sometime in the future).

Best Websites for Flutists: A Complete Guide

I love the flute, it is my main instrument, after all. So, for this post, I want to let you know what websites I love for flute. I have a few categories and each has one or two websites for the category that I like to visit!

Killer Harmony | Best Websites for Flutists | Do you need help finding free sheet music, information, or accessories for your flute? I have a list of some of the best websites for flutists out there. Check out this list with links to all of the great websites.

The websites are broken down into the following categories: Sheet Music, Advice/Information, and Instruments/Gear.

SHEET MUSIC
FluteTunes is a great place to find sheet music for flute and you can find various instrumentations, such as flute solo, dust, trio, flute and keyboard, flute and bass instrument, and more. There are pieces of all time periods and difficulties. This website also has scales, fingering charts, and instructions on transposition if you want to play a duet or other piece with an instrument in Bb or Eb. This site is completely free, and with the wide variety of music, there is a good chance that you will find something that suits your needs!
The International Sheet Music Library Project (ISMLP) is a great place to find sheet music for almost any instrument you can think of. Flute is one of the instruments, and I believe they also have sheet music for the various auxiliary flutes like piccolo, alto, and bass flutes. They also have music for flute + other instruments. The site can be categorized by instrumentation, genre, composer, difficulty as well as other options. They have original music and arrangements.
MusicaNeo is a good site if you are looking for arrangements or pieces written by new and upcoming composers. They have some free sheet music, but a lot does cost money, though not much. I have a site on there with my pieces. If you do spend money on there, I believe that you are doing some good with your money, because you are supporting artists and composers who may not have a contract with a major publisher. This is another website for more than just flute, but for flutists, they do have a free PDF of the Taffanel & Gaubert flute book.

ADVICE/INFORMATION
This site is run by a woman named Jennifer Cluff, she is based in Canada, so the information she provides regarding levels are based on levels in Canada, but she does convert them to other systems of determining the difficulty of music. She also provides information on buying a flute, starting lessons, and general tips that are not very specific but can be applied in different ways because they are general.
This site is more for people who play other woodwinds in addition to flute, but the owner of this site, Bret Pimentel, gives good advice and information about playing multiple woodwinds, including flute. You can also find advice on switching off between instruments when practicing. Other than that, I don’t have too much to say, but the blog is very good.
INSTRUMENTS/GEAR
This site is a general online shop for wind instruments (they also have a small selection of strings and keyboards), but I think they have quality instrument accessories. I am not sure about the instruments, but they do have good brands. (Always check with a professional before you make a purchase)
While Amazon is a pretty generic website, they have quite a selection of accessories such as cases, instrument stands, cleaning swabs, sheet music, and a few instruments, but as with WWBW, check with a trusted pro before investing heavily in an instrument over the internet. This is a great resource if you already have an Amazon Prime account.
As of writing this, I have not had enough experience with flute-specific websites for instruments and gear, but I hope to add a couple of websites under that category sometime in the future.
Thanks for reading!

So do you play flute or another instrument? What are your favorite music-related websites? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @HannahHaefele

Hercules Travlite Flute Stand Review


For this blog post, I wanted to review one of my favorite prices of gear: my compact flute stand! I bought this stand off of Amazon awhile ago and I have been loving it ever since!
Here is the link to where I got it:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0035FZMTG
I will put some pictures of the stand at the bottom.
This stand is awesome because the stand folds up and fits right inside the foot joint: C-foot or B-foot. That means it doesn’t take up any extra room in your flute case! The stand comes with instructions on how to open it, but after the first time, it becomes almost intuitive.
I love using this stand when I am at school in a practice room or in band class, that way, I don’t have to worry about setting my flute down in a place where it could fall or get damaged.
I also like the fact that it doesn’t take up any extra room in my flute case since it fits perfectly in the foot-joint. I also like how I don’t have to worry about it scratching the inside of the foot-joint because the legs are covered in a leather-like material. The legs also can extend a little so that there is more stability. ( I have found that since the flute is so small and light, I never need to extend the legs out)
If there is one thing that is wrong with it, that would be the fact that one of the legs is a little loose when setting up and taking down the stand (but it is fine when it is all put together).
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Have you tried this stand? What are your thoughts on it? What product or type of product should I review next? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

Stand (assembled)

Stand (folded up for storage)