The iPad has been something of a game changer for accessible music making.


It is the first mainstream technology that has had a broad range of software available which can make music making accessible.

Broadly iPad apps fall into three categories:

1. Emulators of conventional instruments.

These can afford access to people with limited manual dexterity. For example Pianos, classical guitar, air harp, xylophone etc can all be ‘played’ using the simple touchscreen of an iPad.

Examples include Garageband and Thumbjam.

Garageband app

2. Simple loop based apps and Matrix sequencers.

These allow for experience based music making, similar to a game or a maths logic exercise.

Examples include TonePad as well as generative music makers such as Bloom.

3. New instruments that take advantage of the unique iPad interface

These are new developments inspired by the way iPads work (ie easy to hold, cost-effective to develop apps for etc).

Examples include Singing fingers & Samplr.

iPad used for music

We are working on a guide and video for various apps to allow teachers, musicians and individuals to understand how to use the iPad to open up access to music making.

We also have resources on our blog which we encourage you to explore.

iPad in use at the Web We Want festival