Up until Thanksgiving last year, I had never used an iPad in session–ever. I didn’t own one and nor ever really saw myself using one in therapy at the therapeutic tool. However, I am very much Type A and like to be extremely organized–sometimes to a fault. I love my ratty paper chord binder and all the memories…from creating it in school, to rearranging, dropping, forgetting, etc. But it is currently atrocious. I loved the life out of it. It was time for a change.
For about 6 months now I have been a part of the iPad culture and I love it….particularly because of Onsong. I’m not really sure how I made it in the MT world this long without hearing about it, but now I’m a user and a believer.
If you’re unfamiliar with the app, it is incredible and literally the reason I bought the iPad. It’s basically a digital binder, which for me means 1) Organization and 2) Time Saved. Onsong allows you to compile your music into distinct books or song lists within a certain domain. For instance my two big books are “Geriatrics” and “Religious and Spiritual.” Within these books the songs are automatically sorted into alphabetical order (no more singing the ABC’s under my breath). You can also do a search within the book to find a particular song very quickly.
Outside of books, you can create sets which is another of my favorite features. I have made a set for each of my MT groups or themes (you know I love those themes!) which I can easily find and reuse another time. No more shuffling, rearranging, extra copies, or stacks of binders.
Another one of my recent discoveries is how Onsong pairs so well with Apple TV. When you connect to AirPlay and open Onsong, your iPad will still show the chord chart, but will project only the lyrics onto the Apple TV. It will project chunks of lyrics at a time based on the spacing you create in the chart. Simply tap the next chunk of lyrics (Verse 1, chorus, etc.) and they appear on the screen. I’ve used this instead of lyric sheets for several sing-along type groups and it’s been magical–takes a little practice to multitask playing and tapping, but I suppose it’s kind of like a page turn. There is a feature where you can do the tapping with a foot petal instead but I haven’t gotten that far yet!
As far as where the music comes from you can import your chords from various sources including your personal word files, Dropbox, and even just the Internet. Over the course of the last few months, I have gradually (as needed) filled my books with all the music that was in my paper binder. Onsong allows for easy chord adjustments and the handy transposition feature is perfect for changing keys on the fly.
There’s about 1,000 other features that will blow your mind and their amazing website has step-by-step tutorials for them all!
At $19.99, it’s more than I usually pay for an app but for me it was 100% worth it.