Wednesday, April 30, 2014

MadPad Compositions

The fad that is MadPad! What is MadPad, you ask? MadPad is the ultimate app for the iPad in the music classroom.  

MadPad, created by Smule, allows students to create music from anything, yes anything!  The app, which costs $2.99, comes with over 50 FREE preinstalled sets to play, anything from drums to bottles.  Students can also record their own sounds to create a set.  A set features 12 video clips.  Students simply tap an image to play the sound.  You can also loop a sound and/or record your performance.  MadPad also allows for multitouch, so multiple sounds can be played at the same time. The multitouch is perfect when a limited number of iPads are available.  Here is what a set looks like: 

I am fortunate to have 1:1 devices in the fourth and fifth grades at all four of my schools.  Each fourth grade student has MadPad installed on their iPads.  Since my students and I were so excited about this new app, I wanted to use it in our upcoming music program.  Luckily our transportation theme for the program fit perfectly with the Honda Accord set on MadPad! I then decided to create a composition project for my fourth grade students using MadPad. 

To begin, I found a wonderful composition worksheet from O for Tuna Orff that she used for Boomwhackers.  I created a similar worksheet that could be used for MadPad.  

For this activity, you will need a die, pencil, and worksheet.  I first partnered up my students for this activity.  Students roll the die to determine the rhythm to fit in each beat, or oval.  Once all ovals are filled in, the students placed the MadPad number in the square.  This number designates the sound clip used for that rhythm (shown below).  

After students completed their rhythms and sound clips for their compositions, they then practiced their parts. Due to time restrictions, I had each pair of students pick their favorite line to create a rhythmic ostinato.  We then combined pairs of students to create a group of 8 students.  The students decided how they wanted to put their parts together.  They also decided on a name for their composition, an introduction, and an ending.  The collaboration was incredible!

  Even though each student has an iPad, I only had room to plug four iPads into the sound board for the program.  As a result, students shared their iPads to play their parts! I was so proud of all their work and collaborating! The results were AMAZING!

Our next project (in the future) is to create our own MadPad sets using found sounds in our classroom! My students LOVED Madpad! You NEED to try it! Your students will fall in love too!


  1. Great post! My students and I LOVE MadPad, sooooo fun!!! :)

  2. I have MadPad but haven't used it yet. Thanks so much for the great ideas!

    1. My students really love it! They are performing their compositions this week at their program. There are many great features on it. You need to try it :)