Music Technology in Education Books

Note: This is an updated version of an earlier post: 15 Of The Best Music Technology in Education Books.  I’ve kept the original list of 15, but added some more recently-published editions. 

I love buying books – both digital and paper – especially when they are relevant and useful. Here are a number of music technology in education books I recommend. I own almost all of these books and they contain excellent ideas for music technology curriculum integration.

Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links which will earn me a very small commission (at no extra cost to you!). These are all books that I recommend because they are quality resources and any commissions earned go back into supporting the upkeep of this site.

1. Barbara Freedman’s Teaching Music Through Composition: A Curriculum Using Technology
contains practical step-by-step lessons focussing on composition. There are lesson plans and student project sheets which will help you implement her ideas straight away.

2. Like Barbara Freedman’s book, Dr Scott Watson’s Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity includes lesson plan ideas with step-by-step instructions for using music software in the classroom. In addition, Dr Watson provides background information and the reasoning behind the integration of technology in music education.

Youtube in Music Education

3. YouTube in Music Education by Thomas Rudolph and Dr James Frankel offers an insight into the ways that educators can use the huge number of videos on Youtube.  The book also includes a chapter on what to do if your school blocks Youtube.

4. Making Music With GarageBand and MixcraftMaking Music with GarageBand and Mixcraft by Robin Hodson, Dr James Frankel, Michael Fein and Richard McCready teaches the vital skills for using two popular sequencing programs: Mixcraft (for PC) and GarageBand (for Mac).

Skills covered include how to edit audio, how to work with MIDI, video, recording, editing, mixing and mastering. The true value of this book however, lies in the lesson plans for each program: film scoring, podcasting, and multitrack recording.  The concepts covered in the book could also be adapted for other sequencing programs.

5. Technology Integration In The Elementary Music Classroom Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom by Amy Burns.

One of the rare books that outlines ideas for using technology with young students.  Author Amy Burns and the other contributors provide lesson plans that integrate technology with singing, playing and literacy actvities using a variety of software programs and tech tools.

Help Smartboard
6. Amy Burns has also published Help I Am An Elementary Teacher with a Smartboard! – a FREE guide for music teachers using interactive whiteboards in their classrooms.

Help iPads
7. Help I Am An Elementary Teacher with One Or More iPads! is Amy Burns’ latest FREE ebook which provides lesson ideas and other resources for music teachers with one or more iPads.

8. Using ProTools in Music EducationUsing Pro Tools in Music Educationby Robin Hodson is the first book to address the use of industry-standard Pro Tools in the classroom.

Robin Hodson divides the book into two main areas – Teach Yourself Pro Tools and Pro Curriculum which gives project ideas for students.

Sibelius 7
9. If you’re new to Sibelius (or even you’re not) James Humberstone’s Sibelius 7 Music Notation Essentials is the definitive guide.  Beginners will start off on the right foot and intermediate and advanced users will discover hidden features and new (better) ways of using the software. Although it was written for version 7, it’s still highly relevant for Sibelius users of version 8 too.

10. Complete Guide to Film ScoringComplete Guide to Film Scoring (Berklee Guide)by Richard Davis. If you’re interested in pursuing film scoring with your students this book is a fascinating read.

Guide to Standardised Drumset Notation
11. Guide to Standardized Drumset Notationby Norman Weinberg.

Published by the Percussive Arts Society, this book gives an insight into creating clear, readable drum patterns. My go-to drum notation guide.

Drummers Bible
12. The Drummer’s Bible: How to Play Every Drum Style from Afro-Cuban to Zydeco is a highly useful text for drummer’s and non-drummer alike. As an arranger, I find it particularly useful when I need to know what a drum pattern should look like. The book includes fantastic audio examples.

13. Although written a number of years ago, I really like the simplicity of Alfred’s Sequencing And Music Production text book. It includes ideas for composing and arranging with sequencing software that are still relevant today.

Composing with notation

14. Like the Sequencing guide, Alfred’s Composing Music With Notation offers lesson plans that incorporate music notation software. Each lesson is adaptable to the software program you have at your school, be it Sibelius or Finale or another alternative.

Musical iPad
15. Musical iPad: Creating, Performing, & Learning Music on Your iPad sheds light on music accessories, apps and general iPad how-to for music educators.

16. Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio is a favourite among teachers who are guiding senior students through the basics of recording and mixing for their assignments.
17. Composing Music For Video Games is a useful guide for composing game music itself and also launching a career as a game music composing.  Author Chance Thomas gives some great step-by-step techniques and tips.
18. A Composer’s Guide To Game Music by Winifred Phillips is another award-winning book on the topic of composing music for video games.  She has practical tips and advice for would-be game composers.
19. Make Your Own Music A Creative Curriculum Using Music Technology by Richard McCready contains lesson plans, skills and ideas for using Notion and Studio One software from Presonus.  The book includes basic getting started information, as well as ideas for projects, examples of STEAM problem-solving strategies and there are supporting materials online.
20. Recording Tips For Music Educators by Ronald E. Kearns aims to provide practical advice for music educators who wish to record their school groups.  Suitable for complete beginners as well as those more comfortable with technology, it helps with the planning and execution of all the different components of a school recording project.
21. Digital Organisation Tips for Music Educators by Robby Burns is a guide to managing all of the “other” parts of the music teach role – planning trips, finances, logistics, arranging and composing and more. This book will help you navigate the many technology solutions for increasing productivity in your professional life.


22. The Oxford Handbook of Technology and Music Education  by Alex Ruthmann and Roger Mantie is a handbook detailing the way technology integrates and intersects with music education.  Contributions to the chapters of the book have been made by a range of experts in the field.

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