Thursday, July 28, 2011

OnSong: A Tool for Healing

When we were answering our support emails we ran across something that peaked our interest and we wanted to learn more. Melissa is a Music Therapist-Board Certified and we wanted to know what a Music Therapist does and how she was using OnSong, so we asked. Her response and explanation moved us and we wanted to share her story and profession. We would like to thank Melissa for sharing with us and hope that her story moves you as much as it has moved us.

I'm a contract music therapist, so I work in a lot of different settings, but mostly with children with disabilities or adults with brain injury/stroke.

With the adults, I may sing familiar songs with them to regain speech, or play instruments to familiar songs to regain control of an arm. The age range can be from 20 to 90, so songs familiar to each person are totally different. These guys are constantly requesting new songs, from Elvis to Kid Rock, from BB King to Nickelback, from Johnny Cash to Sugarland, and so on. There's no way one person can memorize all of that. I used to keep a binder of songs I knew, but OnSong is so much lighter and easier. If I need to change something, I can do it on the spot. I can add new songs quickly. I can change keys without having to transpose in my head (especially with songs that have a lot of different chords). I don't have to pause for long songs like American Pie to turn a page. I can look up songs by name, by artist, by genre (I have my books set up in genres like classic rock, country, pop, oldies, etc.) depending on what the client is able to tell me about what they like. I will never have to buy another fake book... ever! This is the biggest, bestest one! :)

I'm just starting to use it with the children because I've only had my iPad about a month, and I'm still exploring what the possiblities are. Yesterday I was working with a child with autism who is having difficulty learning to read. I've been using song lyric puzzles to encourage reading and expand her reading vocabulary, but I was limited by the visual aids I had prepared and with me. If I had a spontaneous idea, I had to wait until the next week to try it. This happened yesterday but I had my iPad, and the song I thought of was in OnSong. In seconds I had the song to sing for her, then could show her the lyrics and have her read them back to me. I could zoom into certain words if she got lost or had trouble. When I asked her questions about the lyrics to test comprehension, I could enlarge the answer if she needed help finding it. I have several children I can do this same activity with, and the variety of songs I can use for their reading skills is no longer limited to what I have time to make visual aids for. The visual aid is right there with the song, and the songs I have quick access to is limitless. I can't wait to try this with the other kids!

In the past I've given adapted guitar lessons to kids with disabilities, and I could see using OnSong as a tool with that, and an easy way to email/send/print copies for the kids to take home to practice.

Music Therapist-Board Certified

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

One iPad, 5 Musicians, No Problem! #COTF2011

OnSong is being used on many stages in various ways. We wanted to highlight one of our OnSong users and allow them to tell you how they were able to drive four VGA monitors off of one iPad. This allowed them to provide chord sheets to almost all of their worship team. Of course those poor drummers, are always left out in the cold...

My name is Rob Shillito. Our band consisted of keyboard player, electric guitar, bass, drums, two backing vocals and me leading worship on lead vocals and acoustic guitar. The original plan was five monitors so everyone could have their own VGA screen with myself sharing the iPad with one backing singer.

We hired in a VGA distribution amp and when it arrived it only had four outputs so we got rid of the drummers VGA which was a shame but it was the least vital. I sourced some VESA mounts for the VGA screens which terminated into a mic stand screw thread, like on a standard mic clip. All the screens were mounted on mic stands which were then duck taped to the stage for extra sturdiness. The VESA mount is square so we were able to mount the screens rotated 90 degrees and then use the rotate function in OnSong. We used the built in output function rather than the hd mirroring so that when a search or transpose was being done it didn't obscure the chords on the VGA screens.

The backing vocalist found it really easy to navigate and search for songs, since we did quite a few unplanned songs, they were able to transpose into the current key to keep the flow going.

Church On The Farm is an event hosted by The City Church Canterbury for the Newfrontiers churches in the region, and was in it's third year this year. I head up the worship team for the church and led three of the sessions and Geoff one of my core team lead the other two.

The event was a great success! There were testimonies of healing, fresh vision for church planting, and reaching the lost being stirred in people. There is a strong emphasis on both solid bible teaching and experiencing God in worship as The Holy Spirit stirs us to praise Jesus.


It is amazing to see how God has moved in other peoples lives and how OnSong is being used as a tool too worship our Father. I want to thank Rob for providing us with this blog and pictures.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Version 1.71 Is Free for a Limited Time

I just found out today around 4:00 AM that my young friend from South Africa has obtained her F1 education visa!!! This has been an answer to prayer and a work in progress over the last few months. I can't express the amount of divine timing and provision that was required to make this feat possible.

I want to pause and give God glory for what has happened today. I also want to thank everyone who's prayers were with us as we attempted to change this young girl's life. Throughout the whole process we heard phrases like "this has never been done before". I love hearing that. It urges me to keep doing exactly that which has been implanted in my being.

As a way of showing my gratitude, I'm giving away OnSong for FREE from now until she arrives sometime on February 4th. Please do your part and spread the word that miracles do happen and lives can be changed. You can also mention that OnSong is FREE.

Please keep my wife and I in your prayers as we make preparations to bring this teenager into our home. We have just moved into a larger house last weekend and are still unpacking, reassembling and arranging furniture. We are also going to be drastically altering our lifestyle now with a baby boy and teen daughter. So we can use all the prayer and support you can offer.