Why Your Choir Should Buy An iPad: Accessories and Productivity Apps

Alex Speir May 04, 2016

Learn more: choir technology

This is part 4 of an ongoing series about the many ways your choir can use an iPad. Check out the first post here! This post talks about how your iPad can increase your choir management’s productivity.



Logitech keyboard case (details here) Logitech keyboard case (details here)


There are a number of iPad accessories out there that can help you maximize the usefulness of your iPad. Typing with the built-in virtual keyboard is okay, but is not ideal if you want to take notes for a long meeting. The built-in keyboard lacks tactile feedback and takes up valuable screen space. If you plan on anything more than casual typing, you should invest in an external keyboard case. Apple and Amazon both sell keyboard cases in a range of prices and quality.

Productivity Apps

Keyboard in hand, you can now turn your focus to productivity apps. My choir, Boston Choral Ensemble, is a Google Apps organization - we store, create, and edit documents and files online - so our list of useful apps leans heavy on Google.

Note Taking & Document Editing

  • Google Docs & Sheets - for document and spreadsheet creation and editing; Section Leaders use Sheets to track attendance and we use Google Docs to take board meeting minutes
  • Microsoft Word & Excel - more robust than Google apps, but requires a paid subscription to edit files

File Sharing

  • Google Drive - file viewer and browser for Google Apps
  • Dropbox - for when we have to share or receive files from people who don’t use Google Apps
  • Built-in Camera App - for taking photos of documents and receipts

Presentation Software

  • Google Slides - for creating and presenting slideshows
  • Microsoft Powerpoint - a more robust slideshow app than Slides, but requires a paid subscription
  • Haiku Deck - great for creating quick, image-rich presentations for client pitches; we use this for choir announcements

General productivity

  • Google Maps
  • Safari
  • YouTube - for when you want to listen to how another choir performs a piece
  • Calculator App - iPads do not ship with a default calculator


  • Hangouts - how we group chat with each other
  • Skype - for calling in guest artists or composers during rehearsal

Social Media Management

Most of these apps are either free or very cheap and have several good alternatives. A quick internet search should present you with any kind of app you might need. With these apps, our iPad can effectively manage our entire organization.

Coming soon: Part 5 - Wifi Hotspots

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Alex Speir

Alex Speir is President of Boston Choral Ensemble, a 40 member amateur, professional quality choir. In the past three years, BCE has grown their audience by 25%, increased revenue by 50%, launched several iterations and countless enhancements to their website, moved their operations entirely to the cloud, recorded a new cd, commissioned a new composition each year, transitioned marketing from print first to online and social media first, and hired their first paid, non-artistic staff member. You may email Alex at president@bostonchoral.org.

Alex Speir