Sonos in the workplace

Sonos in the workplace

Sonos is the perfect solution for providing music in the workplace, whether you want to liven up your office or are looking to create ambience in a customer-facing environment. As the most advanced multi-room music system in the world, you have the flexibility to play the same music to all of your speakers, or different tracks to groups or individual speakers, each with their own volume controls.

Sonos is ideal for creating a quiet ambience in a restaurant area, or a louder soundtrack in a bar for example. With Sonos, you could distribute sound around a showroom, but play something entirely different in a client reception area. You could also add impact to meeting room presentations with the Playbar and Sub, all of which can be managed from a simple-to-use interface from your Mac or iOS device. Here’s a rundown of why Sonos is awesome in the workplace:

Access to every song available

Controlled from a central app, Sonos has access to more music than any other system available. You can stream from all the major services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Tune In, Google Play Music, Soundcloud, Deezer, Amazon Music, Napster and Tidal as well as locally stored music from an iTunes library or shared storage.

The Sonos app lets you create playlists that combine tracks from any of these sources to give you complete flexibility. Because you can add your own locally stored files to the playlists, you can easily add your own custom announcements into the mix. The Sonos Connect even lets you add external sources such as CD players into the mix, or even a public address microphone for announcements. Multiple users can access the app to control their own area, whether that’s via computer, smartphone or tablet, and its password protected so that your students can’t take over.

Simple to set up

Audio is streamed between the app and the speakers over your existing WiFi network meaning that installation and setup is very simple. It’s easily scalable too – you can start with just one Play series speaker and add more as your needs grow. Since every speaker is self-contained with its built in amplifier, there is no need for a separate amp rack or excessive cabling. If you have existing installed ceiling speakers, or want to use external weatherproof speaker to bring sound to an outdoor area, you can add the Sonos Connect Amp to drive these too.

Perfect sound – even in non-ideal conditions

Although the Sonos range is visually attractive, there will be plenty of situations where you’ll want to place your speakers more discreetly. Often, this would result in compromised acoustics but not with Sonos – the free Trueplay app analyses the acoustics of your room and speaker placement and adjusts the speaker response to produce a perfect response even in the most non-ideal conditions. That means you’re free to desk-mount your speakers, or place them on one of the dedicated Flexson floor stands, wall-mounts or ceiling mounts and site them wherever is least obtrusive.

If you want to experience the power of Sonos for yourself, you’re welcome to come to our Golden Square demonstration suite and immerse yourself in top-quality sound.

If you’d like to find out more about Sonos, drop us an email at sales@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 400 888. For everything else, including the latest news, events and offers, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Sonos in education

Sonos in education

Providing an AV system that can work throughout a school can be both costly and difficult to implement (even more so if you’re hoping to control volume levels independently, and play different audio in different areas). There’s lots of cabling involved, including zoning amps to control volume levels and distribution, as well as expensive touch panels and media servers.

A Sonos system streamlines AV implementation and provides you with a cost effective, easy to use and scalable system that can stream any audio to any speaker or group of speakers on the network. Obviously, we’re not encouraging you to start playing background music in classrooms (although your students might like it) but there’s always a strong demand for music in concourses, cafeterias, reception areas, galleries, sports halls, performance areas. Sonos gives you full control over sound throughout your school.

Access to every song available

Controlled from a central app, Sonos has access to more music than any other system available. You can stream from all the major services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Tune In, Google Play Music, Soundcloud, Deezer, Amazon Music, Napster and Tidal as well as locally stored music from an iTunes library or shared storage.

The Sonos app lets you create playlists that combine tracks from any of these sources to give you complete flexibility. Because you can add your own locally stored files to the playlists, you can easily add your own custom announcements into the mix. The Sonos Connect even lets you add external sources such as CD players into the mix, or even a public address microphone for announcements. Multiple users can access the app to control their own area, whether that’s via computer, smartphone or tablet, and its password protected so that your students can’t take over.

Simple to set up

Audio is streamed between the app and the speakers over your existing WiFi network meaning that installation and setup is very simple. It’s easily scalable too – you can start with just one Play series speaker and add more as your needs grow. Since every speaker is self-contained with its built in amplifier, there is no need for a separate amp rack or excessive cabling. If you have existing installed ceiling speakers, or want to use external weatherproof speaker to bring sound to an outdoor area, you can add the Sonos Connect Amp to drive these too.

Perfect sound – even in non-ideal conditions

Although the Sonos range is visually attractive, there will be plenty of situations where you’ll want to place your speakers more discreetly. Often, this would result in compromised acoustics but not with Sonos – the free Trueplay app analyses the acoustics of your room and speaker placement and adjusts the speaker response to produce a perfect response even in the most non-ideal conditions. That means you’re free to desk-mount your speakers, or place them on one of the dedicated Flexson floor stands, wall-mounts or ceiling mounts and site them wherever is least obtrusive.

If you want to experience the power of Sonos for yourself, you’re welcome to come to our Golden Square demonstration suite and immerse yourself in top-quality sound.

If you’d like to find out more about Sonos, drop us an email at sales@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 400 888. For everything else, including the latest news, events and offers, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

How to start an iPad band: Leamore Primary School

How to start an iPad band: Leamore Primary School

As an Apple Regional Training Centre, Leamore Primary School in Walsall are always trying new ways to get the most from their technology. Recently, they decided on a project to create a band using their iPad deployment that would involve the whole of Year 5 and get them really engaged with digital music alongside traditional instruments. Here, deputy head teacher Michelle Hill explains what they were aiming to do, and how they went about it…

Why did you originally decide to start the iPad Band project?

The children of Leamore Primary School are well known for their musical ability. We were keen to utilise the children’s musical knowledge and ability, whilst also incorporating our innovative approach to technology.

What were your goals?

Our goal was simple. We wanted the whole of our Year 5 class (who had at that point been learning the violin the longest) to participate in an iPad band using a mixture of iPad, digital instruments and a small selection of traditional percussion instruments. Our learning outcome was that all children would be able to musically contribute to a soundtrack.

How long did it take to plan and rehearse?

We knew we were going to be working with a fantastic bunch
of children, so we allocated two full days to learn and rehearse a soundtrack. The children exceeded our expectations and within these two days they were able to learn three complete soundtracks as a class and rehearse them to perfection.

What hardware and apps did you use?

As well as 30 new iPad devices, we invested in an Allen and Heath ZED16FX 36 Channel USB Mixer, five Alesis IO docks and iRig adaptors for connecting the microphones, guitars and MIDI keyboards. We also used Apple TV to demonstrate how to play various notes on specific instruments in GarageBand on iPad. Apple TV was brilliant for individual and small groups of children to play back their specific parts of the soundtrack and contributed to tighter quality assurance of the band overall.

How did pupils find making music with iPad?

In terms of engagement and enjoyment, the iPad Band project will be something that the children remember for the rest of their lives! The project made an impact on a number of levels, from Daniel – who found a natural talent for drumming – to other children who realised that they could play other instruments besides the violin. Our original learning outcomes were smashed. The iPad is more about the music itself – the playing and the composing rather than the ability to play the instrument correctly. It’s a different way of looking at and approaching music. So children can use the iPad to play complicated soundtracks without needing to invest time in the technique of plucking strings, for example!

Do you have any tips for other teachers?

Just go for it! We spent a lot of time talking the project through and invested in a substantial amount of kit, but it is possible to set up
a basic iPad band without these aspects. Apple TV is fantastic for teaching and demonstrating music-making on the iPad, but it is also brilliant to use during a live performance.

What else are you planning to use iPad for in future?

The investment that we made into iPad music technology has meant that our original Year 5 iPad Band and all subsequent iPad Bands will have the opportunity to go ‘on tour’, so any live performances will not just be a one-off wonder. We’re also planning to work collaboratively with the Royal College of Music to offer the equivalent of a GCSE in iPad music-making from September. We have lots of other projects in the pipeline: from experimenting with one-to-one iPad in a classroom to investigating the possibility of paperless learning, the use of iPad with SEN children, and specific projects in all areas of the curriculum.

About Leamore…

Leamore Primary School, Walsall, is an official Apple Regional Training Centre which focuses on teaching with creative ICT (they won an NAACE Impact Award for it recently). They regularly run iPad training events for teachers, and you can see more of their projects in action at www.YouTube.com/LeamorePrimarySchool. To find out more about how to become an Apple Regional Training Centre yourself, get in touch with us on the details at the bottom.

Have a go yourself! Our six step guide to starting your own iPad band

Fancy taking a leaf out of Michelle’s book? Starting an iPad band is easy, and a great way to engage learners and get them working together with music technology, even for those with no previous skills. Here’s how:

1. Get started

First of all, you need your iPad devices. The iPad band is a collaborative project, and you can scale it up to include a whole class of students (we’ve worked with class sizes of 25-30 before with great results). You’ll also need a mixer to control the audio output of all the devices with enough channels to support them – 32 is enough.

2. Fire up GarageBand

Apple’s GarageBand app (£2.99 from the App Store) really is the best app for music-making at this level, with a huge base of ready-made loops and virtual instruments including keyboards, guitars and drums.

3. Get pupils in time

Start students off by making sure pupils are in rhythm, especially those with lower musical ability. The Smart Guitar instrument in GarageBand lets the learner simply tap the chord symbol to strum a chord in time, like striking a triangle, but far more engaging.

4. Develop musical skills further

The great thing about GarageBand is that it allows each learner to learn at their own pace and develop their skills. Once pupils are comfortable with timing, you can start to look at chord sequences, structure and song writing, then develop roles for learners based on ability, and incorporate ideas from students too.

5. Add some real instruments

For anyone who’s had peripatetic music lessons, you could think about adding some physical instruments. Using adaptors like the Alesis IO dock, and iRig and iMic, you can connect guitars and microphones directly through the iPad’s headphone jack, and an additional Camera Connector kit lets you hook up a MIDI keyboard via USB.

6. Plan the pay-off

To complete the project, and see how well pupils have achieved the original learning outcomes, plan a one-off performance. This will also help the project create a bit of buzz around the school, governors and parents. You can even get more of the school involved by adding some backing singers, dance sections and percussion like djembes and glockenspiels to supplement the digital instruments.

Want to know more about starting a band with iPad? Get in touch on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com.