StaffPad Changes Music Education Forever! First impressions of the stunning app on a Surface Pro 3.

Guest post by Paul Thomson: Head of The Arts at Good Counsel College and Microsoft Expert Educator

StaffPad has been engineered to work perfectly on the Surface Pro 3. This stunning app has single-handedly changed music education forever and I can’t wait to share my first impressions with you. StaffPad on the Surface Pro 3 with the Surface Pen is a recipe for game-changing success. As you’ll quickly see, music education will never be the same again with this stunning app.

Developed on Surface. Designed for Surface.

From the very first moment StaffPad opens on the Surface Pro 3 you are met with a beautifully designed interface. The warm and sincere tone of the stunning app puts the user in a creative headspace right away. Not only was StaffPad designed for Surface, it was developed on Surface. The integration of The Surface Pen and the touchscreen is an engineering marvel. This partnership allows for an intuitive music writing experience through the app’s simple, elegant and functional design.

Composer’s Companion

I can tell StaffPad has been designed by and primarily for composers. It’s a refreshing switch from the traditional digital music notation software. If you’ve ever used other music notation software, you’ll know just how frustrating it is to enter in each note with a mouse and keyboard. This out-dated, clinical approach to composing music is far from inspiring. Composer’s were spending more of their energy remembering combinations of key strokes and mouse clicks than writing the actual music. StaffPad has changed music education forever by becoming the most intuitive notation app ever created.

21st Century Music Education

Gone are the days of students writing in old music books or scrawling on poorly ruled staves. Working on a digital surface as opposed to paper is surprisingly natural with The Surface Pen.  The Handwriting Recognition is by far the standout feature in StaffPad. Here’s what the StaffPad team have to say about The Surface Pen:


The Surface Pen offers palm rejection – meaning you can rest your hand on the screen whilst you’re writing without it causing unwanted markings. The pressure sensitivity and pin-point precision mean that it feels like you’re using a real pen. The buttons on the side of the pen allow for easy erasing, and quick access to a context-sensitive menu. Because the Surface knows the difference between the pen and your fingers, you can move around the score freely using touch, instantly draw on the page and erase mistakes quickly without ever having to switch modes. It’s the most natural way of working with digital manuscript, ever.

Students First Impression

My students were in love with StaffPad from the moment they tried it. In particular, the power of The Surface Pen amazed everyone straight away. We did a number of activities and exercises which gave the students an opportunity to compose, transpose and arrange music. A few members of the class were quick to note how accurate and intuitive the handwriting recognition was. The inclusion of a full orchestra sample library allowed the students the flexibility to experiment and create anything they could imagine.

Beauty & Brains

The raw power of the Surface Pro 3, paired with the slick solid state drive handled the full brunt of our compositions seamlessly. Even with a mix of Expression Layers over multiple staves, The Surface Pro 3 and StaffPad never missed a beat.




The Portable Studio

During the final moments of our initial StaffPad music lesson the work was simply saved into OneDrive. This means that no matter where you go or which Surface you are working on, you will always be able to pull your latest compositions and continue right where you left off. This is perfect for a school that has a shared fleet of Surface Pro’s. 

Catering to all Musicians Regardless of Skill Level

If you’re a music teacher that requires some guidance in adopting and implementing this game changing app in your classroom, you’ll be pleased to know there is ton of  included educational content featuring video tutorials, an interactive tutorial and music articles. Students needing support or maybe even beginning composers can work their way through the content at their own pace. Seasoned composers and artists can and will dive straight into this stunning app. 

Creativity, Music & Technology

I have been amazed by StaffPad so far. I promise you that this stunning app will change music education as we know it. StaffPad will empower professional composers and students alike giving “creativity through music” a chance to thrive in a digital world.