What do Mozart and Steve Jobs have in common?
They're both key influences in a new class at a KOTA Territory college.
"For one of the songs," said Sheridan College student Carsten Wills, "I actually play guitar."
Well, sort of. It's a virtual guitar.
"I found that the iPads ... take some getting used to," said Raymond Oltion, another student musician. "You have to experiment with the interface."
Yep, you read that right. It's an ensemble made up entirely of people playing iPads.
"It's kind of a nice little fork off the beaten path, kind of, while still being music," student Kyle Davenport said.
This spring was just the second semester for the class at Sheridan College.
"We're not trying anything too wildly experimental yet," said Dr. Christian Erickson, director of the music technology program.
That is, if you don't consider playing modified Mozart by tapping on a screen experimental.
Erickson started the class to do just that, and to get music technology students out from behind their computer screens.
"They're missing out on what traditional majors enjoy," he said, "and that is the ensemble experience - playing with other musicians, listening to other musicians."
"This was a way for me to get involved with a performance situation in an ensemble where I felt a little more confident," said Oltion, who added most of his training up to this point has been theoretical.
"Instead of just 'Here's the material, go live with it,'" Wills said, "you actually have to use it and then use your musical experience."
Countless instruments, from pianos to other-worldly synthesizers, are available with different applications.
And though the class focused on iPads this year, Erickson said they're "hoping to sort of stretch out into mobile phones or iPods or laptops."
Erickson added in the future, he wants to get students involved in actually writing and arranging the songs they perform.
You can find more samples from the ensemble here.