Modern Gadgets

For this issue of Curiosity Corner, we asked our writers to name three gadgets or inventions that have been useful to their lives.


iPad – I have been using my iPad for all my scores for the past 5-6 years and I LOVE IT! I use it for worship, for accompaning and even used it for conducting my orchestra. I would not go back to paper scores!

iPhone Maps – Since we moved to a new city this past year, it has been crucial for getting around town. You can ask Joe Martin how good I am at navigating. When I have had to taxi him to the airport, I have to allow extra time for the 2-3 times I will get lost.

Flashlight App – I can’t tell you the times I have had to use the flashlight on my iPhone. I have to admit sometimes it is just to shine light on small print so I can read it with my 52 year old eyes.



The “maps” application with spoken directions on my iPhone. I am able to drive new places without my anxiety riding shotgun!

A $5 pastry fork I bought from Bed, Bath and Beyond. It’s a huge fork that makes mashing avocados or cutting butter into flour a breeze. These used to be called Granny forks but they work great for people who aren’t grannies, too.

AT&T’s Call Protect app. I can now block every single spammer who calls my cell phone. AND, the app automatically blocks numbers known to potential fraud. There is no limit on how many numbers can be blocked.



Harvey. Harvey Reginald Sorenson is my new Roomba, and I love him. Granted, he is a little slow. He takes about three hours to vacuum my house, but hey, I feel like I’ve got a live-in-maid. Is this what the Bible means when it talks about a manservant?

My iPhone. For so many reasons, but the newest reason is that I can hit a button on my phone anytime/anywhere and order Harvey to clean the house for me.

Keurig. Because five minutes is five minutes too long for my first cup of coffee in the morning.



My metronome app on my phone is always handy during rehearsal.

Planning Center software at church has made scheduling orders of service and personnel a breeze.

But I’m really having fun with the “Incredibox” app. It’s a musical game that helps you create a mix, using a band of beatboxers! You drag and drop icons on the characters and create a music mix.  It’s silly, but it’s fun and completely outside my normal wheelhouse.  My kids love it because it’s creative and they often hijack my phone to use it. Plus, it enforces the concept of a steady beat since they are in elementary school.



Heart monitor for my bike computer – It keeps me from taking it easy or burning out too quickly.

Tuner and metronome on iphone – They keep me from going flat or too fast.

Netflix history shows – They keep me from getting too much done.



Keurig machine

Keurig cups

Electricity to power the Keurig

If you need to know why, simply ask anyone who has seen me in the morning prior to my drinking coffee…



  1. The excel spreadsheet – I am so grateful for this tremendous organization software. It was created in 1985 and I have used it every day since around 1995. Keeps my info and keeps me organized.
  2. The Tesseract – Let me explain. I have a 1-TB external hard drive that I call “The Tesseract.” In geometry a tesseract is like a 4-dimensional cube. In superhero world, it’s the housing for the “infinity SPACE stone.” (look it up, there’s not enough ‘space’ here to explain). MY tesseract is simply my portable computer that contains my universe.
  3. Google – I think that word alone explains itself. Anything you need to know…..BOOM!



The smartphone, so I can surreptitiously check the score, post on Facebook, and send texts during choir rehearsal. Also useful for looking up composer photos to prove that Pepper Choplin is a man.

GPS, so I can disagree with it and drive 17 miles in the wrong direction on a toll road in New Jersey (truth).

The mechanical pencil which always stays sharp, because I still write music the old-fashioned way before engraving it into Finale.


Finale Software:  It has really make a difference in how much material I can produce as a composer.  It has also greatly impacted my process as a writer.

iPhone:  I am right now typing this response in real time from Munich, Germany on my phone. Crazy!  I can actually do mix sessions while flying on an airplane and send my comments back to the studio from 30,000 feet!

GPS: Since I am in a new place every weekend this tool has been such a help. Of course every once in awhile instead of the HILTON GARDEN INN in San Diego it takes me to a corn field in Nebraska.




I simply cannot fathom how music was written before the advent of notation software. As prolific as some of the great composers were, I can only guess how much more music they would have written if they had access to a program such as Finale or Sibelius.


It is a wonderful privilege to have access to the great amount of teaching found within most of today’s study Bibles. These Bibles carry within their pages a wealth of information that would not have been available to most folks in years past.


Come on. This one doesn’t even need an explanation.



Keurig coffee maker

Sound machine

Electric hair rollers!!!



Apple iPhone: No surprises here! I make use of my iPhone every single day, whether it is to connect with loved ones, coordinate my day, find my way around town, or take a photograph to preserve the moment. Smartphones have replaced most gadgets with applications that can be used from a single device at any time.

Smart Pillbox by Tricella: I take medications daily that are easy to forget about, but this device has sensors that record when the pillbox is opened. If I go too long without taking my medicine, a notification is sent to my phone to the tune of Pachelbel’s Canon (it’s delightful).

Fitbit: No one will call me lazy without proof again because the proof now exists.



Alexa – because she kept some young guests entertained!

Waze phone app – better than Google Maps

Clumping Kitty Litter – should be obvious to cat lovers 😉







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