Flat: Music Notation for Google Docs

Welcome back to the third in a series of short posts about tech tools I have been loving recently. Last time I wrote about my new favorite digital curation tool, Wakelet. Before that, the topic was Google Keep and how to use it to organize conference resources. This week I’ll be telling you about a great tool that makes it easy to incorporate music notation into your Google Docs and Slides.

Flat: Music Notation for Google Docs

Flat for Docs

While many people are familiar with Google Drive and the wonderful tools that accompany it such as Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Forms, I found that fewer are familiar with the add-ons that can make these tools even more robust. My favorite add-on by far is Flat for Docs. Flat allows you to insert musical notation directly into a Google Doc or Slide, without ever leaving the application! Gone are the days of opening Sibelius, creating a new file, inserting your notation, taking a screenshot, and copying that into your document. With Flat, you never have to leave google!

Here are a few of my favorite uses for Flat for Docs:

  • Create rhythm flash cards in Google Slides
  • Create worksheets in Google Docs, containing both text and notation
  • Use Google Slides to display and project a daily rehearsal plan containing notated warm-ups
  • Have students compose simple melodies or rhythm patterns
Rhythm Flashcards created in Google Slides
Rhythm Flashcards created in Google Slides

How to Set Up Flat for Docs

  1. Within Google Slides or Google Docs go to your add-ons menu and “Get Add-Ons”
  2. Search for “Flat for Docs” and install. It’s that easy!
  3. When you are ready to use Flat, return to your add-on’s menu to select “Flat for Docs” and “Insert Musical Snippet.” From there you can start creating!
  4. Once you finish creating, select “Insert” to insert your composition into your document. It will be inserted as an image. To edit your composition, select the image and go back into Flat for Docs.
Insert Musical Snippet menu options

A few things to note with Flat: you will need to install the add-on in both Google Slides and Google Docs to use it in both applications. In addition, you will need to add it to each Google account you plan to use it with.

If nothing else, I hope this add-on saves you some time in the future. I would love to hear what other creative uses music teachers have found for using Flat for Docs in their classrooms!

Check out this post for some other ideas about using Flat for Docs with Google Slides: Google Slides in Music.

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