Notation Software: illustration, worksheets and quality resources. Copyright.

Nowadays, students are more comfortable/ familiar to write music on to the notation software then on the manuscript. Why? well, the best part of the notation software is that you can hear what your are writing as you go. Hence, it is easier for them to remove or change the score if its not the sound they wanted.

There are 3 big notation software which is used by Australian music students; SibeliusFinale and MuseScore. Notation wise, as long as you can produce the important part (printed version of the score), all of them are great to use for the education.

Let me start with the MuseScore. I think lots of students use this at home since it is a free download software. There are quite a few unique features on this software comparing to other well-known softwares. Screen Shot 2017-08-06 at 11.21.49 pm.png

As you go on to the very first site, it introduces various tutorial videos which is great learning tool for students who are just starting with this software. It is very clear and simple.

As you proceed on downloading and open the software, you can go start composing straight away. Great thing is that you can just type notes you want and it will appear on the screen! MuseScore also includes the ‘graphic export tool’ which captures the parts of the score you’ve highlighted. This is a great tool to be used for music essays or creating an iBook.

The another great thing about this software is that you can copy the URL of the score and send it for your assignments. And when the teacher opens it, she/he can add the comments and feedbacks on to the actual score. I found this pretty clever since it will be very clear for students to improve on their composition.

So next software which I want to mention about is the Sibelius. Sibelius contains literally everything you can do as a notation software. You can compose music for one instrument to an orchestra. You can also create loops and music worksheets with this program. There is no limit.

The cool thing about this program is that you barely need to use you mouse. Everything can be done with your keypads. After you are ready to put some notes on to your score, you can basically press ‘n’ for notation. You will see that music will turn into blue. Then, the notation links with the number pad on the right hand side of the keyboard. After that, you are ready to start. If you want to add something else, just simply press the ‘esc’ key twice.

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How the keypad looks like on the screen. Have a look at your number pad and compare theses two. 

The keypad can be also used for dynamics and expressive techniques. For slur, simply press ‘s’ then you can press the ‘space bar’ to control the space of the slur. If you press ‘command E’, you will be able to see the text line comes up on the score. This is for the expressive techniques such as pizz or cresc. You can also add dynamic on this line, but for dynamics, press ‘command’ while you are writing. It will make the text bold. ‘H’ or ‘shift H’ is for crescendo and decrescendo. You can also use the ‘space bar’ to control the length of each dynamic.

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Sample music score

Did you know that you can create a music worksheet on Sibelius? This really gave me a shock when James told us about it. So if you go on to the ‘file’ you will see the tab called ‘teaching’. If you click on to that, you will see ‘worksheet creator’. And there are so many resources which you can use for your teaching!

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Templates and Strategies for Composition using sequences/DAWs

So, our first lecture was opened with the exploration of various composing website (which we can create sequences with) which could be easily accessed and used for the teacher and students in a classroom condition.

The first program we looked was the Acid Machine 2. Important thing to remember here! If you happen to have a Mac and usually use the safari, sorry but you have to use google chrome to make this happen. It is so much worth it though!

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So how do we use this in the class?

First you have to click the ‘editor’ on the top left corner. Then the page will load and lead you to the page as you can see on the top. Then it is ready to go! Students can explore how to use this program and be able to make their own unique sequences through this website by just clicking whichever box they want.

How can we cooperate this into music education? Well, if you see the screen carefully, you will be able to notice the thick white line after four columns. This can be articulated to teach the time signature of 4/4 and later on other features can be used to teach the pitch patterns, timbre, texture and structure. Why is this suitable for starting lesson for the younger years (year 7-8)? Well, it is very simple and visual to start with. Hence, it does not require any prior knowledge to compose something. And the most cool feature which all the students will appreciate is that it is private. So students can explore their ideas of their own freely.

The other program we had a look was called a sound trap . So, this is a great program for composing a song just with the loop!

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The button with the 2 quavers on the right hand corner is something called a loop library (As you can see in the attachment). Screen Shot 2017-08-06 at 2.36.58 pm.png

From this website, students could explore the various effects. There are 3 main effects to control a sound.

  1. Equalizer: which students can turn up/down the frequency
  2. Room (Reverb): the sound pretends that it is in a space
  3. Compressor/ Compressor one: Makes music into a narrow range and louder.

With the sound trap, be aware of the differences between the Audio and MIDI sound. Audio is a recording of a real sound. It is basically a measurement of the vibration travelling through the air. On the other hand, MIDI is not a real sound. MIDI is an information about music/musical sound. Hence, it does not contain loads of musical notations but it contains loads of informations. MIDI can be only played to the beat (hence, when you are recording with the MIDI, you always hear counting beats before it starts recording). But, MIDI is much easier to manipulate tempo, instrument, dynamics etc.

Starting Point – Why music education

What is music education? Is it something that we need to be aware of?

For last decades, music has been one of the most influential figure in the society, however, people do not realise how much it actually impacts in their mental and physical status and forbidden music education during their early life.

Through highlighting the music education, students could develop self-confidence, self-discipline and team work which also benefits their other curriculums in high school. But why are they moving away from learning and making music and do not enjoy them.

I am 3rd year music education student and on this site I will be posting ideas to incorporate some technology into the music education. And hopefully this can give experiences to students and help them to be engaged in a class with what they are interested and enjoying in. Hence, they could lead themselves into enjoy making music.

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