CAI in Music Education

This week we’ll be investigating several CAI (computer-assisted instruction) resources that teachers use in music. Under the category of intelligent accompaniment, we will take a look at SmartMusic (http://www.smartmusic.com/) which is made by MakeMusic; the company that makes Finale. We will also look at Sibelius’ new counterpart called Starplay (http://www.starplaymusic.com). The different uses of these programs will be discussed in class, but I would encourage you to take a look at the demo videos, and even download the free versions to try each of them for yourself.

You will also be assigned several CAI software titles that we have available in our lab to write a review on. Your reviews should be posted here by no later than Thursday (4/17) at 2pm. In your review, you should try to answer the following questions:

1. How intuitive was the software? Were you able to navigate easily? Would students be able to?
2. How effective is this title in teaching music concepts? What concepts does the program focus on?
3. What level(s) would this program be best suited for?
4. Would you use this title in your teaching? Why or why not?

Your reviews should take the format of title of the program followed by a paragraph review. Example:

Music Ace
Music Ace is a fun and interesting program for learning basic music reading, etc.

Write these paragraphs as though they were going to be published as reviews in a music education periodical (i.e. Teaching Music or Illinois Music Educator). The programs to review are:

Music Ace 1 & 2
Music Lessons 1 & 2
Sibelius Instruments
Sibelius Groovy Shapes
Auralia
Practica Musica
Musictheory.net

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34 Comments on “CAI in Music Education”

  1. Ben K Says:

    Music Ace
    I thought music ace 1 was a pretty fun program. I thought it was pretty intuitive and easy to nagivate overall. I liked how it kind of took you through the different steps and the lessons were fun. I think that this program would be suited for beginner students, because its a little childish, and not really advanced. If I were an elementary music teacher, I think this would be a great program to use.

    Music Lessons
    Music lessons is a little less intuitive then the previous example. It’s easy to navigate. The teaching concepts are pretty effective, but are better suited for older people, because it’s really not that much fun. It reminds me of the god forsaken program macgamut, which has its uses and is good for teaching, but really isn’t that much fun at all.

    Sibelius Instruments
    This program is really great for learning about the different instruments. It is a little boring, and there’s not really much to do besides read and listen. It’s pretty easy to navigate around. The focus is to educate people about the different instruments, and show what it takes to play them. I think this can really be suited for any level but probably the best would be a middle school level to early level. I maybe would use it in my teaching, but it may get kind of boring after a while.

    Sibelius Groovy shapes
    This program is very intuitive, and easy to navigate. Students would very much be able to use it, although it probably appeals more to younger students. The teaching concepts I didnt think were that effective, but there was a wide ranger of stuff to learn and do. I would use this if I were teaching elementary students

    Auralia

    This program was more bent towards advanced students, again in the Mcgamut-esque. It was sort of intuitive, and relativly easy to navigate. Students would be able to use it, but not very young ones. It is effective for aural skills teaching and some theory, but not really much else. I would use this if I was a theory teacher or wanted my studnets to practice working with intervals, scales, and other stuff like that.

    Practica Musica

    This program, unless I didn’t really do it right, was really boring. I’m not really sure what it’s use is other then showing what we play on the keyboard, and telling us if its a major chord or something. I don’t think this is an effective teaching tool, and I probably wouldn’t use this with my students at all because it doesnt really do anything exccept show you what you play, but you can figure that out for yourself.

    musictheory.net

    This program is pretty simple, and isn’t really interactive. It’s basically just you reading stuff. But, the fact that its on the internet, and has very little requirements to get it is pretty cool . It has a lot of options to go through and learn about, which can help a wide variety of ages of students. I would use this with my students, because it again is easy use and easy to get to.

  2. jschwar7 Says:

    Music Ace

    This program was very fun and I really enjoyed playing with it. I wish that I had this as a child because then I might have been able to learn how to read music. I would have much rather taken this over typing programs like Mavis Beacon. Nobody liked that program anyway.

    Music Lessons

    This program was like Mac Gamut almost but for a younger aged crowd. They used different types of ways to identify a chord and intervals and all that fun stuff. I would say this could go for 6-8 graders in order for them to understand how music works.

    Sibelius Instruments

    A very neat program that could probably be used for high school aged students in theory class. They could learn all about individual instruments and at different times during with periods of music too. Not so much composing, but more of what each instrument is and how it sounds.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes

    This program was fun. Once I logged in, I explored and created. I found it easy to make music and I’m sure somebody who was tone deaf could compose something good. Definitively for kids and adults because I could have fun with it for awhile. haha

    Auralia

    Didn’t like Auralia because it reminds me too much of mac gamut. It was a lot harder than the other programs so far. Wasn’t as kid friendly so I would defiantly say high school and up for this computer program. But if they practiced with this enough I feel that students could get better and understand music more.

    Practica Musica

    Not exactly sure how this program works. I couldn’t really figure it out on my own. It looks to be like more of an Auralia type program. Once again I think it could benefit from students from high school on up.

    Musictheory.net

    This is a quick way to touch up on skills that you have that you want to get quicker and doing in your head. Like knowing what notes are on which fret for a guitar. It helps you with aural, theoretical, and technical things. All the way from rhythms to notes. I think this is Ok for all ages.

    This ends my research, YAY!

  3. Sara G. Says:

    Music Ace

    I think that this is an excellent program for elementary school children and younger to learn how to read music. I think older students might find it a bit childish, but this is an excellent tool for all music teachers to make learning how to read music fun. They incorporate serious learning while including games to keep children interested.

    Music Lessons

    This program is a good resource for students so they can learn without a teacher present. They can test their knowledge of intervals and notes. This might prove difficult for a student who does not play piano. Entering notes when you do not normally play piano can be very frustrating, especially for a child. I think this could be used by middle school up through high school students to brush up on or improve their music theory skills.

    Sibelius Instruments

    This is a great program to explain orchestra/bands/chamber groups to students when a teacher might not have the instruments or people to demonstrate them. It does not allow you to compose music, but it does allow children to explore various instruments and ensemble configurations. This could be used effectively from elementary school students on up.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes

    I thought this program was okay, just okay. It’s great for people who are not musically inclined and younger children. I found it to be a bit babyish at times, I felt as if my exploration was quite limited. I think it does a good job introducing students to music, but I don’t think it is worth purchasing.

    Auralia
    I think this program would be a great resource for students to brush up on aural skills. The most frustrating thing about it, is during the chord progressions, it does not tell you what you got right. It tells you simply that you were wrong, and then gives the right answer. I think this is geared towards older students, but still could be frustrating for children to use.

    Practica Musica
    This program is another ear training program, with activities for part writing, and the ability to compose. It is a good program to work on aural skills without a teacher or TA. Along with Auralia and Music Lessons, I would still argue that it could prove very frustrating for young children. High school students and maybe middle school students would be good candidates for this program.

    Musictheory.net
    Great hands-on way to review music theory, and develop good skills and habits. The best thing about this website is that it is free of charge! There is a basic theory foundation, including how to read music and triads. The only problem with this program is that it only covers the fundamentals, it does not deal with secondary dominants or advanced theory topics. I would recommend this website to middle school level students and higher, because it is such a great resource.

  4. Aaron K Says:

    Music Ace

    Music Ace is a great program for younger children, especially elementary school kids and beginners. There many different lessons to choose from, from tempos to rhythm and children can follow along and learn about beats and timing. All of the songs are familiar, recognizable songs that most children will know and they will enjoy learning more because they are working with material they are familiar with. I would definitely use this in a general music class setting from ages 5-10.

    Music Lessons

    This is a great program for high school students from beginning theory to AP theory. It involves building triads, triad qualities, 7th chords and also has an aural skills section where they give you the root and you have to build the chord and add accidentals, etc. It also has an interval training section which is very useful. I would definitely use this in a high school class setting. The one thing that is wrong with it is that it is very theory based and doesn’t integrate it back into the music, therefore giving students a dry outlook on theory and not wanting them to do it.

    Sibelius Instruments

    I love this program! It goes into bands, orchestras, and chamber ensembles and gives a brief description of the history and clips of different ensembles playing!! It also gives a description of each instrument and talks about the range that they play and gives 3 clips of famous pieces that they play. This is a great program that I would integrate in an elementary school and a junior high general music class to introduce students to different instruments and ensembles.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes

    This is a great program for preschoolers and young children. It is full of wacky shapes, colors, voices and color animation and characters that will entice youngins. It introduces them to the instruments and their sounds and I would use this at home or in a general music class for elementary students

    Auralia

    Auralia would not open – but I have used it in the past years. It is focused on ear training and can be a very tedious program that annoys you – it sure got me mad at times in high school. It is geared towards older students and can be used as a supplemental tool for AP Theory or something like that.

    Practica Musica

    I used this program and I found it helpful during theory. It is definitely geared towards older students and it includes chord qualities, part writing, and lots of ear training. It also works on inversions which is very helpful. The tests can be very tedious, but it really makes sure that you know the stuff. However, it doesn’t integrate it back to the music. Having “worksheets” where we find the 7th chord or something would be very useful and this doesn’t have it. But, its still a useful program.

    Musictheory.net

    This is a great website to help review for theory exams, etc and it covers a lot – stuff we haven’t even got to in MUS 102 (ex: neopolitans, etc). It has good explanations and is geared towards middle schoolers and anyone who wants a beginning course in theory. Also, it is free and accessible to anyone, and that is always a plus. A great source indeed!

  5. Emily D Says:

    Music Ace
    I found this unbelievably easy to use and figure out. Any student who has access to a computer (which is most nowadays) would have an easy time navigating this program. I found it was really effective in teaching music concepts, but that might be just because I have training, and the program focuses well on most introductory aspects of music (beats, staves, accidentals, etc.) This program seems to be suited best for younger students, elementary level, and I would definitely use this in conjunction to teaching traditionally.

    Music Lessons
    As much as I found this program to be kind of helpful, I have to say I didn’t really like it. I had a difficult time figuring out what to do and how to navigate, and I’m not sure students would be able to w/o some instruction. It was somewhat effective in teaching music concepts, but I didn’t find it to be that entertaining or enjoyable, more like homework. I would suggest this for a high school that might not get much music theory training (such as my own) because it looks more boring, and high school kids get used to that by the time they’re taking US history and such. Not so sure I’d use this in my teaching…didn’t enjoy it much.

    Sibelius Instruments
    I like this program quite much. The software was easy to navigate and very easy to figure out. It was very effective in teaching music concepts and focused mainly on the musical realm’s ensembles, instruments, and instrumentation. I would recommend this for maybe upper middle school or high school level students, because there was transposition and some musical concepts elementary students might not know. I would definitely use this in my teaching.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes
    YAY for a younger version of Garage Band! Easy to navigate, students could plunk around with ease and have a blast (much like I did) learning. Pretty effective, but more on the fun side than the teaching side. I would probably give this to elementary level students, since it’s a pretty colorful program. Might use it as stress relief when teaching.

    Auralia
    Couldn’t get into it…sad face 😦 But Aaron said it’s an alright program, so I’ll probably check it out later.

    Practica Musica
    um…much like Auralia, couldn’t really figure out how to get it open…which kinda answers question 1. I did manage to get the program to show up…just not to do anything 😦

    Musictheory.net
    I have had personal experience with this program, and still use it to help me with aural skills. The lessons tend to be boring and are good for beginning students. It’s an easy program to navigate and is very helpful. I found it pretty effective in teaching music concepts because you can go back and review whatever you want, and it focuses on both the written and aural components of music theory. I used this program in high school, but I might also consider upper elementary, depending on the school district you come from. I’m definitely going to use this in my teaching.

  6. mike k Says:

    Music Ace
    I couldn’t stop playing. Even though it consisted of really simple concepts, I was having a lot of fun with it. Music Ace is an excellent program for beginning students – it’s fun, easy to use, interactive, and colorful. I loved how the notes “sang.” This program is a really useful tool for any elementary educator.

    Music Lessons
    I feel like this program isn’t very interactive. I was having trouble focusing with it and kept messing up because I was misreading the directions. I guess you could call it user error, but I just feel like this program isn’t as straightforward as others. Also, it doesn’t really do anything other than teach you basic theory – there is nothing that will help you learn composition or anything about playing music, so the title “Music Lessons” is misleading. It was very dry and definitely wouldn’t keep students interested for long.

    Sibelius Instruments
    I loved this program! I really wish I had had access to it. I did so much work trying to teach myself stuff like this back in high school since our music program was extremely limited. THis is a wonderful tool in teaching composers or educators orchestration and knowing what instruments sound like and their ranges. The playback was good – it gave a decent representation of what instruments sound like.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes
    This is a wonderful program to get young children interested in composition. I had lots of fun in the Create section – I liked how they used roadsigns and a person walking to represent the progress of a piece. From there it was like a simplified version of Garage Band. I could see elementary school teachers using this program, and then the students could be introduced to more advanced notation software and Garage Band after learning this program.

    Auralia
    There was a lot to learn in this one – the subjects are diverse and well-covered. I wasn’t able to try the voice feature, however. I think this program does a good job in teaching aural skills but I really feel like students need live instruction. Aural skills can be supplemented by a computer program, but not replaced.

    Practica Musica
    This program was very difficult. I couldn’t even log on to it! I kept trying to create a new user but it was not letting me. I watched the person next to me and I gathered that it was pretty mush the same as Auralia in that it supplements music theory skills well but doesn’t really help students learn the concepts.

    Musictheory.net
    The best thing about this is that it is online and therefore extremely easy to access. Musictheory.net is a great study aid and good for reviewing topics since music theory builds on itself. As an educator I would definitely refer students to it for reviews and topics in music theory rudiments, but the limited interactivity could be somewhat of a problem.

  7. Batman Says:

    Music Ace
    I thought this was a really cool beginner program that could spark a student’s interest in music. It was really easy to use, and it is also a lot of fun. I could see how if would get dull for more advanced students, but I have no doubt that a program like this could really be beneficial in sparking a young student’s interest in music while they are learning. This will also be something that will be useful for me to have as a teacher for younger students.

    Music Lessons
    This program is very bland after using music ace. Although all of the concepts being covered are important, it is dry and not very interactive. It is very easy to navigate, but that is where the compliments stop. It would be good to have as a last resort, but I could not see myself using this program unless it was assigned in a class; and I would complain if it was in fact used in a class. There is much more enjoyable and educational technology out then this program.

    Sibelius Instruments
    This is a program that I really would have had some fun with in high school. There are some things in the program that are a little boring, but it is a great program for students to learn about all of the instruments. The sound bits for the instruments are also pretty accurate. This could be a fun program to work with, and it would definitely be a fun program to learn about instruments with. I would recommend this program to high school teachers along with another program that is more theory/aural skills oriented.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes
    This is another program that would be great to sue with young students. There are cool colors and animations that could keep young students interested and experimenting. It is also very easy to navigate on. This would be great for a general music class that was and introduction to music, but it does not have many uses at the advanced level. This is a great program if it is used for the right class.

    Auralia
    This program was a little more difficult to get around on then the others, but it was still pretty easy. It is geared toward students who have music experience and are trying to improve there skills at the next level (upper high school or even some college). I feel like this could defiantly help students with aural skills. If they use this program alongside a class or private help, I think the program could prove to be very beneficial.

    Practica Musica
    This is a tough program that is geared toward older students. It was not easy to navigate, but it was not impossible either. I feel like this program could be very beneficial if it was used right, but it was also kind of boring. It is like macgamut in the sense that I do not think I would really put effort into it unless I was getting graded on it. I wish there was a program that really pushed your skills like this one while it also kept your attention.
    Musictheory.net
    This program was cool for several reasons. The first was that all you need to use it is access to the internet. This makes this program very useful. Although this source does have some limitations for what it can do, I would definitely recommend it to students who do not want to spend money on a program. Even though this program does not have the most options, it is easy and practical. If you put the effort into this program, you can learn a great deal. It can also help with questions that you have when there is no one to help you. There are other programs I would recommend over this one, but very few people will pass up “free”.

  8. Melissa S Says:

    Music Ace 1 & 2

    I really liked Music Ace because I feel that you could easily use this in a general music setting to go along side with a lesson, and it makes it a little more fun than doing a theory worksheet or something to make sure the students learned it. It’s really good for younger children and I think is something that if used at a young age, would pay off in the long run for kids.

    Music Lessons 1 & 2

    Music Lessons is good for Aural Skills (especially with music lessons 2), but it was rather boring to play and I felt the layout and organization could have been a lot nicer. But it still is an effective program to be used, but definately not as much for younger kids because they would lose interest.

    Sibelius Instruments

    I think this would be really cool for kids trying to choose what instrument they want to play to look at, you can learn some interesting facts about the instruments, and also hear examples of what they sound like.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes

    This game is really good for VERY YOUNG children. It introduces them to musical ideas and concepts, but they need no prior knowledge to do so. It is also very slow paced and colorful and fun for them.

    Auralia

    This is a more advanced program and used for students who want to practice their aural skills. I found it appealing to the eye, but a little hard to navigate around.

    Practica Musica

    I used practice musica in high school, so I may be biased in that I didn’t find it difficult to navigate around, but much like auralia, it is for aural skills practice and for older students.

    Musictheory.net

    This site is great for high schoolers (even college) because it’s free for them to use where ever they have internet access. It does have it’s limitations, but for a website, it is pretty great.

  9. eskayve Says:

    Music Ace
    This program was so fun and really easy to use! Students would have absolutely no problem navigating this program. It was very effective in teaching its topics and it was very creative because it provided lesson plans and games to reinforce the lesson topics! It also allows users to write songs without having to know anything about note value and provided a “progress” section to show what students have accomplished as well as high scores, which makes it fun for kids. Concepts included learning the basics of staffs, how to read notes in treble and bass cleffs, the notes on the piano. dynamics, etc. It explained the concepts really clearly. This program is primarily geared towards younger students (elementary or middle school). I would definitely use this program because it is easy to use, teaches clearly and simply, and because it is fun.

    Music Lessons
    This program was a little confusing because not much direction was provided for the exercises (and the wording in the directions isn’t clear). Students would probably be a little confused at first too. Although this program does focus on a variety of concepts, including the circle of fifths, intervals, and different types of scales, it does not really TEACH these concepts (defeating the title name). Therefore, the students would have to already know the concept in order to do the problems. This program would be used for high school students with some theory knowledge, although I personally would only minimally use it as an aid, because it is rather boring, yet does have good ideas.

    Sibelius Instruments
    I really liked this program. It provided history about different types of music ensembles and listening samples, which were very accurate. It was really beneficial how much information was provided about tonguing, glissandos, etc pertaining to each instrument. It is really beneficial for learning percussion notation as well. It was very easy to use and is very effective in teaching because of all the information that was provided, leaving little unanswered. This program could be helpful to high school as well as college students for learning about instruments, orchestration, etc (not for theory). I would definitely use this as a classroom teacher and to reinforce private lessons.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes
    This is another great program for younger (elementary school) students. It is fun and allows them to pick different lesson topics. It is designed like a game, with colors and a character, etc. It is great at teaching different basic topics, such as “highs and lows”, “fast and slow”, and “loud and soft”. Therefore, terms are kept very basic, so even young kids can appreciate it. Plus, it lets users hear different sounds of instruments. It is very easy to navigate. I would definitely use this program to teach young students.

    Auralia
    My high school teacher actually used this program in class, which we all thought was a fun way to supplement a lesson or prepare for an ear training exam. It is fairly easy to use and is great for high school or college students to use to practice material learned in class or prepare for an aural skills test. It does not teach the concepts, but rather is an aid. It covers many different aspects of ear training, such as intervals, chord progressions, rhythm, and melodic dictations. I would use this program to practice for an exam or reinforce concepts, and would recommend this program to students who would like to practice ear training. Personally, as a student, I found this program very beneficial to improving my ears.

    Practica Musica
    From talking with other students, I learned this program is more difficult and is geared towards more advanced students, and that it covered such of the same topics that Auralia covered. It seemed as if it was somewhat difficult to navigate. If I could have figured out how to open the program, I would know better whether or not I would use it…(the fact that it is complicated to even open says something too…). More advanced programs for advanced students need to be made that are easy to use (that reinforce both theory and ear training skills).

    Musictheory.net
    This program is pretty easy to use and is great because it focuses on theory and aural skills and shows you how to spell any type of chord in any key. It is somewhat boring, yet very educational, because it has so many different categories, from basic theory (note duration) to very advanced (neapolitan chords), and actually explains each concept. Although it can be used for students at all levels, it should not be used for young students, because it is not very exciting. Middle or high school students (with some theory background and a good attention span) could really benefit from this program. I would probably use this program to aid my theory and aural skills teaching.

  10. glenn e Says:

    Music Ace
    This program is visually stimulating and would a blast for younger children. There is a great emphasis on vivid colors and shapes to draw kids into the musical aspects of it. It teaches a bevy of musical concepts in a game format, with high scores and the whole lot, which is very effective. I would definitely use this program for a grade school general music class or a beginning band class that has access to a computer lab.

    Music Lessons
    This program seemed less intuitive and more marketed towards high schoolers who already have theory experience. It did little in the way of teaching concepts like scales and keys, so it functioned more as a system of musical busy work. Sometimes that kind of work is necessary, especially for things that can be as dry as key signatures, but it doesn’t need to be so distant and somewhat lifeless. It was not incredibly engaging for me, and for many younger students, it could bore and frustrate them easily.

    Sibelius Instruments
    Sibelius Instruments is a great tool for anyone from beginning band students to the most decorated composer who uses notation software. It served as a great introduction with lots of clips and information on all kinds of instruments. It worked well on that level, but it also had wonderful and useful information on what those instruments can do – ranges, techniques (tonguing, vibrato, glissando), extended techniques (multiphonics, humming, quarter tones), and other things that any composer must know in order to effectively use those instruments. I would refer any fledgling composers to this program for that reason.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes
    This program is fun and colorful and overall visually attractive. It lacked in content, however. I found the games boring and not terribly interactive. This program fails in comparison to its more fun and kid-tested, mother-approved counterpart, MusicAce.

    Auralia
    This program is an ear training course that has a multitude of subjects, including intervals, chord qualities, jazz chord progressions, and even a singing component for all of these. For that, it is a great tool. Like any ear training tool, however, it can be ridiculously frustrating when the right answer is elusive. I thought this program was not terribly intuitive, and it took me a long time to figure out how to place the answers in the boxes where they belonged, which added another frustration. This would be useful for advanced high school theory classes and college theory courses, if regulated well. Otherwise it is terribly overwhelming.

    Practica Musica
    This program was a mystery to me. It did not load correctly and I couldn’t do anything with it.

    Musictheory.net
    Theory, to many, is a dry subject, and musictheory.net does well to uphold that idea. However, everything is laid out smartly and it is concise and educational. This program would fail for young students, however, as it would just be too drab and uninteresting to have fun with it.

  11. Ryan M. Says:

    Music Ace 1 and 2
    This program is pretty fun to use. I think it would be great for beginning piano students to get more accustomed to learning the notes and getting comfortable with them in between lessons. It reminds me of a musical version of Math Munchers game that I had as a kid growing up. It seems more like a game than a learning tool for kids.

    Music Lessons 1 and 2
    The only problem that I had with this, other than it being a trial version and not having a lot of questions asked, is that it was very slow and it took a seemingly long time to get to the next point. But I think it’s a great way to help tune your ear and get more practice with notes chords and all the basic things you would learn in beginning theory class.

    Sibelius Instruments
    I had a good time exploring all the different facets this program had to offer. Lots of information about every instrument, and even notes about the general evolution of bands and orchestras. I think this would be a great program for those students that are interested in composing, and even a good resource to use if I have a complex band arrangment and I wanted to look at some technical info on an instrument I don’t play.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes
    This program is very much geared towards a younger crowd than i. but I thought that there wasn’t as many options of things that I could do, and that it was a precursor to garageband.

    Auralia
    This was almost something I wish I had when I was learning aural skills. I felt that the only way to learn was by sitting idly by a piano and hope that by hearing it enough times, I would start getting it, but this tests you out and allows you to pick what intervals you want.

    Practica musica
    I thought that this program would be pretty good/allright, but I had a hard time navigating around all the various options and different things.

    Music Theory.net
    Well I think this is just dandy. Very simple to use, its on the internet, so I can access it at home, plus it gives extra practice, even on things im learning now in theory, I’ll probably visit this site a lot more come finals time.

  12. theresas Says:

    Music Ace
    Music Ace is an interactive and amusing program that allows students to learn music at their own pace through active participation in lessons and games. The program offers lessons over basics of music (such as note lengths) and has a game after each lesson to test the student’s comprehension in the lessons. It also includes a notepad for students to compose their own melodies. This program would be especially great for early music learners in general music classes who have no previous music education because it gives students training with rhythms, melodies, note recognition, and some simple ear training.
    The most annoying aspect of this program, however, is the amount of time it takes for the character who guides students through the program to speak. His rate of speech is quite normal, but between sentences or sets of instructions, the program takes too long to load. Students may easily lose interest and become bored with this program because of that, but many aspects of the program are very helpful for beginning music students. The program itself is very easy to use and understand so students with little computer knowledge or experience with this software should not have any difficulty using it. I would use this program as a general music teacher. It is fun, interactive, and insightful.

    Music Lessons 1
    Music lessons 1 is a great addition to students already taking music lessons in a band program or studying privately. The software has many great supplemental checks for students to test their knowledge, but the program was difficult to use and understand which would make anyone lose interest quickly. I never quite figured out if the program actually offered lessons for the more complicated aural skills it asked students to use (such as notate the D Ionian Flat 2 scale), which really frustrated me. I was also very frustrated with the fact that I could not figure out how to use the keyboard one the computer to input my answers. The program would have been wonderful if it was more self-explanatory because it offered great checks on students understand and knowledge.
    This program would need to be for college students or advanced high school students that know how to work a similar program and who have enough theory and aural skills knowledge to complete the lessons. As a grade school or high school director, I doubt I would use this program because it seems too difficult for students to use.

    Music Lessons 2
    After my disappointment with the difficulty understanding Music Lessons 1, I was pleasantly surprised with Music Lessons 2. This program was much easier to use and understand than Music Lessons 1, and it tested over basically the same things. I am still disappointed that I cannot find any actual lessons over the material it uses, but I like that the tests are simple to use and very straightforward. It tested basic intervals with ear training, chords, and other topics of music theory.
    I think this program would be well suited for a first level theory student in high school because it is much like the MacGAMUT software with ear training, but it is somewhat more basic, and it offers more help to students. If I had the resources to use this program in the classroom (such as the money to buy it), then I would probably use it.

    Sibelius Instruments
    Sibelius Instruments is an insightful program that gave a small tutorial of every instrument’s techniques, equipment, articulations, and ranges. It explains each instrument in a band and orchestra, and then has listening examples for common repertoire for each instrument. It also explains different ensembles, their instrumentation, and the music they play. The software was easy to navigate, and it would be easy to learn for most students; it was very self-explanatory and self-guided.
    Although the program is easy to use and has many resources, it gives only surface-level details for each instrument and ensemble. The listening examples also convey a somewhat inaccurate tone and timbre for the instruments because of the use of midi files in the examples. Overall, this program would be a nice supplement to a nice supplement to a music appreciation course in high school because it gives very general descriptions of every important ensemble or instrument in standard music programs. I would use this program only for music appreciation classes where students have little knowledge of the subject, or I would recommend it to curious students wanting to learn more about instruments. The program would give a general overview for students unfamiliar with instruments and instrumental techniques.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes
    Sibelius Groovy Shapes is an extremely fun program that teaches students about different sounds and allows them to compose short work with different sounds. Students first pick a character and “explore” different discovery lessons, and through these, they earn new sounds they can use for their own compositions. It would be very effective with getting students excited about music and sounds because of the fun games they complete and the exciting shapes that represent these sounds. A student can easily navigate around the program because it offers step-by-step instructions during each lesson.
    This program would best be suited for elementary general music because it is so simple and basic. It also does not use music theory, and the visual shapes for the sounds helps with comprehension. I would recommend this for any classroom because I know I would be excited as a kid to be able to use this software.

    Auralia
    Auralia is an all-encompassing ear training program that helps students not only with standard pitch recognition and dictation, but also with counterpoint singing and intonation. Unlike many of the previous programs, it was very easy to navigate because the student can pick different levels he or she wants to complete, and the program is very self-explanatory. The program was very good at teaching concepts related to ear-training, and it offered a great variety or training a student could obtain such as counterpoint singing. I would particularly recommend this for advanced high school students wanting to learn more about music because this program takes this at a very reasonable pace, and a student can pick between multiple ways to use the program. If I were a teacher, I would love to use this program in my classroom, cost depending, because it is a great resource for students.

    Practica Musica
    Practica Musica is a program used for students to enhance their general musicianship skills, such as with music theory, aural skills, and piano. It has multiple lessons for students to practice writing and using intervals on the staff and piano, hearing and dictating chords on the staff and the piano, and dictation melodies and harmonies. It offers entry-level and advanced level dictations, and is somewhat easy to use. The program is difficult to navigate, so students would need some instruction on properly using the programs.
    I think this program would be for good use with advanced high school students studying music theory, or it would be used greatly at the college level for any student needing extra practice with skills on which it focuses. I would use this program if I had students advanced enough to use it in high school, but I think other simpler programs may be more effective in a high school setting.

    MusicTheory.net
    MusicTheory.net is a website that offers lessons and trainers on music theory and aural skills. It gives basic training on theory concepts, but does not go terribly in depth with its lessons, and it offers some basic ear-training such as chord recognition and interval recognition. This could be used by any high school student because they can pick their lessons, and they could use the free help with ear-training.
    Overall, the website is very basic and only scratches the surface of music theory and aural skills. It is free, however, and accessible anywhere where a student can find an internet connection, so I would probably recommend it to my students. I do not think, though, that I would use it in a classroom.

  13. Marie R Says:

    Music Ace

    Pros: Good for elementary aged kids, keeps them interested with games while also sneaking in some musical learning.
    Cons: Older kids may think this program is too immature/small audience range.

    Music Lessons

    Pros: Self-driven learning student can complete whenever, wherever.
    Cons: May be frustrating for children who are not piano students. Also it was slow to get started, and didn’t really pick up, this could have to do with that it is a trial version.

    Sibelius Instruments

    Pros: Effectively describes musical instruments to children who are not otherwise familiar with them. Good for a student who is just beginning to take lessons or is looking into starting an instrument for the first time.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes

    Pros: Colorful and interesting for younger children.
    Cons: Lacked some musical substance, mostly based on colorful.

    Auralia

    Pros: Good for the older student to work with ear training. Straight forward, just teaches you ear training, no bells or whistles.

    Practica Musica

    Pros:Good for the older student, just like Auralia. Allows a student to work on ear training without the aid of a teacher.

    Musictheory.net

    Pros: Good review on Music Theory. Free of Charge.
    Cons: Not an awesome use of time, may recommend it to my students but for outside the classroom only.

  14. NatDoug Says:

    Musictheory.net

    This website is very intuitive. Lessons are presented in slideshows that move as quickly as the student determines by clicking a forward arrow. I like that this method, unlike a quicktime movie, allows the individuals to move and digest the information at their own rate. Individual slides also break concepts down into smaller pieces of information.

    I was extremely impressed with the variety of manners that the website presents the information. At any point, the student can click “display keyboard” to have an interactive two octave keyboard window open alongside the program. So, as students work with the activities, they can visualize the piano as well as hear given pitches.

    As I mentioned in the first question, the slide format makes each topic very approachable and breaks the information down into smaller steps. I feel that this is very effective. The theory textbooks used in my education were wordy and daunting, breaking topics into twenty and thirty page chapters rather than visually friendly slideshows.

    There is a wide variety of information covered. The “Lessons section covers basic theory concepts from clefs and staves to analysis and use of Neapolitan chords. “Trainers” has activities for ear training that I found very beneficial. This program would be best for high school and college theory.
This is most definitely a resource I would recommend as an aide for theory students, particularly beginning students. It would be very beneficial as a site to have open while completing an assignment. Ear training and other activities are a particularly good resource as well.

    Music Ace 1 & 2

    This program makes me smile! It seems like a young user, as this program is suited, would be able to navigate it fairly well. The different lessons have buttons familiar to any standard VCR, so playing and reviewing information would be easy. The animations are colorful and very aesthetically pleasing, with narration from a friendly cartoon conductor. I think that elementary general music students would really enjoy this program.

    Sibelius Instruments

    It would be very easy for students to navigate this program since all of the text is accompanied by pictures. I like the very visually oriented software – which includes pictures of instruments and clips of score to accompany listening excerpts. This program introduces the different instrument families, instruments, and methods of playing these instruments in the orchestra. This would likely be best for late junior high or early high school students. While this program is a worthwhile introduction to many different instruments and methods of playing them, I don’t know that I’d necessarily spend money including this program instead of something like Sibelius. I’d rather use something more interactive that promotes thought rather than just provides a given amount of information.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes

    The software was easy to navigate since it was again visually adapted for young users (many coordinating colors and shapes) as well as narrated throughout the different activities. The program mostly serves to have student identifying different sounds and their relative instruments as well as begin to organize these sounds to create their own music. This would be an elementary school program – though I do admit, I was having quite a bit of fun with the program myself. I would definitely use this program since I feel that its interactive qualities stimulate a lot of musical thought as well as the creative process.

    Auralia
    The software was easy to navigate and divided between intervals and scales, chords, rhythm, and pitch and melody. This program is centered on aural skills – facilitating both singing and listening activities. Auralia would be best suited for beginning theory students to any music student looking to improve or sharpen their listening skills. Basic theory background would be essential in order to benefit from this program. I would definitely include this program with a beginning theory class particularly to guide those who had never received aural skills training before.

    Practica Musica

    I had a difficult time finding my way around this program – as early as trying to load a new student file. There was no navigable menu – just the typical File-Edit-View etc. bar as appears across the top of any program. It was also the least visually engaging of all of the programs. There is quite a variety of activities available, from rhythm matching to sight reading and absolute pitch training. The sophistication of the content is clearly among the highest of these programs – that doesn’t mean, however, that operating the software itself should be a challenge. I would consider this program best for advanced high school or college students. If I were to include this in my teaching, it would definitely require some in-class tutorials and helping my students become familiar with the program before distributing related assignments with it. I would rather use a program like Auralia than this one, however, since the former is more a ready-made homework facilitator and less daunting for those beginning theory instruction.

  15. Kristin K Says:

    Music Ace 1 & 2:
    This program was fun and user friendly. The music notes are different colors, and have little smiley faces in the, It would be great to help young students learn how to read music. When you place notes on the staff, it says the note name above the staff. It is also good resource to help younger students hear the difference between low and high pitches, and being able to match two pitches.

    Music Lessons 1 &2:
    This program was a little confusing. They didn’t give you much direction on what to do, and It would only give me one example of each lesson, even after I hit next. Music lessons 1 was based on the circle of fifths, key signatures and different types of scales. I had a little more luck with Music lessons 2. It had a lot to do with identifying different chord qualities. This was definitely more of a high school program. These programs didn’t really teach about any of these subjects, it was more of a way to quiz yourself on things you’ve previously been taught.

    Sibelius Instruments:
    This program was great resource for when you are learning how to play and instrument. It would even be helpful for teachers. It taught different techniques like how to tongue on different instruments, and had sound clips so you could hear how should sound. It also taught some history behind different instruments, and which pieces were written for specific instruments. This could be a good way to help students pick their instruments.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes:
    This program would be great for young children. It has a slow pace, colorful, and you don’t need any musical knowledge prior to using it. It introduces different instruments while playing what they sound like. After you learn six different instruments, it has you match the sound with the instrument.

    Australia:
    This program is great for students looking to improve their aural skills. It is more for high school or college level students.

    Musictheory.net
    Though this website is a little boring, I would definitely recommend it as a study tool since you don’t have to pay for it, and it’s easy to use. It is definitively not geared for younger students. I really like how it explained each concept.

    Practica Musica:
    This program was somewhat difficult to navigate. I would recommend it for older students to help with aural skills and theory concepts.

  16. kevinraschen Says:

    Music Ace 1 & 2

    I think Music Ace is a great program for young users to use. It is easy to navigate and allows young students to be able to explore the program trouble free. Even thought I think this program is a great idea, I think it works best for younger audiences which is slightly limiting. I like is how it keeps you interested and amused with lessons and games and is very participatory. I also think this program can be used it a class setting or in an individual setting which is nice.

    Practica Musica

    I had somewhat of a hard time trying to navigate my way around this program and figuring out how it works. I think it would work great for older students and would help them with their music theory and ear training. Even though this program is a good idea I couldn’t help but be really bored when I was trying out the program and I think it does not have the ability to keep kids interested amused and learning at the same time.

    Music Lessons

    I did not like this program very much; I thought it was dry and not interactive. It is just a way of teaching you the basics of music theory but with out a text book. I also had a bit of trouble trying to work the program and I sometimes was not able to make the program do what I wanted it to do. I don’t know if that was because it was a trial version or if that also happens on the full program. It will do a good job of helping your theory and aural skills but a non motivated learning will not be willing to take advantage of this program.

    Sibelius Instruments

    I think this is a really cool program and it is very easy to use. It has great pictures and information and can be used in any classroom setting. I feel there is not really a certain age group this applies to which is really nice. If can help beginners learn about different types of ensembles and instruments and it can also help high school to college students learn in depth about instruments such as their ranges etc. Over all I think it is a really great idea.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes

    I thought that this program was very easy to use and navigate and work well for young kids. This would be a fun program for general music students to play around with and will give them a basic concept of sound and the ability to compose their own music. I think this program will help kids to be creative and get interested in music.

    Auralia

    I think this is a great program for advance music students. It teaches you with scales, intervals, rhythm, and different types of chords. I think it would be a great program to use in high schools when preparing for AP tests and also when preparing for exams in college. This program is very dry with not many fascinating bells and whistles but it is a program designed to improve your aural skills and it is a great tool.

    Musictheory.net

    I think this a good website that students can visit outside of the class room for a brief recap on their lessons and music concepts. I do not feel like this is a good place to visit if you are trying to learn and understand theory concepts but rather as a study helper. I would not use this sight in the classroom setting, strictly out of class. It is very easy to navigate and the best part is its free! It also has some good sections where you can go to brush up on your aural skills which is always helpful.

  17. us243 Says:

    Music Ace is quite the program for the youngsters to use and learn about music. The design of the program is catered to elementary aged students at the beginning level. The content is organized into a few lessons such as tempos, rhythm, beats, and timing. The best part of this program was the vivid colors and stimulating graphics. The games were very fun and engaging. I would use this program to help teach young students the basics of music theory in a fun way,.
    Music lessons is a program geared toward a more advanced level of students with prior knowledge of music theory, high school aged students. There is an aural skills portion on the program that connects directly to another lesson in chord building. I found this very useful as a tool for assessing the effectiveness of the lesson with the students. They did this by presenting instructions for how to build triads and sevenths followed by giving the root of a chord and requiring the student to finish spelling the chord with the correct accidentals. The downside of this program was the boring factor of the layout design high school music theory can be fun too!
    Sibelius Instruments is a fantastic program to use in the classroom for young beginning musicians to advanced composers. It is a great introduction into learning about the different instruments incorporated in band, orchestra, and chamber ensembles. Information about the history and function is given and sound clips are accessible to the students as examples. I would use this in the classroom especially for students that are interested in doing their own compositions.
    Sibelius groovy shapes is a program after its own title. Similar to Music Ace I feel that it is aimed toward teaching at an elementary age. Although it is visually very pleasing which will attract a young learner the lessons that it focused on teaching seemed a bit lacking in the content area. Perhaps this can be used in more of a general music class setting.
    Auralia is a program that focuses on aural skill training and is more advanced. The overall layout was intriguing but posed a bit of a challenge to navigate. There’s a significant amount of things to learn but is not replacement for an aural skills taught by a live teacher. I believe an aural skill is based on teacher student interaction but this program might be good for outside of the classroom practice.
    Practica Musica is a program that I could relate to now as a student and would definitely recommend using it in the classroom. Geared towards older students the lessons include chord qualities, part writing, and ear training. Tests are used to asses learning and can be somewhat annoying and hard. Overall this program is useful and is a good educational tool.
    Musictheory.net is a great website to help review for all aspects of music theory and is geared toward junior high to high school aged students. The program is easy to use and is organized very neatly. There are many lessons available and presented in a sort of flashcard fashion. I would use this program with students to improve their skills in theory.

  18. kditsch Says:

    Music Ace
    I thought that this program was very intuitive and easy to follow/navigate. It was also very fun to play around with and see what it had to offer. Students will find this program easy to use and navigate also. The title is pretty effective in teaching. It is not hard to read, and it uses Ace in the title, which makes the person using it feel like they will have a good understanding of what is going on by the time they are done using it. The program focuses mainly on the basics, like pitches and clef reading. This is made for younger and beginning students. This would be very helpful to use in a general music classroom. I would definitely use this to help my students learn.
    Music Lessons
    This program is somewhat intuitive. It is not that easy to navigate, but still not too difficult. There were some fun colors used to make it more exciting. Students will be able to work with this program with a little help at the beginning. The title is effective in teaching. It is exactly what it says, Music Lessons. It focuses mostly on basic theory materials, like circle of fifths and scales. This program is mostly likely to be used with intermediate students. I might use this in my classroom, but it was kind of boring.
    Sibelius Instruments
    This program is intuitive and had a lot of information. It was easy to navigate, and students would not have a hard time figuring it out. This title is effective in teaching if students were willing to take time to read through all of the information on the program. The main focus is just lecturing on the different types of band and orchestra instruments. Students who are intermediate, like late middle school or early high school, might find this program helpful. I would probably not use this in my classroom because it is really boring. I could find more creative ways to teach what this program has.
    Sibelius Groovy Shapes
    This program is very intuitive. It was easy to navigate and the students would enjoy it. It is very fun! The title is not very effective in learning. There is no mention of music at all in the title. The program focuses mainly on the basics of music concepts, like sounds and rhythms. This would be helpful to use in a general music classroom for younger and beginning students. I would definitely use this in my classroom because it is fun and I think that my students would learn a lot from it.
    Auralia
    This program is very intuitive and has a lot of information on it. It is easy to navigate and students would be able to use this program effectively. The title is not effective in teaching, and I feel like many students would not use it because it is not that creative. The main focus of the program is music theory as well as rhythmic elements. This is made more for advanced students. It would be very helpful in a theory class. I might use this in my classroom because it is good practice for my students.
    Practica Musica
    This program is intuitive, but very hard to navigate. I feel like students would have difficulty trying to figure it out. The title is effective in teaching because it teaches a lot of musical elements and the title basically means music practice. It focuses mainly on theory, like chords, intervals and melodic and rhythmic aspects. I might use this in my classroom because it would be very helpful for my students to learn more about music theory.
    Music Theory.net
    This website is very intuitive and has a lot of helpful information on it. It is easy to navigate and I think that students would have no problem using it. The title is effective in teaching, because it clearly says that it is music theory. If a student was having troubles with some theory homework, they would be able to find and use this program. The whole thing is all about music theory concepts. It is made for advanced students who have studied music for a long time, and who have a general understanding of music theory. I would definitely use this program in my teaching because not only can we use it in class, but students can go home and use it to their advantage.

  19. lpence2 Says:

    Music Ace 1 & 2 would be great for little kids. It’s very easy to use and appeals to young children because of the pictures, colors, etc… It is extremely easy to navigate. These programs are obviously very useful for young children just starting to use music, but could not be used for a more advanced student. This would require more advanced software that was appropriate for an older student.

    Music lessons 1 looked like it was still for a younger student, but maybe for one a little older than a user of Music Ace. This program would be very good for a student to learn notes on the piano keyboard and guitar, and good for note identification in general. Again, excellent for developing the basic skills of a young student. This program seems a little more difficult to navigate, however, and would probably require instructions for first time use. I didn’t like the way the game was presented. It is very boring and plain.

    Music lessons 2 is obviously for a much more advanced student. It would be very, very useful for a beginning music theory student because it lets you practice identifying intervals, triads, etc… It is extremely easy to navigate. The only thing I was a little confused about was how exactly to give your answer to the program. Other than that it seemed like a very good, basic learning tool.

    When I first saw Sibelius instruments, I thought it was going to be a tool used to help music educators know detailed information about all of the instruments. This, however, was not the case. It only give EXTREMELY basic knowledge about the instruments, and would not be very useful to any college music ed. student, such as myself. This would be good for someone who hasn’t started playing an instrument and wants to choose which one to play. It is easy to navigate and again, gives good VERY basic information. It can only be useful for one who has absolutely no knowledge of musical instruments, for it does not give enough detail to help an advanced musician.

    Sibelius groovy shapes is yet another great tool for a beginning musicians. It appeals greatly to children because of all the colors and the way it is set up. Very easy to navigate. Would be a great program for very young children, but not for advanced.

    Auralia is something I could tell right away that I would love to use! It appeals to all types of students. It is a good program for aural skills training, which is something that tends to be difficult for a lot of people, myself included. It looks slightly harder to navigate than some other programs, but it is not the hardest.

    I had a very hard time opening practica musica. It kept asking me for all of this stuff and I didn’t know what to do. Obviously one would need a little help when using this program!

    MusicTheory.net is obviously a great tool for music theory students. Very easy to navigate and useful in practicing music theory.

  20. hornplaya88 Says:

    Music Ace: Super easy to use and has a lot of potential to spark interest in music. Great for younger kids. Very user friendly and you don’t need an entire manual to figure out the interface like Sibelius or garage band. Could make teaching a general music class in elementary schools a lot easier!

    Music Lessons: Intuitive- definitely not for elementary students. A solid musical background is needed for this program to be useful. I personally did not like this program, but that could stem from my bias of not liking theory or aural skills. On a basic level, it does help you with ear training and such, but I feel there are other music software programs that do a far better job than this one.

    Sibelius Instruments: I found this program to be a useful teaching resource. I really liked how they included clips for students to listen to. Listening and modeling is a huge part of being a musician. It could be a good way to introduce many instruments to beginners so they have some idea of what they are getting into when they choose their starting instrument. Also has redeeming qualities for jr.high students as well.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes: More technology geared toward our youth. Again could potentially be used to improve those generally boring and dry 5th+6th grade general music classes, or even Jr. high. Easy to use, and again user friendly, this program could entertain for hours.

    Auralia: As the name hints, Auralia is a great aural skills tool. Pitch recognition, dictation, and counterpoint singing are all valuable assets included in this program. Fairly easy to use, and also quite a helpful program. High school music theory classes would have a use for this one. Even I could use this, because I suck at sight singing and long dictations.

    Practica Musica: I found this program to also be very useful. You must have some background with computers and technology in order to figure out and navigate it though. It would require good instruction, but once that is learned I feel that it is a genuinely good program for theory, ear training, and dictations. High school and College students only.

    Music Theory.net: Offers basic lessons of theory, ear training, and concepts of music theory. For being a free resource, it really impressed me. I thought a subscription or something would be needed before all the lessons were available to me. Easily accessible and can be a good teaching supplement for theory classes.

  21. emilyjayne Says:

    music ace (1&2)

    the music ace series is a great tool for teaching young students the basics of reading music. the bright colors, cute animations, and wacky narrator’s voice will keep children entertained for hours. it’s not so hard to learn notation when it’s turned into a game! i would definitely recommend this for every student – not just the ones in the chorus and band.

    music lessons (I and II)

    music lessons is a really nice program for practicing theory and reading music. i would probably put slightly older students on this as it is a little more challenging to navigate and understand, but the scale recognition feature is excellent! very cool. i also liked that you could practice scales on both piano AND guitar.

    sibelius instruments

    this is a great program. i love how sophisticated and neat sibelius products always look. although it may be a little “boring” to some people, i feel like it’s interesting enough that a student who is genuinely curious will enjoy exploring this program. i’m not sure i would have it in the classroom simply because i don’t know when students would have time to use it, but with the wealth of historical information at their fingertips, i would recommend that they spend study hours exploring it.

    sibelius groovy shapes

    this is just plain creepy. i had a hard time navigating through it because it moved so slowly. this is obviously for very young children, but i would skip over this.

    auralia

    this program is fantastic and recommended for students who may want to go into music and need more ear training. it is certainly for older students (high school age) who are dedicated enough to practice and work.

    practica musica

    i liked this program. i admit it may be hard for students to figure out but it is definitely helpful as far as studying theory goes. i would probably use this in a separate theory class and not bother with the band kids who are only there because mom won’t let ’em quit.

    music theory.net

    this website is very easy to navigate. the lessons move a bit slowly but it’s great in getting everyone up to speed. it’s also great that the program is online, because it means anyone can access it even at home, which may make it more likely for the students to use it.

  22. Colby C Says:

    Music Ace 1 & 2
    Great elementary music instruction program that I remember using in elementary school. Allowing students free reign with the staff and note lengths, it provides a fun and comical experience which is simultaneously teaching them the basics of music notation and composition. Due to it being extremely basic, I would not recommend this software past 5th grade as it could become detrimental due to it’s level of “removal” from true notation. Easy to use and navigate and fun for students — a solid choice for elementary music.

    
Music Lessons 1 & 2
    Music Lessons 1 begins to incorporate the use of the Piano Keyboard in teaching note names and relative location in terms of Staff-to-Keys. While appearing very simple, it also allows the user to expand to more challenging concepts – such as modes and jazz scales. Lessons 2 has a slightly different focus — ear training and chords. Both of these programs cater to a Middle School to High School range, but their internal difficulty flexibility provides a nice range of concepts for many different ages, all in one program.

    
Sibelius Instruments
    Sibelius instruments comes for a stellar musical software company. Instruments provides less of a creative approach and instead aims at a semi-music history and basic musical awareness based instructions. Teaching students details about Music periods, ensembles, instruments, and more allows for a lot of content all in one program. While this could be very informative to any age range, it’s abundant written aspects could prove to be a challenging read for younger students. This program could easily be used as an at home teaching tool as well as in a classroom setting as it has quizzes based upon its content.

    
Sibelius Groovy Shapes
    This program is aimed at an even younger audience than Music Ace. This is a great tool for younger students to explore with. While some of its terminology (ie: “scales,” “arpeggios,” etc.) might be too advanced for some children to pronounce or understand, this software removes some of the formalities of music (ie: the staff, instrumentation, notation) and allows students to click and drag to their hearts content – all while being assisted by a friend of your choice, and ultimately composing a piece of music. Fun, interactive, colorful, and musical program that is perfect for the young ones!

    
Auralia
    Is a solid program that explores many aspects of musical theory. Having a very nice and usable interface, and neat ways to execute the exercises, I can see how this could even be useful for our basic collegiate theory studying. This program also has a moderately large focus on ear/vocal training of scales and melodies.

    
Practica Musica
    Practica Musica is significantly more complicated than some of the above software. This program further expands on the Staff-to-Keys by introducing a semi-advanced virtual keyboard. While Practica Musica is very basic in design, it has some challenging navigational menus, but allows complex musical testing and adjudication of harmonies, rhythms, and more. This would be great for a High School music theory course, or in a situation where user were both more musically and computer savvy.

    Musictheory.net
    Available in both web-based and offline versions, Musictheory.net provides an annoying basic web design with an abundant list of nicely laid out (and printable) exercises of music theory. A great “all in one place” resource for a lot of information on music theory.

  23. mcowen2 Says:

    Music ace is a program that I think is very useful when trying to teach in a classroom for children. Because of the colors, and music, it was be a program that would be beneficial to children in teaching them how to read music. And it is very entertaining with the games for each page and would be very useful for any elementary school teacher.

    Music lessons, is also a useful program for teaching music. It is very helpful in reading music notes. It is a program that would probably be for an older age group who already have the basics down, and it could also be used to drill reading and to get a lot of practice. I also really liked that they also have practice for those who play guitar. It might not be the most entertaining program but it would be good for general practice.

    Sibelius instruments is a program that I felt could really help students learn how to play an instrument. It would probably be used for high school students who can find their way through the program easily. It can be good for students who are just learning how to play an instrument.

    Sibelius Groovy shapes is a very nice program for children. It is very helpful in directing you where to go and different options. I thought it was very colorful and fun and that it could be used again for elementary students and it would be so helpful in a classroom. Children could use it for long periods of time and be able to have fun because its basic and exciting to use.

    Auralia I felt was very good for ear training in intervals and scales and chords and more. It can be extremely helpful to any music theory student and for aural skills. The program might not be as exciting as others with games and colors but it is good training that any music student needs. I thought that it can be a good way to help students prepare for tests and that the program was created well.

    Practica Musica
    It was a bit confusing in the beginning trying to find out what it was about, and how to navigate it but in general I think the program is useful in piano learning, and that it is also useful again for music theory

    MusicTheory.net
    This website I think would be extremely helpful for music theory students in high school. It might only have general terms and concepts to look at but I think that overall it can be useful because it is a website, so if students didn’t have other programs that are helpful with theory they can always just go to this website. But I don’t think this site would work well with younger students but helpful to older students who need to get help with chords and more.

  24. Lauren S Says:

    Music Ace
    I remember checking out music ace from the library when I was a kid. I don’t really remember too much about the program from back then, but I remember that I loved to check it out and I would go home and play it. I think that the program was a little easy for me, but it was still fun anyways. I think any child who could listen to directions and follow then would find it easy to use. It mainly focuses on playing the piano, but it’s a great teacher for learning how to read music and grasping the concept of different note values. The songs are familiar and I think kids would find that more interesting than just playing melodies they have never heard before. I think this is a great teacher for kids from 5-11ish. I would use it as a teacher and recommend it!

    Music Lessons
    This is definitely a lot different from the previous program. It is geared towards an older more knowledgeable audience. It isn’t as self-explanatory either, but it is still easy to navigate. It is a little more dry because it really only focuses on theory, which is helpful when learning things like 7th chords and intervals, but doesn’t incorporate that back into music. The one thing that I think is really helpful and I wish I were exposed to earlier is aural skills. This is a good program for older students, possibly Jr. high School and high school. I don’t know if I would invest in this program as a teacher. I don’t think it would keep students interested.

    Sibelius Instruments
    This program was really cool. I would definitely get this program as a music educator. The part that is really neat as a music educator is the quiz section. It’s a great way to evaluate your students. It is very neat how it focuses on music ensembles, which is what your student is part of. Although you can’t compose music, you can get a lot of information on a bunch of different instruments. I think this program was pretty intuitive for a student who is computer savvy and would be very beneficial!

    Auralia
    I was not a huge fan of this program. It does focus on aural skills, which is a skill that I lack, but I did not really find it fun. I found it focused only on what I got wrong and didn’t focus on what I did right. It was kind of depressing! I wouldn’t buy this program for fun and definitely not for younger students. If I were a music theory teacher in the high schools, I would use it to practice aural skills.

    Practica Musica
    I guess after the Sibelius program, things just seem really boring. I also did not find this program really fun or exciting. I could have not been using it right, which I guess means it was not very intuitive. Maybe if I had a mini tutorial on the program it could have been more beneficial. Other than that, I think it is geared towards older students who were working on ear training skills. I do not think as a teacher I would purchase this program.

    Musictheory.net
    I am definitely a fan of this website. And the best thing about it is that it is free! As a teacher I would definitely recommend it and I wouldn’t have to worry having computer access or about installing it or convincing the school board to purchase it. It’s just a click away! It really helps with the fundamentals and can help students build that background knowledge they need. I would recommend this for Jr. High students and above.

  25. Jenny Says:

    Music Ace 1 & 2:
    I thought that this program was very intuitive and easy to use. It was quite obvious how to navigate and I think any age student would have no problem with it at all. This software focuses on the basic music concepts, such as higher vs. lower pitch, how to read a staff and key signatures. It is painstakingly good at teaching, for me, and I think this program would be best suited for an elementary school level. I feel it’s much too slow paced for middle school students, it goes very slowly, but after the first few music lessons to a student who has never had music before, especially a young one, I think this would be a great way to solidify and apply their knew knowledge. I would use this as a fun activity for young elementary students, it is a hoot to play!

    Music Lessons 1 & 2
    This program is definitely intended for a higher level than the last program. It was intuitive and easy to use, although I don’t think ANYTHING can be as easy as Music Ace! It focuses on very elementary concepts all the way to collegiate ones. Such as, reading notes, being able to play them, to hearing different intervals and chords as well as writing them. It would be effective because it gives you feedback on your answers: it’s interactive, that’s the wonderful thing about technology. This program could be used from middle school to college, as far as I’m concerned. I would definitely use this because even if a college student is having trouble hearing chords or something, this would be a great EASY way to practice that. I see this as more of a solidifying tool rather than “learning for the first time” program.

    Sibelius Instruments:
    This program, as well, is very easy to use, mainly because it uses icons for everything. It is easy to get back home because of the house symbol, and when you hover over a picture it clarifies what it is. Students would definitely be able to use this. This focuses on the instrumental aspect rather than the theory. How different instruments work, how they work together as ensembles etc. This is definitely suited for a higher level of learning, such as high school and college, because it almost requires knowledge of ensemble experience and familiarity with instruments, it could however, be used as an introduction to them. I would definitely use this in my teaching, I might just play around with it now for fun! It is very good that one can listen to examples, and learn about the other instruments. I would use this as a tool for my students to understand the other instruments all around them. Maybe each student could present a different instrument to the class using this program. It might make students more interested in the ensemble as a whole rather than the dots on the page directly in front of them.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes:
    This program is slightly less intuitive than the others. It is much more abstract with it’s shapes, so it’s not QUITE as clear. Although I suppose it’s easy enough. This program focuses on the timbre aspects of instruments and also on making music on one’s own. It is a good tool for familiarizing one’s self (at a beginning level) with how different instruments sound. This program would be best suited for elementary school children. I might not use this in my teaching, it’s just too happy! But in all honesty, I am not sure at the moment. The create feature is like a mini garage band and seems like it would be something fun to show them, but I’m not sure I’d use it as a teaching tool. However, the lessons would be great to use for a student who has no knowledge of instruments, because they could hear the differences and I think it’s more of a beginning tool…it seems like way too elementary a concept if one already knows about its subject matter.

    Auralia:
    This program is definitely among the most intuitive and very easy to use, not only do they have little pictures, but it says blatantly what the exercise is. This is a VERY effective tool for teaching the theory concepts of music. This program would be best suited for high school and definitely college. It looks like a basic sight, but it’s lessons and exercises are very advanced. I see this as definitely too high level a program for average middle schoolers. I would definitely use this in my teaching, and I think I will. I might even use it to practice aural skills. It’s dictation exercises are magnificent. It’s easy and gets the job done. Plus, you don’t have to complete one level to go to the next. You can skip right to what you need to work on. This is a WONDERFUL education tool…this is what technology should be used for when talking about education as far as I’m concerned!

    Practica Musica:
    MEMORIES! I used this program in high school! And it’s just as frustrating as it was then. This program is probably the least intuitive out of the bunch. Once you are shown how to navigate through it by the teacher, it’s quite easy. But never having used it before, I would get nowhere. I don’t think students would be able to use this unless walked through an introductory lesson to the program, which is fine. As far as the concepts go, this program focuses once again on the aural theory aspects such as hearing intervals, identifying chords, writing chords etc. This is definitely not a middle school program, but I think it is good for high school or college aged students, although after looking at auralia I think this program can be kicked out the window! It offers feedback but is very temperamental at times. After seeing that there are better and easier programs out there that accomplish the same thing, I am inclined to say I would not use this program in my teaching. As an educator, I want to be able to teach my students and have them learn more about musical concepts…not waste a week of valuable time showing them how to press the correct buttons for something that’s just going to act up anyway.

    Musictheory.net:
    This program, although rather dry in appearance, is quite easy to use. It is geared more towards the word reader, however, and not the visual icons student. But it is definitely easy enough for students to use. This program seems very effective in teaching basic and advanced theory concepts. I like the fact that there’s an offline downloadable version and that it is available for translation. With our nation becoming much more spanish oriented, it might be easier for such a student to use this program to their advantage. Although, by this level they would be fluent in english. This is definitely a high school AND college program. It is more of a practice your knowledge program rather than a learn this concept one. I was amazed to see analyzation on it! I could DEFINITELY have used this for my college classes. I think I would probably use it in the classroom because it does a good job of enforcing the concepts and reaches advanced things while explaining them. This would be a good thing to assign a student to look at if they missed a class and can’t come in to make it up. Also, a tool to work along side with. I really like the explanation as you go aspect, that’s something I haven’t seen in other programs.

  26. Eric Swanson Says:

    Music Ace

    Music Ace is a child-oriented music teaching program that is very easy to use. The program aims to teach young kids about the basic concepts of music such as reading music on the staff, singing the notes, and writing your own music through different lessons and games. This program would probably be a great supplement to beginning instrumental lessons, either piano or otherwise, even elementary school students.

    Music Lessons

    Music Lessons is a theory-based program that teaches concepts of music applicable to nearly all musicians. The concepts presented appear to be similar to those in the first year of college-level music theory. That said, this program would most likely be best for those in college level theory, AP Music theory, or other talented high school musicians preparing for a career in music.

    Sibelius Instruments

    Sibelius Instruments is a very useful resource and tool that covers all modern instruments and ensembles. Not only does the program contain information on instruments and ensembles, but the program has classic recordings to demonstrate how they sound. Quizzes on the information are also available in this program. This could be used by anyone as young as middle school age and would be an extremely valuable source for aspiring compsers.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes

    Groovy Shapes is a music teaching program geared toward preschool and kindergarteners. The instructions are all oral and the tools and music are all symbolic, so the user can learn basic music concepts and does not even need to know how to read. This is definitely THE very opening level introduction to music, so anyone who can read would probably learn faster on something like Music Ace.

    Auralia

    Aurailia is a program from Sibelius for ear training through the level of a college aural skills class. The program is very straightforward and easy to understand and use. This would be a great program for high school students preparing to go into music and college music students alike, especially if aural skills tend to be on the weak side.

    Practica Musica

    If you’re looking for just one program to get you through basic music fundamentals and aural sckills all the way through AP Music Theory, look no furthen than Practica Musica. The program features a beginning music course, a discovery course for theory, and a prep course for the Music Theory AP Test. The program is also capable of exporting audio problems so they can be listened to outsid the program. You can also use it for an entire theory class because of its ability to track assignments and progress. This is definitely for the high school music student of any ability level.

    Music Theory.net

    Ths website is a free resource for theory concepts, training, and utilities. This can be used for going over concepts from a theory class as well as educate those who are curious about music theory. The brass trainer especiall helped me since I switched from Bb treble clef euphonium to C bass clef euphonium in the past year or so. The layout is very simple, so high school students or any ability level could use this site very easily.

  27. Emily D Says:

    Emily Dunne
    Music 243
    CAI Program Reviews

    Music Ace 1 & 2
    This is a great tool for young students. This is actually the program I started learning theory with when I was a kid. The lessons are designed for not just beginner students, but younger students. It’s great because the lessons are taught in a way that is understandable for both visual and auditory learners. There are also games the go along with each lesson, which is a great reinforcement.
    Music Ace One covers things like staves and note names, where 2 discusses things like tempo markings and rhythms. This program is easy to understand and user friendly. The only drawback is that quicker or more advanced students may think that it moves too slowly.

    Music Lesson 1 & 2
    This is a more advanced, less childlike program. This is more of a practice tool than a learning tool. While the program is not very exciting, it does a thorough job of testing a student’s knowledge on a subject. This program would be appropriate for any age, because it is so user friendly, but also moves as quickly as you want it to.
    This program covers a range of topics and levels. One covers everything from note names to modes and jazz scales. Two covers more ear training and chord recognition.

    Sibelius Instruments
    Sibelius Instruments is a great way to educate students on the rest of the instruments in the band, as well as the history of different instruments and ensembles. It covers instrument range, timbre, and build, as well as many techniques that are unique to particular instruments. The program also covers instrumentation of different types of ensembles and describes how these came to be.
    The vocabulary of this program is slightly advanced, and the student is entirely in charge of how much or how little they get out of the program, so this is probably suited for at least Jr. High students and higher. There is a Quiz feature, that allows teachers to test the students, or for students to test themselves on how thoroughly they understood the entries.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes
    This program is for younger students. It’s a great way to learn about different musical concepts like timbre and rhythm. One draw back is that you can’t skip levels, so if a student already knew a concept they would have to sit through that lesson. A great feature is a section similar to Garage Band, but instead of using notes, the student uses shapes and colors to make different melodies and patterns.
    This program is one I would only use with younger beginners. It is very guided, and also very animated and exciting, perfect to keep the attention of a younger student, while still allowing them to learn and explore.

    Auralia
    Auralia is a fairly self-explanatory program. It covers a variety of concepts, testing both listening and singing skills. There are features like rhythm and chord identification using listening examples, and also features that have students sing a given scale or chord. The program does not teach about the topics it covers, but it does a great job of testing and improving listening and singing skills thought.
    The program is easy to navigate. However, it covers a broad variety of levels. The first few levels of each feature would probably be ok for beginners, but it becomes fairly advanced fairly quickly. I would use this program for advanced Jr. High on up.

    Practica Musica
    This program is a little hard to navigate, and requires that the student is comfortable with using a computer. However, this covers the greatest variety of aural skills and theory of any of the other programs.
    Because this program is so broad, the only limitation is the ablility to use the program. If a student knows how to get to the feature they want to use, this program is great for improving skills at all levels.

    Musictheory.net
    Musictheory.net is great because as long as the student has internet at home they can work on it, were as they would probably have to buy the other programs. This cite is also great because it includes both lessons and trainers, so a student could teach themselves and concept, and then test themselves to see how well they’ve learned it.
    Again, the only limitation is that the student is comfortable with using a computer. I think it is even more user friendly than Practica Musica though. It would be suitable for students of any level, as long as they were comfortable with the internet.

  28. Erin Kimberlee Says:

    Music ace
    I found this program to be very user friendly! I feel that this is good, since it seems that it is targeted toward younger students. It does a good job of testing kids on the basics while making it enjoyable! I feel that the best way to test the usefulness of this program is to observe younger students using it, and ask their opinions on it. I definitely enjoyed using it though!

    Music Lessons
    This was a very useful program. I feel that it was targeted toward high school aged students. It kind of reminded me of macgamot in the sense that it didn’t necessarily teach musical concepts, only test them. This is not bad if the students have obtained the necessary knowledge prior to using the program! I felt that it was very good for ear training.

    Sibelius Instruments
    This program is very informative and easy to use. It gives the user a basic amount of knowledge about each instrument that is integral in a band or orchestra. It talks about techniques, ranges, and, articulations for each instrument. I think that it is very useful to people who don’t know very much about music, who are possibly attempting to pick which instrument that they want to play, or just wanting to know more about music.

    Sibelius groovy shapes
    This program is very obviously targeted toward younger students. But with that in mind, it is a very useful program! It was very visually appealing. It seems so me that it is a lot like garage band, but a less advanced version.

    Auralia

    This was a good listening program for more advanced students. I found that it was a little difficult to figure out how to use. I would most definitely use this program to improve in aural skills. I like that it gives the user many choices in which to ear train.

    Practica Musica
    This program is very helpful when it comes to music theory for high school or college aged students. I feel that it was difficult to navigate through, as I had not used it before. I like that student can pick many ways in which to learn through this program. I would use this program as a teacher, but I would make sure that I spent time explaining how to use it.

    Musictheory.net
    I like that this is accessible to anyone who feels they want to improve. Though, it doesn’t go very deeply into any aspect of theory or ear training. I would definitely use this program to help test myself if I had known about it at the end of high school, or even freshmen year here. I think that it is very appealing to students because it is free. I couldn’t see myself using it in my classroom though. I would suggest that my students use it to practice their skills if they didn’t have any other option.

  29. katieh Says:

    Music Ace 1 & 2

    I really enjoyed working in these programs. The formatting was colorful, bright, cheerful, and kid-friendly. However, it wasn’t babyish. I could navigate my way through it easily, and everything was clearly labeled. It would be suitable for elementary schoolers to use who are in general music classes. I would definitely use this program in my class, because it was fun for me to play, and the information was accurate and helpful. Students could learn a great deal from this program and would be great for reviewing purposes.

    Music Lessons

    I have never heard of this program, but it’s awesome! I wish I could have used this in middle school and high school. It has all the information you feel you should know, but still need brushing up on every now and then. I loved all the exercises: including those for piano and guitar, rhythms, scales, modes, etc. I feel students would be able to navigate effortlessly through the program, and it is very useful.

    Sibelius Instruments

    What a cool program! I learned a lot about instruments that I’m not very familiar with–like percussion and orchestral instruments. It was easy to use, and fun. I would say this would be useful for middle school-high school age students who are in general music, or who are interested in learning more about the ensembles they are in.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes

    This program is a great tool for young students, perhaps early elementary school age. I liked the “explore” section, I felt the exercises were useful. However, I did not like the “create” section–I felt its level of difficulty did not match up with that of the “explore” section–I felt it was more advanced than the other. This would be a useful program to use, but I would combine it with another program in my classroom.

    Auralia

    I have used Auralia before, and found it quite useful. I would say it’s appropriate for high school and even college age students to practice with. It’s great especially for aural skills training. I like that you can use a mic and do singing exercises. This is an area of difficulty for most of us, so this program can be really helpful. It’s easy to navigate through which makes things go smoother.

    Practica Musica

    This program is more advanced than the others in the way it is set up. I would say this would be appropriate for high schoolers and college students. It is a very comprehensive program that includes many common instruments. I would use this in a music theory, general music or aural skills class. I think it would prepare high schoolers who are interested in music for their college level theory classses.

    Music Theory.net

    I use this website all the time. It has gotten me through all of my theory classes thus far, it’s a life saver. It is very user-friendly, you don’t have to be a computer nerd to get through it. Also, it is very comprehensive and contains information and exercises regarding almost everything you can find in a theory class. I used it in AP Music Theory in high school, and I still use it in college. I wouldn’t recommend it to students younger than that, since it contains pretty advanced information and isn’t very kid-friendly.

  30. sherylm Says:

    Music Lessons

    The Music lessons program was easy to navigate especially for elementary age students. The program focused on note and interval identification, an elementary age concept. I found it to be an encouraging program for young students because of the audio feedback (ex. Applause). It is also important to note that it gives students the opportunity to challenge themselves in different ways. For example, Music Lessons 2 gives the option to decipher an interval based on their aural skills or reading notation skills. However, in my opinion, it would be best if the “show me” button was eliminated as it tempts children to give up before attempting a problem. Overall, it is a good program and I would consider using it with my elementary age students.

    Music Ace

    The Music Ace program was obviously geared toward elementary age children. Some concepts focused on were beat, tempo, and even composition. I really liked the opportunity for creativity it gave the students. The program was, for the most part, easy to navigate. I really liked the way the program incorporated classical art works versus children’s songs. I thought the use of the smiley face notes were cute, however, it had the potential to confuse children. The program used bigger notes for longer durations and smaller notes for shorter durations. As we know, that is not proper notation. I think it is important, even at a young age, to introduce children to the foundations of music in a correct and realistic manner.

    Sibelius Instruments

    The Sibelius Instrument program was very informative and easy to navigate. It is clearly geared for more advanced music students, probably high school age, as it makes specific, detailed distinctions between instruments. It also incorporates a lot of reading, which requires a more self-motivated student. As it was not much fun and more of a chore, I probably would not use this program very often as a self-learning source.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes

    Because Groovy had so many colors, sound effects, and animations, I found myself very engaged it even as a college age student! This program would be very interesting for elementary students. It focuses on composition, allowing students to experiment with rhythms, chords, etc. and also instrumentation. I do think that the program could challenge students a little bit more by involving more musical concepts or different levels. Even though this program was highly entertaining, I would think twice about using it in my classroom as it may not challenge my kids to the full extent.

    Auralia

    Auralia is a highly complex but easy to use program. It incorporates all kinds of musical ear training concepts involving: intervals, scales, chords, progressions, cadences, rhythm, pitch, melody, and jazz. Because of all of the learning opportunity this program offers, I would definitely use this program with my high school students. It is both challenging and interesting and would most likely appeal to many students in that age group.

    Practica Musica

    The Practicca Musica program was unentertaining and does not seem like it would aid all that much in learning. It was a little too simple. After opening the program, I did not get any instruction on what to do and how to do it. After figuring out that I was supposed to create my own melody, I found that I had little motivation to use the program.

    Musictheory.net

    Keeping in mind that this is a free learning source, I thought this was a fairly good help to understanding different elements of theory. It gave great instruction and notes on different topics, but that is about all I can say. It did not capture my interest all that much, but it got the job done.

  31. travismarkley Says:

    musictheory.net
    This website was a really great tool for any beginner in music theory. It may take a while for someone to learn how to get around the website, and it would also be a pretty good idea to have some theory experience. It is a good tool for people who are experienced in theory to stay sharp as well.

    music ace 1 and 2
    This is great to help anyone who is very young or just a beginner in music. It goes over the basics and really allows for easy learning in a variety of different ways for a variety of different things. It would be a big help for an elementary teacher.

    music lessons 1 and 2
    This is kind of a music ace for people who already know the craft. It can be used to help keep someone sharp at what they are playing and can be easily used by anyone.

    sibelius instruments
    This is a great tool to help musicians broaden their instrumental horizons or help someone who is yet to play an instrument learn about them and choose which one they would like in an easy way. It may be a little more advanced than some programs, but i is really good and can be used by different age ranges. For more advanced students, there are even quizzes that can be taken.

    Sibelius groovy shapes
    Good program for young students. It can help youngsters or beginners learn about the basics in fun ways. This program could be annoying as a tool for practicing however because levels cannot be skipped. This program would be great for beginners however.

    Auralia
    This program is easy to use and is very helpful. It can help with different skills at many different levels. Scales, chords, rhythm, and other areas are all covered. This program would probably be used for higher level students.

    Practica Musica
    This program can be great if used by higher level students like high schoolers. Exporting audio files can be very helpful as well. I would suggest using easier programs to navigate that can do similar things however.

  32. Jeff N Says:

    Music Ace
    I had a blast with Music Ace 1 and 2. It was very easy to follow and learn all about the basics of music. This would be better for the younger age group, I feel if you gave this to a middle school student or high school student they would just laugh at you.

    Music Lessons
    I was not a fan of Music Lessons, it was very similar to music ace, but a lot more bland. This would be key for older students or students who don’t need that kind of motivation

    Sibelius Instruments
    This program would be excellent for middle school to elementry school band students. This program helped describe what is needed to play and perform each instrument of the band. I felt for the kind of program that it is, it provided key details regarding the instruments. Im a voice major, but I still had a lot of fun with this program.

    Sibelius Groovy shapes
    This program is definately for the younger user. Again it was very smart in teaching children about the basics of music. Very visually inteactive…good for the eyes

    Aurelia
    I feel this program is driven towards the older middle school high school musician. This program basically to me was like a personal coach, it helps you with a lot of basic ot advance aspects of performing your instrument. Very cool

    Practica musica
    The only thing that differs this program from all the others is the ability to export audio files. Besides that it was the same high school driven program to help better musicians through computer technology.

    Musictheory.net
    This website took a little time to get used to and know my way around, but eventually the beauty of it shone on my macbook screen. It helps any kind of musician to improve on their music theory skills. Very helpful I like it

  33. radford2 Says:

    Music Ace:
    The smiley faced notes weirded me out a little. Other than that, it was a pretty good basic site geared towards children or beginners with some good techniques for teaching elementary theory. A great tool for an elementary school teacher, minus the smiley faces.

    Music Lessons
    This was very similar to my high school theory programs in AP theory. Very dry, boring, but otherwise a good program for learning more advanced forms of theory. It’s kind of like doing math equations, which is the problem. I don’t know I would change it to make it more interesting, but I probably wouldn’t use this on a regular basis in my classroom. It was also kind of hard to navigate the site without instruction or directions, which would make it difficult for a beginner to use the program. Overall, I wasn’t really a fan of this program.

    Sibelius Instruments
    I thought this was a great program! I learned a lot about instruments that I didn’t know before. It’s probably a Jr. High aged program or a freshmen high school class in band. I really liked everything about it. The descriptions of each instrument and what is required to play them was very informative and fun (if you’re a band nerd, which i was once!) I also liked that it had a quiz section that more advanced students might be able to take 🙂 woot!

    MusicTheory.net
    I liked this site and was impressed mainly with how easy it was to navigate this site. I kind of viewed it as the “Sparknotes” of music theory for intermediate to advanced students. However, like sparknotes, I wouldn’t recommend a student used only this program to learn music theory. It’s kind of like supplementation to a class that you’re taking. Overall, I dig.

    Aurelia
    This is a program that I would use with my high school students for sure. It’s very useful and easy to navigate. Again, a high school level program, but very good at explaining basic concepts like chords, scales, intervals, cadences, rhythms, and such.
    This is definitely one of the more challenging programs on the list for a student to use.

    Practica Musica
    One of those programs that you stop using the day you start, unless you’re forced to use it. Very unclear about how to navigate the site. I wouldn’t use this with my students because there are much better programs even on this small list that would much better serve as an effective instrument of education in the classroom setting.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes
    Good program for elementary school kids. Kinda creepy still, but I guess that’s what little kids like. I don’t think I would use it in the classroom, but it’s still a good program. It was very easy to navigate, however the program ran a little slow for me. Might have just been my computer. Anyways, very basic, colorful, fun, and creepy. Good combination.

  34. Andrew Says:

    Music Ace

    Music Ace is a wonderful teaching tool for young students. The program teaches basic fundamentals of music in a kid friendly manner. Since learning basic music theory can be very boring for students, disguising the fundamentals in games and by using bright colors and symbols. This helps to keep the students’ attention and make learning music fun and exciting for even the youngest students.

    Music Lessons

    Music Lessons seems like a good program for learning basic to advanced music theory. This program has a simple format and is easy to use. I feel that this program would be best served for getting familiar with a piano but also works well for learning notation. At times it runs a bit slow when checking answers, which can be frustrating to the user.

    Sibelius Instruments

    Sibelius Instruments is a great reference for anyone seeking knowledge about an instrument. This program contains information that can be useful to anyone from young students to experienced musicians. The type of ensemble they are used in all the way down to specific sections of the ensembles organizes instruments. Pictures are used to name and label the instruments helping young students to find an instrument that they don’t know the name of. This is a great tool to help learn almost anything about many Western instruments.

    Sibelius Groovy Shapes

    This program is more or less a Garage Band for very young students. The program has a section that explores the tone color of various instruments. It also has another section that allows students to create music from different loops. This is focused on visually and aurally stimulating the user at the same time.

    Auralia

    Auralia is very good software for ear training. This software has many uses from practicing intervals to dictation. The interface is easy to use for the most part. The interface is designed for early intermediate to advanced students. The program can be a bit corny at times but is overall very useful in learning pitches, intervals and rhythms.

    Practica Musica

    I could not get this software to work correctly so in its current state I would not use it as a teaching tool.

    MusicTheory.net

    This website is a great tool for learning and reviewing music theory. It is geared toward a more advanced group. The interface is not exciting for younger users and the material covered is of a harder nature. This is much more educational rather than entertaining.


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