Music & Technology

Thanks to Toby and Tina for comments this week on Collecting the Benjamins (about collecting student payments), and to Steven for comments on last week’s survey of sites connecting students and teachers.  I agree with Steven that ads vary from day to day and place to place, so I have revised one survey listing which was based entirely on ads.  (By the way, I take responsibility for all my own comments in this blog!)

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A very up-to-date downeast Maine minister, whom I interviewed for his daring World War II experiences, introduced me to Audacity–a free music program that can provide some very nice benefits for music teachers.

(Note that Audacity is not at audacity.com; it is at this link, in case you’d like to check it out.  The download is free, and available for Windows, Mac, Linux and other systems.  It is open-source, much like Linux and Mozilla.)

With Audacity, you can record anything your computer can play–from a CD, a website, a microphone, anything–into a sound file of its own, which you can then manipulate in a ridiculous number of ways.

For example, you can slow any portion of the recording down without changing the pitch–great for transcribing tricky passages.  You can also  [···]

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Concerto TableHow would you like to eat your meals around an elegant grand piano-shaped dining room table, that also connects to your iPod and plays music for you throughout the evening?

Sound strange? Maybe so, but it’s called the “Concerto Table”, and is currently going for USD $8,000! The Concerto Table also has a place to store your silverware, and some other interesting features. Personally, I’d rather put the money toward a real piano, but for those who have the money and good place for it, it is kind of sleek.

Read more at http://www.concertotable.com.

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Most music teachers at some time or another will have a need to “write” music of some kind – whether an original composition of any length, or some simple exercises to give to students. When that time comes, you can either do it by hand, or use notation software on the computer.

If you choose to notate your music on the computer, you have a few advantages:

  • Readability – it looks like professionally published music when printed
  • Accuracy – it can play back your music for you so you can listen to make sure it sounds right. You also don’t have to worry about erasers or white-out when you need to change a note.
  • Speed – you can hook up a MIDI keyboard and actually “play” your music onto the screen

If you haven’t taken advantage of music notation software before, you might want to give it a try. Good music notation packages can be quite expensive (several hundred dollars). However, Coda Music has a simplified version of their Finale suite called “Finale Notepad”, and it is completely free! While the full version has a lot more features, Finale Notepad has been feature-rich enough for all my music notation needs. And they have versions for both Windows and Mac.

You can download Finale Notepad for free at:

http://www.finalemusic.com/notepad/

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