Music Teacher's Helper Blog

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:

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I recently received an email from a paying subscriber:

“I have used this website for 2 months, and I don’t know how I lived without it before!! it’s great! Thank you. Starting about a week ago, I’m getting all the time a window that says: ‘Security information: this page contains both secure and nonsecure items, would you like to display the nonsecure items?’ How do I get rid of it?”

Since we added SSL Data Encryption for paying plans, some teachers have noticed a warning when they login saying that there are secure and non-secure items on the page. This is a warning that Internet Explorer gives if not all the references to files on the page are https. Unfortunately (and incorrectly), it also gives the error if any of the links are pointing to about:blank, or null – which is still secure. Other browsers (such as Mozilla Firefox) do not warn about this since it is not a security issue.

But to get around this IE bug we changed a few links. It turns out the culprits were the bar chart on the home page, and the question mark help icons (when you hover over them).

Paying subscribers using Internet Explorer should no longer get warning about this unsecure items on a page. Thank you to those who pointed this out to me!

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A recent study published in the Oxford Journals confirms that young children who take music lessons have improved memory functions over children who do not. That’s not a huge surprise, and we’ve all heard studies like this before done on slightly older children. One interesting difference here, however, is that this is the first study to actually identify the effects on brain measurements in young children.

Read review at News Medical
Read the full artcile

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