If music is a language, more specifically, a universal language, then all musicians should be able to listen to it, play it, read it, talk it (improvising) AND write it (composing). Summer seems to be a great time to encourage students to move away from the printed page of others and on to writing their own creations on empty staves. Filling those open staves with original ideas is a topic for another time–maybe next month?
Last summer, students created pieces and notated their compositions on my Sibelius program. They thoroughly enjoyed the experience and many more are signing up for that opportunity this summer. As I make plans for these budding composers, I would like to offer them options so that they can notate their masterpieces at home. This will allow for more lesson time spent on creating and refining and less time on entering data.
Two programs have come to my attention. I am hoping that one or both may equip students for producing a professional-looking composition here, at the studio, and also at home.
This free, downloadable music notation program offers an alternative to powerful but pricey programs such as Sibelius and Finale. Easy to use, notation can be entered via keyboard, mouse or MIDI keyboard. Scores can also be shared online once you make your own Muse account.
Numerous helpful videos are available and enable anyone to get started with the basics. Apparently, this program easily imports documents to Sibelius and Finale as well. Click on this link to see the basic tour of MuseScore http://youtu.be/0mh6m2mbVHs
This web-based program allows early musicians to notate compositions with ease. From my limited exposure, it was extremely simple to notate, copy and share via email. This would be a great way to check up on progress of students and answer any questions they may have between lessons. You can even embed pieces on your website. Yes, I tried it, and it worked.
The video tutorial will be essential to introducing the basics to new users. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1BrFc1Qjog&feature=player_embedded#at=16
As I have only peeked at both programs that provide excellent tools for music creativity, it is hard for me to determine which one is “write”, perhaps both? Time will tell. Some parents may prefer to download a program instead of their child using the internet browser, while others may prefer not to download yet another application. As I continue to experiment with both, please add your comments, thoughts, opinions, on either Noteflight and/or Musescore. I would greatly appreciate your input before the composition fun begins!