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One day, I was driving while thinking about a composition that I’m working on. It struck me amazing that composers in the old days were able to churn ensemble hits since the 1600s. All the symphonies from Mozart, Beethoven etc. were composed with music in their minds. Today, we have a luxury of listening to our originals on the fly by just clicking a play button. In some philosophical sense, our brain capacity has greatly deteriorate over time. We simply became lazy.
On the bright side, technology advancement means we have the ability to do more and be greater right?
That’s fruit for thought.
I deal with music arrangement a lot in my free time and some occasions where I’m commissioned to do so. Sibelius is my go to software for publishing music. It would be really nice to share the same enthusiasm and spread it to my students.
Each site interface has their plus points.
Noteflight is available for free online with most common tools available for publishing. It even has a midi component but stuff like that are only available on premium subscription. I was to use it on the iMac and iPad. Both used on browsers like Chrome or Safari. However, Noteflight has a limitation to its number of working titles per account in its free version. The free version also does not allow you to share the score publicly. It does have a collaboration feature but as expected, only in the premium version.
Musescore is more complete than Noteflight whereby being it is an app of its own and you can download it on Mac and Windows. It’s almost like a free version of Sibelius. I have yet to push the limits of Musescore but I’m quite impressed that there are some useful plugins available to use such as the one that allows you to insert note names into note heads. Musescore has quite a large public user library too and quite often you will find pop sheet music originating from Musescore.
Flat is the most basic of them all but it has a very unique collaboration feature. It allows you to invite other users to compose or work on a composition. I also like it’s clean looking interface. It’s still a growing site but with lots of potential. Flat also has its own user public library and very easily accessible. You can also download it on your iPad as an app. The interface is a little different from its site version but it’s good to use when you’re on the go.
The winner for me is Flat as a very simple, clean start for students to try music publishing. What appeals to me the most is it’s free collaboration feature that does not affect the number of working titles you can have in your account (Flat allows free 17 working titles for each account user). I have no problems using it across my nearly 50 secondary school students and I was able to check their work seamlessly and provide feedback in due time.
Online music publishing has made composition class an interesting one as students quickly realize how theory rules like time signature are very essential. Students get to connect their understanding of music theory very quickly through application on such a platform.
Do you have other applications or methods to share? Will be glad to hear about them in the comment section.
Recently, a friend whom I met through my Orff Levels in Singapore shared how she could now use consistent images for Kodaly and Orff learning with music fonts. I discovered the following paid resource:
Note-able Font – http://mymusicalmagic.blogspot.my/2014/07/music-notation-solutions-note-able-font.html
TpT link: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Note-able-Font-Package-Essential-Music-Teacher-Self-Publisher-Tool-PCMac-804893
I think that it’s actually very cool!
I’ve been using Sibelius for my music works and also classroom related materials and I think this is another good improvement and development towards how music teachers can present their work.
I also took the liberty of Googling for free music fonts that we might be able to use without paying. [If you are as resource-weak as me, free stuff is a joy!]
Free Music Fonts downloads:
http://www.fontspace.com/renny-murray/dtnoted [I used this font to create the image for this post’s feature image]
I like to DIY in some ways and I wondered how these people came up with their own fonts.
Lo and behold…
How to create your own font video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjPOOBu2x2E
There are many resource or videos like that.
One of these days…. I will make my own fonts!!!!
[The above font is made with this: http://www.fontspace.com/beeline/alphamusicman]
Some days I wish I have less than 24 hours but these days I wish there was more.
The new purposes I find in life late just isn’t forgiving when there’s just only 24 hours. I didn’t make any new year resolutions but I did put down a list of things that I want to do and should do. On so many levels and areas, the things I need to do are mountainous. It’s simply endless.
It’s way past mid January and I start to feel a little scared. There’s so much I want to achieve and at the same time, I wish time was fast so that I can get to do things that can only be done at specific times. Despite those fears, I’m at peace that I have a big goal to achieve. It keeps me on adrenaline high during days where it’s just gloomy and torturous.
Most of all, God is with me. I know it and I feel it. Sometimes, I regret leaving Him behind but I say the same, silent prayer every day before or as I’m going to work. I do the best I can to keep up learning.
My feelings on teaching is so inconsistent. Sometimes, I wish I can drop it all but sometimes I just flow with sudden inspiration. I’m putting melody to words that has not been done before to certain rhymes I find. Those sparks keep me going in what I know I love doing. I wish I can share it all but time is really, really so punishing at times.
There’s still so much to write about but I have to get back to work.
Till next time.
I’ve been feeling under the weather lately with a wisdom toothache and it is most unpleasant as I find it hard to concentrate and eat. That’s why I haven’t been posting up anything new lately.
Thank God for his blessings, I am feeling much better. So, I would like to share about what I’m doing to improve my students’ knowledge on recognising notes on the piano keyboard. Since the beginning of the semester, I have been quite limited by the time and materials that I can use for my Secondary Music lessons. I knew that Kahoot was a good platform to use as an interactive lesson strategy but in the past month, I realised it’s full potential when I explored more. You can create lessons with your Kahoot by putting in videos or flip classroom style. I have so much good things to tell about Kahoot and I felt that the only downside of it is that you need two devices at a time to use Kahoot. I guess that can be easily overcome as most people have more than one device nowadays. It works well on computers, Androids and even Apple devices.
My Year 7s have trouble learning about the piano keyboard and staff lately. I partially blame myself for it but they really liked Kahoot when I first introduced it. So I tried my hand on creating a Kahoot lesson on this topic.
Kahoot link: Recognizing notes on the piano Keyboard
Below is a preview of how my Kahoot looks like.
Please give it a try! Feedbacks are always great!
Teaching beats and rhythm is every music teacher’s business.
It has never been easy for me to teach these concepts to young children. Hence, when I came across this site, it was tonnes of help!
My pre-school students seem to understand the difference now that I showed them videos of a ticking clock or beating heart. The following Google Slide has a summary of how I conduct the class the materials I taken from the reference site and also videos of a ticking clock and beating heart.
Nonetheless, getting them to actually perform beat and rhythm accurately will take sometime. The next step I’ll take is to use my printables (rainraingoaway-beatandrhythm3) and get the students to point the beat and rhythm.
Would be glad if there are other easier methods to teach the young ones.
It was more than 3 years ago that I penned this song for my students to learn about note values. As simple and cheesy as it seems, I’m pretty sure they remembered the concept well. Feedback would be great!
Click below to download pdf: