by Tamsyn

March 24, 2013


Introduction to the course
As a music major, one of the most useful classes that I took in college was computer applications in music.  It was one of the classes that you tried to take as early on in your music program as possible so that you would know how to more easily create music for your theory and form classes, as well as transcribe solos and cadenzas, create music for your students, and a whole slew of other things.  It was a basic, simple class, but it was so essential for everything else that we did.

We primarily learned to use a program called Finale.  While the program is indeed fantastic, the $600 premium product available to us as students at the computer lab is not a program that I can personally afford.  I have been simply satisfied with the $50 print-music program my husband bought a few years ago until I found….drumroll….

As an open source project, it is absolutely and completely free.  No advertisements, no e-mail sign-up (unless you want to join their forums, which I have enjoyed), and no trial period.  I can’t tell you how happy I am to have found this resource.As I have been learning and playing with this program, I have thought about how I wish that I could have had something like this when I was a kid and wanted to be a composer.  I remembered how I spent HOURS painstakingly dragging individual notes and dropping them into a poor program my high school music teacher had to notate one of my early compositions.I would like to help the online community learn how to use this program.  Based on my college syllabus and adapted for children, the lessons and assignments will be posted here and you could have your kids do them at your convenience.  I will provide instructions and sometimes screen-videos to show how to do them.

Some side benefits for learning about computer music notation would be

1.    Playback feature to see if what they “wrote” was what they want it to be- instant feedback!
2.    Solidify rhythmic notation- in a 4/4 measure, you can only put 4 counts, no more, and if you do less, the measure will fill up with rests.
3.    Encourage music composition

If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section and I will try to answer them.  I would love your feedback!

About the author 


My name is Tamsyn and I love music. I got my bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from USU. I spent many years teaching private piano lessons until I had children of my own. I have attended several children workshops on how to teach children music. I really like the Kodaly method, but have adapted a lot of different techniques for my own children.

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  1. Thank you for doing this! I have been writing a ton of lyrics but only started to learn to read music this past September. I have been stumbling around MuseScore ever since and will love this music theory lesson. You are SWELL!!!

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