When I received my copy of Finale 2009 last week I was anxious to get started on doing an in depth review of it. Now that I have had few days to kick it around I am confident I can give you preliminary review of the newest music notation software product from MakeMusic. One that is not without its ups and downs.
I am a big fan of both Sibelius and Finale and have done reviews on them here at MusicEdMagic in the past. I recently received word that the newest version of Finale, Finale 2009 , is being released tomorrow, July 17th, 2008. According to the press releases there are some nice sounding improvements to MakeMusic's flagship music notation software package, namely things like easier entry of expressions by simply dragging and dropping them into the score,several different playback enhancements to the sound library, and my personal favorite, easier creation of SmartMusic accompaniment files from ensemble scores!
Those that say that MP3 recordings of music have no soul may be more correct than they realize. One of the things that makes music memorable is the emotional impact that it can have on a human being. It turns out that compressing audio into MP3 format can actually strip out the pieces of the musical recording that help to initiate that emotional reaction in our brains turning a feast for the senses into little more than a metophorical hamburger and fries.
Those of us who have spent many long semi-sleepless nights on band trips corraling hormonally challenged teenagers into their hotel rooms can take heart with this story. Good old duct tape. A million uses, several of which might get you sued...
Thanks to newsletter subscriber Rich Nicklay for bringing this one to my attention!
Imagine a preparatory teacher classroom where a beginning teacher could actively learn how to deal with classroom discipline problems without the risk of "damaging" a student's academic or emotional abilities. Every teacher has made a mistake in the classroom where they say something they shouldn't have by responding to a student sarcastically or by losing their self control and yelling. The problem for beginning teachers is that until now there has been no real way to practice such classroom management techniques without putting themselves directly into a classroom. Now, thanks to a research project between Lockheed Martin and the University of Central Florida teachers may one day be able to learn how to deal with classroom discipline problems without ever coming within earshot of a real student.
I normally don't do articles or blogs on fund raising products but I came across a new take on the old standard of door to door selling of gifts. While it probably isn't for everyone, there is nothing to deliver, and the gift selection is top notch.
I ran across this video this evening while preparing other articles for the site. The film is of a very brave thirteen year old boy striding out onto the British version of American Idol and in front of thousands of live audience members and millions at home, singing what can only be described as an incredible performance of Pie Jesu. This kid is scared to death, but it only makes you wonder what he could do if he wasn't. Such talent, and yet he is so humble. Check it out!
I often mention Guitar Hero in my blog posts. Not because I am fascinated with the game so much as I am fascinated with the hold that it has on my band students. Students that I can't get to practice for ten minutes on their clarinet will instead play for hours at a time on Guitar Hero Garage Band. Many times I have lamented that if only Activision would do something to incorporate REAL instruments into the franchise that music educators would stand up and beat a path to their door. Well, it may be time to start lining up!
This may be a little off topic for a music education site, but since so many music educators also are avid Macintosh fanatics I thought it might be fun to post it anyway. Considering the recent Illinois earthquake it seems a little timely to show how people with a mac computer can now help to analyze the jolts from the next big earthquake.
At the 2008 MENC Conference I was able to attend a session given by Robert Duke of the University of Texas at Austin and James Byo of Louisiana State University regarding a new instrumental band method book that they have been working on over the last several years. Since the conference the method has been getting some significant attention on the MENC message boards from teachers who are looking for something new and innovative to replace the old, traditional method books that have been used in our classes for decades. What is making The Habits Of Musicianship generate such a buzz? Maybe it is because many of the premises behind it make so much sense. Maybe it is because the progression of activities in the book is completely different than almost any other method book out there. Of course, it could also be that "The Habits of Musicianship- A Radical Approach To Beginning Band " is radical in that it is FREE for use by anyone that chooses to download it!
For over a hundred years school children have been taught that Thomas Edison was the first person to make a viable audio recording. Well, get ready to do some revising of the history books...