Using NoteWorthy Composer in the Classroom
The following are some suggested applications for using NoteWorthy Composer in the classroom.
Create Tests and/or Study Sheets - Staff sections and entire songs can be copied and pasted into another application, like a word processor. So a key signature can be shown on a staff and the student asked to identify that key. Printed notation instead of handwritten will make tests and study sheets neat and easy to understand. The commands are Edit: Copy Special for a staff section and Print: Preview, Copy for the entire score. See the FAQ entry "Can I copy my score to another application, like a word processor?" for more detail.
Compose and Rearrange - Create original compositions for your band, you know you have something in mind! You can work on them and hear the outcome in private by having NoteWorthy Composer play back all the parts - instead on having your band try it out for the first time. If your group is weak in one area, rearrange a piece to highlight your strengths.
Transpose - Quickly transpose parts for a song that your want the band to play. The command is Tools: Transpose Staff. Also, see the following FAQ entries: Transposing a Staff, Changing Clef and Changing Key.
Print Parts - You can print individuals' parts or the entire score. The command to select certain staves for printing is File: Page Setup, Contents.
Notate Competition Parts - Notate drills and parts that students will be required to perform at competition. Provide these to students in printed format and NoteWorthy Composer file format (*.nwc). If they do not have NoteWorthy Composer, they can use the freeware product, NoteWorthy Composer Viewer to play back the song files.
Experimentation and Hands-on Learning - Allowing the students to use NoteWorthy Composer will enable them to explore the following areas:
Notation Play back - Being able to hear songs play back and watch the notation highlight as it plays, at the student's own pace, helps put it all together. The ability to change instruments, change tempo, add/delete parts, add harmony to melody all on command and all without having to know how to play the instruments or have a room full of musicians present allows for learning via experimentation. Chords or sequences that students are learning about can be notated to hear the sounds and differences.
Flow Direction - Learn the direction of play for repeats, special endings, segnos, etc. It may be difficult to follow arrows in a book, but with NoteWorthy Composer, students can quickly enter the sequence and see how it flows as a quick check.
Measure Count - While students are learning how many beats per measure for a time signature, they can use NoteWorthy Composer to check their work.
Transpose - Once students learn to transpose by hand, NoteWorthy Composer can check the their work. Or, NoteWorthy Composer can be used as an aid in learning to see the difference in notation and sound of a transposed staff to understand what they are working toward.
Step Entry - NoteWorthy Composer does accept MIDI keyboard input. For a student to press a note on a MIDI keyboard and see that note placed on the staff is just one more way to reinforce note pitch and staff placement. For more detail, see MIDI Keyboard Input.
Practice - There are several ways NoteWorthy Composer can be used as a practice aid:
Students can enter in the song note by note, key signature by time signature, to become more familiar with it. They will learn details of a song as they take the time to place each note and symbol. If they enter other players parts, they will have a better understanding of what other instruments will be playing, too.
Students can play back the entire band to hear it, then play back just his or her part. They can play back just woodwinds. They can play back a section over and over. NoteWorthy Composer will never get tired of practicing with the student. The following commands under the Tools menu can be used for this: Staff Play, Play and Mute List.
The tempo can be slowed while the student is getting started with the song and then increased as he learns it.
If the student does not have NoteWorthy Composer, if the teacher creates the NoteWorthy Composer practice files, they may access play back with NoteWorthy Composer Viewer (a freeware player of *.nwc song files).
Have the Students Compose - A student can compose freely or with set guidelines based on rhythms, melodies, etc. that are being studied. Students get a great sense of accomplishment from creating their own masterpieces. Perhaps a competition can be held for the winning student piece to be played at the next concert or recital.
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