In the Classroom | Teaching Techniques | Applications | MIDI Studio Setup

NoteWorthy Composer in the Classroom - Teaching Techniques

From Matthew Wetmore........

We transcribe vocal and accompaniment parts into NoteWorthy Composer for our chorale as practice aids. While initially learning parts, we produce midi files with a particular part (Bass for example) emphasized in volume. As the part is solidified, we produce another MIDI with the part muted - it allows the singer to sing without the safety net of hearing their part. By the time they can sing their part alone with the other MIDI parts, they're usually ready to go. We naturally finish out the nuance and expression in live rehearsals, but the midi files help reduce time in learning notes and rhythm.

Author Bio: Matthew Wetmore, Membership coordinator of the Cascadian Chorale

From Jay Hamilton........

I have a new guitar student [an adult] who is blind. After racking my brain and exploring braille music notation [which the student is not really willing to learn] I realized that the exercises and folk songs that I had written into .nwc files could be exported as .mid and then imported into Tabledit [see previous technique] and from there exported as an .abc file which I can then send to the student via email and he then either has his computer read the notes out loud to him or he prints out the file into his braille printer.

He is also able to listen to the midi file which I send along a few days later so that he must try to learn the piece without the 'ear' help.

FYI; abc notation is a- mostly-European ethnomusicology system that uses a set of rules; numbers and letters of the musical alphabet, to notate out folk songs and dances. The downside to this system is that articulations are lost and there is no method to put them in.

I have found for some of my other young students that when they hit the wall using this notational system will sometimes get them over/around the mental block.

Author Bio:

Editor's Note: There are 2 features in NoteWorthy Composer that were specifically added/adapted for our visually impaired users. One is the quick key 0 (zero). Pressing 0 will place the insertion point on the center staff line. So there is always a starting point or return to point available. The other is the larger zoom capability for the display editor. The command is View: Zoom, set to 50. In general, the majority of the commands having keyboard shortcuts make NoteWorthy Composer useable for the visually impaired.

From David Schwartz........

I have used NoteWorthy Composer to create and publish play-along exercise books for trombone players. NoteWorthy Composer creates both the solo parts and, with the solo staff muted, plays the piano accompaniment. My sound editor and CD-R burner provide the accompaniment.

Young instrumentalists improve rhythm, articulation, intonation, and phrasing when playing along with the piano accompaniment. Practice is more fun. Students become better soloists and better ensemble musicians.

For visual and audio samples of The Bordogni Vocalises transcribed by David Schwartz, visit my web site

From Avery W. Krouse........

As a student and choir teacher's aide at my local high school, I was given the opportunity to direct several of our male students in a Men's Chorus during our spring concert. Of course, they already had to work on their other spring music, so it wasn't possible to get very many chances to go over the men's music in class.

The music I chose to use had already been put into MIDI format by my state's vocal association for an honors choir they did, and through attending, I got to take the files, put them into Noteworthy Composer, and make the necessary changes. I also put one piece in by hand. I turned them into MIDI files and placed them on a floppy disk for each student to rehearse on their own.

Author Bio: Avery W. Krouse,, Lenoir City High School, Lenoir City, TN, Occupation: Student (Class of 2003) studying to become a choir director

From Anonymous........

I use the sheet music scanning software Sharpeye by processing the music through the software, then exporting as a midi file into NoteWorthy Composer. I can have a multi stave piece of music scanned and playing on the PC within 5 minutes. Pupils can then play along with the tune to establish timing disciplines and to create duets, trios etc with one pupil playing a "real" instrument.

From Dick Vanderburgh........

I have found NWC very helpful as I teach piano to children and adults. For the few who have only MacIntosh computers, I convert *.nwc files to *.mid, all transmitted efficiently as eMail attachments.

For beginners, NWC files speed up the learning process, combining visual and audio input at variable playback speeds. Advanced students profit not only from hearing correct performance, but also by interpretation nuances made possible by MPC configurations.

As reported by Jay Hamilton (below), I find NWC useful in preparing flash cards.

There is usually some resistance to the use of software as a useful learning tool, but in most cases the advantages soon prevail.

I am interested in exploring the application of music-software methods beyond the studio to "distance learning", and welcome input from other interested musicians and students.

Author Bio: I am retired from a varied career as a military and airline pilot, and as a civilian space research and computer specialist in the Air Force. Piano teaching and chess coaching keep me busy at the present time. Dick Vanderburgh,

From Jay Hamilton........

I teach very young children [check my website] 3-9 years old.

I use NoteWorthy Composer to make and replicate my rhythm exercises. Often I have my students write a measure or two of rhythm and then I type it in while they watch - in this way they see/learn how their notes really should/could look and adjust accordingly.

I have also loaded in different children's songs so that when they need an exercise that will help them with the pacing or rhythm of music I can print it out without writing it out each time. With different students I sometimes add chords or perhaps just let the melody stand and have them learn that first [meaning how to play it first]. THEN I will add a note per measure, and subsequently add a chord or counterpoint. The nice thing about using a computer program such as NoteWorthy Composer is that you can save each incarnation of your exercise and use it when you have another student with similar needs.

I have also made different 'flashcards' with sequences different from those available commercially. These are generally made to help solve a specific student's needs and not generic.

Lately I have used NoteWorthy Composer to show my advanced beginning group how different notes are beamed by enlarging the screen size to 48 and showing the individual notes and then how a machine would beam them together.

Lastly, I have another program that takes tab/abc files/txt files of ethno music and translates it into notation and midi. Because I am not content with it's print out most often (for my pennywhistle students) I export from that program a midi file and then port it into NoteWorthy Composer and edit the oddities out- or at least try.

Author Bio: Jay Hamilton, Seattle,,

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