What to Look For in Music Theory and Ear Training Software
Since its publication in 1987, more schools have adopted Practica Musica for their music theory and ear training students than any other program of its type. This is because music educators recognize that Practica Musica has particular capabilities which are not shared by other music education programs.
Here are some of the things to consider before choosing a music training program:
Scope: Does the program teach both music theory and ear training? Most programs try to teach one without the other and require you to purchase two separate programs at twice the cost of our product. Practica Musica is a complete tutor for both theory and ear training because we believe that the two subjects are interrelated and are best taught together.
Notation: Does the program display real music notation? Some do not display notation at all, and some display only pitches without the rhythmic element. Practica Musica displays full music notation.
Fully Interactive: Is the program's notation interactive? Some programs are based on premade pictures of music and do not allow for any student input. The student can interact with the music displayed in Practica Musica because underneath Practica Musica is the engine of an actual notation program.
Rhythm: Do the exercises include real-time rhythm tapping? Some programs do not teach rhythm reading at all. Some can play a rhythm for dictation, but are not capable of evaluating a rhythm played by the student. Practica Musica features Rhythm Matching, Rhythm Reading, and Pitch/Rhythm Reading, all of which are real-time exercises. The student plays notes along with a metronome and Practica evaluates his rhythmic accuracy.
Variety: Are the exercises preprogrammed (limited possibilities), or are they newly generated each time you run the program (limitless possibilities)? Practica Musica generates its examples each time one is requested - even the melodies and chord progressions - so that you will never run out of new material. Some activities, such as Melodic Dictation, also can draw on Library Melodies as an alternative to the generated ones.
Pedagogy: Does the program take the student through a logical progression of learning activities? Practica Musica includes a fundamentals textbook, Exploring Theory with Practica Musica (in either digital or print format), that was written to accompany the program and is integrated with it. Practica Musica can even play the music examples in the textbook! Alternatively, students can follow the Beginner's Course which provides a more general overview or the AP Prep Course designed to prepare students for the AP prep exam.
Tracking: Does the program track your progress? The Site Edition of Practica Musica will track the progress of any number of students (up to the number of Student Files in use), and the Standard Edition tracks four students and one instructor. Academic users can take advantage of our online WebStudents service.
Customization: Each Practica Musica activity can be extensively customized by the instructor.
Sound Options: Is MIDI required? Practica Musica is fully MIDI compatible, but does not require MIDI. Input can be via the letter keyboard, or the onscreen piano keyboard (or guitar fretboard). Output can be via the internal speaker in your computer.
We think that Practica Musica provides the greatest value in a package designed to train the ear and develop one's understanding of the workings of music.
Activities in Practica Musica: