Lesson Planning: Using MuseScore to Teach Theory

May 31, 2011

Pedagogy

My year junior students had a look at MuseScore for the first time yesterday. It’s a really useful tool for reinforcing all the basic music theory concepts we’ve been looking at lately. My seniors were introduced to it today, and used it for a simple orchestration exercise to get the hang of the program.

I’m thinking of revamping my theory lessons so that the majority of them can take place using MuseScore, and perhaps Acid Xpress (a particularly good tool for visualising musical structure, I’ve found). It would be wonderful if I could have a midi lab, with all the computers set up with a keyboard, instead of having to remove students from the normal music classroom for theory lessons. That’s my long-term goal.

In the meantime, my brain is ticking over, and I’m coming up with a list of lesson plans, homework assignments, and classroom activities that I’d like to prepare with MuseScore. It would also be a great relief-supply tool for occasions when I happen to be away.

Does anyone know if there’s an online bank of MuseScore activities for theory and composition which might be up and running somewhere?

In other news, I spoke to one of the deputies yesterday about year 9/10 music, and I was told that there’s no need to worry on that front, which is a relief. My focus now is encouraging as many as possible to join senior music next year, which is traditionally a very small class.

Ben Smith from the Music Teachers’ Network has also introduced me to the Musical Futures approach, which I’d not encountered before this week, so I will be investigating that direction enthusiastically. I’ve had a look around the website today, and it looks fantastic!

Creative Commons License
This article by Gabrielle Deschamps is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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About Gabrielle Deschamps

I'm a secondary music teacher, interested in music technology and its integration into classroom pedagogy.

View all posts by Gabrielle Deschamps

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2 Comments on “Lesson Planning: Using MuseScore to Teach Theory”

  1. Samuel Says:

    Hello Gabrielle.
    Great blog and keep up the posts, you are an inspiration 🙂

    As for material that can be used for teaching in a sort of ‘online bank’ of resources Noteflight has this in abundance. They have also paired up with the Vermont MIDI project to provide schools and educators with online, 21st Century notation/theory/scoring tools/activities. Check them out they are very helpful and they have a free version for you and your students to use right-away.

    • Noteflight http://www.noteflight.com/
    • Noteflight Learning edition http://www.vtmidi.org/noteflight.htm
    • Vermont MIDI Project http://www.vtmidi.org/

    Reply

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