By Paul Wurster
W hether you’re rearranging one of Madonna’s classics for your glee club or adding
tuba parts to a Twisted Sister song
for your marching band, access to a
high-quality music notation program
Finale 2011, MakeMusic’s latest edition, offers expanded functionality and
more support for music teachers who
create, edit, audition, and print musical scores for a variety of ensembles.
This year’s version comes with additional templates, tools, and materials
specifically for teaching music. Teachers can use Finale’s 350 worksheets
to customize exam questions or create new exercises for different music
classes. Worksheets cover elements of
music, rhythms, chords, terminology,
and even jazz improvisation. The program includes 400 flashcards and several musical puzzles and games, such
as crosswords, bingo, and Sudoku.
Finale’s Exercise Wizard helps teachers create lessons for vocal or instrumental ensembles based on a combination of exercises. The program has the
essential selection of scales, intervals,
and arpeggios, which teachers can mix
and match to create their own lesson
plans. The wizard will also transpose
exercises by octaves to stay within acceptable ranges for individual instruments at the skill level teachers select
(basic, intermediate, or advanced).
Created for beginning music stu-
dents, Finale’s AlphaNotes font places
note names or solfege inside noteheads
to help students learn to sight-read
or sight-sing faster. Finale also sup-
ports colored noteheads for use with
Boomwhakers tuned percussion
tubes—brightly colored plastic instru-
ments that sound a musical note when
students whack them against a surface.
40 Learning & Leading with Technology | March/April 2011
Finale offers many ways to enter and change notes, including a MIDI keyboard, a mouse or computer key- board, wind instruments through the MicNotator feature, or sheet music files imported from a scanner.
1 GB or more of RAM for optimal
performance—the more RAM, the
more available sounds—but bear in
mind that an additional 2 GB of hard-drive space is required to use all the
sounds that come with Finale.
Finale 2011 is compatible with PCs
running Windows XP, Vista, and
Windows 7 or Macs (G4 or higher
recommended) using OS 10. 5 or later.
The program uses more than 600 MB
of space and requires a minimum of
512 MB of RAM without Garritan and
MakeMusic designed Finale for professional musicians, arrangers, teachers, composers, and music engravers. It
is not well suited to younger students,
in part because it is so robust. Finding