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If I had been able to use Music Ace when I was five years old, while being taught how to play the piano and to read music, my childhood would have been a more fun and productive time of my life, and although I thank my parents for putting me through it I remember thinking at the time that there must have been a better way.
With its entertaining graphical style and easy to use controller interfaces Music Ace is more than capable of teaching a beginning music student how to read, write and play music without even letting them know it. After five minutes all those dots and lines found in music manuscript books will magically start turning into the language of music.
Music Ace is inhabited by a friendly old conducter called Maestro Max and his choir of singing notes who will lead the student through a series of 24 lessons that are designed to develop and reinforce fundamental music skills and an understanding of music theory. After completing each lesson an exciting game is offered which puts the student through their paces and burns more of that musical knowledge into the learning centers of the brain.
But learning about music isn't just about being able to play for family and friends at holiday gatherings, although a little showing off never did anyone any harm. It's about improving the overall learning capabilities of the brain.
Unfortunately 55% of U.S. school districts either have no music specialist or are served by a part-time music teacher, and the situation is generally worse in other countries, so programs such as Music Ace do have a place in the classroom as well as in the home. And don't think you're too old to learn about music! If you don't know how many semiquavers there are in a minim you'll need pictures to help you find out just like a six year old does.
After only a few lessons the student will be ready for the Music Doodle Pad. It contains several different instrument sounds and allows for the easy composition and play back of music. We had great fun with this, even though we are used to infinitely more complex editing and notation programs. After a few minutes we were editing and adding notes to create some great sounding tunes.
As with any music tuition program we do recommend an external MIDI keyboard is used when using the Music Doodle Pad, even though Music Ace has one of the best interfaces we've seen for making music without one. There is also a Jukebox feature that plays musical pieces that are stored in memory, simply watch the notes as they appear on the screen and play along. It's fun!
Here's a rundown of some of the key features:
Lessons - 24 self-paced lessons that develop and reinforce fundamental music skills and an understanding of music theory, including:
Staff and keyboard relationship
Tracking Progress - this feature will log a students progress as they make
their way through all of the lessons and also provides a High Scores for all
Music Doodle Pad - available as a stand alone program the Music Doodle Pad allows the student to compose and listen to their own music. This is in itself a very important part of the learning process, a feature that is often overlooked in other music tuition programs.
Here are a few awards that the product has received:
Notable Computer Software Award
Gold Seal Award
Parents' Choice Award
To contact Harmonic Vision check out their entry in our Manufacturers department.