Music was always one of my favorite subjects at school. However, I invariably ended up just banging two blocks of wood together during our orchestral performances. Perhaps if I’d had some computer software at my disposal in those days, I would have been able to master some of the proper instruments. In the latest in our Back to school series I’ll outline some programs that may be useful for training your ears.
Primary: A good way to introduce yourself to music is to learn the notes on a scale. Note Attack makes this an easy process, helping you to read music by blasting notes into submission in a fun game. Once you’ve got the basics of what the notes are and where they appear on the scale then get hold of Electronic Piano. This free program offers the perfect way to learn the basics of the piano by hammering the corresponding keys on your keyboard.
Secondary: You may wish to start your secondary music education by consolidating what you already know and building on this knowledge a bid. Install GNU Solfege and you’ll be able to test your existing music skills through a series of quizzes, based on the recognition of notes, scales, chords and the like. You’ve already had a stab at the piano, and if you’ve mastered that you may want to switch to the guitar. Fret Fun and 100 Chords Method make for excellent training aids for learning guitar chords. To help you keep time you should also install a decent digital metronome, such as Fast&Soft Metronome.
College: If you’re musical ambitions stretch further than being able to strum a few chords, you’re probably thinking about composing your own works. MagicScore Maestro and Encore are both excellent music notation applications for professional composers. Of course, you should make sure your ear is trained to perfection first, which you can achieve by installing Absolute Pitch onto your PC.