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Why does the latest and greatest software also seem to be so challenging to figure out, with a hundred new keystrokes and pull-down menus? Do these companies really think that three-inch-thick manuals of well-hidden information will help get people up and running? No wonder great technology goes under-utilized, especially in this era of budget crunching. But wait! The business world brings new software online all the time. What's missing in this picture for the music education world?Why does the latest and greatest software also seem to be so challenging to figure out, with a hundred new keystrokes and pull-down menus? Do these companies really think that three-inch-thick manuals of well-hidden information will help get people up and running? No wonder great technology goes under-utilized, especially in this era of budget crunching. But wait! The business world brings new software online all the time. What's missing in this picture for the music education world?

The more I teach music technology, the more I realize the value of third-party tutorial resources. To answer my wife's question on this subject: the first party is the vendor manufacturer; the second party is you, the user; and the third party includes all of the incredible training materials and tutorials available in the form of books, eBooks, YouTube videos, blogs, CDs and DVDs. For this article, I have reviewed 14 new third-party music technology/tutorial resources that can speed up the software learning curve.

Ace Martin, the instrumental music chairman at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, Florida, understands that sometimes you have to pick your battles when it comes to learning new software. He also notes that there is a wide array of resources designed to help bring educators up to speed. He says, "Over the years of teaching technology, I have learned you can't expect to be up to speed on every new upgrade or software used in my music technology classes. I rely heavily on clinics at music conferences, especially at TI:ME conferences, to get updates on new approaches. I have gone to YouTube to find a tutorial or lesson on Logic Pro. For example, sfSonicNinja does great tutorials on using Logic. Third party DVDs from ASK Video and macprovideo.com tutorials on MIDI are a sample of the wealth of information available. Tom Rudolph has done a wonderful job with his books on Sibelius and Finale to dovetail with the variety of online videos available to the users of these notation programs. With time and budget concerns, third-party tutorials are a must for all users and teachers teaching music technology. Most universities now have a component of music technology as a requirement before graduation; so it makes sense to use these tools to keep up with the every changing world of music technology. I certainly will continue to make use of every tutorial I access to help myself and my students keep up with those every streaming changes in software."



 


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