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Morton Subotnick’s Music Academy

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This new ear training and music making method was created by a master educator and respected pioneer in electronic music and multi-media performance. Here Morton Subotnick presents a child-friendly, experimental approach for learning, creating and performing music that every student can excel at.
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This new ear training and music making method was created by a master educator and respected pioneer in electronic music and multi-media performance. Here Morton Subotnick presents a child-friendly, experimental approach for learning, creating and performing music that every student can excel at.

Now instead of building rote skills, MSMA digs deeper, encouraging and nurturing the music making experience for every student.

With the aim of building a solid musical foundation, Morton Subotnick’s Music Academy teaches listening skills and encourages creativity for students in grades K-6. The goal of the ear training in the ‘academy’ is to empower each student to hear and recognize the richness of musical expression. Now students of every ability level can experience the joy hearing and creating music!

CREATE: A Creative Musical Playground

With MSMA’s Create activities, a digital musical creativity playground separates “writing” music from performing or playing music. Both pitch activities and timing activities are included. Students are visually guided to use a “piece of paper” that they draw on onscreen. Each instrument is assigned a color. Pitch is visualized as up or down. Timing is shown from left to right. Now students can “draw” their own compositions, hear them back and modify them!

When students “perform” or play back their compositions, MSMA shows their music as a waveform, which prepares them for further recording concepts and discussions.

Other Create activities include interactive timing and rhythm lessons and more. Access to the Create module, and the activities presented to students can be controlled by the teacher.

EXPLORE: The Learning Zone

The Explore area of MSMA includes hundreds of lessons and exercises sectioned into three levels. The Explore section incorporates short videos for each lesson and includes game-like activities that reinforce testing. In some cases, these segments literally walk students through more complex materials that they will repeat during later testing. The Explore tests always offer the child the ability to eventually get it right.

SCORE: Measurements For Success

The Score section is designed both to test students’ musical hearing and to train the ear as well. Starting with simple tasks that lead to more complex exercises, students learn step-by-step to identify differences in pitch, time, timbre and dynamics.

Levels 1 and 2 give the ear an experience of these musical elements without putting names to anything. Using general dimensional terminology that students easily understand – near-far, high-low, fast-slow, etc., they fine tune their understanding of these attributes through several examples, where they learn to determine the ‘closest,’ the ‘fastest,’ the  ‘loudest’ and more.  Lessons become quite detailed without ever talking about names of intervals, or other labels.

Level 3 takes everything to a more complex level and adds the names for all the pitch intervals, tetrachords, scales and meters.

Throughout, there is a constant use of Same, Similar and Different.  This is used to reinforce the learning and understanding of musical hearing.

Scores from these tests are recorded in the MSMA system and can be recalled and reviewed by teachers. Teachers can control which tests are presented to students and when.

MSMA is also a sister product to Groovy Music Software. Students can easily switch between both programs, and Teachers can also make direct links to either program from Lesson plans in the MusicFirst Online Classroom.


Product Details

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Platform Hybrid (Mac and PC)
Manufacturer MusicFirst

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