The Micro User1st November 1984
Published in The Micro User 2.09
Solving an age old problem
For years music teachers and parents have tried, by a variety of devious means, to get young instrumental players to regard practice as enjoyable. Words like joy, pleasure and fun are used in the titles of many teaching methods, but they don't fool anyone.
Practise and Play from Special Business Software provides an interesting and exciting answer. The package is for the young player who can play an octave or so.
The program is designed to teach six pieces of music chosen from the top of the pop market.
It is accompanied by an instrumental part book and an audio cassette of pre-recorded accompaniments for each of the pieces.
The notation of each tune is displayed with or without a bouncing ball as the pitch of each note is sounded. The whole thing can be slowed down to suit the player and can be made to appear in short sections.
As little as one bar of music can be repeated indefinitely at varying speeds - an ideal way of getting to grips with the difficult bits!
The thing that provides the motivation for all this hard work and diligence are the pre-recorded accompaniments.
Without them, this would be just another method. But the two complement each other so well that mistakes in the difficult bits make you dive back into the program until you get it right.
The tape is worth listening to on its own. In the main it consists of synthesised sounds, with one or two "real" sounds added for fun.
The honky tonk piano style of "This Ole House", the humor ous bird imitations of the "Birdie Song", the steel band in "Brown Girl in the Ring", plus "House of the Rising Sun", "Amazing Grace" and "Can Can", all add to the fun but never lose sight of what it's all about - more practice and better playing.
In general, this is colourful music well presented, providing a lot of motivation and encour aging good listening habits for ensemble playing.
Instructions are always clear and easy to follow and the degreeof user control makes it a joy to use.