PhD Composition (Harvard), former professor Harvard and UCLA music departments, former VP production 21st Century Fox
When I was thirteen, I was fortunate to meet and play for the great French musician and teacher Nadia Boulanger, then an old woman, but very sharp and learned. She was also very kind, and said one thing that remained with me since: “I can teach a child everything he or she needs to know about music between the ages of five and ten. After that, it’s only a matter of applying what you know. A person can learn music....
When I was thirteen, I was fortunate to meet and play for the great French musician and teacher Nadia Boulanger, then an old woman, but very sharp and learned. She was also very kind, and said one thing that remained with me since: “I can teach a child everything he or she needs to know about music between the ages of five and ten. After that, it’s only a matter of applying what you know. A person can learn music later, but it is much, much more difficult.” With that in mind, and from my own experience teaching college theory at Harvard and UCLA in its School of Music, I wanted my 5 year-old daughter to have the best possible access to musical teaching, training and experience using the computer as a tool – since I didn’t have Nadia Boulanger! I was also interested to see what had been developed using technology, so I made a point of trying everything I could find. Luckily I found Children’s Music Journey, which is the single best music tutor, and music ‘experiencer’ for kids that I’ve found.
There are a number of reasons why – the program is planned
carefully, it moves in steps that kids can relate to, and it’s clever in finding many different ways to teach aspects of musicianship – but the main reason it works so well is that my daughter has a real affection for it, and for the parade of famous composer-teachers who became her tutors, a small but ultimately brilliant device that the program uses to deliver its lessons. These CMJ composers can be pretty humorous, listening to their own music with rapt attention, hands to their chins and staring skywards, and while it might seem odd that none have German, French, English or Russian accents – not even Beethoven! – they’re endearing and inviting, and so friendly that even small children are charmed. And those children also learn a lot, very quickly – each composer’s work is sampled and given a thumbnail explanation before the lesson starts, so the child knows that the journey is always about music, and how to make it, at a high level – in fact, at an artistic level.
So CMJ does not talk down to kids, as most programs do, it elevates them and opens a door to experience. It also creates a relationship that kids want to continue living and working in – the most important aspect of a music training program which, if it’s going to work at all, needs to have the child coming back again and again.
In our own case, my daughter finished CMJ I at age five, and Volume II a year and a half later when it was released (we were impatient for each further installment). With Volume III, she worked through several sessions, and then announced she wanted to repeat the entire program again, so we went back – and this was her choice alone. Now we’re back in Volume III again, with a very solid foundation for everything it offers, forging ahead.
The program isn’t completely automatic – it’s good for a parent or teacher to be nearby to help with the technology, and help navigate the program’s many choices (including clever musical games and a recording studio, my daughter’s favorite), but that’s only to smooth the way for the kid to go deep into their own experience of it.
So we’ve been working with CMJ for over three years now, and wish there were more installments ready when we finish CMJ III. But there’s no hurry – taking your time, working through lessons and practicing, trying to do better at the game challenges, is all part of learning and of learning music – building habits any child will find useful in other aspects of education. Does music make kids smarter? Absolutely – everything in my experience tells me so. I know the kids I went to music school with were, and are, some of the most brilliant and accomplished people I’ve ever met, and I can’t believe it’s an accident. The Greeks taught music as one of the three main courses of their ‘gymnasium,’ and again and again I’ve heard stories of musically accomplished teens getting accepted at top colleges and
universities after demonstrating their skills. Educators know it takes discipline and self-starting dedication to master an instrument, making music a great indicator of success on every level in college.
The best way get there is to start early – and a wonderful tool for helping to build that early start is Children’s Music Journey. It’s transformed my daughter’s life, and tomorrow morning, I know she’ll be asking to work at it again. We’re grateful for the program, and hope that the series will be continued far into the future, so we can continue learning and enjoying all it has to offer.
Magnet School of Performing Arts
Gail teaches K-10 music at Kinsella Performing Arts Magnet School in Hartford, CT. Kinsella was recently recognized as, 'Best Magnet School in Connecticut' in 2014/2015. Gail, a former long-term President of the Music Ed ucators Technology Association of Connecticut, has been teaching music for over thirty years. "I have been using the Children's Music Journey and Piano Suite programs here at R. J. Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts in Hartford, Ct. for over 8 years. I have 12 MuslQ stations....
Gail teaches K-10 music at Kinsella Performing Arts Magnet School in Hartford, CT. Kinsella was recently recognized as, ‘Best Magnet School in Connecticut’ in 2014/2015. Gail, a former long-term President of the Music Ed ucators Technology Association of Connecticut, has been teaching music for over thirty years.
“I have been using the Children’s Music Journey and Piano Suite programs here at R. J. Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts in Hartford, Ct. for over 8 years. I have 12 MuslQ stations where over 250 students utilize the in teractive MusiQ software programs in grades one through ten. Students achieve excellence at their own rate of speed. Kinsella is an Arts Magnet School, where all students play at least one instrument. Students take a band, string instrument or piano as their first or second choice either during or after school.
MuslQ software makes it easy to customize our program for individual students in a class. The competition be tween students to hurry to the next level of MuslQ software, without learning the necessary content to proceed is non-existent. A variety of levels are taught at the same time during a class period and students assist neighbor ing peers if necessary. The quality of these sequential Musl lessons is essential for each student to achieve suc cess while providing differentiated instruction in the development of the musical skills.
Enthusiastic student responses and the sustained high level of engagement are a given for MuslQ software. One second grader was so enthralled with Children’s Music Journey that he begged his mom to purchase the program for home, so he could practice all summer and every day during the school year. The MuslQ software is unique and hooks every child with a fun, interactive, challenging, and outstanding pedagogical approach to learning. This technology offers the students constant support and immediate feedback.
The sequential “Theory Thinker” section in the Piano Suite Premier program is the best on the market. I could not accomplish the same progress while teaching 12 students at a time without this software’s interactive feedback. These programs are like having several extra teachers in the classroom. The students are encouraged to read, learn to play new songs, improvise and compose.
The students are very excited to learn to play piano with these programs and have demonstrated major improve ments in their academics as well. Parents are so happy with their child’s progress that they purchase the program
for home use. This is advantageous to the child due to the fact that time constraints in school are always an issue.
One of my ninth grade students from last year, sings and plays piano by ear. She can play and sing songs from the radio, but comes to the lab to use Piano Suite Premier so she can learn to read music, which is her goal. She wants to be an accomplished musician. Piano Suite has an immense range of repertoire, over 900 arrangements from beginner to advanced level, and the interactive assessment is uniquely effective. This gives our students an incredible advantage over traditional practice.
We even have parents wanting to come back and learn to play piano. Piano Suite Premier offers them this oppor tunity and a way to connect with their children and their own musical learning, at the same time they are sup porting their child’s musical advancement.“
I whole heartedly advocate for this program and will continue to use it for years to come.
Mrs. Gail Lumpkin
"I am using the Musiq Homeschool software to teach my 5-year-old about music and piano. It has been a wonderful experience and I'm so impressed with how Musiq makes learning fun and how it really makes progress sequential and layered in such an extremely intuitive way. I love that Musiq games and teaching come at music from all aspects including ear training, creativity, music theory, and rhythmic timing. My daughter had no prior experience with music and within several months can....
“I am using the Musiq Homeschool software to teach my 5-year-old about music and piano. It has been a wonderful experience and I’m so impressed with how Musiq makes learning fun and how it really makes progress sequential and layered in such an extremely intuitive way. I love that Musiq games and teaching come at music from all aspects including ear training, creativity, music theory, and rhythmic timing.
My daughter had no prior experience with music and within several months can already read two handed piano pieces and perform them on time. She also has developed a great listening ability and ear for pitch. Musiq allowed learning this to be fun, interactive, and creative. She never got bored because we could always progress in levels and switch between games and she loves to create her own compositions and save them. So far she has completed Children’s Music Journey levels 1 and 2.
I especially love the holistic approach of also teaching her about important composers in history. She al ready talks about Eric Satie and Scott Joplin as familiar names to her and she has learned that there are vari ous styles of piano music. I also really like that the software gives great feedback, not just as to whether or not the correct answer is given, but, if my daughter plays the wrong note, it will tell her what note she played to give a frame of reference for her to know if she should have played higher or lower. The instanta neous visual feedback really accelerates her learning. I also find that the user interface and the voices in the software are ideally designed, they are never annoying as some other learning software can be. The soft ware also gives an authentic feel of interaction and feedback.
Her older 9-year-old sister also enjoys playing the rhythmic games in Children’s music journey, and I am about to start the older sister on some of the higher level Musiq Homeschool courses as well.
Truly, I cannot think of a more ideal way to teach my child about the world of music, and in particular, the piano. She loves the piano now and is so excited to keep learning. As a parent, I am very excited to contin ue her journey through the rest of the Musiq levels. I cannot give enough praise for this product, as al though I am myself a very advanced pianist, I did not have a great idea know how to go about teaching very simple subjects in such an organized fashion to my own daughter. Plus, I cannot give the feedback to her as well as the software does, by showing her visually how to improve. Musiq has enabled my daughter and I to spend quality, fun time together.
Learning music through Musiq has been a pure joy, instead of a chore. I very highly recommend this prod uct and I would definitely consider any additional products from this company.”
“The Adventus Piano Software Programs, Children’s Musical Journey and Premier Piano Suite have been used in our school for the last four years. We have approximately 650 students in our school who use our Pia no Lab with the Adventus Software. The musical skill level of our students has drastically improved. We have students who are playing piano from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. Students have learned music history and have acquired a large listening repertoire as well as musical skills. Our....
“The Adventus Piano Software Programs, Children’s Musical Journey and Premier Piano Suite have been used in our school for the last four years. We have approximately 650 students in our school who use our Pia no Lab with the Adventus Software. The musical skill level of our students has drastically improved. We have students who are playing piano from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. Students have learned music history and have acquired a large listening repertoire as well as musical skills.
Our Kindergarten students learn Middle C hand position and learn to move around within that position in various ways. Their favorite way is playing Stepping Stones where they see if they can identify the notes and safely cross the river to the other side without missing a note. Our first graders learn to read both left and right-hand positions and learn to identify grown up quarter notes, half notes and dotted half notes. Our second graders move from Children’s Musical Journey into Piano Suite. They are reading notes in the Bass Clef and Treble Clef. Our third graders work even harder to improve their skills and their scores in Piano Suite. They are learning how to recognize note values and practice often with the Notes and Timing in Piano Suite. They are trying really hard to play with both hands moving in Level 2. The immediate feedback that they re ceive from the scoring components within Piano Suite are motivating and challenging to the students. They record their scores and are constantly trying to get 100% on each song. Our fourth and fifth graders contin ue in level 2 and try really hard to get into level 3. Their favorite song to master is Fur Elise by Beethoven.
We move on from just piano and add the guitar and drums in the 4th and 5th grade classes. The musical background and the skills that the students have gained helps them to be confident as we add chordal play ing skills and play keyboards, guitars and drums together on some classic rock and roll pieces.
Our students have benefitted greatly from having access to the Adventus Programs. I’m certain that their skills in reading and in mathematics have improved as well from the benefits that the early piano and musi cal opportunities have provided for them. They love music and they love playing the piano.
Having the Adventus Software and the Piano Lab in our school makes my job much easier. I feel that we are learning a real life skill and a benefit through an opportunity that many of our students would otherwise never have. We are very pleased and plan to continue the program for a long time.
Jan Keller, Music Teacher,
Flowery Branch Elementary
Dean of the Victoria Conservatory of Music, former E.D. of Children’s Music Foundation, former E.D. and Dean of Education, Royal Conservatory of Music
When I think back to 2005, when I was first introduced to the computer software based music education programs Adventus was developing, we were living in a world (as far as Music Education goes) where the only option to bring music education to young children was through traditional approaches and methods developed primarily between the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century, which employed acoustic instruments that traced their origins in some cases from Dean of the....
When I think back to 2005, when I was first introduced to the computer software based music education programs Adventus was developing, we were living in a world (as far as Music Education goes) where the only option to bring music education to young children was through traditional approaches and methods developed primarily between the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century, which employed acoustic instruments that traced their origins in some cases from Dean of the Victoria Conservatory of Music, former E.D. of Children’s Music Foundation, former E.D. and Dean of Education, Royal Conservatory of Music centuries ago. While this is all very organic, tried and true, and certainly has its place within the spectrum of music education possibilities, it was allowing an ever-increasing divide to occur between the children of today and the world they are to face as they grow up.
I have witnessed countless examples of parents and teachers rejecting computers and other electronics, wanting to hold on to the “tried and true” and keep their children/students apart from the world they are inevitably going to have to deal with. Computer technology is here to stay, and as we see through the new, innovative, effective, and relevant music education tools Adventus has developed, we now have a way to bridge the gap between what music education has been, and what it needs to become. More and more teachers, whether in traditional classroom settings, at music schools, community centres, pre-schools, public and private schools, or in one-on-one applications, are realizing how the use of computer technology can greatly enhance the education experience for children, and in fact, it is also evident that the Adventus programs are just as popular with adults and seniors!
As the Adventus software titles have evolved over the past decade and a half to what they are today, I have seen (at least since 2005 when I was first introduced to them) a very robust curriculum emerge, that for instance, considering the Children’s Music Journey titles, offers young children a very imaginative way to approach learning about music.
Who could have imagined that children would be able to sit at their computer workstation with electronic piano keyboard attached, and interact with animated versions of Mr. Bach or Mr. Beethoven, as they talk about pieces of music they wrote, about their lives in general, and ask the student to create their own piece of music – an opportunity to “rub shoulders” with these famous composers! I have seen how students are so enraptured by the experience that they actually believe these composers from the 17th and 18th/19th centuries were still alive. They listened attentively, and then immediately wanted to try out what these composers asked them to do. The live interactive quality of the program sparks interest and imagination, which is essential to the success of any music education program.
I find that one of the best features of the Adventus software curriculum is that students are encouraged from the very first day to create their own music, to improvise, to listen as well as play, and to improve on what they have heard. There is no negative language, no “wrong”, but instead consistent encouragement simply continue trying. The intuitive quality of the software program, in the CMJ for instance, allows step by step progression at a rate that fits the individual student, never pushing, always encouraging, and knowing when to move on, noting areas of weakness for further work in a later session. This is like having For more information call 1.888.999.6434 or email firstname.lastname@example.org the teacher at each student’s side, ready to assist with their learning and practicing.
We know how busy parents are now-a-days, and how over-subscribed children can be. We don’t want music lessons to add to the stress they already deal with, but rather help to reduce the stress, so that they are able to perform better in everything else they do. The Adventus programs offer really well though-out music education based games for the students to have fun playing. The Concert Master component, allows a group of students to join together like a band, and collectively play along, using a variety of instrumental colours, either using one of the popular back-line options, or just on their own.
Looking through the curriculum of both the CMJ and PSE programs, I find the introduction of music literacy topics, keys, note reading, understanding rhythm, and basically all of the many details there are about learning music, to be introduced in a logical and sequential manner, leaving little to no guess work for both student and instructor. We all know how children develop at varying rates, and as the program curriculum progresses along quite naturally from one topic to another, from one skill level to the next, always incorporating review, and creativity, the instructor also has the option to adjust the lesson plan on the fly.
In a group setting, it has been noted that there is a wonderful opportunity for children who have already a more advanced skill set and knowledge, to mentor their classmates. One particular case where this has been noted, is in an elementary school grade 4-5 class, where almost all of the students attending the school are coming from marginalized communities, where approximately a third of them are learning English as a second language, and struggling with communication, and where between 15 – 20% of the students have special needs, many involving behavioural issues. The traditional music programming is minimal, and ineffective, meaning students do not show interest, and it has been noted that students in middle school who have come from this elementary school rarely show interest in participating in band class of any kind. The school points to a lack of funding for music due to having to divert school district funds to providing meals for the children. The Adventus program (Piano Suite Premiere) was introduced at this school for one year, integrated into the computer lab, and it was immediately evident that the lack of interest the students were showing in music had more to do with not having a program that connected with them. Once the PSuite program was in place, students were drawn to it like magnets, they wanted to explore and create. The programs really empower the students and give them the confidence that they can create something on their own. There have been some amazing testimonials gathered, including ones pointing to how the Piano Suite Premiere program has changed the whole dynamic of the class. There were a couple students who had been bullying their classmates on a regular basis, since the early grades, however suddenly with the new computer software-based music program, their interest in learning took off, and they have been acting as mentors for their classmates, going around the classroom offering assistance in how to operate the program. The bullying has disappeared!
The Adventus software titles are all effective learning tools for students of any age. Whether provided through pre-school/daycare programs, or anywhere in between, right on through and including being offered to Seniors by their program coordinator, the programs are accessible, and the business model very workable for schools and organizations with greatly varying sources of income. I have full confidence in seeing the Adventus software titles continue to develop and flourish, and am actively integrating them into the regular learning curricula of the Victoria Conservatory of Music.
Bachelor of Music, Kodály Diploma, Diploma in Early Childhood Music and Teacher Training , Master of Music
With music instruction diminishing around the world, not only in quality but also in quantity, I find Adventus computer music programs, Children’s Music Journey and Piano Suite, an innovative and refreshing design. I reviewed the curriculum and played through many of the Current Director of the Early Childhood Music Education Program at Seneca College, Director, Advanced Certificate for Early Childhood Music Education, Royal Conservatory of Music , Bachelor of Music, Kodály Diploma, Diploma in Early Childhood Music and Teacher Training ,....
With music instruction diminishing around the world, not only in quality but also in quantity, I find Adventus computer music programs, Children’s Music Journey and Piano Suite, an innovative and refreshing design.
I reviewed the curriculum and played through many of the Current Director of the Early Childhood Music Education Program at Seneca College, Director, Advanced Certificate for Early Childhood Music Education, Royal Conservatory of Music , Bachelor of Music, Kodály Diploma, Diploma in Early Childhood Music and Teacher Training , Master of Music lessons using my own piano keyboard, but what impacted me the most was observing children actively engaged in the programs. It was very beneficial to view the classes, and I was very impressed at how focused the children were during their music class and how much they enjoyed all aspects of the lesson. The addition of singing games and movement to the lessons creates a complete curriculum and surpasses anything students may be experiencing presently in school music classes.
By having designed the program so that children can also experience the challenges and joys of playing the piano keyboards in a group, it will impact the students not only cognitively but emotionally. It is a great motivating factor and I believe students will be encouraged to continue to study. Having some children singing while being accompanied by a group of keyboard players will be very inspirational for the children and bring the joy of making music together to the forefront.
I am impressed with the overall content of the keyboard lessons. With the inclusions of improvisation, chording, jazz, and music listening of many different styles and eras, the children are developing life-long musical skills, the basic fundamental skills of music making and building a great foundation in understanding and experiencing many different musical genres.