EarMaster Essential 5 from eMedia Music Corp & Windows 7 Academic Offer . December 2009 . Vol. 15 No. 12

Business Software Reviews & Educational Software for Kids & Parents, since 1995


June 2009 - -Adobe Contribute CS4, Adobe Soundbooth CS4 & After Effects CS

May 2009 --Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, Adobe OnLocation CS4 and Adobe Encore CS4 plus My Electric Guitar and My Violin from eMedia

April 2009 -- Rosetta Stone Version 3: Spanish (Latin America) Level 1, 2 & 3, Set, Adobe Illustrator CS4 and Adobe Flash CS4 Professional from Adobe Systems Inc.

EarMaster Essential 5 from eMedia Music Corporation & Windows 7 Academic Offer By Howard Berenbon

EarMaster Essential 5, new from eMedia Music Corp, is a comprehensive ear training program for any serious singer or musician.  It has 139 progressive lessons to help you improve your musical note recognition. If you’re serious about music, either professionally, or for fun, it’s a must to train your ear to recognize the notes and sounds.  Improving your “ear” to music will help you sing and play instruments better, and even help you read and compose music faster. 

After a quick installation from the single CD, get ready to jump in and start your training. First, a screen is displayed to test your sound card, and then you can pick the type of instrument you play (either piano, strings or other).  At the main menu, you’ll select the Training mode (standard, jazz or custom), click the exercise area and click on Begin to start.

I started by clicking on Chord identification because of my background in guitar, and clicked on Begin.  A boxed opened in the middle of the screen with “Welcome to lesson 1, and Get to know the Major triad.” In the background a staff is displayed at the top and a keyboard at the bottom.  You may advance directly to any lesson in the group by moving a slide bar (up to 16), or start with lesson 1.  Click okay to begin and you’ll see the first note on the staff while other notes are played.  You’ll need to enter the notes that you’ve heard by clicking on the staff, and then click “Play your answer.”  Answers are also accepted by clicking on a piano keyboard, or by clicking notes on the neck of a guitar displayed below the staff.  The notes you entered are played, and after you click on “Show the answer” you’ll get a point added to you score, if correct.  Then it goes on to the next question.  Another option is to sing or play the notes into a microphone connected to your computer. Exercise areas include Interval comparison and identification, Chord identification, inversion and progressions, Scale identification, Rhythm reading, imitation, dictation and correction, and Melodic dictation.

If you need help, in any screen, just press the F1 key and Help pops into view for that topic.  You can also go through Help for each exercise type, or click Getting Started for suggestions on what to do first.  For example, they recommend that beginners begin with Interval comparison exercises.  As you progress through the lessons, statistics are tracked so you can see how you’re doing.  The key to learning (no pun intended) is repetition, and after spending some time on the lessons, EarMaster definitely helps. So, the more lessons you complete and repeat, the better you’ll get at recognizing what you hear.

It is recommended that beginner and intermediate musicians start EarMaster in the standard mode, but once you progress you could try customizing your excercises by creating your own chords, scales and chord progressions. If you’re interested in Jazz, then you can switch to the Jazz tutor, but it’s not for beginners.

EarMaster Essential 5 sells $29.99 and runs on any multimedia PC or Mac with 16 MB free RAM and 30MB hard disk space.  For more information, visit Amazon.com.

eMedia Music Corporation
664 NE Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98105
Phone: 206-329-5657
URL: http://www.emediamusic.com

Windows 7 Academic Offer just $29.99

If you’re a college student, you are now eligible to get your very own copy of Microsoft Windows 7 for the low price of $29.99 (normally $119.95) after submitting a form with an .edu e-mail address. Click on the Windows 7 Student Offer Borm.  Once verified, you can purchase Windows 7 Home Premium from Digitalriver.com as an online download for $29.99, and get a copy on CD for just $13 more (including shipping).  This is a great opportunity for any student to get the latest and greatest version of Microsoft Windows.  And from what I’ve heard on the grape vine, Windows 7 is the much needed improvement over Windows Vista because of some reported hardware and driver problems.  Apparently, all is well with Windows 7, which looks and feels like Vista, but with the stability of Windows XP.  So, if you’re a student with a valid college e-mail address, don’t pass up this offer.  But, you’d better hurry because the offer ends on January 3, 2010.

Windows 7 Student Offer