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Instructional Software

Evaluation Sheet

1. Citation and General Information:

Title

Auralia 

Author

 Sibelius Educational Suite
 

Publisher

Sibelius
 

Date

2004

Content

Aural Training Skills
 

Grade/Age

Beginner to Advanced, Middle School through College

Class applications

Instrumental, Choral, and  Classroom
 This software is useful in any musical situation.  Students can train their ears, progress at their own pace, and obtain results and feedback

Platform:

           MacIntosh

Necessary Peripherals:

 Keyboard and microphone



2.  Instructional Content:

Musical Content
Aspects studied include Intervals, Scales, Chords, Rhythm, Melody and Pitch. Students can identify what they hear, as well as sing chords, scales and intervals, and perform rhythmic exercises
Procedures/Operation/Flow
Each topic has a series of quiz-like exercises.  Students or teachers may choose a predetermined level or customize their own, and Auralia provides a series of musical examples to test the aural skills of the students.  If an answer is incorrect, the student may try again, and the score is always printed at the top. 
Instructional Mode

Drill and Practice   

Program Structure
Computer Directed
Sequence of Materials Each exercise begins slowly and fairly simply with level one.  Students generally have two or three choices to choose between.  The levels progressively get more difficult, focusing on more difficult material.  In the highest levels, answers are no longer limited to a few choices, making it more difficult to narrow down the correct answer.  Some of the exercises, even at the beginning levels, are geared towards older students, because they build on knowledge of music theory.
Pace of Instruction
The overall pace is left completely up to the student.  Questions may be replayed as often as the student would like.  If an example is too fast or to slow, the student may also change the tempo.
Quality of Interaction
When a question is answered incorrectly, the computer informs the student with fun melodies and cartoons, and offers the student another opportunity to attain the correct answer.  All other directions are provided before each question. 
Summary Comments
Overall, this program is terrific.  It does however build upon some theory background.  Beginning students may perform simple tasks like judging which of two intervals is larger.  But this program does not initially teach interval recognition or chord quality.  It should be used to practice.  


3.  Record Keeping:

Method of Record Keeping:

After each question is answered, a section at the top of the screen reflects the number of questions that were answered correctly and how many were attempted. A percentage score is provided as well. A student may sign in and save his scores, so he can check his
progress.  The master computer carrying this program can record each student's score
for the teacher to review.  The teacher may also preset tests for the class or quizzes
geared toward the individual

Summary Comments:
Auralia saves the teacher an incredible amount of time.  There are no quizzes to grade
 with poor handwriting to decipher.  Assessing the students knowledge of material is virtually already finished because the students scores are ate the teachers fingertips. Plus this practice may leave additional time for the teacher to focus on other things.  Some additional reinforcement might be needed if a student is having trouble.  Although the correct answer is shown to the student, it may need to be explained in a more detailed way to those who have difficulties.


4. Overall Evaluation:

This is a wonderful program for any musician at any age. It is fun and helps the user expand their knowledge of musical concepts at any level.   Auralia begins at your level and works at your pace so learning is easy and not at a speed that is set for only a  musical genius.  Students can be challenged at their own pace and experience music and ear training in a new and fun way.