Crash Course in Speedy Entry for Finale

Crash Course in Speedy Entry for Finale

Jay McDowell
[email protected]
Independence Middle School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments
Notation Software
Music Production


Middle School


General Music


GEC; 16 Mac/Triton workstations; Finale software


40 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Basic knowledge of Mac computer use; understanding of note values and reading music on the staff; understanding of the keys on the keyboard

NAfME Standard of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standard of 1994: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.
NAfME Standard of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
NAfME Standard of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating 


See #2


Student will be able to:

1 – use Finale notation software to setup and quickly notate a piece of music

2 – compose a short melodic phrase using at least 7 different note values

3 – compose a short melodic phrase using at least 7 different pitches

4 – compose a basic accompaniment (chords, fast moving passing tones, parallel motion, etc)

5 – save a Finale composition as a MIDI file


Getting Started: (5-10 minutes)

1 Students will be seated at assigned computer stations and asked to use the headphones available at the station

2 Using the GEC, students will be instructed on how to turn on the Triton keyboard (power button is on back right)

3 Students will then turn on the MOTU box on the shelf below the computer keyboard to the right

4 Students will be asked to open Finale using the icon in the toolbar with the forte looking f (not the one that looks similar but says NotePad as well)

5 Students will check the M-Box and set the source to Line

6 Each student will need to go through the Setup Wizard

7 Choose a title for the piece, Click next

8 Add the instruments from the left column (use piano for first time), Click next

9 Select the Time Signature and then the key signature (leave both alone for now), Click next

10 Other options are available in this window, again leave them as-is for now, Click finish

Entry: (5-10 minutes)

1 Once the document has opened, students will begin to notate

2 At the top of the window, students should go to the Tools tab and click on Speedy Entry

3 Students are now ready to enter music on the page using the Number Pad on the keyboard (number keys to the right)

4 Each number is a different type of note/rest and each gets larger as the number gets larger

5 In order to input a note, press a key on the keyboard with your left hand and while holding the key down press the number of the desired type of note (1=64th, 2=32nd, 3=16th, 4=8th, 5=quarter, 6=half, 7=whole)

6 In order to input a rest, simply press the number of the desired value without pressing a note on the keyboard

7 Students should experiment with the entry tools for 3-5 minutes to familiarize themselves

Compose:(10-15 minutes)

1 After students have been shown how to use the Speedy Entry tool, they will be asked to compose a melody approximately 8 measures in length using a variety of note values (at least 7) and pitches (at least 7) within an octave range

2 When the student has completed the melody line, they will then go back to the beginning and record an accompaniment.

3 To record on the bass staff, simply click on the first measure and the Speedy Tool should move to the first beat of that measure

4 Students may try different techniques to create an acceptable accompaniment (chords, fast moving passing tones, parallel motion, etc)

5 While students are composing, the teacher will use the practice mode on the GEC to listen to what the students are doing Saving: (5 minutes)

1 Students will save the file as a Standard MIDI file so that it can be played anywhere

2 In order to save, go to File, Save As

3 Name the file using the following format: lastname.firstname

4 Find the appropriate destination (a pre-established folder on a network is preferable)

5 At the bottom of the Save-As screen, click the drop-down menu where it says Format

6 Choose Standard MIDI File

7 Click Save

8 Close the program

9 If time remains, students may have the opportunity to volunteer their piece to be played for the class


The student will be evaluated on a 5 point scale using the following rubric. Scores will be entered in GradeQuick (or other electronic grade book or spreadsheet)

1 – Did the student successfully create a piano score using Finale and the Speedy Entry tool? (1 point) Did the student compose an 8 measure piece of music that met the following requirements:

2 a melody line with varying (at least 7) note values (1 point)

3 – a melody line with at least 7 different pitches within an octave range (1 point)

4 – a basic accompaniment ex: chords, fast moving passing tones, parallel motion, etc (1 point)

5 saved as a MIDI file (1 point) Scores will be entered in GradeQuick (or other electronic grade book or spreadsheet) It would be encouraged to create a CD of all recordings for backup.

Follow Up:

Compose a piece using various instruments to be determined during the Setup. The piece should be composed in concert pitch to avoid difficulty later. (In order to do this, go to Document, Display in concert pitch) This activity encourages a discussion of timbre.

Items to Purchase:


When budget should be submitted:


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