First Unit in Notation Software

A Very First Unit in Notation Software 

Katie Dyer
[email protected]
Northampton Borough Elementary School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:





General Music


Computer Lab, Finale NotePad


4-5 40 minute lessons Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students need to know how to use a mouse.

MENC Standards Addressed:

MENC 2: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
MENC 5: Reading and notating music.
MENC 6: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.


Finale NotePad, printer, overhead projection of their recorder repertoire. recorders,



  1. Students will be introduced to notation software and be able to use three of the functions.
    • Simple entry
    • Mass edit
    • Playback
  2. Students will learn to copy simple melodies using a non-MIDI point and click notating system.
  3. Students will integrate the songs they notate into their recorder studies.


1st Lesson: “Beginning a Document”
Students will enter their newest recorder song into the NotePad software.

  1. Open NotePad click on the File Menu and choose New.
  2. Click in the Title box and type Hot Cross Buns.
  3. Click in the Composer box and type Entered by [Student Name]
  4. Select from portrait orientation, then click Next.
  5. From the left hand column, choose Woodwinds. From the center column, choose Recorder. Click Add, then Next.
  6. From “Select A Time Signature,” choose 4/4. From “Select a Key Signature,” click the up arrow one time to select G Major. Click Finish.

2nd Lesson: “Entering Notes”


  1. Students will click the quarter note icon, position it on the middle line of the staff, and click. They will repeat that, but this time, position the note on the second space. The third time, they will place the note on the second line. Finally, they will choose the quarter rest icon and place it on the staff, completing the measure.
  2. Students will repeat the procedure for the rest of the song, using the eighth note icon for the 3rd measure of the song.

3rd Lesson: “Using Mass Edit”
Introduce the Mass Edit function.

  • Have students practice copying measures by highlighting and dragging.
  • Show how to get rid of excess measures at the end of a song.

4th Lesson: “Applying Lesson to Recorders”

  1. After the song is entered, students will check it over to make sure that it looks like the master copy.
  2. Students will use the Playback function to hear how the song will sound.
  3. Students will print out their song.
  4. Students will practice playing the song on their recorders.


Evaluation of Results:

  • Manuscripts will be checked to see how accurately the students reproduced the music.
  • Students will perform the song for the teacher.

Follow Up:

  • Students will continue to follow this procedure for songs such as ently Sleep,ä ãMary Had A Little Lamb,ä and ãOld MacDonald.ä
  • As they become more confident using the software, they should be encouraged to find repeated measures and reproduce them using the Mass Edit tool.
  • They will also be encouraged to compose their own short melodies and evaluate them using the Playback function.

Items to Purchase:

Nothing must be purchased, but the school districtâs technology department must be encouraged to allow NotePad to be downloaded onto the school computers.

When budget should be submitted:

December of the preceding year.

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