Using Finale Notepad to Enhance Notation Skills

Using Finale Notepad to Enhance Notation Skills

Ben Green
[email protected]
Kennett Consolidated School District

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Notation Software




General Music


Computers. (one for every two students) Teacher’s overhead projector. Finale Notepad software (Free download)


90 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students must know the lines and spaces on the staff as well as middle C and D.

NAfME standard of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME standard of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
NAfME standard of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating 

NAfME standard of 1994: Evaluating music and music performances.

NAfME 2014: Responding




1. Students will be able to find the correct placement for different notes on the staff. 2. Students will be able to identify and differenciate between rhythms so they may apply the correct rhythms with the correct notes. 3. Students will be able to evaluate their notation of familiar songs. They will analyze their finished products and be able to listen for any mistakes they may have made and correct them.


1. Teacher will introduce the program Finale Notepad. With an overhead projector attached to the teacher’s computer, he/she will show the students how to set up a document and how to use the simple entry tool to notate pitches and rhythms. (15-20 mins) 2. Teacher will write some familiar songs on the board. Teacher will use rhythmic notation with the letter name of the note written on the note head. He/she will not use a staff. This will give students the correct rhythms and pitches for the song, however the students must find the correct placement on the staff. (5 mintutes) 3. Teacher breaks students up into compatable groups of two and assigns them a computer with Finale Notepad downloaded on it. 4. With his/her computer going through the overhead projector, the teacher will walk the students through the document setup and the fisrt song as an example. (15 mins) 5. Teacher will walk students through the document set up of the next song and allow them to work with their partners to notate the songs that the teacher has written on the board. Teacher will circle the room to give assistance. (30 min or longer) 6. Students that finish quickly may be challenged with the following step: Teacher gives the students the first note name of a familiar song and aks the students to figure out the rest with their aural skills.


Teacher will be able to print out the students’ final work and evaluate the results. Teacher will be able to assess the students’ strenghts and weaknessess in the following areas: 1. Knowledge and understanding of the staff (Notation), 2. Knowledge and understanding of rhythm, 3. Understanding and navigation skills on a computer.

Follow Up:

Once the students are familiar with the program, they may use Finale Notepad for compositions and other activities. They may extend the exercise introduced in step 6 of this lesson plans’ procedure.

Items to Purchase:

Teacher will need access to: 1. computers. (one computer for every 2 students) 2. Overhead projector that is compatable with teacher’s computer. 3. Free download of Finale Notepad.

When budget should be submitted:


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top