[Smt-talk] McGamut query

John Paul Ito john.paul.ito at lawrence.edu
Mon Oct 5 15:45:47 PDT 2009

Dear Yosef,

Sorry for a very slow reply, I was waiting until the resources that I  
will refer to had been made publicly viewable.

In the conservatory at Lawrence we make MacGamut a recommended  
resource for all aural-skills students.  Several of the instructors  
(including me) require it, but not all.

Personally, I have my students use MacGamut primarily for basic  
materials, drilling intervals and chord types.  I make very heavy use  
of the flexible customizability of MacGamut's drills, and this for me  
is its strongest feature.  I have students fill out worksheets that  
make patterns of errors immediately visible in characteristic ways,  
and on the basis of those worksheets I have students do custom drills  
that efficiently target their weaknesses.

All of this is spelled out in more detail on one of the areas of my  
aural skills website: http://www.lawrence.edu/dept/conservatory/ 

You will find instructions for your students, explanations of the  
worksheets, and the downloadable worksheets themselves.  I invite you  
(and others) to have your students make use of these.  If you do so,  
I would greatly appreciate your letting me know, and letting me know  
what you think about this resource (what you like or don't like, what  
to change or not to change when I make revisions to the site).

With thanks and best wishes,

John Ito

P.S.  To address another point in your email, several years ago  
(before my time, actually) when we first started using MacGamut, we  
required it and factored into our grades the data that it sent to  
instructors.  At that time, at least (again, more than five years  
ago), it was possible for students either to hack the program or else  
to create imitations of these emails by hand.  In any case, this led  
to a rather large and unpleasant case of academic dishonesty, and the  
department has not used the program in that way since.

On Sep 12, 2009, at 12:39 PM, Yosef Goldenberg wrote:

> Dear all
> The Hebrew University department of musicology is going to start  
> for the
> first time to work with McGamut for harmony and solfege students.  
> We would
> like to ask experienced users whether you make it imperative for  
> students to
> own a personal copy, and whether you use the program for practice  
> only or
> rather in regular mode to have direct input for grades. Also, in  
> case you
> deviate from the default features of the program, what changes do  
> you make.
> Sincerely
> Dr. Yosef Goldenberg
> Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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> Smt-talk at societymusictheory.org
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> societymusictheory.org

John Paul Ito
Assistant Professor of Music
Co-chair for Theory, Department of Music Theory and Composition

Mailing address:
Conservatory of Music, Lawrence University
711 E. Boldt Way
Appleton, WI 54911


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