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Music Ace: The Core of Home School Music Education

Dave and Renae Cummings of Michigan both grew up with music. They studied music in school and participated in music ensembles in school and church. So when they made the decision to home school their three children – Hannah, David and Sophia – one of their concerns was making sure they could provide their children with a solid and proper music education.

About two years, ago, Renae read a review of Music Ace Deluxe in the Practical Home School magazine. She visited Harmonic Vision´s website and downloaded the Music Ace demo. After working through the demo lessons, she was convinced she could provide an excellent music education to her children centered around Harmonic Vision´s Music Ace.

All three of the Cummings´ children use Music Ace – Hannah (8), David (6) and even four-year-old Sophia. Two days a week, the oldest children receive music education, based on Music Ace and other music appreciation material. Instruction time on another day is reserved for other arts education such as painting, drawing and art appreciation.  

"Music Ace is a wonderful program for early music education. The lessons are so much fun that I felt that focusing on Music Ace instruction twice a week was possible," said Renae Cummings. "My children don´t ever seem to get bored with Music Ace, and it has stimulated their interest in music appreciation, music performance and other arts." 

The Cummings family augments Music Ace lessons with classical-oriented music appreciation using the Classical Kids Series and other general music appreciation material. Renae believes that by combining strong music theory instruction with a well-rounded music appreciation program, her children will become not just better musicians, but better students. 

During the schooling terms, David and Hannah alternate between Music Ace and other music and arts education – one works through music lessons independently while Renae provides less structured instruction on the arts.

A trained musician, Renae says, "Music Ace is great. It lets the kids work on their own and at their own pace. The games at the end of each lesson reinforce what the lessons covered and helps them see their success". 


A gratifying consequence of the Cummings family´s use of Music Ace is the interest in music performance it has stimulated in David and Hannah. In early 2006, Hannah began studying the violin, taking lessons with a local teacher. David is planning to commence piano lessons later this year – once Renae is satisfied he has mastered his Music Ace lessons sufficiently. 

Sophia is just getting started with Music Ace, but finds the early lessons engaging and Maestro Max an amusing, yet effective taskmaster. 

While Hannah has just started violin studies, the issue of music ensemble participation that many home school families face, is not far from the surface. Often times, churches and other fraternal organizations offer music performance opportunities not affiliated with the government school system. But the Cummings family is fortunate because they live in an area where a home school co-op focused on music education exists. This co-op has organized music performance ensembles for home school families, including multiple levels of band and orchestra.  

The Cummings family currently uses a Dell computer running Windows 98 to deliver their computer-based curriculum, including Spanish and math. They are looking to upgrade to an iMac or some other Apple platform in the near future. The Music Ace family runs on all Windows and Mac platforms and has been tested on the Intel/Mac product with positive results. 

The Music Ace Deluxe product that the Cummings family uses was purchased from Amazon. All Harmonic Vision products are also available from home education specialists such as Rainbow Resources and Timberdoodle. 

"Our family has had a great experience with Music Ace Deluxe. I´ve been able to provide my children with a quality music education in our home education environment." said Renae. "We highly recommend Music Ace to other home school families and see Music Ace as the positive, effective core of a solid music education.