Music Ace Maestro Reviews


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"Is Technology Finally Better than Human Teachers?"
Article by music educator Kirk Kassner


by Laura Ascione

Technology strikes a chord in music education

Electronic music software makes instruction more interactive

... Whitmore recommended Harmonic Vision's Music Ace Maestro, a product targeted primarily toward elementary and middle-school students that covers the musical staff, ear training, pitch recognition, scales, tempo, and harmony. Each lesson contains games to reinforce what has just been learned. "Music Ace Maestro includes a full breadth of the curriculum and is very good for teaching the fundamentals of music," Whitmore said. "You can do a little composing, and it is good across a fairly large age spread. It's interactive, and it has an application to help with assessment information so that, as a teacher, you can look into what each of your students is doing in the way of progress." ...

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teaching k-8

The Magazine for Professional Development

   Blue Ribbon Reviews March 2006


Music Ace Maestro

Music Ace Maestro from Harmonic Vision supplements traditional music instruction for students ages eight to adult. Maestro teaches basic music skills using three learning environments – lessons, games and a Music Doodle Pad...

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reviewed by Elizabeth Ann Reed
May/June 2006 Issue, pg. 42


     Music Ace Maestro is now available in a professional edition for music educators; it has expanded management tools, including functions to let teachers sort, save, and access records for up to 5,000 students, as well as to create a course of study for each student. These features are especially useful for group and classroom teaching. Student information from previous versions of Music Ace and Music Ace 2 easily transfers into this program. Teachers can evaluate students’ overall progress by checking reports that show the number of times they completed a session and the highest scores they achieved.
   The strength of the programs in the Music Ace series continues to be an excellent educational curriculum produced with great visual and aural appeal for students. The cartoon character Maestro Max introduces young musicians to notation, rhythm, and a variety of theory topics, such as key signatures and major and minor scales. A series of games is a fun way to review these concepts and offers a variety of difficulty levels. Each lesson is preceded by an illustration of the concepts to be covered, leaving no guesswork for teachers to create assignments.
   Students of all ages enjoy the exercises and drills, which are full of colorful notes, three-dimensional graphics, and digital sound effects. The rhythm games have strict scoring and relaxed scoring, which gives students leeway by allowing for timing that is slightly off.
     The Doodle Pad, a concept continued from previous Music Ace programs, helps students to explore the world of composition in an imaginative way. A wealth of music samples are available in the jukebox file, giving students a chance to change existing pieces or compose original music.
   This program is a valuable resource for students who like to experiment; it provides an exciting way to learn about music and at the same time gives teachers useful tools to monitor and analyze students’ progress.
Minimum system requirements:
Windows: Windows 98/2000/Me/NT/XP/Vista, 166 MHz or faster, 32 MB free RAM, 640x480 256-color display, 60 MB free hard disk space, 16-bit sound.
Macintosh: PC/iMac/ OS9 and OSX, 32 MB free RAM, 640x480 256-color display, 60 MB free hard disk space.
Price: $128. (Harmonic Vision, 800-474-0903;
                        - Elizabeth Ann Reed

© 2006 The Instrumentalist Publishing Co., reproduced with permission. For subscription and editorial information from Clavier, please visit

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From General Music Today, Winter 2006.  Copyright © 2006 by MENC: The National Association for Music Education. Used with permission. Appearance of this article does not imply MENC endorsement of the product.

Technology for Music Instruction: Is Technology Finally Better than Human Teachers? Take a Look at Music Ace Maestro

By Kirk Kassner

Kirk Kassner teaches general music, Music Performance Club, and Composers' Club in the Federal Way Public School District, Washington.

  In many of my past writings and workshops, I’ve assured concerned music teachers that technology will never replace human teachers, and I still stand by that assertion. But I must admit that some soft-ware, like Music Ace Maestro (MAM), can teach some things to some students better than we can. Having stated that, several questions come to mind about whether technology can deliver good music instruction. For example, is it important to introduce concepts and skills in a logical, understandable sequence of small steps? Of course! We do this as skilled human teachers, and the same careful sequencing is built beautifully into this software.

Is it important to provide frequent checks for student understanding and time to practice new skills? For sure, or we run the risk of leaving some or all of our students behind in a fog of confusion. MAM has built-in subroutines after introducing each concept, in which students must actively respond to prompts. The program monitors student answers, then goes on when students consistently respond correctly, or loops back when students respond incorrectly.

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Sample Lessons

What's GREAT about the Music Ace Series