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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Interactive Music Skill Checks

by David Megill
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.9 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Aug 05, 2004 by Music
Overview: Interactive Music Skills Tests is a collection of java applets designed to
provide drill and practice opportunities for musicianship, music theory and music appreciation classes. The categories listed in the site are: Pitch, Rhythm, Scales, Chords, Intervals, Four Part Voice Leading, Melody and Drop the Needle.
Learning Goals: The applet collection is designed to provide aural and visual drill and practice for a variety of music reading and listening skills.
Target Student Population: This site is directed at first year college level music theory or musicianship students. This site would also be appropriate for advanced high school students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Students need to know how to read and write and identify music, intervals, scales, key signatures and chords to use this collection of applets. Musical style quiz applets requires advance listening to the required compact discs that accompany the Kamien music appreciation texts.
Type of Material: Musicianship test and drill exercises.
Recommended Uses: This site is ideal for self-directed reinforcement of basic musicianship skills.
Technical Requirements: The site requires a browser with Java capability.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Each exercises is clear and accurate and includes directions on its use.
Concerns: Some applets were slow to load. The graphic interface for entering rhythm was
confusing at first, but after some trial and error, quite managable.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.9 stars
Strengths: This site is an excellent skills development site. It is an exceptionally well-designed interactive site. The layout is simple and clear. Each applet is a self-contained unit focused on honing a particular skill. The applets are progressive in level of difficulty and the modular organization of the applets makes it easy for instructors to isolate individual exercises for use in their own course sequence. There is also a clear pedagogical sequence from one applet to the next allowing instructors to adopt either parts or the entire collection. The applets beep when a student makes a mistake and rings when correct. A scorecard of correct and wrong answers if provided at the end of each exercise.
Concerns: An accompanying "how to" text would help students when they make mistakes. The teacher should make certain that students are aware of melodic dictation
expectations such as correct beaming, use of anacrusis, etc...

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This site is easy to use and visually stimulating.
Concerns: The graphic interface in the choral phrases section is tricky to use.

Other Issues and Comments: These applets are a wonderful addition to traditional drill and practice efforts in the theory classroom. While a few applets require careful attention to
note entry or the possession (and prior use of) CDs that accompany a classroom
text, these stand-alone applets are quite easily adaptable to most classroom
settings.