Music tutorials can be a life-saver when you need a really quick, easy fix to a problem. You need to know how to change stem directions in Finale. You need to know how to automate volume changes in GarageBand. You run to YouTube or Google to find your quick, easy solution instead find twenty-minute videos.  Sure, they give high retention rates to the content creators, but us music teachers are left in frustration, scratching our heads and and asking ourselves, “When is this person going to get to the point?”

Music Tutorials - Helpful How-To in Under 3 Minutes

Enter the Musical Voyage music tutorials. They are truly quick and easy solutions, and they are made so that you can watch them silently with the closed captioning. There are many times when my students are busy working – or as I call it, “heads down over laptops” – and I need to watch a tutorial to find an answer for one of them. I don’t want 15 minutes and I don’t want loud, annoying sound with a voice over. I want 2 minutes and closed captioning. Watch it. Immediately go and share the answers with my students. Now those are great music tutorials!

My go-to software for students includes Finale, GarageBand, Hookpad, and Noteflight. (For me, I’m still using Band-in-a-Box to create backing tracks, but that’s a teacher-only sort of thing at the moment).

Finale logo from MakeMusic company. Dark steel blue circle containing the name FINALE. Links provided for Music Tutorials
GarageBand Logo featuring guitar in front of an amplifier

Finale vs. Noteflight

In the great debate over which is better, Sibelius or Finale, I can’t give you an answer because Sibelius for schools isn’t available in China. I’ve been a Finale fangirl since 2001 and it seems it’ll stay that way. 

My MYP music students are on Noteflight because it’s free. It gets the job done. It’s not fantastic. Work sometimes disappears and if too many students are online at a time, the website freezes. But yeah, we use it for our grade 10 jazz arrangements and it’s just fine. I’ll be adding more Noteflight music tutorials in the future, as well.

This year is the first time our school has run double cohorts of DP Music, and we bought copies of Finale and Screenflow for every student. I’ve had the same reaction from every single child – “umm… now what?… ummm…how-to…”

They are too afraid to start a new document. The launch window starts up and they become paralyzed. They see me working away on Finale and say, “Woooooh. You can do that?!” and I’m like, “Sure, just load your Finale.” And then they load it, turn to me with apprehension, and ask, “But where do we even start? How to pick instruments? How to transpose music?”

That’s why I’ve made these music tutorials.

GarageBand vs. Logic Pro

I attended an online AMIS IB Music workshop attended by three high-ranking members of the IB Arts team from Cardiff. They all assured us that you can do anything you need to do in GarageBand. I do have students who go out, on their own, and get Logic Pro, but I don’t tailor my lessons to any one software package because they are almost identical in most ways.

I’m including some GarageBand music tutorials and how-to videos here as well, because my grade 8s use it for their movie soundtrack unit, and so I need some absolute beginner videos for them as well.