The Focus on Sound software is constantly evolving, and the two original programs (Instruments and SoundWords) are both contained within this constantly-updated version. See our blog for images, demos and recommendations.
The Instruments section introduces an extremely wide range of classical, folk, jazz and rock instruments, and students learn how to identify them by sight and by listening to very high quality recordings. Teachers can show the instruments on a whiteboard, clearly laid out (i.e. woodwind section, samba drums etc) and learn more about how they are held and played. Students can then test their skills in identifying what they have learnt, and the achieved scores on each test are retained on each student's account).
A major new adddition to the software is a selection of over 50 complete lessons. Lesson topics include Indian Music, Drum Kit (2 lessons) Bach chorales, Elizabethan music, The Blues and even Bagpipes. All the lessons can provide the teacher with test results, and students can work to improve their accuracy on their weaker topics.
The SoundWords section covers 40 different topics, which explain over 700 music terms (eg Sonata, Serialism, Jazz/rock harmony, rhythm and metre, scoring etc) and countless other pieces of information that students doing GCSE and A-level music will find useful. It includes explanations of the terms like back beat, madrigal, diminished 7th, and covers materials used by Edexcel, AQA and OCR exam boards, and the Associated Board aural training exercises.
This is a licence for up to 60 named students to use both programs for a year, on any computer they wish, whether at school, at home or on a more advanced mobile device (tablets and most smartphones). The latest version is downloadable and works best with an average broadband connection of around 2Mbps.
Once a student, or a teacher, has registered, they can use any computer, whether at home, at school or on the bus, so homework can be set for those with a home computer! The annual licence fee includes the maintenance of sophisticated progress reports, which can be seen at any time by the teacher, and class progress reports can be printed via Excel.
We strongly suggest that you try one of these packs for a year - you will see the level of your students' knowledge climb to considerably greater heights.
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