Get Started Fast with Sibelius for Educators

By in Education, Get Started Fast with Sibelius, Notation

Welcome to Get Started Fast with Sibelius for Educators, an 8-part video series on Avid Blogs designed to help teachers understand and learn some of the many educational features in Sibelius.

Don’t forget, here on Avid Blogs, is another series of videos to help you get started with Sibelius. In this five-part tutorial series, Get Started Fast with Sibelius, you can review the basics of Sibelius, so you can get started fast and make music as quickly as possible. These tutorials are designed mostly for those new to Sibelius, but existing users may also discover helpful tips along the way.

Episode 1: Organise, Analyse and Collaborate

In this first episode we will start by looking at how to mark up scores with comments and highlights as well as how to analyse a score using the Timeline feature. Note that the new Sibelius version also includes Annotate which is a very useful feature for marking up student scores, not covered here.

Episode 2: The Automatic Compositional Diary

In this second episode, we’ll look at how you can use the Versions feature in Sibelius to create an automatic compositional diary. Sibelius’s Versions feature allows you to save milestones during the compositional or arranging process. When you make significant changes to a score, you can choose to save a Version. It’s a different process to the usual “save as” function. Instead of ending up with multiple copies of a score, all Versions live within the original Sibelius file.

  • Naming the version and adding comments
  • Viewing Versions
  • What you can do with Versions
  • Comparing Versions
  • Edit Versions dialog
  • Export a log of changes
  • Auto-saving versions

Episode 3: Creating Quality Audio Files and Backing Tracks

In this third episode, we focus on creating audio files and videos of a score. Students can easily turn their Sibelius scores into audio files that can be imported into other music software programs, or into digital media players like iTunes or Windows Media Player. By doing this, they can use their score as a backing track for practice purposes, record an instrumental solo over the top, or even record a commentary discussing the compositional process they went through to create the piece of music.

  • Export score as a high-quality audio file
  • Export the score as a video file

Episode 4: All About Graphics

In this fourth episode, we’ll focus on how to create musical graphics from your own scores that you and your students can use in worksheets, classroom resources and essays. We’ll also look at how to import pictures and other graphics directly into your Sibelius scores.

  • Copying images of the score to other applications
  • Tips on copying graphics of specific parts of the score
  • Graphic resolution and fixing pixilation problems
  • Exporting graphics in formats such as PDF, EPS or TIFF.
  • Importing graphics into the score

Episode 5: The Digital Notation “Scrapbook”

In this fifth episode, we discover how Sibelius includes over 2,000 ideas, or snippets of music notation. They are effectively loops, similar to those found in music sequencing and recording programs. The Ideas window can be used as a digital notation scrapbook to find, save and reuse snippets of music. It’s also a great place to store short musical phrases – such as drum patterns – that you use over and over again across multiple scores. As a teacher, you can use Ideas to easily set up score templates that contain a palette of musical ideas for your students to work with.

  • What is the Ideas Window
  • Exploring the existing Ideas
  • Auditioning Ideas
  • Using Ideas in your score
  • Capturing your own ideas and saving to the Ideas Panel
  • Ideas info and keywords used to help find Ideas that you have saved
  • Editing the music in Ideas
  • Accessing your Ideas across all scores
  • Tips for educators

Episode 6: Distribute Audio Recordings, Video and Receive Student Scores

Sibelius includes built-in features for sharing scores. In this sixth episode, we cover the process of emailing your score, or a version of your score, directly from within Sibelius. Sibelius also includes features for sharing video versions of the score to Facebook and YouTube as well as sending an audio version to SoundCloud, including the different options you can select for publishing via these social channels.

  • Sharing scores via email
  • Publishing scores to YouTube, Facebook and SoundCloud

Episode 7: Working with Sibelius in the Classroom

In this seventh episode, we’ll focus on streamlining your work with Sibelius in a classroom setting. Multiseat licenses of Sibelius for Education are available at a discount from authorized Avid resellers—verification of academic eligibility is required. Choose packs of perpetual licenses or institute floating network licenses, which can be easily deployed and managed across your facility using the included Sibelius License Manager software. We will look at how to manage network licenses with the License Server software.

If you are using the Licence Server version of Sibelius at your school or institution, you can also take advantage of Sibelius’s Classroom Control feature to help manage your classes. We also look at streamlining the use of Sibelius in the classroom by disabling Sibelius’s advanced features so that students aren’t distracted by features they don’t necessarily need.

  • Managing Multiseat Network Licenses with the License Server software
  • Classroom Control features with License Server software
    • Send files to students instantly from your own computer
    • Gather files from students without the need for emailing scores or placing them in a folder on a shared drive
    • Temporarily freeze Sibelius on student computers during class time
  • Custom Menus and Shortcuts
    • Prompt students to create a Version of the score they are currently working on

Episode 8: Auralia and Musition

Auralia and Musition are two supporting software programs, available from the Avid store and from Avid resellers, for ear-training and music theory. In this eighth episode, we’ll take a look at the ways Auralia and Musition help to differentiate student learning and save teachers hours of preparation and marking time.

Demo versions of Auralia and Musition ship with Sibelius, with one question per level in each topic so you can explore the content and the administration features of each program. Upgrading to the full versions will give you and your students access to the complete range of topics.

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My name is Katie Wardrobe from Midnight Music and I run workshops and online courses especially for music teachers in how to use Sibelius and other software applications in an education setting. I've also been a copyist and arranger for more than 20 years.