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e-Media Intermediate Piano and Keyboard Method CD-ROM.

* e-Media Intermediate Piano and Keyboard Method CD-ROM, by Vadim Ghin. eMedia Music Corp. (664 N.E. Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98105), 2006. $69.95.

e-Media Intermediate Piano and Keyboard Method is designed to give the student flexibility in instruction in the comfort of their home. A collection of more than 50 songs arranged in a progreSsive order, the course is divided into eight chapters that are subdivided into 144 lessons. Additional lessons listed in Appendix A and Appendix B are devoted to technique. Academic instruction covering music history and theory provide a solid background for each lesson. Among the many additional teaching tools are ear training exercises, a digital metronome and digital recorder.

Chapters 1-5 cover the standard topics usually addressed in the average piano lesson, including tonality, manual dexterity, rhythm, expressions and elements of performance. Famous pieces, predominantly arrangements, are used to teach the student skills pertinent to each specific lesson. Chapters 6-8 are the most creative of this software, developing jazz style, improvisation and ensemble playing. Technical discussions through video demonstrations explain the new skill to be learned. Options that can facilitate the learning process with the use of audio tracks are presented to the student. The ear training, history and theory components are well designed and very useful to students pursuing any course of study. The charts and examples are designed with precision and visually attractive. Ear training examples are clearly defined and appropriate quizzes are given following each section.

The repertoire is solid but a bit conservative; I would prefer to see a more diverse repertoire at this level. It is clear that the limitations of creating a method for MIDI keyboard played a part in the development of the method since nearly all pieces fall with a four-octave range. Most of my intermediate students want to experiment with the complete instrument. I think the repertoire is suitable for an adult who is fond of classical repertoire and familiar melodies, but the younger student may be less enthused. The text for this is clearly written and easy to understand for students with developed reading skills. Although this software is for ages kids to adults, I think it may be above the comprehension skills of the average 12-year-old but dearly could be easily understood by an older teen or adult. One other concern is the hardware necessary to run this program. I tried this out on two different computers both meeting the minimum system requirements. The older system with a Pentium 3 processor and Windows XP could not handle the software and there was a delay between the video and sound. My newer system with a Pentium 4 and Windows XP ran the software with no problems. Further hardware recommendations include total access to computer and keyboard simultaneously, and a 17-inch or larger monitor.

As self-instruction software the e-Media Piano and Keyboard Method is excellent in its approach to the academics of learning the keyboard. Reviewed by Richard Van Dyke, Cincinnati, Ohio

* The items marked with this symbol can be ordered via the MTNA website through our affiliation with Amazon.com. Go to www.mtna.org, click on "Resources and Services" and scroll down to the Amazon.com section.
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Author:Van Dyke, Richard
Publication:American Music Teacher
Date:Oct 1, 2006
Words:532
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