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ABRSM launches new Melody Writer tool
ABRSM, the exam board of the Royal Schools of Music, has launched a new online resource to help students practise their melody writing skills and improve their musical understanding. Melody Writer, which focuses on the melody writing question in a Grade 5 Music Theory exam, is now available as a free beta version at www.abrsm.org/melodywriter.
How it works
It’s quick and easy to write music using Melody Writer. And whether starting from scratch or using the beginning of a real exam question, the tool gives the same level of freedom students have when using pen and paper in an exam. If mistakes are made the tool offers guidance on ways to improve or correct a student’s work when they play back their tune. This feedback is based entirely on the melodies a student has written so they could be prompted to check anything from beaming and grouping or the number of beats in a bar to the use of ties or the range of the chosen instrument. Once happy with their melodies, students/users can save or share their work with their teacher or friends. Teachers can also keep track of progress using the resource’s ‘scorecard’ feature for each melody, which shows where students need extra help. Stuart Briner, ABRSM’s Digital Learning Manager, said: ‘The melody writing question at Grade 5 requires candidates to demonstrate a wide range of skills accumulated through their study of theory. Because there is a lot to think about in this question, it is easy to overlook such things as misplaced bar lines or inaccurate grouping of notes as well as more musical considerations like shape and direction. That’s why we’ve developed Melody Writer, to provide practical support for students as they build their music theory skills.’