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Top 10 Presentations at 2016 TMEA

We are excited to have been invited to present as part of the TI:ME pre conference at the TMEA conference in San Antonio TX. There are hundreds inspiring and educational presentations and performances happening at TMEA. The full conference schedule is now available. It’s impossible to see and hear everything at TMEA but here’s a list of just some of the ones we’re excited to hear.

Did we miss one? Let us know what other clinics you will be attending by commenting below.

Here’s our list in chronological order.

Wednesday / 10:00 – 11:00 AM / CC 211
STEM Innovations in Music Education
Clinician: Gregg Cannady, STEM School and Academy

Cannady will present innovative methods used as core curriculum in a STEM school environment. Software such as Ableton Live, Sibelius, and a variety of apps and controllers are integrated into a core curriculum as students learn piano, guitar, technology, and music theory. Students synthesize music knowledge and skills to improvise, create, and perform.

Gregg runs a successful STEM music program at STEM Academy in Highlands Ranch Colorado. He has a great story of stumbling into music from years as a choral conductor. His class is always up to amazing projects.


By | 2017-01-24T17:05:59+00:00 February 4th, 2016|Blog, Music Education, Music Technology|0 Comments

Turn MIDI into Sheet Music


Your class is composing!

Maybe they are using MIDI keyboards, QWERTY keyboards or maybe just the mouse. Melodies, bass lines and chords are flowing into beautifully crafted boxes with every virtual instrument available a mouse click away.
How can the MIDI piano roll editor and standard music notation complement each other? The connection from a MIDI sequencer to printed sheet music is closer than students know. MIDI compositions can easily be turned into sheet music which can then be performed and recorded by student instrumentalists in a few steps.

The Goal

Our goal is to turn the melody track into sheet music using Sibelius. Once in Sibelius, any part can be transposed to accommodate a variety of instrumentations and recorded or performed live. Let’s start with a student MIDI composition in Ableton Live. This project has four tracks; Melody, Bass, Harmony and Percussion.

MIDI Composition

Save As

Before we go any further, lets Save Live Set As (MIDI Project_notation) so that we can come back to our original version if necessary.
Export Midi Parts
  • Right click on the clip in the track named “Melody” and select Export Midi Clip (Shift Command E)
  • Name the MIDI file and choose a destination.
Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 4.34.51 PM
Import in Sibelius
  • Click Open MIDI File
  • Select the Melody.mid file we exported from Ableton Live
Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 2.24.38 PM
The Open MIDI File dialog lets us change settings to improve readability in our sheet music.
Our goal is to open the MIDI file with minimal amount of editing to be done in Sibelius.
  • Deselect “Use Multiple Voices”. Since this is a monophonic melody we don’t want multiple voices.
  • Select “Only One Staff Per Track”

Sibelius Import MIDI File Setting

  • If your parts do not contain tupelts then select “none” for all tuplet types.
  • Adjust the minimum note duration to the smallest note for that part.
Import Midi into Sibelius - Notation Settings
Our result is the student melody notated in treble clef!
MIDI Melody
Next Steps
  • Transpose: Learn the melody in different keys, alter key signature and play in a different mode.
  • Instrumentation: add another instrument in the Sibelius score and try this melody on woodwinds, brass, string instruments.
  • Perform: combine with other MIDI parts and perform with your clarinet/laptop “electro-acoustic” ensemble.


What are other creative ways have you used this technique in your classroom?

By | 2017-01-24T17:05:59+00:00 December 27th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Creating a Sampled Instrument: Auto Map Samples

Creating a Sampled Instrument

We’ve recorded an alto saxophone on each chromatic pitch from F2 to D4. On the saxophone this would be from D below the staff to B above the staff . Each pitch was exported as an individual WAV file and placed into a folder.

Auto Map the Samples

These samples can then be imported into a sampler and played back on a midi controller. Software samplers like Logic’s ESX24 and Ableton’s Sampler have features that auto map samples to their root key. This can save a ton of time when assigning  samples to their corresponding midi note and key range.

Auto Map Logic ESX24

Tips For Auto Mapping Samples


By | 2017-01-24T17:05:59+00:00 December 15th, 2015|Ableton Live, Logic X, Music Technology|0 Comments

Building Chords with Ableton Push

Ableton Push is a fantastic instrument to compose melodies and chords with. Both beginning and advanced music makers will find a constant source of inspiration and exploration using Push’s unique keyboard. While Push is not a replacement for learning a traditional piano keyboard, it can be a very successful alternative for students without a piano background. I’ve found that Push reduces the barrier to entry to composing and gets students inspired and making more meaningful music faster.

Load a Sound

First load a sound from the Browser in Ableton Live by pressing the Browse button. Then use the encoder knobs to select the sound you like. If you have installed the free Ableton Live 9.5 update, you will also be able to hear a preview of each sound. Once you find a sound you like, press the green load button.

Navigate the Keyboard

The blue pads represent root notes spread over several octaves. You can access higher and lower octaves by pressing the Octave Down and Octave Up Button
Root Notes on Push


By | 2017-01-24T17:06:00+00:00 November 20th, 2015|Ableton Live, Ableton Push, Music Education|1 Comment