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Re: [school-discuss] Piano for kids - I use Musix!!

Yes, Lee . . . that's me!!  I am the poster who is using Musix with 5th and 6th
grade students in Texas.  It completely rocks!

This list led me to Musix.  I had already tried Studio to Go, but 2 years ago
cost me $50 - 100 bucks for one CD.  It was cool, but I needed free.  Then last
year when someone posted the FrozenTech site
(http://www.frozentech.com/content/livecd.php) to this list,  I downloaded and
tried out a bunch of the mulimedia flavors and found Musix,
(http://www.musix.org.ar/en/index.html).  It was the end of the school year, so
I just played with it and was please with what I discovered.  At the beginning
of this school year, I got permission from our school district's system
administrator to go into setup in my campus lab and set all of the computers to
boot from the CD.

Wow!!  I have been so pleasantly surprised!!  

Last year I tried to do web-based music activities in a Windows environment
district is a Windows shop), and continually had problems with the sites being
down or overloaded, the network being slow (the kids would sneak off to movie
sites and everything would stop), and even though we have a filter, students
were still able to find inappropriate content!  Then there were all of the
Windows related issues!!  What a drag.

Here are advantages of the Musix bootable CD.

1.  If the hardware is working, Musix is working.
2.  Since this bootable is designed for sound, all of the MIDI stuff works. 
This has always been a problem for me, since I am only minutely geeky when it
comes to configuring kernels, etc.
3.  The kids cannot mess up the OS since it is-read only.  Last year, even
though there were all sorts of blocks and protections on the Windows OS,
students could still go in and mess with the mouse or keyboard settings, etc.,
and make the computer unuseable for the next student . . . until I figured out
what they had done.  :)
4.  Our network uses a proxy server so you have to tell your linux OSs where to
find it.  I don't bother to tell the students the proxy settings, eliminating
those headaches.  We don't need the Internet for what we do.

I am currently using Solfege and Hydrogen Drum Machine.  We run the easy rhythm
lessons in Solfege and then go to Hydrogen to compose rhythm patterns.  The
kids really love it.  And it works!  Yeah!

Recently, I used Rosegarden in Musix to compose a little school song for us. 
is finally fairly close to the Cakewalk(Windows) and Composer(Mac) software I
previously used.  Also, I am conducting an after-school guitar class for the
rest of the year and plan to teach the students to use the very cool guitar
tuner in Musix and also dabble with the guitar software available.  

I have corresponded with the Musix dudes and they rock.  They are so excited to
hear about another person using their system.  I had commented on how I was
having a problem with the sound on Note-edit, and they sent me instructions to
help them de-bug it.  My concert was last week, so I will try to do that soon. 
I am sure they will be glad to help anyone with issues they might encounter.

Having this great bootable Musix CD experience (I have always loved bootables -
was using Knoppix with students way back in 2003) makes me wonder if educators
shouldn't go to bootable OSs everywhere all of the time!  You can have
different flavors for different subjects.  (Create your own flavor in Slax?  I
was even able to do that . . . very cool).  I think there are many advantages
to bootables.   1  - the OS always works   2 - You can leave out all of the
tools that would help students cause mischief  3 - have a different flavor for
every subject area.  4 - Maybe just use the hard drives for data storage?

Imagine . . . a math class comes into the lab.  Each student grabs the math
bootable.  It has all of the software students need for math class and the
web-browser has the tabs already set for math web sites.  Also, network
settings for access to certain directories are already set and security
measures are in place.

Likewise, writing classes come in and put in the writing tools CD.  Graphics
arts students have their CD.  Primary students have theirs . . . etc.  etc.

I think we should quit installing operating systems on hard drives, and only use
bootable media.

But, if we need to have something installed . . . it should be EDUBUNTU!!! 
Edubuntu rocks!!  It is so stable and it is very easy to install new software.

However, I haven't been able to get it to run my MIDI software (Rosegarden,
etc.) . . . putting MIDI in the kernel . . . or whatever it takes, I don't know
. . must not be a priority with developers.  I guess its a bit too far off the
beaten path.

This was long . . . sorry!

I love Musix!!  (love Edubuntu too)


Quoting lee rodgers <sregdoreel@xxxxxxxxx>:

> I don't know if this helps, but less complex are Solfege (MIDI-based music
> training), Jazz++ (MIDI sequencing) & the DAW Psycle (Windows-only) ... these
> are all FOSS & are much simpler than Rosegarden & Ardour, etc.
> Having said that, it might help to take a look at the Linux-based Studio To
> Go & Musix distros. Musix has come a long way & the CD-bootable STG demo is
> absolutely stunning. Both work right out of the box on a variety of
> platforms. 
> If I recall correctly, other posters on this list have conducted  gradeschool
> MIDI/DAW classes using Musix.
> /lee 
> Bill Kendrick <nbs@xxxxxxxxx> wrote: On Thu, Feb 22, 2007 at 06:52:51PM
> +0100, Manuel Gutierrez Algaba wrote:
> > hi
> > I've been searching for a game to play piano using computer keyboard in 
> > the Seul App index, google and many other places, but  i've found 
> > complex programs, brahms, rosegarden, which moreover being complex  
> > don't work , they don't play a single sound
> If I had all the time in the world, this would be one of the Tux4Kids
> style apps I'd try and write. :(
> -- 
> -bill!
> bill@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/
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