6th January 2006 at 00:00
Consolidation and creativity are the twin themes for music education resources in 2006. Sibelius has added primary software Groovy Music (pound;59) to a portfolio that includes The Education Suite and guitar module G7.

The big release of 2005, however, was Sibelius 4 (pound;359), which was short-listed for a BETT award. Excellent new features include a worksheet creator, dynamic parts and "write to video".

O-Generator (pound;69), now distributed by Sibelius, is surely one of the most innovative products at BETT. A tool intended to explore and explain basic concepts such as rhythm and pitch, it has quickly established itself as a favourite with teachers and children.

Duncan Mackrill, music consultant and PGCE tutor at Sussex University believes the new multimedia aspects of programs such as Sibelius and Sound2Picture (pound;100 site licence - see review in Web Extra at will "lead to an increase in curriculum work integrating video with music software".

Sibelius is sharing its BETT space with Counterpoint MTC. Its eSAAMS 3 assessment software (pound;389) has been updated to include multi-user capability that can be accessed via the school intranet. Counterpoint will be debuting Mastering Music (pound;1,389 site licence), which has more than 300 self-paced lessons covering areas such as composition and aural training and addresses students' individual ICT needs.

Over at Apple they'll be showing some of the best designed hardware at the show. Check out the excellent iLife software suite too (pound;45) - a set of digital tools that includes the innovative GarageBand.

Jazz is presently enjoying a singularly high profile. Teachers looking for useful resources should investigate a comprehensive trio of books (pound;25) by jazz pianist Tim Richards. Each one is accompanied by a CD with recordings to play along to.

Want to incorporate jazz sounds into your score? Try Garritan's new Jazz Big Band module (pound;170). Joel Heatley of education suppliers Time and Space believes it should prove a big success in education - "allowing students to create realistic-sounding jazz and big band arrangements quickly and easily".

For education buyers, the most significant new sequencing product could be Dance eJay for Schools (pound;340 network). For outstanding value, however, David Bevin of Dawson's Music suggests Magix's Music Studio 2005 Deluxe, which offers Midi and audio sequencing with audio recording and sound effects for only pound;25.

Virtual instruments are proving increasingly popular, watch out for Garriton Personal Orchestra, (pound;150) and East West Percussive Adventures (Pounds 127, "lite" version pound;45 ), which offers an astonishing collection of rhythms.

Online, MTRS (the Music Teachers' Resource Site) continues to flourish. Now split into a free and subscription service, the site offers everything you're ever likely to want for a music lesson. Take a look, too, at Tuned-In, a beautifully presented education site with a strong multi-cultural and cross-curricular flavour.

Two previous BETT winners will again be exhibiting. Gigajam will be launching Gigajam for Orchestra at BETT. SynergyTV will be demonstrating dbass, the acclaimed resource that enables young people to share their music online.

ESP will be previewing Dums International (pound;50). This virtual family of musicians has been augmented by overseas relatives and now includes music from all over the world. Longstanding favourite Soundbeam (pound;860), the interactive sound and light system, is bringing its new desktop version to BETT.

For teaching musioc on whiteboards, Boardworks will be promoting its new KS3 music product (pound;500 for a site licence). On the Neptune stand you'll be able to catch up with the latest Percy adventure, Percy's Music Club (Pounds 34), where the bespectacled caterpillar leads children through a variety of musical activities.

Staying with primary, BETT short-listed Mini Musical Monsters (pound;35) - six musical activities for three to five-year-olds - can be seen on the Q and D stand.

Finally, need a break from curriculum-based music software? Then finish your tour at the NESTA stand, where NESTA Futurelab will be showing the wondrous Jungulator, a multimedia self-generative composition tool. Put simply it's a visual and audio mixer seeded with randomness. See and believe!

Two late entries: BBC Jam will be debuting on the BBC stand F30. Music is covered from ages 7 to 9; and Sound Junction ( will be featured on Culture Online's stand (W2).

Don't miss

Sibelius 4 Sibelius Software Stand G40 Tel: 0800 458 3111

O-Generator Sibelius Software Stand G40 Tel: 0800 458 3111

Soundbeam Project Stand O13 Tel: 0117 974 4142

Other contacts

Apple Stand E34F34 Tel: 0800 039 1515

Arbiter Music Tel: 020 8207 7880

BBC Stand F30

Boardworks Stand F70 Tel: 08703 50 55 60

Counterpoint MTC Stand G40 Tel: 01903 539922

Culture Online Stand W2 Dawson's Music Tel: 0870 44 24 615

ESP Music Stand SW2 Tel: 0115 9444140

Gigajam Stand P6 Tel: 0870 744 2040

Music Teachers Resource Site

Neptune Computer Tech Stand H70 Tel: 01935 891 892

NestaFutureLab Stand Y30 Tel: 0117 915 8200

Q and D Multimedia Stand G58 Tel: 01332 364963

SynergyTV dbass Stand G70 Tel: 0113 246 9989

Schott Music (for jazz books) Tel: 020 7534 0700

Sound2Picture and Sound2Game Tel: 07957 264 170

TimeSpace Tel: 01837 55200 EXT 28 www.timespace.comeducation Tuned-in

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