March 6, 1997
Vol. 16, No. 12

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    Customized music class

    Students learn at own pace with computerized music lab Students studying music now have an alternative to general drills on musicianship presented by teaching assistants -- customized drills on computers.

    The Computer-Aided Musicianship Instruction Lab (CAMIL) is now being used by students who want to learn musicianship at their own pace. The creation of CAMIL was made possible by a donation from the Visiting Committee to the Humanities Division.

    "Musicianship is the ability to look at notes on a page and know what they sound like, what the chord types are and so on. It's musical literacy, and it's essential to composing," said Howard Sandroff, Director of the Computer Music Studio and Senior Lecturer in Music.

    Students can work with CAMIL to solve problems tailored to their individual needs instead of simply working on a general drill. "CAMIL makes the process of skill-based learning more self-directed, less tedious and, honestly, more fun," Sandroff said.

    CAMIL has five stations in the Language Lab in Foster Hall, each composed of a Power Macintosh computer, a music keyboard, tone generator and special software that allows students to hear the musical exercise and play a response on the keyboard.

    CAMIL supplements the Music Department's other computer installations, which include the Computer Music Studio on the first and second floors of Goodspeed Hall. The studio is an advanced facility for research and creative work in music composition.

    "Right now, CAMIL is used by a variety of music classes," Sandroff said, adding that he hopes more faculty will incorporate CAMIL into their curriculums.

    "It's all very new for the University, but it's a great thing," he said. "It brings musicianship to life."