Getting Started with Practica Musica
Practica Musica, from Ars Nova Software, allows students to practice reading notes and rhythms while providing immediate feedback. This is one of the best ways for students to achieve the basic competency in music-reading that will allow them to reach their fullest potential most efficiently.
Using Practica Musica with your electronic keyboard (optional)
If you have an electronic piano keyboard at home, you should be able to connect it to your computer using either a USB cable or a MIDI interface, and “play” your responses to Practica Musica exercises directly on the keyboard, which is generally much easier, quicker, and more beneficial than using your mouse to click the on-screen “keyboard.”
Many newer keyboards offer a USB port, that’s usually an easy “plug-and-play” solution.
If your keyboard has no USB but has at least a MIDI Out port, that’s also a fine option, though you’ll need an additional interface to make the connection. For most students, an “entry-level” MIDI interface (“1-port” or “1-in/1-out”) is probably sufficient; I use and recommend the Roland UM-ONE, though I recommend you consult a sales representative to confirm that you purchase an interface that will work with your keyboard, computer, and operating system. (You can see a selection of MIDI interfaces at Sweetwater, an online vendor I find great to work with.)
Using the program
Once you have Practica Musica installed and your MIDI setup complete, you can begin to explore the program! I’ve created a few tutorials to help you get started—I’d recommend starting with “Launching Practica Musica,” but you can jump to any tutorial using the menu in the sidebar.