Factually Answered Queries

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Ahead With Music — Our site and its policies

Does your software carry an annual renewal fee?

No. NoteCard comes in a Free version (download here) and a Paid version (buy here) with extra features. You can use the Free version as long as you like without paying at all, whereas the Paid version requires a one-time license fee.

What is your policy regarding software upgrades?

By purchasing the Paid version of NoteCard, you become eligible to receive unlimited free minor version upgrades (e.g. from 3.3 to 3.4). You will also receive free major version upgrades (e.g. from 3.3 to 4.0) if the upgrade is issued within six months of when you obtained your original license. In addition, previous paying customers will typically receive substantial discounts when upgrading.

NoteCard basics — Getting to know our note-learning product

What is the best age to start using NoteCard?

In the case of children who have not yet begun reading, we recommend that NoteCard be used only with immediate supervision, preferably by a parent. If the child is enthusiastic and the parent can afford the time, it should be well worth trying, but in other circumstances it might be better to wait. For later ages, NoteCard’s bright, clear interface and well-spaced controls make it equally suitable for children and adults.

Is NoteCard a game?

We don’t call NoteCard a game; indeed, we have taken pains not to include purely game-like elements that only distract from the main learning mission and waste time. Still, neither is NoteCard a mere dull ‘learning tool’. It has some of the competitiveness and time pressure of a video game, and in the Paid version it even provides a ‘progress rating’ that is somewhat similar to a game score or hit-point tally.

Is NoteCard just for beginners?

NoteCard is for anyone who is not yet a fluent note-reader, whatever their other musical accomplishments. Not everyone who sings or plays an instrument has had occasion to acquire a thorough grasp of musical notation. Some players have an exaggerated idea of the difficulty of reading music, and postpone indefinitely the task of coming to grips with it. Other hope the necessary learning will take place by ‘osmosis’ as they go about their musical lives. Still others have perhaps yet to realize the degree to which the ability to read notation can expand their musical horizons. For all these, as well as beginners of just about any age (see previous question), NoteCard is recommended as the best available tool for exploring and quickly mastering the notes. Players who work with NoteCard can expect rapid progress in sight-reading and an improved ability, when working with written music, to focus on musicality of expression.

Will I learn faster with the Paid version of NoteCard?

We think you almost certainly will. One of the major advantages of the Paid version is the tracking of your NoteCard quiz results over time (and those of up to two other users, if desired). This has three main benefits. First, you can use your Progress Rating and the Progress Review task to see exactly how far you have come towards your goal of mastering the notes, and how far you still have to go. Second, the ongoing quest to advance one’s Progress Rating towards the perfect score of 100 may spur some users to push ahead more rapidly than they would otherwise. Finally, during quizzes NoteCard draws on the stored information to give you extra work on your weaker notes, with the result that your overall progress should be smoother, faster and surer than if the quiz notes were selected at random as in the Free version. Having said all that, we should also point out that even the Free version of NoteCard is fully capable of teaching you your notes quickly and efficiently in comparison with conventional methods.

NoteCard and music lessons — Can they work together?

Do I need to be taking music lessons to use NoteCard?

You can use NoteCard, and become expert at reading the musical notes, quite apart from actually studying or even playing an instrument. If you intend to begin lessons in the coming months, it’s a great idea to learn your notes now: the lessons will get off to a flying start with that important skill already under your belt.

But whether or not you plan to take lessons, there is never a wrong time to begin your journey into the vast world of musical riches that a knowledge of notation opens up. For example, many adults have an instrument they love to play when time permits, but have never learned to read music. NoteCard can help them get up to speed quickly in that area without requiring the commitment in time and money of music lessons.

I’ve started music lessons. Do I need NoteCard as well?

If you are already reading music confidently and fluently in all parts of the staff, and feel comfortable reading at sight, you may have little to gain by using NoteCard. But if you are still in the early stages of mastery, if you ever have to break rhythm while playing to identify a note, or if the mental effort of ‘decoding’ notation siphons your attention from more musical ends, NoteCard offers an accelerated path through this phase of your studies.

Both practice and lesson time become much more productive when the student is fully conversant with the notes, and can recognize each one instantly and without error. NoteCard is the quickest and surest way to achieve that advanced competence level.

I’m learning the notes by another method. Should I switch?

We suggest you give NoteCard a try, particularly if you feel that you should be making better headway. There is no risk in evaluating NoteCard, nor even any outlay if you stay with the Free version.

You may find that for you NoteCard makes the other method redundant, or you may elect to carry on using both methods.

Thanks for your interest in NoteCard.

As we said above, if you have any other questions, please do contact us.