Published Review

In addition to this published review of MFun: Music Fundamentals, you may want to read comments from MFun Users and Instructors

Mark Yeary, “Computer-Assisted Instruction and Remedial Music Fundamentals, Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy, vol. 28 (2014), pp. 249-73.

Dr. Yeary offers brief reviews of MFun and two other CAI applications designed for teaching music fundamentals.  In addition, his article includes valuable background and context for evaluating available options. 

To read the complete article, click here

A few excerpts from Dr. Yeary’s discussion of MFun (pages 261-65):

“MFun is published by the makers of the venerable CAI platform MacGamut, and although the two platforms share their love of musically-engaged cartoon characters, MFun is a separate application that does not require MacGamut. MFun’s accompanying brochure clearly announces it is designed with the underskilled incoming music major in mind, and its thoughtful combination of tutorial and drill exercises make it appropriate for use as either a stand-alone preparatory course or an e-textbook for an on-campus fundamentals course.”

“The text of the tutorial is well-written, and it is augmented with introductory concepts that go beyond the basics: the chapter on pitch, for instance, begins with an explanation of frequency using a vibrating string. The author takes an engaging tone throughout, and the text itself would be suitable as a paper-format textbook; accordingly, the amount of reading asked of the student is similar to that of a textbook, and students accustomed to multimedia tutorials that use smaller chunks of information may be less prepared to digest the information within.”

“The drill-and-practice component of MFun is one of its strongest aspects. A set of exercises is typically presented in three components: drill, written, and quiz. The drill and quiz share the same topic and methods; the drill allows the student to prepare at their own pace before they begin the timed quiz. The written exercise—a generated worksheet that may be printed for use—provides another opportunity to practice, and although it is more suitable for an on-campus course than a remote self-study course, many instructors will appreciate the option to ask that students create notation with a pencil as well as with a mouse or trackpad.”

“The administrative side of quizzes is equally appealing to instructors. For each quiz in the course, instructors may adjust several options: the option to exclude or include the quiz, the number of questions given, the time limit (a number of seconds, or unlimited), the number of attempts allowed, and the option for students to quit within a quiz. The options window also comes with two default settings that are appropriate for “music majors” and “non-majors”; for the instructor looking to fine-tune performance requirements, these settings offer a helpful baseline from which they may make adjustments as desired.”

“MFun offers a lot to the instructor wishing to narrow the fundamentals gap: it works as both a standalone course and a component of a physical or hybrid course. Instructors will like its well-planned series of drills and the option to customize the quizzes as needed; students will appreciate the annotated instructions and detailed progress reports.”

Click here to read comments from MFun Users and Instructors.