Here's what instructors are saying about MFun
In addition to these informal comments from students and instructors, you may want to Read the Published Review.
“I really love the MFun e-textbook. I wanted my 15-week online course to be the kind of course that empowers amateur music-makers to have a better grasp of how music works. I think the MFun e-textbook is very well-designed to achieve that. The drills and quizzes are challenging in reasonable ways, while not overwhelming students with theory in too dry or abstract terms that they can’t relate to music they know. The popular music listening examples in the early chapters are wisely chosen, supplementing classical music examples. All of this enabled me to effectively meet the needs of elective and music minor students.
The music department I teach at is small: we don’t offer graduate music degrees, so there are no music grad assistants, and I’m on my own. It was absolutely crucial to have a well-designed e-textbook, one that serves both average students and above-average students very well.
Huge thanks to you, and to Elizabeth Sayrs and her MFun for providing such a valuable teaching resource. I plan on teaching Music Fundamentals online for music minors and elective students in Spring semesters regularly in future years. MFun has made this a very satisfying teaching experience."
--Linda Holzer, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
"MFun worked very well in the Rudiments course at the U of M in the fall term. The students found
it engaging and ultimately very stimulating for a university-level course for non-music majors. The drills,
written exercises, and quizzes in MFun are an exceptional value for minimal financial cost, preparing
students well for in-class testing and giving those planning to audition for the Desautels Faculty of Music
a solid foundation for the theory entrance requirements. I look forward to using MFun for this course
again next year."
--Karla Dawe, Desautels Faculty of Music, University of Manitoba
"MFun is a complete fundamentals of music eText, which offers several key advantages over using a traditional printed text. When students are studying, they can listen to each example with a simple mouse click as they read without having to stick in a CD or go find a piano. MFun is equipped with numerous built-in drills which allow students to practice as much as they need to master a skill or concept and then take a built-in test. All of a student’s work is conveniently stored in a compact Transcript file which can be collected via email or Blackboard. The accompanying Open Transcript application allows the instructor to look at an individual transcript in complete detail or to export multiple transcripts to a file which can be opened in a spreadsheet for easy grade calculation and recording. This has been a real time saver for me, and it makes it easy to see how much individual students are working and which ones need help."
The students really like using MFun, and—because of its interactive nature and clearly written presentation—I spend less class time explaining basic topics, which opens up more time for musical activities and discussion. MFun is an ideal text for students who are taking Music Fundamentals as an elective and don't have keyboard skills. It also offers excellent preparation exercises for students planning to major in music who need to develop speed in identifying intervals, chords, and other basic musical elements. I would recommend giving MFun a serious look to anyone teaching a fundamentals class or to anyone who wants to independently embark on a study of music and theory."
--Travis Hardaway, Peabody Conservatory of Music, Johns Hopkins University
"Though academic administrators and media reports would often have it otherwise, electronic texts and online course tools do not magically enable anyone to teach more students just as effectively as before with zero additional effort. But MFun comes close! Its comprehensive and flexible drill and quiz modules allow individual students to spend as much—or as little—time as necessary for personal mastery of each concept. Detailed transcripts of each student’s progress are easy for the instructor to collect and collate.
These features made possible the expansion of our Music Fundamentals course, which had a customary enrollment cap of 35, to a large lecture course with 90 students. Learning outcomes, as measured by the same final exam, were equivalent to those in the traditional sections less than half the size. MFun relieved me from the responsibility of hours of drill and assessment, freeing class time for the presentation of alternative perspectives to augment the exposition delivered in the electronic text.
That exposition, by no means incidentally, is also excellent. In particular, Prof. Sayrs is to be commended for putting the measure at the center of her exposition of rhythm. This divisional approach— taking beats as divisions of the measure—is closest to our intuitive perception of music. The regrettably more common pedagogical strategy—whereby the measure is presented as a secondary concept resulting from the addition or grouping of beats—is responsible for more anguish and frustration down the road in dictation and sight-reading than any other aspect of traditional fundamentals instruction.
--David Feurzeig, Department of Music and Dance, University of Vermont
Student and Instructor Comments
"In my remedial classes, I now have a reversed classroom with MFun as the source of information and drilling and MacGAMUT for more theory drills and the aural drills. In class, we work on sight-singing and aural drills as well as working on strategies for dictation. This is the first full year with MFun and my Theory I students are working on simple four-part writing in root position. I am hoping that they will have a very high pass rate in Theory I." --S.B., Ohio
“I'm an adult amateur violinist, taking this course online through our local college. While I "know" most of the material, I am not as facile with it as I would like to be. I have to stop and think and count up and down the scale. Working through the drills and quizzes is a great way to learn. I am really enjoying the course and MFun and getting a lot out of it.” --R.H., Arkansas
“I love using MFun for my Music Fundamentals classes. I have them create a composition as part of their Final, and then bring professional musicians in to play them for the students during the Final Exam period. The look in their eyes is priceless. Then I know I have them hooked! Last semester I queried the students afterward how many of them even knew the names of the lines and spaces before taking this class - the answer was NONE! And yet they created some beautiful compositions, flowing melodies and wonderful harmonies with correct voice leading. It has been the talk of the department the last couple years, and no one believes this came from a fundamentals class.” --L.N.B., California
"Students are really enjoying MFun. They can move at their own pace. I can spend much more time drilling reading and singing in class and making sure their reading and singing is getting better!" --S.B., Ohio
"MFun was a total success and the students really like the program." –K.H., West Virginia
"I finished up our semester of Fundamentals of Music using the MFun e-text. It went very well. We have seen vast improvement, and it is obvious that MFun content, sequence, and drills were very beneficial to our students. In ten weeks, we made it through 10 chapters. The comprehensive final exam yielded all A's, B's and one C, and more than a few students started the class not knowing how to read notation." –N.M., Florida
"MFun has been a fun addition to our course. Students seemed to enjoy it last year because it was more economical and concise than other conventional texts. We are using it again this year as the main text along with supplementary solfege, aural training and keyboard material. So far it's working well!" -–G.N., Ohio
"You all are wonderful to deal with and I appreciate your quick response." –K.H., Florida
"I have been using MFun as my textbook this semester and like it VERY much." –L.N.B., California
"Love your products, and appreciate your support very much."–L.H., Arkansas
"Thanks for your wonderful product!" –S.S., North Dakota
Click here to read the Published Review