Sibelius USA, Inc. Newsletter - February, 2006

Welcome to the February issue of Gracenotes—our e-mail newsletter to Sibelius enthusiasts in North, Central and South America. The purpose of Gracenotes is to inform and involve a rapidly growing Sibelius community that includes educators, students and professionals – to share our challenges, ideas and achievements.

We’ve just released the first in a series of three programs geared towards elementary school children, ages 5-11.  The new product line is called Groovy Music, and it’s already getting mainstream reviews from BusinessWeek magazine and the BusinessWeek Weekend TV program. The first of the Groovy programs to be released is Groovy Shapes for ages 5-7; this will be followed in short order by Groovy Jungle (7-9) and Groovy City (9-11). We created the programs to be used in the classroom but have quickly learned that the programs are great for home learning as well.  So if you have children, nieces, nephews, etc., you may want to read below and see what all the buzz is about. One thing is clear: kids love Groovy Music.

As always, we have articles highlighting some of the extraordinarily accomplished artists who make up the Sibelius community – which now numbers approximately 250,000. If you are using Sibelius, you’re in very good company.

We appreciate your feedback and encourage you to e-mail us at to share your thoughts about past, present or future editions of Gracenotes.

Mark Ruch, Editor


Sibelius in the Classroom

Sibelius Unveils the New Standard in K-6 Music Education

Sibelius Software announces the release of Groovy Music, a series of three exciting software programs for elementary and middle school students.

Fun to use, Groovy Music teaches the basics of sound, rhythm, pitch and composition using captivating graphics and animation - progressing to simple notation as well as major and minor scales. Groovy Music - Shapes, the first program to be released is appropriate for ages 5-7, while Groovy Music - Jungle is for ages 7-9 and Groovy Music - City addresses children aged 9-11.


For music teachers, the program not only serves as a fast and easy springboard to integrate technology into their classrooms, but provides simple assessment and progress management tools as well. Groovy Music is easy to use and allows more time for teacher/student interaction, making class time more efficient. The series is fun and engaging, and allows children to learn at their own pace and level – adhering to the latest standards of teaching methodology and providing vocal instructions to guide children.. The programs are ideal for a single computer, a lab, a networked environment, or an interactive whiteboard.

The graphical elements for Groovy Music are designed to provide a highly engaging experience for students, who access the Explore and Create sections of the program through a cartoon character of their choosing.

In fact, Groovy Music – Shapes is featured in the February 27 issue of Business Week. Check it out online at

In the Explore section, students are guided aurally through a series of progressive musical exercises and games that teach basic concepts such as pitch, tone color, high notes and low notes, etc. The Create section lets students put into practice what they’ve learned by creating their own music through a drag and drop sequencer. Shapes and animals represent elements of music such as rhythm, melody and chords. Students simply drag these onto the screen to build up their creation. They can play back their piece, edit it, or even see the elements displayed as musical notation.

To learn more about Groovy Music and view demo videos click here.

Sibelius Product News

Sibelius Puts Two Products in the "Top Ten"

The January 2006 issue of influential music industry publication The Music & Sound Retailer included a compendium of “Top Ten” product lists, and Sibelius claimed two of the top three spots in the Instructional Software category. Sibelius 4 was named the number-one instructional software product on the market, and Musition was ranked third.

The magazine’s rankings were based on retailer surveys and market research, meaning the strong showing by Sibelius products wasn’t just a reviewer’s opinion, but the result of your continued support.

At every level in the continuous refinement of our products, we are indebted to our many dedicated users – from students and educators to some of the most influential composers of our time – who share their experiences and ideas with us. In fact, many of our most popular features have sprung from you.

So on occasions like this, when our efforts pay off in such a gratifying way, it’s only proper that we share the news – and the credit – with our loyal partners around the world. Thank you for believing in Sibelius products!

Featured Sibelius Users

More Than Luck: A Good Night For Peter Martin

Though Peter Martin played piano on the film soundtrack to Good Night, and Good Luck, which won a Grammy® Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album, he did not receive a trophy. That prize went to vocalist Dianne Reeves, for whom Martin serves as music director. Martin did, however, receive a certificate for his role creating the disc, which reworked jazz standards from the 1950’s.

“The rules are pretty strict, but it is a great honor to be associated with the project,” he said.

Martin also arranged two songs on the soundtrack, “Solitude” and “Detour Ahead,” which he sketched out with Sibelius notation software. “Because these were totally stripped-down songs, it was a real easy project in terms of arranging,” said Martin. “The hardest thing about it was making sure it fit into the 1952 timeframe and we didn’t go back and dub anything.”

To read the entire article, please click here.


Composer Steve Reich’s Birthday Triggers Global Celebration

Ask composer Steve Reich what genre he fits into, and he’ll affably but firmly resist classification. So leave the question to The Village Voice – which answers it by calling him “America’s greatest living composer.”

Reich is the thoughtful, socially aware talent behind such major works as the Grammy winning Different Trains (1988) and Music for 18 Musicians (1976) as well as Tehillim (1981), The Desert Music (1984) and the video opera Three Tales (2002). His embrace of technology dates back to his early work with tape loops and phase shifts in the 1960s on pieces like It’s Gonna Rain, Come Out and Piano Phase. Today, the technology he relies upon is Sibelius.

To read the entire article, please click here.


TV and Film Composer Shawn Patterson Sees the Big Picture with Sibelius 4


Years ago, bringing a project such as Nickelodeon’s series The X’s ( to life would require months of work, reams of score paper, the help of copyists, a large soundstage with many studio musicians—and even more time for revisions.

Times have changed.

Composer Shawn Patterson works alone in a small studio one hour north of Burbank, California, in the beautiful mountains of Los Padres National Forest, surrounded by computer-based music production programs, sample libraries, and his notation tool of choice, Sibelius 4.

“I’ve been writing for film and television since 1991, and used to write pretty much everything by hand,” he explains. “Although I still do that from time to time, when it comes to mass copying or just getting some ideas generated, I tell everyone that Sibelius smokes all the other programs.”

To read the entire article, please click here.


Upcoming Training, Shows and Events

Are you interested in learning more about Sibelius 4 ? We are offering training sessions in many locations around the U.S. over the next several months. Two types of sessions are available : Sibelius - Beginning, and Sibelius - Intermediate/Advanced.

Training Schedule

New training sessions are being added all the time. Please refer to the link below for the latest schedule of classes.

For more information, or to reserve your space, please visit:

Upcoming shows and events

Sibelius will be exhibiting at the following regional seminars, expos and national trade shows:
Event Dates Location Booth # Link
Cal MEA 3/9 - 3/11 Sacramento, CA 306
MENC 4/20 - 4/22 Salt Lake City, UT 423
NECC 7/5 - 7/7 San Diego, CA 1840 NECC2006

Past Issues of Gracenotes

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Sibelius Sales
1407 Oakland Blvd
Suite 103
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Fax: 925-280-0008