On the road: Score prep master class at Berklee


Recently I made a quick trip to Boston, where I had the pleasure of giving a master class on score preparation at the Berklee College of Music. We’re all familiar with master classes for instrumentalists, vocalists and even composers, but one specifically tailored to score preparation is a relative rarity.


In fact, Berklee offers a full-semester length course on the subject. Students came prepared with examples in both Sibelius and Finale. Some of the issues presented were rather tricky, and I did have to consult Tim Davies’s blog once during the session to find the ideal settings for the large time signatures in Finale! (The image above was taken prior to applying those settings; if you’d like to see how to do the same in Sibelius, see this “translation” guide I made for Tim’s Finale tips.)

Fortunately, at the end of the session I was able to send students away with a few more skills and tools than when they walked in that morning. In addition to sharing good notation practice and technical know-how, I pointed them to a few plug-in resources which will be familiar to regular readers of this blog: for Sibelius, the free extra plug-ins and a paid suite from The Music Transcriber; and for Finale, TG Tools and JW Plug-ins.

Thanks to professor Scott Fessler and Berklee for inviting me and hosting the class.



  1. zulkarnaen

    thank you for your writing. I want to ask how quickly input notes using a laptop keyboard, eg the displacement not full not half, from half notes to quarter notes. thank you

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