Dear Squeak and Blat,

Aaargh! I'm very frustrated! I can't seem to find a consistent source for buying CD-ROMs in music for my school. My music store seems to not know what I am talking about and I don't see much listed in the big mail order places. I also am very confused about who publishes what. I hear lots of titles talked about but I can't determine who publishes this stuff.

Molly L.



Blat:

Dear Molly:

Relax! Squeak and Blat to the rescue. First of all, one of the best sources for finding out who publishes what is the Association for Technology and Music Instruction's Technology Directory. This is the most comprehensive listing around and it includes up-to-date phone numbers and addresses. You get this when you join ATMI for a measly $30, plus a whole bunch of other neat things too. Squeak and Blat know this group quite well! Check it out at: http://www.music.org/atmi/

Here are a few other tips: Locally, check out some of the big book and CD outlets like Borders, Barnes and Noble, and Tower Records . These stores often have a surprising number of music CD-ROM titles from the major manufacuters and some of the smaller publishers too. The big computer outlets like CompUSA, Electek, and Computer City are also good bets.

You might find good sources via mail order or online. One of my favorities is EDUCORP, an outfit that specializes in selling CD ROMs. It's toll free number is: 1-800-843-9497 and their website is: http://www.educorp.com/

Hope this helps. Don't forget to indicate that you are buying materials for education. Discounts abound!


Squeak:

Molly. I'm really glad you are looking into using these CD-ROM materials. The quality only seems to keep getting better and they can bring such a rich resource of imagery and sound into your classroom for your students! Voyager was one of the first into the field with the Robert Winter Beethoven CD-ROM. They have many more titles now including Stravinsky, Schubert, Mozart, etc. Robert Winter has started his own company, Calliope, and is producing CD titles like their "Crazy for Ragtime" CD. Other CD-ROMs I particularly like are Morton Subotnick's "Making Music" and "All My Hummingbird Have Alibis" from Voyager, "Apple Pie Music," Microsoft's "Musical Instruments," and Peter Gabriel's "Xplora".

As for where to purchase these, Blat recommends those big city stores like CompUSA since he lives in Chicago and he likes to wander the aisles looking at all the computer toys as well. Us small-town folks like to do mail order or shopping by phone more. Beside EDUCORP, you can try mail order companies like Mac/PCConnection, Mac & Micro Warehouse, MacZone, and many others. I particularly like to work with the AABACA folks up in Minnesota; this is a small company that specializes in the music education market for software, MIDI hardware, training materials, and CD-ROMs. Also, SoundTree specializes in supporting hardware and software for music education. Check them out as well.

While poking around the Web looking for links for this column I also found the CD-ROM Shop that have extensive listings of educational CD-ROMs that you can order from the Internet.

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Peter R. Webster and David B. Williams

Peter R. Webster (a.k.a “Blat”) and David Brian Williams (a.k.a. “Squeak”) have presented workshops and other presentations together for CMS/ATMI conferences and workshops for more than 20 years.  Their collaboration has led to publications and presentations internationally on music technology as well as the co-authorship of the textbook Experiencing Music Technology (Cengage Learning/Schirmer Books, 3rd edition Update, 2009), a widely adopted and highly acclaimed music technology textbook for high school and college students. Dr. Webster is emeritus professor of music education at Northwestern University and Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Southern California; Dr. Williams is emeritus professor of music and arts technology at Illinois State University, a freelance consultant, composer and musician, and immediate past president of The College Music Society.

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