At this year’s Texas Bandmasters Association convention I presented a Finale clinic for about 150 band directors. When I asked who knew about the QuickStart Videos, seven people raised their hands. SEVEN! Out of 150! I ask this question at EVERY clinic and get a similar response. The irony is that these same good people have gone out of their way to attend a clinic to learn Finale tips!
So today’s tip (and this is definitely one of my Top Ten) is to check out the QuickStart Videos. I know what you’re saying; “I don’t need to watch those.” I can see you now, hands on hips, looking disdainfully at me. But, trust me – taking thirty seconds to watch a pertinent video can be a real time saver! I am the LAST person to read a manual; maybe you are too. BUT I’ve learned that these videos SHOW and TELL me HOW to do things I want to do – and often in less than a minute.
Here’s where to find them:
- From Finale’s Launch Window, click on “QuickStart Videos,” or, under the ‘HELP’ menu, select “QuickStart Videos.” Click on any category to see a list of related videos. Not sure where to start? Try “Basic Skills” and “Using these Videos.”
- Watch WHAT you want to watch WHEN you want to watch it. For example, band directors may not need to learn about lyrics – so don’t watch the lyrics videos.
- Check out the “Visual Index.” The Visual Index allows you to scroll through a short, compact score containing a great variety of music techniques. Perhaps you don’t know what to call that “Stem-up/Stem-down” thing. Is it called Secondary Voices? Multiple Voices? Counterpoint? No problem; simply click on whatever looks like what you need to create. Seriously, this is the way I want to learn a piece of software.
We are sometimes so afraid to ask questions. This is human nature. Each of us thinks we are the only person who feels technology-challenged. I love the QuickStart Videos because I don’t have to embarrass myself by asking other people how to do things. I can be in my pajamas at 4 a.m. trying to finish a project and RIGHT THERE, in 30 seconds, on my own computer, IN my own Finale program, is the answer.
I love that. You will too.