Reply To: How to teach notation in Finale Notepad
I think that having the students transcribe short pieces would be a good way to have them practice the skills of working with finale. Once they understand the basic concepts, then you can bring in the creative aspect. I think they are both good ideas, but having them learn with a piece written before hand will more clearly show whether they have mastered the concepts. Once they have understanding, they can use the program as a tool to express their creativity, rather than having divided attention between “How do I make this work?” and “What do I want to do with this?”
As far as the way to teach it, you may well know that mixing strategies is usually more effective than using just one. If one student learns more by hearing and seeing, but another learns by experimentation, both will be engaged and can benefit from a demonstration followed by an in-class assignment. I know you have more experience than I do, though, so methods to use in the classroom is your call.
I hope this helps!