Ear training is a substantial building block in music education. Practicing this skill happens mostly during class or with a private tutor and takes quite some time. With EarMan, students are now able to take these lessons when and where they like.
The program can be used as a full curriculum by itself or in addition to the lesson plan. The application fully supports RoGame sound libraries and comes with the grand piano library. EarMan grades ear training sessions and keeps track of progress made.
In regular practicing mode EarMan allows the selection of interval sets, range, and length of session. Sessions are then started via the toolbar buttons and proceed until the end of the test set. At that point results are tallied, graded and displayed. Most of the time a student will use this mode to target specific areas and to slowly improve.
The curriculum mode, on the other hand, doesn't allow any of the above selections and proceeds sequentially. The first curriculum session is always the interval set of seconds with a one-octave range. A curriculum session must be completed with a grade of 'B' or better to be added as evaluation. If so, the next curriculum session will be one testing thirds in a one-octave range and so on.
Any kind of flashiness has been avoided in the interface for EarMan for obvious reason - focus on the sound. Great attention has been paid towards one-handedness. When using one of the newer Palm branded handhelds, the 5-way navigation button can be used to navigate and enter answers during test sessions.
The methodology as implemented in EarMan has been designed by music professionals with great attention to detail. The inclusion of three sets of complementary intervals is one example and the use of unisons to "clean the palate" another.
The curriculum is designed to slowly enhance confidence and proficiency while addressing all intervals and increasing the range. Music teachers will find this to be an excellent tool to complement lesson plans and any musician will find EarMan a surprisingly effective tool to keep improving their mostly treasured tool - the ear.