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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do Songlearning Systems work?

A: On each Songlearning System™ you will hear a Grand Piano playing your part in the foreground along with a Perfected Blend of the other voice parts, accompaniment and a soft metronome in the background. The higlighted part is just loud enough that the singer will hear his or her part clearly and distinctly without being so loud that it drowns out the other parts and the accompaniment. Choirs who use our system become more confident, able to tackle more challenging pieces. Individual singers notice that their sight-reading skills improve and their enjoyment of group rehearsals increases.


Q: Why do Choral Directors love your Songlearning Systems so much?

A: Directors are freed to focus more on the nuances of the music (tone, dynamics, tempo, blending - the art of any piece of music) rather than killing the momentum of a good rehearsal with having to repeatedly "bang out" notes for ill-prepared singers. For over 20 years, choral directors have trusted our Songlearning Systems™ to assist their singers learn ANY voice part both efficiently and accurately. Our CDs and MP3s help singers learn the mechanics (notes, intervals, rhythms) of any choral work either before the first rehearsal OR in between official rehearsals. This saves valuable time!


Q: How can I order a Customized Repertoire of Octavos that are not listed in your Catalog?

A: Gary Hammond produces custom Songlearning MP3s™ of OCTAVO repertoire for All-State choirs, as well as regional, community and church choirs.

Gary can be reached at (406) 570-4282 or by email: grhammond55@gmail.com

Custom Octavo Repertoire (typically 5-7 songs) are offered ONLY as downloadable Songlearning MP3s™ and are commonly ordered for All-State and Regional Choirs, ACDA Honor Choirs, Church Choirs, Children's Choirs, College & University Choirs, Community Choirs, and Men's & Women's Choirs.

Conductors of All-State Choruses have consistently remarked how much better prepared the choruses who have used our Songlearning MP3s™ were than those choruses who haven't had the advantage of learning their music with our rehearsal system. Choir members can do homework on their music and learn all their notes, intervals and rhythms on their own. Rehearsals fall together much faster when choir members have had the advantage of using our Songlearning MP3s™ to learn their music.

Pricing: $10/choir member for a group of 5-7 octavos, packaged in easy to download zipped folders – one folder for each voice part. If you have a need for less than 5 octavos, the price can be reduced. Please contact Gary Hammond for more details.

Please NOTE: Custom Groups of Octavos are NOT available on MASTER Songlearning MP3s™ from which you would make CD or media duplicates (mp3 or otherwise), ONLY INDIVIDUAL Songlearning MP3s™, which are easily downloaded, including written instructions listing the songs and track numbers.

Each Songlearning MP3™ folder is specific for that choir member's part (SATB or SSAA or TTBB), with their part played on the piano prominently in the foreground, all other parts, accompaniment and soft metronome-like percussion in the background. Each song is introduced with any necessary special instructions. When appropriate, split parts are recorded twice, back-to-back in each voice part folder, to give conductors the choice of assigning splits in order to balance parts.

Many All-State and Honor Choirs have a price structure which includes members paying a set fee for music, meals, etc. It would be reasonable to include a $10 fee for the Individual Songlearning MP3s™ so that every member of the choir arrives at the first rehearsal with their notes, intervals and rhythms learned, ready to be directed on the nuances.

Q: What if my choir wants to order a Major Work that is not in your catalog?

A:  If you would like us to produce Songlearning CDs or MP3s™ for Major Choral Works that are not currently in our catalog, please contact Gary Hammond at (406) 570-4282 or by email:   grhammond55@gmail.com

Q: Why do your Songlearning Systems use a Piano instead of Voices?

A: Of particular interest to music educators—who are teaching music reading skills to their singers—is the fact that we use piano instead of voices. Our use of piano actually helps to enhance and sharpen a singer's music reading skills by reinforcing their choices of notes, intervals and rhythms. This format was a conscious choice that Gary Hammond—a life-long music educator—made at the beginning of his research and development of rehearsal aids in the early 1980s.