This Program May Be Music To A Child's Ear

Music lessons are the bane of many a young child: Who has time to learn scales, time and key signatures, and pitch, for instance, when there's baseball to play? Harmonic Vision Inc., in Evanston, Ill., has software that's designed to make music lessons easier and more fun for novice Toscaninis--no matter their age.

Music Ace, developed with help from a teacher at Northwestern University School of Music, employs an animated character named Maestro Max and his "choir of singing notes" to teach the fundamentals of music. Each of Max's 24 lessons ends with a game designed to reinforce new concepts. For example, after learning about pitch, students are asked to compare notes and then place them mn a musical staff. Music Ace also gives students a "music doodle pad" with which they can create and hear their own compositions. Retailing for $60, Music Ace runs on IBM-compatible PCs.

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