Autoharp in the preschool classroom
(Excerpts from a music teachers discussion group.)
In the post that started this thread, . . . sought advice as to
whether an autoharp would be a good choice for special education
pre-school musical interaction. As Director of Internet Marketing
for the QChord, there are a few clarifications I would like to make
regarding the comparisons between the autoharp and the QChord that
have been posted . . .
While it's true the autoharp and QChord both offer the capability
to play chords by simply selecting them with a button, the QChord
is far more than an electronic autoharp. Both are easy to play (if
you disregard the tuning headaches of the autoharp). But there's
really no comparison between what you can easily do on a QChord
as opposed to an autoharp.
What sets QChord apart from all other instruments is its unique
Strumplate. The Strumplate electronically spreads four octaves of
notes from the currently selected chord across its touch-sensitive
surface, where they may be strummed or tapped. Virtually anyone
can improvise without fear of hitting a clinker, and you're not
limited as you are with an autoharp to a single instrumental sound.
You can select from 100 different instruments to create with, and
shape their tones with a wide variety of effects such as vibrato,
reverb, sustain, and a pitch-bend wheel.
There's also considerably greater inspiration for creativity, since
selecting a chord button can cue a full combo using the chord to
play accompaniment in any of ten different musical styles. (Forty
styles if you have the optional QCard Rhythm Cartridge.) If you
prefer to let QChord handle the chord changes automatically, you
can plug in a QCard Song Cartridge and improvise on the Strumplate
to fully-orchestrated arrangements of popular favorites.
QChord gives you push-button access to all 84 Major, Minor, 7th,
Major 7th, Minor 7th, Diminished, and Augmented chords as opposed
to the autoharp's 12 chords that give you limited flexibility in
only a few keys. And whatever key the chord progression you're following
is written in, you can simply push a button to transpose it to the
most comfortable key for singing and/or playing along with other
QChord has many more features which I haven't covered. But I think
it should be clear by now why I feel (as do many educators and therapists)
that QChord is an outstanding choice for special ed and/or pre-school
Director eBusiness, QChord Network
/ QChord Comparison Chart