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Re: LilyPond learning curve (was: feasibilty question: simple GUI for we

From: Kieren MacMillan
Subject: Re: LilyPond learning curve (was: feasibilty question: simple GUI for web-based Lilypond instance)
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2020 14:46:42 -0400 (EDT)

Hi Jean,

> Out of curiosity, did you ever try teaching or in any way introducing
> LilyPond to your students?

I have introduced a huge number of people (mostly students) to Lilypond: every
time I am asked to give a guest lecture at a university composition department,
I make sure I explicitly highlight Lilypond; when possible, I try to make sure I
can give the students a full "lecture" (e.g., 1 hour) on it; every opportunity I
have to contribute to a comparison of engraving applications, I make sure
Lilypond is represented [well!].

As for *teaching* anybody… I’ve taught exactly four people — two colleagues, and
two students — and only because all four of them were fluent in "coding". One of
them immediately saw the benefits, and used it for "quite a while" (meaning 3+
months), but eventually reverted back to his main toolchain (Finale & Sibelius);
the others abandoned it almost immediately, replacing it with Dorico (2) and
Finale (1).

> I am pretty interested in how people learn LilyPond. My own experience
> from discovering it around 15 is that I was able to enter simple music
> quickly; however, adding staves, instrument names and creating polyphony
> caused many hardships (\voiceTwo is not the second voice!, etc.) I wonder
> if it'd be a good idea to organize one-time presentations, courses, this
> sort of things, for music students − composers are among the primary 
> types of LilyPond users after all.

Until people get "hooked", I fear there’s little use for those kinds of things.
What we need to do is have ways to get people hooked beyond the inertia that
forces them to abandon the tool. I have lots of ideas of how to do that, but
none of them will gain any traction by themselves — unless there’s a GUI that’s
immediately useable and inviting, I’m afraid it’s a losing battle.


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