The website of James Humberstone

Resources for learning and teaching with Sibelius

Sibelius 7 Music Notation Essentials (2012). Published by Course PTR, a division of Cengage Learning. Available from all good music and book stores, or buy on Amazon with the button below. ISBN

Sibelius 7 Music Notation Essentials is the only official, Avid-endorsed course for learning Sibelius. The course is based on five hands-on projects, so that you learn Sibelius by doing. The projects also align nicely to different music education outcomes and topics, so they can be easily integrated into your curriculum.

The five projects include making a simple arrangement of Amazing Grace, copying an excerpt from a Beethoven String Quartet, creating a rock song score with repeats, guitar tab and drum notation, making a worksheet and graphics and scoring to film. In addition to detailed instructions and a CD-Rom with all the resources you need, 32 tutorial videos step you through every stage of each project, so students who don't like to read books ... won't have to!

You can actually trial the whole course from the digital resources available online. Click here to learn more.

Cover of my book

Learn Sibelius 6 in 1 Hour

The funny thing about this course is that I knocked it up in an afternoon to celebrate getting Sibelius 6. Now it gets tens of thousands of hits on YouTube and elsewhere. I even wrote an eBook for Kindle that you can buy for the princely sum of three bucks. Ah well, I hope you find it useful!

Click here to learn more.

Sibelius 6

Developing an idea in Sibelius

I’m very proud of this one. This free online course takes Beethoven as the model for brilliant thematic development and steps students through using his compositional techniques focusing on an amazing set of “Composing Tools” plug-ins which come free with Sibelius 6.

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Paul Grabowsky Sibelius Education Kit

An education kit which together with Paul Grabowsky’s In Search of a Comedy was commissioned by Sibelius to celebrate the launch of Sibelius 5. It includes a detailed analysis of the work with ideas for dozens of lessons for secondary students, high quality recordings and composition exercises to be completed in Sibelius. And all for free.

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Paul Grabowsky

Remixular Bells

A unit of work for elective music students in which they perform a structural analysis of the opening of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells and then use it to reconstruct the piece from provided loops, first in GarageBand and then in Sibelius. Extends into a composition task.

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A bent tube


A piece of music for classroom ensemble. Performance class extends from improvisation into composition through GarageBand and Sibelius templates.

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Solo Solo Solo