top of page

[Finale] For those who want to learn how to use Finale: Finale Intensive Course (Course starting in July 2024)

Our Finale Intensive Course, which has been highly acclaimed for its unique content based on the experience and knowledge we have gained from many years of involvement in Finale development and technical support at the sole distributor in Japan, will be held on the following dates for the July courses.

  • Basics I: 7/10 (Wed) 19:30-21:30, or 7/13 (Sat) 10:00-12:00

  • Basics II: 7/24 (Wed) 19:30-21:30, or 7/27 (Sat) 10:00-12:00

  • Basics III: 8/7 (Wed) 19:30-21:30, or 8/10 (Sat) 10:00-12:00

  • Applied I: 8/21 (Wed) 19:30-21:30, or 8/24 (Sat) 10:00-12:00

  • Applied II: 9/4 (Wed) 19:30-21:30, or 9/7 (Sat) 10:00-12:00

  • Applied III: 9/18 (Wed) 19:30-21:30, or 9/21 (Sat) 10:00-12:00

This course is designed based on my personal experience since I was a beginner at music college, and then I began using it in music production and music education jobs, and later, as an “inside person”, involved in its development and technical support. I have also received advice from instructor Mr. Arima, who has a wealth of experience in lecturing at music schools, etc., and has been working with me since my time at MI7.

I regularly exchange ideas with Mr. Arima via chat, and one topic that comes up particularly frequently is how to understand Finale's unique “product design”.

Design here refers not only to the appearance, but also to the design of how each function is arranged and related to each other in the software as a whole, and also includes “habits” in operation and behavior.

When I launched Finale on my computer for the first time when I was a music college student, I remember that I had no idea where to go, but now even if there's a feature I don't know about, I can find it out like “Probably it would be there”.

While discussing with Mr. Arima what the difference is, we came up with an idea that understanding product design is one of the keys to becoming proficient in operating multi-functional and difficult-to-understand software such as Finale. 

I think the biggest feature of Finale is that even if something cannot be achieved with standard functions, it is often possible to obtain the same or at least close enough results by combining other functions.

The catchphrase for Finale, used by the developer MakeMusic for a long time, is “create your way”. I take this to mean “Finale is a tool that allows you to establish your own way through ingenuity.”

By understanding Finale's product design, you will be able to pursue “create your way” more deeply, and working with Finale will be more enjoyable. The key concept of the “Finale Intensive Course” is to think about and pass on that know-how to you. That will remain the same from the MI7 era when it was planned, to the present day when our company has sponsored it, and will continue in the future.

Currently, you can apply for the Basic Part (3/20-4/20) from the link below. Applications for the Advanced Part (5/1-6/1) will begin after the basic edition starts.

(*Please note that there are two types of classes with the same lecture content: Wednesday night class and Saturday morning class.)

The details of each lecture, which could not be written at length on the application page above, are summarized below in the form of an addendum. If you are interested, please check it out.


・Basic I


Input preparation (key signature, time signature, clef settings, etc.), writing melody score

【the aim】

You will gain a shallow but broad understanding of Finale's overall functions and be able to create simple melodic scores.


When I heard from the instructor Mr. Arima that “Many beginners freeze when the Launch Window opens after starting Finale”, I realized that this was the first and biggest hurdle.

Finale can be said to be a product for professionals who produce music scores professionally, so it is difficult for beginners and even professional musicians to get started without some IT knowledge. Once you overcome the hurdle, you will know what to study next and in what order.

In Fundamentals I, we aim to overcome this hurdle and explain each step in the flow of “memorizing the functions as you would normally write a score by hand”.

・Basic II


Creation of lead sheets, types of symbols and their input, writing piano scores

【the aim】

You will be able to input melodies without any inconvenience, and you will be able to create piano scores using symbols such as expression marks and articulations.


Once you get over the point where you “freeze when the Launch Window opens after starting Finale”, I think you'll be able to remember the scores you've always wanted to write with Finale. At this stage, you will need a little more practical knowledge to input various symbols.

In this Basic II, we aim to create musical scores that are simple but at a level that can be used in actual composition, arrangement, and performance.

However, at this point, I'd like to leave the complicated part score things for a little later, so I'll use jazz standard lead sheets and piano scores as examples of scores that can be used alone.

・Basic III


Page layout Tool, Speedy Entry Tool, Inputting lyrics

【the aim】

You will learn how to format music scores and input them quickly, and you will be able to smoothly write practical melodic scores and piano scores.

*For Basic III only, there will be an extended Q&A period of approximately 20 to 30 minutes. (Free to participate)


If you learn the basics of Finale operation in Basic I and master the contents of Basic II, you will be able to write practical scores, but you want to write practical scores that have the beauty of published scores and the ease of reading that will help in the performance. To do this, you need the knowledge and skills to arrange the various symbols entered on the score in a well-balanced manner.

Also, as you learn how to use Finale, the number of scores you want to create will increase, so I think it's about time to start thinking about ways to create scores efficiently and in a short amount of time.

Basic III assumes that you can input basic notes and symbols, and in order to overcome the above challenges, we will use Page Layout Tools and the method “Speedy Entry Tool” used by many professional users, and will also learn about inputting lyrics.

・Advanced I


Tools for advanced editing (Special Tools, Plug-ins, Staff Styles, Chord Suffix editing, Libraries, etc.)

【the aim】

Understand an overview of various functions for advanced editing.


Now it's time to learn Finale's “techniques for professionals”. At the completion level of the Basic Part, you have mastered the input of notes and symbols and layout-related operations, but in this Advanced I, you will temporarily move away from example pieces and learn about Finale’s advanced and unique practical functions for making professional scores. We will provide an overview of various editing functions, and aim to organize them and make them your own.

Specifically, we will focus on the following topics:

  • Special Tools” that allows you to individually customize the font, arrangement, and display method of symbols on the score

  • Plug-ins” that simplify various operations

  • Staff Styles” allows you to easily apply various expressions such as slash notation and 1-2 bar repeating notation.

  • Chord Suffix editing” allows you to customize the font type, size, and placement of tension symbols to your own style.

  • Libraries” that saves those settings and makes them available for other files.

・Advanced II


Creating scores in various styles

【the aim】

You will be able to create scores for large-scale orchestrations and their parts, and you will also understand how to deal with special notation.


Combining the basic methods of producing scores learned in the Basics section and the know-how about Finale's advanced editing functions learned in Advanced I, here you will learn the key points of producing scores consisting of multiple parts such as full orchestra, wind ensemble, and band scores. We will also discuss part score production in earnest here.

We will also cover special notation such as drum notation and tablature for guitar and bass, and the production of music teaching materials that require concepts and expressions different from scores for performance.

・Advanced III


Playback settings and how to use external sound sources

【the aim】

Understand playback mechanisms and settings such as MIDI and Human Playback, and learn how to use external sound sources such as NotePerformer. Acquire the ability to self-solve against problems such as "no sound".


Recently, as the quality of sample sound sources has improved, the need for playback is expanding. In professional projects, cases are increasing where mockups are produced in music notation software instead of recreating them in a DAW. 

Garritan Instruments for Finale (GIFF), which is originally installed in Finale, is not bad, but if you use Garritan Personal Orchestra, which is the source of GIFF, or NotePerformer which has become widely popular these days, you can take your playback sound to a different level from GIFF.

Including how to utilize these external sound sources, the newly established Advanced III covers major topics from basic knowledge of playback settings to advanced techniques for controlling and brushing up such as Human Playback, setting repeat marks, creating expression symbols with playback information, MIDI tools, etc. 

We'll also cover how to exchange files with your DAW, as well as some simple troubleshooting for "no sound" issues.



The finale intensive course is being held in parallel on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings. Click on the banner below for details. (Lecture is given in Japanese. ) 

bottom of page