BUILDING SUCCESSFUL FINALE ‘CHOPS’ Tutorial Book featured in April 2015 School Band and Orchestra Magazine.


I’ve used Finale since 1990, and have taught it in my music technology class since 2001. I’ve used several tutorial books in the class, but Mavis’ Building Successful Finale Chops is without a doubt the best one yet. She clearly and effectively introduces important topics and techniques without leading the reader too deep into Finale’s complexities. The book is obviously the work of both a Finale master and a master teacher, as it proceeds logically and effectively into Finale’s capabilities. While the book is perfect for a class of music education majors, given its coverage of Finale’s applicability to teaching, it’s a great book for anyone wanting to become comfortable and confident in using Finale. Highly recommended!
Ken Parsons
Associate Professor of Music
Southern Adventist University
Collegedale, Tennessee

BUILDING SUCCESSFUL FINALE ‘CHOPS’ Tutorial Book featured in April 2015 School Band and Orchestra Magazine.


Building Successful Finale Chops is terrific. It has been an enormous help to me in my efforts to master the program and to compose. I have recently returned to music in middle age, and because I’m not usually comfortable with computers, I found it a daunting prospect to use one for composing. But having enrolled in a course at Juilliard, I had to become proficient in a very short amount of time. Your clear and elegant explanations and instructions, so well organized, have enabled me to use Finale, complete the assignments, and enjoy the process of creating music.
Eliza Mindon
Student of Composition at The Juilliard School, Evening Division
Head of Design, Gaynor Minden, Inc.
New York City

Comments from The Finale for Worship Musicians Workshop, June 2016 in Minneapolis

• In June 2016, I learned so much! I can’t imagine how much time it would have taken me to learn even half of what I did on my own. Finale is not a “light” program. One must go deep into it to get the most use out of it.

• Wonderful! We covered a lot of material in a day. I feel confident I have the basics to delve deeper into the program and find even more uses to help my congregation.

• Mavis did a wonderful job walking us through a great deal of material in a relatively short time, helping each student succeed in working through several examples and applications of the Finale program. All was very helpful, practical information!

Building Successful Finale Chops for Finale 2014 touched on the most important topics for the musician and music educator. The directions were clear and concise. Students navigated the projects with ease. It is a perfect fit as a required text for a hands-on online course.
David Dolgon
Music Department Adjunct Lecturer
Aaron Copland School of Music
Queens College
City University of New York


We have used Mavis' book, Building Successful Finale Chops, for the past three years in our university music technology course, and I find it to be both efficient and enjoyable for our students. I especially like the applications for classroom use, as she provides effective tutorials for building several different types of classroom tools, from flash cards to exams. Thank you, Mavis, for your work.
Rick D. Townsend
Director of Music Teacher Education
Maranatha Baptist University
Watertown, Wisconsin


I would recommend “Building Successful Finale Chops” to anyone who wants a practical, time saving guide to using Finale.   I had the privilege to attend a five-day summer workshop at VanderCook College of Music, with Mavis Kallestad instructing the Finale course.  It was the one of the best learning experiences of my 24 years as a music educator.  I can tell you without hesitation, Mavis is a Master Teacher.  She has prepared lessons to get you up and running on Finale.  Mavis has taken her experience as a clinician, and her command of the Finale program and put it into lessons that have you creating real, practical applications right away, building your “Finale Chops” step by step.  Every lesson has a practical application, so you don’t waste time learning a process.  You learn the process while creating instrumental scores, worksheets for classroom use, choral scores with lyrics, lead sheets, flash cards, and many other useful applications, all with step by step instructions and detailed examples.  Her tutorials are my Finale “Go To” reference.  I keep them in a binder, next to my computer, at all times.
Rick Cheek
Band Instructor
Hebron Middle School/High School
Hebron, Indiana


As a very active clinician all over the great State of Texas, I have used Mavis’s Finale Tutorials religiously.   They are not only great time savers for me personally as I prepare for a workshop, but they are so user friendly as hand outs.   I will not do a “how to” workshop without them.    These tutorials allow me to move quickly and cover lots of ground in my workshops, allowing all of my attendees to have success with each and every exercise.   It allows my slower “students” to catch up if I move too fast, and it allows my more advanced “students” to move ahead.   These tutorials are just wonderful.  I won’t do a “how to “workshop without them.
Stephen Henry
Band Instructor
Midway High School
Waco, Texas
Work Smarter, Not Harder Workshops in Texas


Your book is by far the best step-by-step set of tutorials I have found so far, and I have been hunting them down since 2001 or there-abouts. I write large scores for marching bands and full orchestra, and the workshop gave me many time-saving tips. I also persuaded my school to get Finale Printmusic for our music theory classes, and your Building Successful Finale "Chops" class had covered exactly the material that my high school students needed to get started quickly on projects. I work on a Mac at home, and we have PC's at school. Your tutorials covered both operating systems, and were VERY helpful.

Katrina Cessna
Orchestra and Music Theory Instructor
Herscher High School, Herscher and Reddick Grade Schools
Herscher, Illinois


Without Mavis Kallestad’s tutorials I would not be proficient using Finale.  They are clear and concise and if I can follow them, ANYONE can!  If you have always wanted help in learning the basics or in becoming thoroughly comfortable using Finale for professional projects, her  materials are for you.
Laura Vaughan
Adjunct Professor of Voice

Jefferson College
St. Louis, Missouri


I use Mavis's tutorials for fresh ideas on how I can continue to challenge my instrumental students to learn more about music than just pushing the correct buttons on their instrument. The way she lays out the step by step instructions makes it easy to tie new concepts or compositional techniques into my current curriculum. They are also extremely helpful in finding shortcuts for dealing with my own use of Finale for easy as well as complex teacher preparation projects.

Kevin Mead
Band Instructor
Churchville-Chili Senior High School
Churchville, New York


Mavis has been a clinician for us a number of times here in Lincoln (NE). Her tutorial materials are clear and easy to follow. Even our newest Finale users were up & running creating professional looking documents in no time.

Jim Schulz
Instrumental Music Instructor
Pound Middle School
Lincoln, Nebraska


I have attended two Finale workshops taught by Mavis.  Both were well organized and so helpful.  The tutorials were useful and were presented in a step by step process that is easy to understand.  The simple entry tools and basic command sheet has been a quick way to review and help with whatever project I am working on. The training I received from Mavis made Finale work for me.

Leona Rogers
Music Grades 3-5, Wahpeton Public Schools

Private Piano Studio, Accompanist, Church Musician
Wahpeton, North Dakota


The Finale workshops that I have attended with Mavis are the finest computer classes I have ever attended. Her organization of materials is in an easy to follow format with plenty of guided practice following step-by-step instructions. She really knows her way around the program and can get us deeper into the shortcuts which allows busy music teachers less time on a Finale project. The tutorials are excellent resources for immediate use and for a reminder 6 months down the road when I forget how to use a specific tool or need to share with a colleague.

Nancy Fairchild
Director of Bands

Platteville High School
Platteville, Wisconsin