TEFILLAH TRAINER™ - A revolutionary new tool to learn Hebrew prayer: designed for the average congregant, b'nai mitzvah student, and adult learner.
The traditionally trained cantors and rabbis involved in the production of TefillahTrainer software have contributed to the education of literally thousands of regular students -- people who are not training to be cantors. These teachers know that the melodies they teach need to be traditional, correct, and free of difficult or elaborate cantorial embellishments. Every prayer needs to be set so that the entire melody is within the vocal range of the student, and chanted at a speed with which the student can learn. They also know that Hebrew prayers are not just the first and last verses that are chanted out loud by the Ba'al Tefillah (the prayer leader).
TefillahTrainer software uniquely addresses each of these issues. Using multimedia technology, complete prayers are presented in the proper context of complete prayer services, making it easy to navigate to the exact word in the exact prayer that you want to learn. No more searching through CDs, MP3 files or cassettes. In TefillahTrainer software, simply click on the prayer, click on the word, and click Play. In TefillahTrainer, most prayers are chanted using proper traditional nusach -- the melody patterns traditionally used for sets of prayers chanted on weekdays and Shabbat. Other prayers are chanted with popular congregational melodies. We don't expect you to be a cantorial student, so the melodies are clear and not overly complex.
In a traditional service, the reader chants the final words of a prayer out loud, and for some prayers, also chants the first words of a prayer out loud. For the beginner just learning the prayers, TefillahTrainer software also chants the middle words of each prayer using simple melodies related to the nusach appropriate for each prayer in its location in a service.
The advanced student who wants to learn to lead services -- to be a Ba'al Tefillah -- can select "Hear Reader's parts" and will be shown the entire prayer with only the leader's parts chanted.
TefillahTrainer software offers full control of voice, pitch, speed and several Ashkenazi and Sephardi pronunciations to fill the student's requirements and practices of their synagogue. Students can switch between chanting and speaking the prayers. A soft instrumental accompaniment can be switched on or off to aid in learning melodies.
Students can learn by following the Hebrew words (with phrase-by-phrase literal English translation) or can follow the sheet music of the prayer with transliteration. In most cases, both can be printed by the student. (Some new works under current copyright may not offer printing of sheet music.) Enlarged Sh’va-nach and Qamatz-katon help students' pronunciation.
TefillahTrainer software includes both traditional and alternate texts to accommodate the customs of most synagogues.
An innovative system of symbols (Simanei Nusach™ symbols) have been developed to indicate musical motifs for prayer texts which are chanted aloud.
We expect to be offering an optional add-on allowing the user to download chanted text to their iPod™ or other MP3 players using iTunes™.
With all these features, TefillahTrainer is the software for training B’nai Mitzvah students, first-time weekday and Shabbat attendees and Shiva daveners; and for those who are familiar with prayers as congregants and who would like to learn to lead a service.