Musical Aptitude Indicator (MAI)

The School of Instrumental Music has had many requests, both nationally and internationally, for copies of the MAI CD. Unfortunately, for legal and copyright reasons, the CD cannot be supplied to schools other than government schools in Western Australia.

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The SIM Musical Aptitude Indicator (MAI) has replaced the Arnold Bentley Measures Of Musical Abilities test that has been used for many years.

The Bentley test, while having served its purpose, has many flaws. The Musical Aptitude Indicator has been developed to address many of these flaws and has the following features:

  • The voice used is a neutral Australian one.
  • The instructions have been worded to be as clear and consistent as possible.
  • The word "test" does not appear anywhere on the CD or on the marking sheet.
  • The CD was developed entirely in a digital format on computer. The pitches and rhythms are very accurate. There is no background noise at all.
  • There is no chord section.
  • Each section starts with a short musical introduction.
  • Marking is now easy and accurate using an overlay.

The MAI is marked out of 40. There are 3 parts: Pitch (20 items), Rhythm (10 items) and Tunes (10 Items). It takes just under 17 minutes to complete.

It is important that the scores are not compared with previous Bentley test results. In particular, students will now usually score lower than expected on the pitch section because each item starts on a new pitch, where the Bentley test started each item at (approximately) 440hz.

There are no "A", "B" or "C" grades given. The MAI is not a standardised test and is to be used as a ranking tool only.

For further information contact the Library Technician at the School of Instrumental Music.