Feature Friday: Develop More Confident Musicians
September 19, 2014 | by Robert Grifa
As educators we know that some students eagerly embrace the idea of performing for a group while others would rather walk on fire. We all want our students to be comfortable and confident when performing individually within a group situation. Whether it is to play something in class or performing a solo, the more independent students can be, the more confident they are, which leads to stronger performances. SmartMusic can help.
- When asking students to perform individually, use the accompaniments in SmartMusic, whether from a method book or large group ensemble title, during class. Although students are playing by themselves, there is added comfort performing with the accompaniment.
- Play the accompaniment at a tempo that can help the student be successful. Remember that the pitch of the accompaniment does not change even though the tempo can be slowed down.
- If the student has a some trouble along the way, turn on My Part long enough for the student to get back on track and then turn if off. This helps develop the feeling of continuity in performing instead of always stopping when there is trouble.
- After students gain confidence, you might prefer for your students to only play with a click track and SmartMusic gives you that option as well. My experience is that once students have success in performing in front of the group, subsequent performances come more easily – regardless of whether there’s accompaniment or not. The key is to get them to the point of feeling comfortable to do it.
Keep in mind that students can get feedback from SmartMusic to help them know if they are performing something correctly or not. The more green seen, the higher the confidence level.
Many teachers have this question: Will students start to depend on using SmartMusic accompaniments to perform? In fact, I had this same question when I first started using SmartMusic!
The answer is quite simple: it depends on how SmartMusic is being used. Just as a metronome can be helpful in practicing, it is simply a means to an end. Use any technology in ways that are “in tune” with your goals.
Have you used SmartMusic in ways to help students become more confident? Leave a comment or question by clicking the “Comments” link below.