Earlier this spring, we released music sharing features in SmartMusic. Now when you upload or create music in SmartMusic’s Compose tool, you can share that music with anyone! We’ve been thrilled to see so many music educators share uploaded music with students as they teach remotely.
However, these features become even more powerful when you flip the classroom. Have students share their compositions with you (and with each other)! Here are five reasons why.
Develop Notation Skills
Students who create their own compositions and share them with you (or with their peers) get to practice critical notation skills. Not all students learn the same way, but we often focus on only reading notation, rather than writing it. Encouraging students to write their own pieces will increase their familiarity and fluency with key music theory concepts.
For example, student compositions could include tempo markings, dynamics, articulations, and other pieces of notation you’re already focusing on. Creating these marks, rather than just reading them, will make them better musicians.
Teaching to National Standards
The National Core Arts Standards include anchor standards for “Creating.” These standards include language like “Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas,” “organize and develop artistic ideas,” and “refine and complete artistic work.” For musicians, that means composing. These standards are part of a well-rounded musical education because they go beyond performance and insist that students tap into their own creative instincts.
Sharing their music gives them a way to get feedback on the ideas they’ve generated. Organizing their musical ideas can happen in an instant as they revise, edit, and transform their compositions. You (or their peers) can then see the progress directly in SmartMusic.
Collaboration During Remote Learning
One of the most difficult challenges of remote learning this spring has been keeping students engaged. Music sharing features in SmartMusic help by directly connecting students with each other and with you. Compositions are perfect for project-based learning, and students sharing their compositions with each other can meet virtually to discuss and give feedback. Then the original author can make changes and improve their work. Of course, be sure to model helpful, constructive criticism before turning students loose.
This project-based learning approach means that students aren’t sitting in rehearsal, but are still engaged, making music, and collaborating with peers. Best of all, it’s in a low pressure virtual environment. Music can still be the class students most look forward to, even in a remote learning situation.
Access to Practice Tools
Because pieces can be opened directly in SmartMusic, all of these compositions your students are creating (and sharing with each other) can be accessed with SmartMusic’s built-in practice tools.
Students automatically have a tuner, metronome, and the ability to record themselves. They can let their own playing be a guide to improving their composition. Because students are also automatically given pitch and rhythm assessment, SmartMusic helps them practice their instrument as they work on their composition.
Music sharing features are free in SmartMusic. Students can log in and immediately begin creating new music to share with you and practice themselves.
If you don’t have a SmartMusic account, create one now and help your students start sharing music.