Parent meetings represent a crucial opportunity for educators to interact with parents. For music educators, parent meetings early in the year become even more vital. While the back-to-school season is hectic for everyone, taking time to ensure a positive interaction at the start of the year will be well worth it.
There are a number of ways to guarantee that your first parent meeting of the year is successful, but perhaps the most effective way is to demonstrate a teaching tool or technique that students will be exposed to during the year. Parents learn exactly what happens in their child’s class, and teachers can preemptively answer questions about curriculum, supplies, and more. Engaging parents by demonstrating a technique and encouraging parents to practice it themselves helps focus parent support and provides a real connection between school and home.
For most people reading this blog, one obvious choice might be demonstrating SmartMusic at a parent meeting. When parents see students use the software – and even try it themselves – they are far more likely to engage with classroom activities, encourage their children to use SmartMusic at home, and understand what the software offers. Engaged parents, of course, often provide more emotional and financial support to their children’s’ music programs.
So you’ve decided to demonstrate SmartMusic at a parent meeting. How best to go about it? The first step is visiting the SmartMusic Demonstration page. Here we’ve compiled a series of helpful ideas, handouts, samples, and checklists to make sure that your demonstration goes smoothly. Some highlights include:
- A schedule to make sure your planning is on track and that your demonstration will run smoothly
- A list of features you may wish to emphasize – to show parents how their students are graded, how the software shows correct fingerings, and more
- Teaching techniques – ways to demonstrate not only how you use SmartMusic, but how you teach and interact with students
- Tips for parent meetings in alternative settings (concert, open house)
- Sample letters to send to parents both before and after the demonstration
Parent meetings have a much greater chance of being successful when they include an engaging demonstration. Even better, demonstrating a powerful classroom tool like SmartMusic can show parents exactly what’s expected of their student at school – and how best to supplement it at home.