Spooky Fun with SmartMusic

Last year around this time, we released a solo collection called Spooky Solos. This collection contains 14 songs that fit this time of year perfectly like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, In the Hall of the Mountain King, I’m So Happy I’m a Ghost and more.  Not only are they fun to play but they can be very educational (just don’t tell your students!).

Creating a SmartMusic Playlist

As I write this, SmartMusic includes more than 2,800 concert titles, and the number is continually growing. Having ready access to this music is a great resource. You can listen to any recording and select any part to check technical demands.

As you search for pieces that you would like to review further, however, you may find that you need some help keeping them all straight.

Amy Burns, TI:ME, Technology, and SmartMusic

The Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME) is a non-profit whose mission is to assist music educators in applying technology to improve teaching and learning in music. I recently spoke with TI:ME president Amy Burns about her personal experience with technology in the classroom.

Bob Grifa: From receiving the first TI:ME Educator of the Year Award in 2005 to becoming the President of TI:ME, you have long been a champion of using technology in the music classroom.

Using an Interactive Whiteboard with SmartMusic

In addition to using SmartMusic in practice rooms and at home, many educators are using SmartMusic in the classroom too. Here are just a few of the many benefits:

Instant access to SmartMusic features including the tuner, metronome, and digital recorder Students are easily engaged by SmartMusic’s simultaneous visual and aural cues SmartMusic can function as an “assistant,” allowing the teacher to move about the classroom and increase student contact time By using SmartMusic in the classroom, the teacher is modeling to the students how to use SmartMusic at home


Meet SmartMusic Teacher Windy Fullagar

Windy Fullagar and her sons, Jack (baritone) and Wilson (trumpet). I love Wilson’s shirt (although it looks pretty clean to me)!

I met Windy Fullagar at a SmartMusic workshop held in Lexington, South Carolina, last summer. Windy is a SmartMusic Advocate and strong supporter of SmartMusic.

SmartMusic Helps Make Connections

Mark D’Angelo and Bob Grifa pictured at the 2010 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago

I think many educators occasionally question whether the long hours and paperwork are worth it. Sometimes we just need a little reminder.

While manning the SmartMusic booth at the 2010 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic I recognized a familiar face in the crowd; Mark D’Angelo, a former student I hadn’t seen in 13 years!

Classroom Fun with the SmartMusic Rhythm Challenge

Sometimes a fun educational activity may be the perfect fit for your lesson plans. Here’s an idea for using SmartMusic in your class on just such an occasion. It is a great way to review and have fun at the same time – and it doesn’t even require instruments.

Recommended Set-up:

Computer connected to an LCD projector Speakers SmartMusic microphone  attached to a music stand (the height is easily adjusted) Score board

In SmartMusic:

Select Exercises, double-click on Rhythm, and click Open.

SmartMusic: Helping Develop Musical Percussionists, Part 2

In my last blog, I shared some ideas of how SmartMusic can help percussion students practice more musically AND develop mallet keyboard awareness. Today I offer a few more ways that SmartMusic can help develop student percussionists.

Practicing With Accompaniments
With SmartMusic your students get a better understanding of how their part fits in with the rest of the ensemble.

SmartMusic: Helping Develop Musical Percussionists

Three snare drum methods were recently added to the SmartMusic repertoire library. As a percussionist and former music educator, I was very pleased with this development, as I know these methods will be very beneficial to teachers and students.

Of course, the study of percussion includes more than just the snare drum, and having well-rounded percussionists is invaluable.

Scheduling SmartMusic Assignments from a Unit

In my last post we discussed how to group SmartMusic assignments together as a unit. Today we’ll assign a unit.

To do so, get to your Home screen, select the class you want to send the unit to, then click “Assignment Library” at the bottom right of your screen to arrive at your personal library.