What can’t SmartMusic do?

While SmartMusic’s ability to accompany your students — and assess them — is extremely powerful, there is a limit to this power: Software can’t go beyond the intersection of microphones and math. That’s where you come in.

Measuring the accuracy of your students’ rhythm and pitch is SmartMusic’s strong suit.

How are new titles added to SmartMusic?

No matter how extensive the SmartMusic repertoire library becomes, we’ll continue to receive requests for specific pieces. For today’s blog I thought I’d describe the process of how new repertoire is added to SmartMusic.

A primary factor in determining which pieces are added is input from users like yourself.

Jazz Improvisation

Improvisation has never been my strongest suit. I stuck to playing lead in jazz bands because I was insecure about my solo chops. This is where I usually say “If only I’d had SmartMusic back then!”

If only I’d had SmartMusic back then!

Check out some of the resources I could have used: From SmartMusic’s Find Music screen, click on “Jazz Improvisation” to view jazz collections from Jamey Aebersold, Alfred Master Tracks, and Wynton Marsalis.

Troubleshooting with Windows Sound Cards

Should you or your students ever hear strange playback from SmartMusic – perhaps sounding like the music is playing back at the wrong speed – and you’re using a Windows computer, this week’s blog is for you.

The first response should be to update your system’s sound card drivers.

What is a collection?

You might not hear the word “collection” used often in the context of SmartMusic, but many of you use collections daily. When you’re searching for music and see a little blue book to the left of a title, this indicates that there is an assortment of pieces inside. I’ve circled one in red below: 

A collection is like a listing of all the songs on an album.

Installation and Activation at School

Last week I shared some tips to help folks using SmartMusic at home breeze through installation and activation. In the school network world, it becomes a bit more complicated due to different schools’ rules and state laws, so I’ll share some specific info for school users today. If you’re using SmartMusic at home, or are not the person who installs software at your school, don’t be concerned by the following technical language: There will not be a test.

Installation and Activation at Home

In the last few years we’ve made some great strides in simplifying the installation, activation, enrollment, and general use of SmartMusic. To accomplish this we’ve sat with countless students and teachers and watched them use the program. We’ve sent out surveys, gone to conventions, and gathered information from customer support and other members of our staff who work directly with SmartMusic users.

If it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it

Sorry, I love that joke. In the spirit of our recent blog posts recommending things to do in SmartMusic between your winter concert and what’s coming next, I want to put in a good word for SmartMusic’s Baroque titles. These pieces look and sound great and represent an excellent resource for sight-reading some pretty challenging stuff.

What’s New and Less is More

We recently updated SmartMusic 2010. If, when you launch SmartMusic, “Update available” appears in your upper left corner you don’t have the update yet.

If your screen looks like the above, simply click the “Update now” button and follow the on-screen prompts to install the update.

Death, Taxes, and Student Holiday Lethargy

Like death and taxes, you can be certain that upon returning from break you’ll face wimpy embouchures that sound like its September all over again, right?

What if we challenge that?  Don’t worry, I’m not so naïve as to suggest that simply assigning SmartMusic homework over break is going to inspire every student.