Music for Music’s Sake

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This television commercial aired a few years back touting the 21st century progressiveness of a communications company. In the background Gene Wilder is singing “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The announcer explains that when we were five years old, anything was possible.

Recognize an Educator Who Shaped Your Life


In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Day, we’re inviting you to share stories of music educators who helped shape your life. In appreciation, we’ll send a Starbucks gift card to the first 50 people who post such a story before 3 p.m. eastern time on Friday, May 8, either as a comment here, on Twitter, or on our Facebook page.

Meet Grammy Music Educator of the Year Jared Cassedy

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In February the Recording Academy and Grammy Foundation selected one music educator – from a pool of more than 7,000 nominees – for their 2015 Music Educator Award: Jared Cassedy, the director of bands at Windham High School in Windham, New Hampshire.

This was the latest of several accolades paid to Jared, who was named “Outstanding Young Band Director of the Year” by the New Hampshire Band Director’s Association in 2011, and was nominated for New Hampshire Teacher of the Year in 2014.

Meet Product Manager Heath Mathews

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Back in December, CEO Gear Fisher introduced himself and the new MakeMusic leadership team on this blog. Today it’s my pleasure to announce another vital member of the team, our new SmartMusic Product Manager, Heath Mathews.

In addition to his new role at MakeMusic, Heath is also an active composer, currently completing two commissions from arts organizations and working on a recording project.

Grammy Music Educator of the Year Jared Cassedy

Jared Cassedy

This year, for the second time ever, the Recording Academy and Grammy Foundation recognized a music educator for outstanding contribution to music in the classroom. This year’s recipient is band director Jared Cassedy from Windham High School in Windham, New Hampshire.

In watching the CBS interview I was first tickled to see SmartMusic projected on the wall of Mr.

Educator Spotlight – Emily Stover

Emily Stover is an elementary music educator in Princeton, Illinois. Katlyn Rumbold recently interviewed Emily about her use of SmartMusic for and kindly agreed to let us share that interview here:

815: Out of all the music technology out there, why SmartMusic?

Emily Stover: SmartMusic is a cloud based program that provides recorded accompaniment and instant assessment for students, amateur, and professional musicians alike.

Using SmartMusic and Finale together

Using SmartMusic and Finale Together

Martha Boonshaft, Middle School Director of Bands for the Garden City School District in Garden City, NY, shares how she uses SmartMusic and Finale together to enhance her students’ learning experiences.

A lesson that worked really well this week combined SmartMusic and Finale.  Our concert band is working on on Ralph Ford’s, Dillon’s Flight

Teacher Tip: An Activity Tracker for Vocalists

Mary-Hannah Klontz, choral teacher at Swanson Middle School in Arlington, VA, and doctoral candidate at George Mason University, shares why she uses SmartMusic and Finale in her teaching.

Today’s technology trend is “wearables;” digital devices that are worn like jewelry or glasses. An example is the FitBit® which provides instant feedback about daily activity such as steps taken, active minutes spent, calories burned and quality of sleep.

Teacher Tip: Student Learner Outcomes


The below post comes to you from Richard Tengowski, Director of Bands for the Kohler School District in Wisconsin. Richard shares how he uses SmartMusic to achieve Student Learner Outcomes (SLOs). He teaches elementary, middle and high school concert bands, jazz ensemble, pep band, drum-line and secondary general music.

Teacher Tip: Using Technology in Rehearsals

Chris Grifa, band director at Creekside Middle School (Carmel, IN), shares how he uses technology in rehearsals.

Technology is integrated into the classroom everyday and is an integral part of the students’ daily classroom experience. When planning a rehearsal, I think about what objectives I want to accomplish and how technology can be used to enhance those objectives.