Documenting Student Growth with SmartMusic

Music educator Don Long is our guest blogger today


“Good Evening Mr. and Mrs. Smith, it is great to see you again.  Let’s listen to how your son is doing in Band!”  The pattern repeated itself for hours on end during a couple of long days and nights at my school.

How songs get into SmartMusic


SmartMusic is best known for its use in the schools of the United States and Canada however there are thousands of musicians around the world who also see the benefit of using SmartMusic as part of their teaching and practicing.

Survey: How Teachers Are Succeeding with SmartMusic

When I present SmartMusic clinics and workshops, the most common question I get from teachers is, “How do I get started with SmartMusic in my school?” Sometimes the best answers come not from me, but your peers. So we surveyed a group of SmartMusic teachers with 20 or more student subscriptions to see what worked for them.

My First Cello Recital with SmartMusic!

I started taking cello lessons in October 2011. As a music teacher, it’s been a long time since I’ve been a beginner on an instrument. But I figured it was important to experience a little of what my students are experiencing. Cello was the right instrument to choose.

SmartMusic, Sight Reading, and Aural Skills

Much has been written, in this blog and elsewhere, about using SmartMusic with young band and orchestra students. Less ink has been devoted to using SmartMusic to guide the development of sight-reading and aural skills, particularly at the college level. MakeMusic’s Leigh Kallestad recently spoke to Matthew Shaftel, Associate Professor of Music Theory at Florida State University, about how SmartMusic has been implemented in their programs.

SmartMusic Blog: Truck vs. Marching Band



It’s your worst nightmare come to life: a big truck races toward your marching band. It’s all part of the job for Brian Timmons, director of bands at Bergenfield High School in Bergenfield, NJ.

Last March I blogged about the Bergenfield band’s appearance on the Today Show, and at that time Brian mentioned that that they’d also recently participated in some scenes for “Tower Heist,” an upcoming film starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy.

SmartMusic Blog: Meet Bruce Pearson

Most of us first began our musical study with a method book. While I can’t recall the color of any of my other grade school textbooks, I retain a vivid image of my first method book: It clearly represented an important doorway in my life.

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.

SmartMusic/Finale combo means no cheese for the Darien HS Orchestra

Back in April, the SmartMusic Blog featured Jane Minnis. Jane had approached the MakeMusic booth at an MENC conference with questions about using Finale to scan music in order to create a SmartMusic accompaniment. Why? Jane’s students found that SmartMusic made a big difference in their practice, and they needed SmartMusic accompaniments for all their pieces.

SmartMusic Blog: The Practice-A-Thon

Joe and Clara, both Kenyon-Wanamingo 5th graders, practice with SmartMusic.
Clara won the top prize, having practiced more than 1000 minutes in the two week event.

What if you could simultaneously provide your students with extra incentive to practice AND raise money for your music program?