Update on the New SmartMusic Beta Test: May 2, 2016

Update on the new SmartMusic beta testLast month we offered our first peek into the beta testing currently under way with the new SmartMusic. Since then great progress has been made thanks to the hundreds of music educators who’ve provided us with input.

Here are just some of the accomplishments we’ve made together in the last few weeks:

13 Bugs Identified & Fixed

Again, these were primarily small bugs, mostly related to the assignment and grading loop, but we’re grateful to put them behind us.

Alfred Music Joins the Peaksware Family

Peaksware + Alfred_blog

Earlier today, SmartMusic’s parent company Peaksware, announced that Alfred Music, the world’s largest educational music publisher, will be joining its portfolio of companies. This is very exciting news for us at MakeMusic. But what does it mean for our products and our customers?

Both Alfred Music and MakeMusic will continue to operate independently.

Update on the New SmartMusic Beta Test

beta blogAs you may have read last week, we are hard at work on the new SmartMusic, and eager to make sure that all SmartMusic users are up-to-date on our progress. Back in February we recruited nearly 500 music educators to participate in a private beta test of the new SmartMusic.

More SmartMusic Options This Fall

SM_New SM Update_blog_v2SmartMusic accelerates learning by providing students with immediate feedback and a vital connection with their teacher. For many educators, the benefits the program  offers are clear. What’s less clear is how to make the SmartMusic experience as inclusive and accessible as possible.

We’re creating  the new SmartMusic to help facilitate the participation of every music student.

A Band Director’s Guide to Teaching Choir

Derrick Fox (1)

In an ever-shifting job market, the ability to teach both band and choir has become a necessity for many music educators. Combined with the considerable research touting the benefits of singing for instrumentalists, it is clear that many band directors can benefit from learning more about basic choral pedagogy.

Kay Hawley and International Women’s Day

Kay Hawley and International Women’s Day

Today, Tuesday, March 8, is International Women’s Day, an opportunity to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievement of women. In observation of the day I’d like to recognize one inspirational music educator.

Kay Hawley grew up in rural Minnesota, the only girl among four brothers; even most of her cousins were male.

SmartMusic Repertoire Update: March 2016

SmartMusic Repertoire Update March 2016

This week we added 25 new ensemble titles to the SmartMusic Repertoire Library. Included are new pieces for choir, concert band, jazz ensemble, and string orchestra (a full list appears below). Also added (but not listed) is an additional method, Do It! Play in Band, which includes several features not seen in a SmartMusic method previously, including play-along (call and response) and improvisation exercises.

Recommending Summer Music Camps

Summer Music Camps - photo courtesy of www.interlochen.org

Now is the ideal time of the year to present opportunities for summer music study to your students and their families. There are many different kinds of summer music camps available for your students; I’d like to share some thoughts with you about the summer music camps outside those offered by your school or program.

Using Audiation to Improve Student Musicianship

Using Audiation to Improve Student Musicianship

While I attended many fantastic sessions at the Midwest Clinic last December, one really stood out for me: Chad West’s clinic on teaching musicianship to young students. Chad suggested that music educators often focus on reading notation and building technique, but don’t spend enough time working with students on internalizing rhythm, hearing tonal relationships, and developing creativity.