Using Improved SmartMusic Accompaniments with Students

Mark Adler and Student

We recently added an exciting new SmartMusic feature to Finale 2014.5 that lets you create improved SmartMusic accompaniments (SMPX files) that can include the sounds of your favorite sound libraries, like Garritan, and/or live recorded audio. Previously, when you made your own SmartMusic files you were restricted to using general MIDI sounds.

SmartMusic Repertoire Update: February 2016

February Repertoire Update

This week we added 28 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). The SmartMusic carousel has also been updated, and in recognition of February being Black History Month, we have added a Black History Month category, as well as the MakeMusic Improv Series, which we’ll feature in greater detail next week.

Developing a Young Mallet Player

Developing a Young Mallet Player

A student’s first year in band or orchestra is arguably the most influential and critical time in their musical life. Rather than teaching a beginning student all of the things they need in music, I tend to take the approach of teaching a small number of concepts and focusing on preventing the development of bad habits.

Flipping the Ensemble Classroom

SM_Flipped Classroom_blog

“Flipping the classroom” is all the rage in education right now. Advancements in technology have changed how teachers teach by making the distribution of education no longer dependent on being physically present with a teacher in the same time and space. Traditionally, flipping the ensemble classroom means that the students learn the content outside of class time and then come to class to apply the content.

Band Student Leadership Benefits Everyone

Band Student Leadership Helps Everyone

Student leadership in the band is the backbone of the program. This is especially true for the high school and college programs but student leadership can also benefit middle school music organizations. During my high school career, I noticed good and not so good student leadership. The best type of leaders had a vested interest the band program.

The College Audition

The College Audition

Editor’s note: When the subject of student auditions for college music programs came up, we turned to Tom Myer, the professor of saxophone at UC Boulder’s College of Music. Below Tom provides audition tips, from his perspective, for you to share directly with your students.

Earn Clock Hours at MakeMusic University

MakeMusic University Need to earn some clock hours? We can help.

We’re excited to announce MakeMusic University, offering courses and training options to satisfy both your need for learning and for professional development. We’re here to help you make the biggest impact with your students – while using our products – and to help you earn product certification and clock hours.

How to Develop Your Lead Alto Player

How to Develop Your Lead Alto Player

Playing lead alto saxophone in a jazz ensemble is fun, but carries certain responsibilities. The lead alto player sets the intonation, style, and dynamics for the saxophone section, while also matching the intonation, style, and dynamics of the brass section. This can be a big responsibility for a middle school or high school saxophonist.

Five Ways Jazz Conducting is Different

Dean Sorenson

Conducting a jazz ensemble is a contradiction in terms for some. Many of the bands that we study, respect, and admire feature no conductor at all. The only “conducting” might be the lead alto player cutting off the final chord. Most professional big bands are not conducted in the traditional sense, although modern bandleaders such as Maria Schneider and John Clayton are very animated conductors.

Beginning Low Brass with High Standards

Heather Ewer Blog Post 2

A beginning band is a smorgasbord of instruments. A lot of special care and attention are required for every student. I am a young teacher who cannot solve the pedagogy puzzles behind each individual instrument, but, as a dedicated tuba player, I can give you is some insight into your low brass beginners and share tricks that will help them see success in their first few years of playing.