From the Components of Playing to Communicating Musically

Scott Rush SM blog

Much of how we spend our rehearsal time involves perfecting the Components of Playing. After all, bad tone quality supersedes much, if not all, of the components … you can’t tune a bad sound. The hard work required to hone skills such as timing, tuning, balance and blend are noble undertakings and should be passionately pursued.

Getting Started With Sound Innovations for Guitar

SI for Guitar

[Bill Purse, co-author of “Sound Innovations for Guitar,” is our guest blogger this week, sharing tips to help guitarists get started with both SmartMusic and this excellent guitar method.]


SmartMusic provides a solid guide for the beginning guitarist to personalize computer-assisted guitar instruction with practical materials they will use for a lifetime.

Talking to Administrators about SmartMusic

Talking to Administrators about SmartMusic

If you’re excited to implement SmartMusic in your program, but first need to gain administrative support, you may be called upon to articulate what SmartMusic offers.

The information below highlights some of what SmartMusic can provide to students, parents, and teachers; answers some frequently asked questions; and shares tips that have helped other educators when talking to administrators about SmartMusic.

SmartMusic and Mac OS X 10.10.3

Are you using SmartMusic and Mac OS X 10.10.3 (or are you considering doing so)?

If so, you may encounter something like this:

SSL Error Message

If you do, you can safely click YES to ignore these errors: SmartMusic will subsequently run swimmingly.

What’s going on?

Fun and Games with Young Instrumentalists

Dr Scott Watsons Classroom Image

You’ve no doubt heard the old saying, “You can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Likewise, sometimes you can get more out of your young instrumentalists when you embed the learning in a game! Robert and Richard Sherman had it right in the lyrics to their song, “A Spoonful of Sugar” from the film Mary Poppins:

In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun
You find the fun and snap, the job’s a game!

SmartMusic Funding Options


Educators who are most successful in using SmartMusic with all their students typically share one thing in common: They buy SmartMusic for their kids. This approach ensures 100% implementation, and with all students using it regularly, SmartMusic becomes part of “how they do” band, orchestra or choir.

Attend a SmartMusic Workshop near You


No matter where you are in your SmartMusic journey, we’re ready to help.

This summer we’re conducting SmartMusic workshops all across the map. We’ll travel from Tacoma to Tampa, visiting dozens of stops along the way, to make sure there’s a workshop near you.

Are you just starting to introduce SmartMusic to your students, or ready to fully integrate it into your program?

More SmartMusic Practice Tools for Jazz

Last fall I shared a Practice Tools for Jazz blog post that served as an introduction to the jazz patterns and improvisation exercises included in SmartMusic. Today I’ll follow-up with some tips on how to find and use SmartMusic’s jazz-themed method books, jazz band charts, and imported MP3 files.

Method Books

To get started, go to the SmartMusic “FIND MUSIC” page and open the “Method Books” category.

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