Dave Hawley and SmartMusic in Texas


Savvy SmartMusic teacher Asa Burk and MakeMusic’s Dave Hawley at TBA.

The Texas Bandmasters Association Convention (TBA) is the largest annual state bandmasters’ association in the country, with over 6,500 attendees and more than 600 industry-related exhibitors. MakeMusic Product Specialist Dave Hawley traveled to San Antonio last week to demonstrate SmartMusic and talk to music educators at TBA, and was kind enough to share some of his adventures with us.

Scott Yoho: How is SmartMusic received at TBA?
Dave Hawley: Texas is known for its strong band programs. I spoke to many teachers who were looking for a way to accelerate student learning, and they seemed to come in thinking SmartMusic could be the answer. There were very few people who came up and asked, “What is SmartMusic, I’ve never heard of it.” You’ll see that in some other states, but you hardly see that in Texas any more. More often we heard things like, “I understand what SmartMusic is, but how do I get started and what’s the best way to get my students started?”

SY: So Texas is different in this regard?
DH: Texas is unique, in part, because this is where we launched SmartMusic (then Vivace) in 1994, so SmartMusic isn’t something foreign and unfamiliar anymore. Some feel SmartMusic could work like an assistant, and many more educators are further along in implementing SmartMusic into their programs.

SY: What kinds of questions are teachers asking at the booth?
DH: Several educators explained that they wanted to move ahead with SmartMusic, but they had some students who had economic concerns (or dial-up Internet access), and they didn’t know how to move forward in the face of these barriers. As a result, we described how many students might use SmartMusic at home while the rest can use it in a school practice room. Real-life applications of how this works were popular topics.

SY: Were folks asking about SmartMusic 2011?
DH: Most of the people we spoke to were current SmartMusic users, who had heard about SmartMusic 2011 or had seen it on our screens and wanted to know what that was, and when they could get it.

SY: What did you tell them?
DH: We encouraged folks to check at www.smartmusic.com/comingsoon — you might be surprised what you find there!

I’d like to thank Dave for his time, and encourage you all to check out some additional photos from TBA on Facebook.

Share your TBA stories (or anything else SmartMusic–related) by clicking on “Comments” below.

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