Introducing SmartClass: Three Game-Changers for Achieving a Better Ensemble Sound

Achieving a Better Ensemble Sound

What Is SmartClass?

SmartClass is an innovative and simple way to put a world-class clinician in front of your students through SmartMusic. The clinician does all the work for you by preparing lessons accompanied by video instruction to direct the practice. Students enroll in the class and receive assignments automatically for three weeks. All the class materials are within SmartMusic, so there’s no prep, follow-up, or assessment for you to do. SmartClass can be integrated into your own curriculum, or act as supplementary material to elevate your group’s abilities.

Three Game-Changers for Achieving a Better Ensemble Sound

Our debut class has been constructed by Scott Watson, an experienced educator, frequently commissioned composer, and a highly sought-after clinician and guest conductor. In his SmartClass, “Three Game-Changers for Achieving a Better Ensemble Sound,” students will learn how three “game-changing” areas—Phrasing, Balance/Blend, and Intonation—can make a significant impact on an ensemble’s overall sound. During each lesson, students will put these areas into practice using warmups and three band selections.  In addition to assignments, students will view video coaching messages directly from Scott Watson on the class topics. 

Three Game-Changers is best-suited for intermediate band students whose ensembles typically play Grade 2 music.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to recognize and control their breathing to play phrases—complete musical thoughts—without interruption.
  2. Students will be able to control their dynamics, tone, and attack in order to blend with others in their section or who share the same musical role (i.e. melody, accompaniment, bass line) and be able to play their part in balance with other sections in the ensemble.
  3. Students will gain an understanding of tuning and playing in tune with others, using a variety of strategies for recognizing and correcting intonation issues.

How can students enroll?

Between February 7th and 20th, students can enroll in Scott Watson’s SmartClass by entering the class code* at For detailed instructions on how to join a class, please visit this help article.

To redeem the class codes to provide to your students, please confirm that you are over 13 years of age in accordance to the Terms of Service.

SmartMusic Official

Dr. Scott Watson has taught instrumental and elective music in the Parkland School District (Allentown, PA) for 35 years and serves as adjunct professor for Cairn University, University of the Arts, Moravian College, and at Central Connecticut State University's Summer Music Institute.

He is a frequently commissioned composer with approximately 100 published pieces for band and strings at all levels, including chamber works. His music has received recognition from the American Composer's Forum, American Music Center, Phi MU Alpha Sinfonia (among others), and been performed at venues around the world, including the Academy of Music (Philadelphia), the Midwest Clinic (Chicago), and the White House (Washington, D.C.). Watson is an exclusive composer for Alfred Music, a contributor to the Sound Innovations concert band series, and an Alfred Clinician.

Watson has presented numerous workshops/clinics for music educators around the U.S. and in Australia and Canada, frequently serves as guest conductor for honor and festival bands, and is the author of the highly regarded music education text, Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity (©2011, Oxford University Press). To learn more, please visit

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