School is almost out…SmartMusic to the rescue!

If you are reading this blog, you’re probably still in school. The last days of school before a vacation can be full of schedule surprises, including field trips, special events, parties, testing schedules, and more. This, combined with shorter than usual attention spans, makes planning for a class very challenging.

Fortunately, SmartMusic makes it easy to plan educational activities that your students will enjoy. We’ve covered several specific examples in past blog posts; this week I’ll share links to some of these activities that might be helpful this time of year.

The Rhythm Challenge is a great way to have the entire class participate in a rhythm review. Two students come to the front of the class and clap to a SmartMusic rhythm exercise. Whoever gets the highest mark gets a point for their team.

The SmartMusic Face-off lets students play their instruments in a game-like format, accumulating points by performing selected musical examples. It’s a great way to perform, review, and have some fun.

While not a game like the suggestions above, using SmartMusic Recordings in a class setting can be a great activity, and the resulting MP3 files can be burned to disk or emailed to parents. It’s a wonderful way to show what the students have learned during the year.

Another fun activity might be to have your class try their hand at improvising; SmartMusic offers many resources, including Jazz scale exercises (including the ever useful Blues scale), Play-By-Ear Jazz Licks, Jazz Improvisation repertoire, and Concert Jazz repertoire.

Here’s one more I just thought of. You could use the Play-By-Ear exercises to create a game similar to the first two activities. I might use just 4-8 measures of each exercise and award extra points for students who choose a more challenging scale or a faster tempo. What a fun way to work on ear training!

We’d love to hear how these are working for you, or about your own variations. Please share your experiences in the “Comments” section below.

In closing, I hope you had a great school year and that you met a majority of the goals that you set. That definitely is a very rewarding feeling.

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