As I began to incorporate SmartMusic into my program, I continually found new ways to use it to my advantage. Today I have two ideas to share, and the first offers help before you’ve even met your students.
If you are involved in recruiting students to join your program, a great presentation is very important as contact time with these new prospects is limited. As part of my presentation to these possible future musicians, I used SmartMusic. I demonstrated each instrument along with a SmartMusic accompaniment. Not wanting to give a bias to a particular instrument because of a “cooler” accompaniment, I used the same song for each of the instruments I demonstrated.
I showed the students how SmartMusic can help them learn how to play an instrument, demonstrating the red and green notes and clicking on notes for fingerings. Of course, there is an appealing game-like aspect to the red and green notes. At the same time I was also reinforcing the idea that the red notes help in the learning process.
They also saw that some cool technology was part of the band program. In many schools, music performance classes are one of the classes that students can choose. Who knows what small part of any presentation sways a student’s decision one way or another?
Once a student chose to participate in the band program, I scheduled a meeting with each of them and their parent(s). The purpose of this meeting was to help the student select the instrument he/she would play. I respect that everyone has their own methods for this process, so I won’t share mine here.
After the selection process was complete, I demonstrated how we used SmartMusic in class. I would play a line from our method book using the instrument the student had selected. After I played the line, I played the recording as we viewed the assessment. I explained the meaning of the red and green notes as we listened to the recording and then clicked on the notes to show the fingerings. These demonstrations always resulted in both student and parent enthusiasm.
Then, once the school year started, I would use SmartMusic again, demonstrating its use more fully, as part of a SmartMusic Demonstration Night.
Once you’re up and running, please share some of the creative ways you’re using SmartMusic!