SmartMusic and the Secret Ingredient

Are you always looking for ways to improve your teaching methods? When I was teaching, I was constantly on the lookout for new instrument pedagogy tricks, tuning procedures, conducting techniques, rehearsal tips, etc. I was always eager to increase my knowledge with anything that would benefit my students.

Today I’d like to share with you an incredible resource — a secret ingredient — for helping your students that might not occur to you as you brainstorm additional ways to improve your teaching methods.

Drum roll, please…..

The secret ingredient is the support of the parents of your students. As educators we know that students, administrators, and parents are all part of the equation, but it’s easy to focus more attention on students and administrators because we see them on a daily basis. But supportive parents can make a huge difference in your program. They encourage your students, attend your performances, help with events and fundraising, and much more. My experience was that parents will support you even more when they understand what their kids are learning in your classes. Sometimes this requires that you educate the parents as well as the students.

How does SmartMusic play a part in all of this? Well, there are several ways that I have observed first-hand.

SmartMusic helps any parent, even those without a musical background, tell the difference between an adequate and a really good performance. They can see the green and red notes and know what was played correctly and what was incorrect. It’s no longer subjective and something that leaves some parents feeling left out. SmartMusic recordings are also very beneficial to parents; again, even those with no musical training are able to hear the progress between a student recording make the first week of class and the last.

All parents also recognize when leading-edge technology is being utilized to help their children, and they can see how SmartMusic helps you provide more individualized instruction for their child.

The last point I will make here might be the most important: communication. There are several ways SmartMusic helps parents know what is happening in your classes.

1. When you schedule an assignment in the SmartMusic Gradebook, you can indicate whether you want an e-mail reminder to be sent. This reminder will be sent out to all e-mail addresses that are in the student record, including parents.

2. In the Recording and Assessment Window, you have the option of a sending an e-mail that can include recordings and assessment screenshots:

After clicking the “E-mail” button, you can indicate who will receive the e-mail:

But it doesn’t stop there. Parents can easily check on the progress of their child by simply visiting the Gradebook and then logging in with their child’s log-in information:

The parent and student can now hear and see assessments of graded assignments as well as any assignments that have not been completed. In addition, your individualized comments to the student are visible:

This communication is invaluable and so easily accomplished using SmartMusic. Parents appreciate your keeping them “in the loop” which can make for an even more successful teaching experience.

SmartMusic can help parents to better understand what their children are learning and what you are teaching. What’s more, I found that SmartMusic helped me foster better communication with parents, who I think we can all agree represent a vital, if not secret, ingredient to success.

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