If you are a teacher, you already know the importance of communicating with the parents of your students. Sharing with them your class goals, grading policies and expectations helps everyone feel more comfortable and can alleviate possible misunderstandings throughout the year. With all the forms of communication now available, this is easier than ever to accomplish.
In the case of SmartMusic, how can you effectively communicate your plans for using SmartMusic during the school year? I recommend a special event for parents (and students) where SmartMusic and Gradebook will be demonstrated. Even after SmartMusic was fully integrated into my band program, I scheduled a SmartMusic Demonstration Night each year that lasted no longer than an hour. It was informative but I also wanted to create excitement!
Here are few ideas:
Make this demonstration your own! In addition to showing the features of SmartMusic, clearly communicate to the parents why you are using SmartMusic with your students, how you plan to use it in your curriculum during the year and why it will be beneficial for the students to use it. Displaying enthusiasm during the session will help parents and students see your commitment to enrich the students’ learning experiences by using this technology.
- The tuner, metronome and recorder (these three features purchased separately could easily cost $100).
- The assessment/recording capabilities, tempo control of sound files, click track, etc. Choose from repertoire, method books, etc. Parents will see the benefit of students being able to get instantaneous feedback. Even those without music backgrounds easily grasp this.
- Recordings can be saved as mp3 files and be used on an mp3 player, emailed across the country or burned to a CD.
- The Audio Import feature and all its capabilities! This is incredible technology!
- The process of an assignment being submitted to your Gradebook.
Highlight benefits to students and parents:
- The features in SmartMusic can help students of all ability levels improve their skills independently.
- Better performances=better grades. Students have more control of the grades they earn.
- Individualized attention for all students.
- Students and parents can see and hear completed assignments including your personalized comments online, 24/7.
- There is better communication between the teacher, student and parent.
- You will be showing that you are using current technology in your classes.
- Select students to help demonstrate SmartMusic. Even if you are just starting to use SmartMusic, having students involved in this process is powerful.
- Choose a variety of musical examples (and instruments if applicable).
- Use resources available at smartmusic.com such as the brief videos that are available. You could use the Teacher Video as a starting point for the session.
- Advertise the meeting through letters home, email, class website, school newsletter.
- Invite your principal!
- Plan the set up and equipment you will need (LCD projector, speakers, chairs for guests and performers, internet connection, etc).
- If you have a SmartMusic Training Guide, there are more examples in the Best Practices section.
I hope this gives you some ideas for your SmartMusic Demonstration Night. Let us know how it goes!