SmartMusic Top Ten

Taking the lead from late-night television, I offer to you my top ten list of benefits SmartMusic offers your music program. Even if you’re regularly using some aspects SmartMusic, perhaps this list will offer some ideas of new things to try:


10. Access to three important tools that help develop music skills: tuner, metronome, and digital recorder. 


9. Features that make practicing more efficient, including tempo control, accompaniments, immediate feedback (including on-screen assessment), self-recording, and the ability for band students to click a note to view fingerings.


8. 50,000 technique exercises of all types, including scales from major to diminished, intervals, arpeggios… and all with fun accompaniments. Plus, you can change key and articulation instantly and cycle through in the circle of fourths, fifths, and half steps up, or down.


7. Play By Ear exercises that help develop ear training, starting with two note patterns and advancing to two measure phrases. Choose from major and minor and change the key and tempo. Plus there are also Jazz Play by Ear exercises.


6. Material that can be used for sight-reading, from simple to complex. There are over 20 method books included in SmartMusic that can be used for this purpose. You can even view as rhythmic notation and assess performances on a snare, pad, or by clapping.


5. Access to over 2,000 concert pieces for band, orchestra, and jazz ensemble, all with high quality sound accompaniments, music on-screen and the practice features mentioned above. Students practice with and hear professional level musicians’ tone qualities and articulation. And the list of titles keeps on growing. (Updates are free to subscribers.)


4. Jazz Improvisation material. Students can select an Aebersold, Alfred, or Wynton Marsalis tune and practice it with a variety of Jerry Coker-like patterns, which appear on-screen. These jazz patterns help them get used to hearing and feeling the changes, so that they better understand the progression. Also see the piano, bass, and drum transcriptions. Instantly change the key or tempo. Mute the piano, bass, or drums.


3. Access to the Solo Library for voice, band, and strings. Perfect for preparing for recitals, contest, or just fun. Solos can be a great way to engage students.


2. The ability to create SmartMusic files using Finale. Yes, this means scores and other materials you’ve created can be opened by SmartMusic with all the capabilities listed above, including on-screen assessment.


1. The means to import any .MP3 audio file and then adjust the tempo, change the key, loop it and record along with it! These audio files can also be assigned to students using the SmartMusic Gradebook.


I could have easily listed ten more and I hope this inspires you to come up with your own top ten!

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