Greetings and welcome back to another school year with SmartMusic®! I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself, tell you about what we’ve been up to over the summer and provide a couple hints about what’s coming next.
My name is Michael Williamson and I was recently named senior product manager for SmartMusic. I earned my BA in Music Industry from Minnesota State University Moorhead where I spent a lot of time in the recording studio (guitar). I joined MakeMusic in 1999 working in customer support right about the time SmartMusic was born. I have held a number of different positions here at MakeMusic over the years and those experiences provide me with some unique insights into my new position as product manager.
The SmartMusic team continues to work on improvements based on your feedback and here are some highlights for the latest version of SmartMusic.
- SmartMusic works better with your school network – This is one of those exciting ‘under-the-hood’ changes that if we get it right no one will notice. The bottom line is that SmartMusic will be more school network-friendly, which should make your IT department happier and your job easier.
- New SmartMusic home screen – We’ve added a repertoire section to let you easily know what new titles are available in SmartMusic and an announcements area to keep you up to date on SmartMusic news, as well as provide easy access to SmartMusic online clinics and events that are scheduled in your area.
- Try SmartMusic for free! You can now download SmartMusic and have access to some sample titles and the practice tools—metronome, tuner, digital recorder, and built-in keyboard—without a subscription. Enjoy, and tell everyone to check it out.
- Simplified activation process – One of the areas we often get questions on, and I’m certain you do as well, is confusion over the activation process. We’ve been listening and as a result we’ve made some tweaks to the process and removed some of the common hurdles. This will make it easier for everyone to get up and running with SmartMusic, especially students and parents.
And finally as promised, here are a few of the things that we are working on for the future:
Assessment and Accountability
This summer MakeMusic partnered with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) to co-sponsor a national symposium on music assessment as part of NafME’s Music Education Week. As the need to track and fulfill assessment objectives becomes a requirement, having tools that help you manage and document student achievement are incredibly important, and this is where we can help. SmartMusic can already assist in many ways, but we are exploring new features and functionality that will make meeting you assessment objectives a breeze. We want to make sure that SmartMusic has the tools and features you need to help you be successful in tracking and fulfilling assessment objectives. For more information on what is happening in your state, check out our website at: www.musicstandards.org.
SmartMusic and Mobile Devices
We have already released the SmartMusic Inbox for iOS and Android (free download from the App Store and Android Marketplace). In addition, Finale SongBook™ for iPad was recently released. Please know we are continuing to expand our lineup of mobile applications. Stay tuned!
Purchase Music through SmartMusic
If you missed it, we announced back in March that we would be expanding our library to include popular songs from well-known artists. Click here to read about it. We are hard at work to develop this functionality and bring you these exciting new titles. More to come.
As you can see, we continue to improve SmartMusic to make it better for you and your students. I hope you all have a wonderful year and I look forward to delivering solutions that will help make your lives easier and help more kids enjoy and make music!
P.S. – Your feedback is very important to us; let us know what you think by adding a comment.