When I present SmartMusic clinics and workshops, the most common question I get from teachers is, “How do I get started with SmartMusic in my school?” Sometimes the best answers come not from me, but your peers. So we surveyed a group of SmartMusic teachers with 20 or more student subscriptions to see what worked for them. Here are some of our key findings:
1.) Teachers are actively training their students (and parents) to be successful using SmartMusic.
Teachers are using projectors and screens or a Smartboard to show lesson material for their entire group. Students are taught basic controls as well as tips for effective home practice. Many teachers communicate directly with parents by having SmartMusic information nights or presentations at concerts. One teacher said his method is to “teach students and parents how to use the program in the beginning of the year—and then USE it, so it becomes a habit.”
2.) The majority of these teachers are giving regular assignments.
The survey showed a high correlation between regular assignments and the number of students practicing at home. Teachers (61%) are giving assignments every two weeks, every week, or more than one assignment per week. Most frequently assigned were method books, exercises, large group titles and sight reading materials. However, jazz, MP3 and Finale-created files were also assigned.
3.) Schools are purchasing subscriptions for students.
56% of responding teachers said their school is now providing SmartMusic subscriptions for their students. This may be a result of new, data-driven assessments for measuring student achievement in music. It stands to reason that if a school is documenting student achievement, they are more inclined to provide curriculum materials (SmartMusic).
What are YOUR tips for success using SmartMusic? Leave your answers in the comments section below!