Update on the New SmartMusic

Update on the New SmartMusic

We introduced the new SmartMusic last September, and it was officially launched in December. Over these first 6 months, our top priority has been to improve the new SmartMusic to meet and exceed the expectations of all music educators. In this process, our focus has been to:

  • Gather, listen to and answer user feedback on a daily basis, and to
  • Be as agile and quick as possible to implement new features and solutions.

In addition to answering questions through our Help Center, our Customer Success team is also organizing and aggregating the great feedback they receive. We capture this data, along with feature requests, in our collaborative roadmap.

On a weekly basis, we reevaluate this roadmap, taking into account any technical constraints, and fine-tune our plans to deliver new functionality over the coming months. The goal for our roadmap is to make this process as transparent and interactive as possible.

Today we’d like to sum up the progress we have achieved over the past semester, and provide some insights about what to expect in the next few months before the 2017-18 back-to-school season.

Practicing Music

Features added:

  • Fingering charts when clicking on a note
  • Playback of individual notes
  • Navigation between movements and instruments (previous/next and also direct access)
  • Instructions and grading info when opening an assignment
  • Visual count off before starting the recording or playback of a piece
  • New assessment engine offering improved accuracy, particularly with lower pitched instruments and voice

Coming Soon:

  • “Early/late” assessment to provide feedback about when a note is rushed or dragged
  • Clearing of the score from assessment colors when repeating a section

Repertoire Library

Features added:

  • Improved search filters within categories, as well as in pagination of search results
  • Integration of exercises
  • Improvement of the Garritan sound library to match more and more titles
  • Enhancements to MusicXML importation:
    • Ability to upload single part MusicXML files
    • Built in part export in Finale 25
    • Updated Dolet plugin for previous versions of Finale
    • Ability to edit or delete the books you have uploaded as MusicXML
    • “Usage” tab indicating which classes and assignments are using this uploaded content
  • Easier way to discover the Smartmusic library with the Find Music page, where you can check for the latest releases and browse by Category, Genre, or Publisher
  • In search results, the instrument now defaults to the user’s primary instrument

Coming Soon:

  • Fixing issues (octaves, some synchronization issues)
  • Continuous improvement of the engraving engine
  • Full score import as MusicXML



Assigning Content

Features added:

  • Sight reading or sight singing options when assigning any title of the SmartMusic library
  • Direct creation of assignments from the music practice application
  • Warning message for students when attempting to submit a second take for the same assignment
  • Redesigned assignment flow:
    • It’s no longer necessary to connect students with their instruments before sending them an assignment. Each student can specify their instrument when opening any assignment.
    • Recently or late enrolled students will now automatically receive any current assignment created before they joined. For now, this feature will only apply to assignments created after this release.
  • Access for all students to access an entire method book, even if they don’t have a Play PLUS subscription. (To do so, simply “pin” one method book to any of your Teach classes.)

Coming Soon:

  • The ability to edit existing assignment to change the timing and which students are impacted by the assignment
  • “My late submissions” deck for students
  • Assignment to multiple classes at once
  • “Pinned method books” deck for students
  • Tolerance setup for the assessment engine (timing, pitch, duration)

Grading Students

Features added:

  • Grading scale and grading calendar for each class, from the Gradebook in Class details  
  • Ability to delete assignments from the Gradebook
  • Edition of Grades and comments after an assignment has been graded
  • New colorful grid view for the Gradebook, including the average grades for students and assignments, the matching label from the grading scale, the weight of the assignment and the due date.

Coming Soon:

  • CSV and Excel export

Web Platform Administration

Features added:

  • Activation of student accounts by the teacher
  • Secondary email address for Teachers and students
  • Allocation of Play PLUS seats purchased
  • Control over class status to use free or premium content

Coming Soon:

  • The ability to remove students from classes

Additional Improvements Added

  • Dozens of bugs solved and user interface improvements
  • One iPad app launched
  • Speed improvement of all pages
  • Reduction of the assessment computation footprint

To be sure, this is just the beginning, but we wanted to take this time to share what has been accomplished and to thank everyone using the new SmartMusic you for their help. It would not have been possible without them!
Don’t have the new SmartMusic? Now you can use if — with your students — for free. Learn more.

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