Martha Boonshaft, Middle School Director of Bands for the Garden City School District in Garden City, NY, shares how she uses SmartMusic and Finale together to enhance her students’ learning experiences.
A lesson that worked really well this week combined SmartMusic and Finale. Our concert band is working on on Ralph Ford’s, Dillon’s Flight. It is a great piece that is primarily in 5/4 and 6/4.
- Starting in measure 68, there is a fugal section with hemiola and syncopation in many of the parts.
- The low brass section was having great difficulties placing all of the upbeats.
- I did not want to exclude the rest of the band from learning this valuable counting.
I wrote the part into Finale and printed it for the entire band.
Next, I opened Dillon’s Flight in SmartMusic, and displayed the trombone part.
As a group:
- Everyone worked through all of the rhythm patterns together.
- Our full group practice helped the low brass/low winds be more confident and secure with their parts.
- Using SmartMusic greatly helped the rest of the band understand what was being played against their parts.
I highly recommend using both SmartMusic and Finale together in this way. I have done this in the past also and it is a great way to keep the entire band engaged and learning.
Martha Boonshaft has been teaching music for 30 years. The last 13 years she has been the Middle School Director of Bands for the Garden City School District in Garden City, New York. A proponent and advocate for SmartMusic, Mrs. Boonshaft has been using this practice tool for the past seven years with as many as 300 students at a time. She has presented SmartMusic sessions at multiple conferences on the east coast as well as staff development workshops for individual school systems through Long Island.