Repertoire selection is an exciting part of each school year, and it doesn’t stop just because you’re teaching remotely. SmartMusic includes the largest online library of digital music for school ensembles, and the Find Music tool can help make sure your students have what they need to practice for their next concert – remote or in person.
Using Find Music
SmartMusic’s library is vast, but Find Music includes filters and search options to help. You can filter by ensemble type, J.W. Pepper difficulty level, search by title or author (check your spelling on Ticheli and Balmages!) and browse specific categories.
Some specific tips that may aid you in your search:
- Categories, like images on the “Explore” page, are suggestions, not comprehensive lists. If you’re looking for something specific, use the search function
- Categories on the Explore page can be a great place to start your browsing!
- Choosing “Band and Orchestra” in the category filter reveals more specific ensembles nested below
- Choir teachers can include “Voice-All” in the instrument filter to quickly find all voice titles, including vocal solos
- Filters stack! Try choosing multiple difficulty filters on top of an ensemble filter and composer search to find a range of options for string orchestra from Bob Phillips
- Your selected search filters can be viewed and removed in the top left portion of the screen
Repertoire Selection Considerations
Whether you’re considering music for a contest or just for the school year, there are some things to keep in mind. Stay flexible, as you don’t always know your students’ strengths and weaknesses so early in the school year. Be ready to adjust if necessary. The SmartMusic blog includes some other great tips on repertoire selection from Chris Bernotas and Bruce Pearson.
Another option is to include student choice. Students will be more engaged and motivated to practice when they have a voice in the concert repertoire. Ted Scalzo explains how you can use this technique here.
Benefits of Using SmartMusic for Repertoire Selection
Many long-time SmartMusic users make a point to only choose repertoire that’s in the SmartMusic library. Since the library grows every month, it’s easier than ever to find a piece that’s perfect for your students. When you choose a piece from the SmartMusic library, students gain access to automatic pitch and rhythm assessment, practice tools like loops, a metronome, and tuner, and the ability to record themselves.
Teachers can send assignments based on the concert repertoire to help reinforce pitch and rhythm learning. Any piece in the SmartMusic library can be used as a clapping or sight reading assignment, so concert repertoire can serve as reinforcement for other musical concepts (or help provide extra practice). You can also duplicate and edit assignment templates on the Units page, so it’s easy to create a series of assignments to help students prepare for a performance.
Make sure your students have the tools they need to practice by using SmartMusic to help with repertoire selection this year.