Wrapping up the year with SmartMusic

Unbelievably, it’s already time to start thinking about the end of the school year. But before you can inventory instruments, catalog the music, and do some clean up, you probably still have some goals to accomplish: concerts, reviews, mastery tests, and maybe even having some fun! Let’s see how SmartMusic can help you more easily put the fine on your school year.

If you’re preparing for concerts, I’m sure you appreciate the advantages students have when their concert pieces are supported in SmartMusic. But if you’re preparing literature that’s not yet in the SmartMusic library, please remember that SmartMusic’s Audio Import feature allows your students to practice with any .MP3 files that you may already have. Students can slow down the tempo, create practice loops, and record themselves. You can also create assignments using the audio files with the Gradebook. If you’ve never done this before, simply click on “MP3 Audio Files” at the left of the SmartMusic screen and you’ll see something like this:

Also worthy of mention are three practice tools that are integrated into SmartMusic: the tuner, metronome, and digital recorder. If you’ve never used the digital recorder for recording rehearsals, I would highly recommend it. It’s an easy way to give your students instant feedback. When students identify the areas that they need to work on by hearing what they just played they are developing self-evaluation habits that will last a lifetime.

How can SmartMusic be used to review material learned throughout the school year? Using the various categories of Exercises (like Scales and Rhythms) allows you to pick and choose material to evaluate your students’ progress. A Twister (technical exercise) can be used as a mastery study. Choose lines from method books to review concepts and for sight-reading purposes. In two earlier blogs, I offered suggestions for some game-type activities that can be also used for review purposes: SmartMusic Rhythm Challenge and the SmartMusic Face-off.

Perhaps you would like to have a year-end recital where students perform a solo. Depending on the level you teach, you can use method book lines, some new fun solo titles, Sample Files, or selections from the solo library.

Next week, in part two of my year-end wrap-up, I’ll offer some tips how you can best prepare for next year.

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