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Exploring SmartMusic

Now that you’ve chosen SmartMusic to enhance your music program, start exploring the possibilities.

Start exploring SmartMusic: from finding music; to classroom tips; to creating assignments that can help you plan your curriculum.

Finding Music
  1. Click on Find Music in the middle of the blue navigation panel on the left side of the screen.
  2. On the Find Music screen, you can do a quick search by entering information in the panel on the right.
  3. You can also browse through different categories of music, select what you want and open it.
Accessing Music in My Library
  1. Go back to the home screen by clicking on Home at the top of the blue navigation panel, on the left side of the screen.
  2. Click My Library to see all of the music you have downloaded.
  3. You can also click on a particular item listed under My Library in the navigation panel to see that category.

Notice the music covers at the top of the screen. Just click through the covers to find what you want, then click on a cover to highlight that item in the list below, and double-click to open that title.

As you click through each title in the list in the center of the screen, its cover will appear at the top of the page. You can open a title by double-clicking and go to the performance screen.

Practicing with the Performance Screen
  1. When you open a title, the music appears on the performance screen. First, explore the Control Bar at the top of the page to try out all the different features. Check out the tempo, location, tracks, tuner, and more.
  2. Begin a practice session by selecting Mic Check from the Help menu.
  3. Click on the green Start take button on the top left side of the screen or by tapping the space bar on your keyboard. Each time you start the music, SmartMusic will automatically record your take.
  4. For each take, you can choose to listen, keep, or save it as an MP3 file.
  5. If you keep a take, you can access it the next time you open that title.
  6. Take a few minutes to practice with some of the music, try things out, and learn more about SmartMusic.
  7. When you are finished, simply click on the Done button in the upper-right corner of the performance screen.
SmartMusic in the Classroom

Hardware Setup

To ensure all students can see and hear SmartMusic, connect your computer to:

• Some form of amplification (powered speakers work well)
• A large screen. An interactive whiteboard (i.e., SMART Board) is nice, but an LCD projector works great too. No screen? White poster board works in a pinch.

Don’t have an interactive whiteboard or projector? Borrow a projector or SMART Board from your AV department or other classrooms…or this might spark a great fundraising project!

The First Four Tips

  • Use SmartMusic’s tuner, metronome, and digital recorder features
  • Display composer and composition information to provide a more complete understanding of the work being performed
  • Write in (or have students write in) the rhythmic counting on-screen for effective study and practice
  • Circulate through the room while SmartMusic acts like an assistant, allowing you to have more individual student contact

Tips for Sectionals or Group Lessons

  • Loop difficult sections to help students more quickly master them
  • Use on-screen assessment and recordings with individual students for pedagogical purposes
  • Display fingerings for any instrument
  • Reinforce musical directions, such as repeats and multiple endings, by having students watch and listen

Tips for Full Ensemble Rehearsals

  • Open concert repertoire for individual instruments while everyone listens to the entire ensemble. This will focus the attention of the students playing that highlighted instrument—and allow everyone else to see and listen to how their part fits in.
  • Use SmartMusic repertoire to model correct intonation and interpretation
  • Display SmartMusic Rhythm exercises in “Clap” mode for unison studies
  • Use music you’ve created in Finale® to focus on selected passages and exercises that need more attention

Interactive Whiteboard Benefits and Tips

Use SmartMusic with a SMART Board or interactive whiteboard to easily capture student attention:

  • Enlarge, spotlight, or move anything that appears on-screen with simple hand gestures
  • Indicate a performance direction, share a fingering, or write in the counting—or ask your students to do so
  • Work as you would with a chalk board to write, type, draw, or erase—and you can always choose to save a snapshot of your work
SmartMusic for Assignments

SmartMusic Gradebook

With SmartMusic you can send assignments and individualized instruction so that you can reach every student, every day.

SmartMusic allows you to automatically:

  • Distribute teacher-created, instrument-specific assignments to all students
  • Track the status of all assignments
  • Calculate grades for assignments based on your own grading criteria
  • Collect audio recordings of student assignments
  • Track, document, and build a portfolio of each student’s progress
  • Use any of SmartMusic’s exercises, solo accompaniments, band and string method books, or jazz repertoire for assignment material. Or, use Finale to create your own curriculum materials. Plus, all band, orchestra, and jazz band titles include educator-approved assignments for every part.

Enrolling Students in Gradebook

There are two ways for students to enroll in a class:

  1. View the process for Enrolling Students in the User Manual. 
  2. Students can also Enroll in a Class from within SmartMusic. Watch the tutorial video.

Looking to send and receive assignments outside of the US and Canada? Please contact Customer Support for assistance.

SmartMusic Inbox

Check student progress anytime, anywhere. SmartMusic Inbox is a free mobile and iPad app created for music educators who have a current subscription to SmartMusic.

Inbox provides an alternative means to review, grade, and comment on student assignments any time, any place. Once each assignment is graded, it disappears from the Inbox.

With Inbox you can:

  • View each class by student or assignment
  • Review, grade, and comment on assignments
  • Play recordings and view screenshots
  • Add or edit points for each assignment
  • Type in comments using the keypad
  • Send emails right from your phone or iPad

SmartMusic Inbox offers fast, convenient access to all of your ungraded assignments. Click on any assignment and the details of the assignment appear for you to grade. You can also see your student’s assessment score, review the time they spent practicing, and hear their recording. Everything you need in order to grade the assignment is at your fingertips.

The SmartMusic Inbox app runs on iPhone®, iPod touch®, and iPad®.

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Preparing for Contest

Tips on using SmartMusic at Solo Contests

SmartMusic has been approved by the majority of state music organizations for use in their state music contests. The following suggestions will help you get the most from SmartMusic at contests.

Pre-contest checklist for the educator and student:

  • Update practice computers to the latest version of SmartMusic
  • Students should practice solos several times with SmartMusic. Lack of familiarity with the accompaniment can lead to a less successful experience.
  • Students should be capable of operating SmartMusic independently
  • If the solo requires more than a few minor changes, use Custom files
  • Instruct students on the use of PlayList and Custom files
  • Run a simulated contest and trouble-shoot any problems

Pre-contest checklist for the contest manager:

  • Update computers to the latest version of SmartMusic
  • Request list of students and instruments scheduled to play with SmartMusic
  • Schedule students using SmartMusic for solos, in designated rooms equipped with a computer and speakers
  • Test all systems
  • Install any custom accompaniment files in advance on designated computers, if possible

Day-of-contest checklist for the contest manager:

  • Verify that all computers are running the latest version of SmartMusic
  • Designate specific rooms for SmartMusic
  • Have computer and speakers on a cart for easy transport
  • Use the highest quality speakers available; position them for maximum balance and blend
  • Use notebook computers as an efficient solution if SmartMusic needs to be moved from site to site (use Sleep Mode while in transit)

Day-of-contest checklist for the educator:

  • Arrive early to install any custom files
  • Open and load PlayList for each site

Features that promote efficient use at contest site:

  • For aural tuning, strike the letter B on the computer keyboard for a Bb; A for an A
  • For visual tuning, use the SmartMusic tuner if permitted by the judge
  • PlayList allows you to pre-load all the titles to be played, making them quickly accessible through the PlayList Menu
  • Create PlayList is accessed in the Open Accompaniment dialog box. Performance Mode automatically opens the next title in the list when you play to the end of the current title; Next in PlayList advances to the next title in the PlayList. Titles can also be selected individually through the PlayList Menu.
  • Custom Files provide a convenient way to save an individualized performance with all of the desired settings
  • Custom files can be saved to a USB flash drive which allows you to easily move your personalized performance to any SmartMusic system