My most popular posts are about "help" with "SmartMusic." I have a few tips that could easily be put into one post. (People are right. Blogging does help you distill your thinking.) Want to know how to do something in SmartMusic? Check out their QuickStart videos. I think when you are telling kids how to use SmartMusic, you need to teach them how to get to these movies. They haven't missed too much here. I really like the school site license method of getting the SmartMusic in kids hands. If it is not in your budget, do a fee. (If it is in your budget, is your district hiring?)
If you do the fee, the hard part is collecting the money (duh.) Plan where and when to collect it. We went with registration time. Parents were planning on paying fees then. Help your parents out, tell them how much and what it is for ahead of time. Be ready to tell them how it will help their students.
Plan the microphones into the fee. The first year will be the most expensive as everyone needs a mic. Second year, just the new people will need mics. Have extra mics. Apparently CATS have something against them. We had 5 cats-microphone incidents this year.
If a family doesn't have a computer, their fee will go towards support the practice room computers.
Have practice room computers. I know 94.86% of my kids have internet connected computers at home. I was surprised how many had problems. I shouldn't have been. Mom or Dad's office hand-me-down may not be a great computer. Also, new computer or not, we are all one hard drive crash away from being in a jam when the project is due. Practice room computers solve many problems.
Have a scholarship program with your boosters or school parent group for the kids that can't swing the fee.
You can do a SmartMusic program at your school. There is lots of support available. Visit the SmartMusic web site and see. There is help there for both the teacher and student.