If you are a music teacher who wants to try SmartMusic, have they got a deal for you. They are giving away a free educator's subscription and a microphone. (Just follow that link.)
The offer is only good for folks new to SmartMusic.
If you are new, I would jump on this. I would put it on a computer at school. I would give kids access to it (with lots of things to try... current method books, exercises, solos, band music... they will find something to do.) Set up and send a couple of assignments (they wouldn't have to count.) Really kick the tires of this program.
Things to notice while your students are using SmartMusic:
Like all good video games, SmartMusic can be addictive. Don't worry, getting hooked on practice is a good thing. You won't hear, "how much time should I practice.?" The answer is right there...how is your score?
There is lots of support for students in this program. Want to hear how it goes? What's that fingering? Can I slow it down? are all possible questions for students to get help with in this program.
Assignments can be a "beat the machine" activity. So you got all the notes green on that scale, can you go faster? "Beat the machine" also puts the focus on the work and not the teacher. Kids won't think you are kidding them when they see the red/green note report.
Teacher things to notice:
You will really get to hear what your kids are doing. There is no hiding in the section pretending to play right notes and rhythms. You can also set parameters (tempo, instrumentation, metronome on/off) for the assignment to meet before it is submitted. You can even see how much time the really spent on this.
The teacher account will make it possible to send and receive assignments as if by magic. Really. Just send the assignment, the elves at SmartMusic will get it to the kid's computer. When the student sends it back, the elves over at SmartMusic will magically get it to your SmartMusic grade book for you to listen to and evaluate.
I don't miss tapes, discs, floppies, thumb drives and all those other dongles and doo-dads that you had to deal with before to get a recording from everyone.
We make progress faster and easier with SmartMusic. It is easy to find where your students need help and adjust your teaching. The question, "do my kids really get this?" is easily answered with an assignment. Reteach if you need to, move on if it is time.
At the end of our first year of using SmartMusic everywhere (home, practice room, rehearsal hall) in our program, I was comparing years by what we got done in our method book. It was as if we added 8 weeks to our year.
If you haven't tried SmartMusic, please do. It will change the way you teach and your students learn.
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