Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Changes in SmartMusic Subscriptions and Our SmartMusic Everywhere Plan

Last March, this pricing policy went into effect:

"School Practice Room subscription – the new price is $44 per year with no per-student fee. This subscription allows students’ access to SmartMusic on a school-owned device (computer or iPad).

And, as previously announced the pricing for Educator and Student subscriptions are as follows:

• Educator subscription – the price will remain at $140 per year with the added benefit of using your subscription on multiple devices at school or home.

• Student subscription – the new price is $40 per year with the added benefit of using a subscription on multiple devices at school or home, including the SmartMusic iPad version."    

If you are a band student and have an internet connected computer, we want you to have access to SmartMusic.  We think of it as a SmartMusic Everywhere plan for our students.  If you have problems with the computer/internet part of this, we have your back with practice rooms equipped with SmartMusic stations.

We cover the costs with our band fee.  If you have a home computer, you have access there paid for by your fee.  If you don't have a computer, you are helping to pay for our stations.

Overall, I would say we have been successful.  Our kids' practice is certainly more productive.  I can hear individuals and evaluate their playing.  Parents have evidence of their child's progress.  SmartMusic has been good for everyone in the program.

What has changed with the new pricing?  Not much as far as costs.  We came out about the same.  A little higher, but about the same.

There are some things that are different because of the way things are structured access-wise.  We were used to the per computer model, which is pretty hard to coordinate with families.  Do you have a computer?  Is it connected to the internet?  Can it run SmartMusic?  Throw brothers and sisters sharing a computer in the mix and YIKES.  How many do I order???

You can still run your program with just the practice rooms.  Fairly inexpensively too.

There are some downsides to a practice room only format.

Do you have the real-estate and computers to pull it off well?  There are days around here where there are kids 2 and 3 deep for our 5 stations.  That means a late afternoon for me at my school.

Your practice room login information will not let you login anywhere but the practice room until you have an active (paid for) account.  After that, you can login pretty much anywhere.  This may be the big change on our end.  Our students were able to use any device that had a paid-for subscription.  Now it is the user that needs to be paid for.  License users not machines.

We have found that the more kids use SmartMusic the better they get.  There is lots of time when our building isn't open for kids.  Having SmartMusic at home is a good thing.  I like going home.  I was a little nervous about the changes, but they really haven't been too bad.  Hopefully, the year goes well in this department.

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