What are the advantages of using SmartMusic?
- It frees up time in class. Since you are not listening to test in class, all the students are able to continue playing and learning.
- Students get instant feedback from the program in regards to right notes and rhythmic accuracy.
- They can take tests an assignments at their leisure (at least mine do). We assign test and assignments well in advance and students can come in and take it early (and often) if they want. By doing this, it actually "tricks" the students into practicing.
What are the short comings?
- The feedback is not accurate at times. Microphone or not, it will pick up background noise and "grade" it. It will also grade itself if the speakers are up too loud.
- Internet connections need to be consistent. This is true for the "Classic" version as well (we use the classic version as it is cheaper for my situation.
What are the advantages of the PlayPlus? Is it worth the $20/student?
- The PlayPlus cane great if the student actually uses it as it gives them greater access. However, I'd leave that up to the student to purchase it as I feel only the serious one would use it.
How do you implement SmartMusic in your program?
We use the "Classic" SmartMusic. We use it for the following:
- All tests and assignments. We don't use the SmartMusic grade it gives the students. We still listen to each test. But, I and my assistant can do it at the same time (she can grade woodwind while I do brass, or she can do one class while I do another at the same time). Plus, I can do it anywhere at anytime. Our students can take test when ever they are ready (before the due date) and as often as they want (they can submit the best "take").
- We also use it as an accompaniment tool for our percussion class (they are separate from the wind players). It allows them to work on their part with the rest of the "band".
-In our beginner classes, we use it as backing tracks to the lines out of the book. When we had homogenous beginner classes we would use it to prepare for the concerts by having it play the other classes part (all of are beginner classes are mixed this year so we aren't doing that right now).
- We use it as an accompaniment for all solos
- We also allow student to down load whatever songs they want and try them out. Again, it tricks them into practicing and gives them a chance to expand there musical horizons.
- All students in our program have a "practice room" subscription (free to the students as long as they use one of the practice room computers). Very few of our students are going to purchase SmartMusic at home. But, all have unlimited access at school.