Not meaning to shamelessly promote my blog here, but I'm blogging about SmartMusic and how it is changing my teaching in band. We are making a big effort to make SmartMusic available to every student who has home computer access this year. This takes SmartMusic from something I have on my desk to something every kid needs to use and has easy access to.
This program has given me an avenue of communication about preparing music for rehearsal that I haven't had before. It has changed the way I teach.
The sister website, SmartMusic Impact is really an excellent piece of course management software. It still needs work (especially for reports), but Impact manages both outgoing and incoming assignments and makes things easier for the student and teacher.
I am in agreement with you about Smartmusic. Smartmusic is transforming what we do as Music Educators. I have Smartmusic assessment data on my school computers dating back to 2003. I still maintain the database of student assessments myself (Impact isn't practical for many of my students because they live in rural areas with little or no internet access). I am considering doing Smartmusic presentations for MakeMusic at our State Conference.
I find that mandating the use of Smartmusic (as part of the required curriculum) and having Smartmusic access available at school, is the best way to ensure all students make steady progress as budding performers. FYI: I teach Middle School.
You are right about the internet access being the big stumbling block. Also, we ran into some students that had pre-XP computers. Kids that can swing it at home at times need help to solve their problems as well.
Easy access at school is the work around for us. We have stations in the practice rooms that are open all day.
I am working in a middle school as well. Love the kids and no two days are exactly alike.
The orchestra teacher and I will be implementing smartmusic this coming school year at the middle school where we teach. We have three practice rooms with a computer in each one. I have about 120 band students in grades 6-8. What size is your program and has that played a role in your use of smartmusic?
I am anxious to get this off the ground. You already mentioned how you deal with students without internet access at home. Any other tips you can give us? How often do you test students?
Good for you Roger! I dabbled with SmartMusic before i left my beginning band job last year. A limited version came with our beginning band method books and I had the full version on my laptop, which we frequently used with a projector in the band room. It really is a powerful piece of software!!
I'm not sure if anybody knows about WeAreTeachers. (http://www.weareteachers.com) This site is a social market place for educators who want to either sell or buy products that they've produced. There are also music companies that sell their products on the site. I'm not sure how much of the stuff there is useful. But, you might want to take a look at it. (Music is one of four content areas that the site is initially commenting on.
I know nothing about music. Knowing nothing has never stopped me from commenting. Hyperscore, used to be free but now it's $50.00. I had it d/l when it was free and my kids loved it. I just got two 30 day trials installed at school, so we'll be composing for a few weeks and trying it out again.