Sheldon Rose, Director of Technology and Creativity
“Practicing” can be one of the most frustrating aspects of mastering a musical instrument. It seems that for all the many hours of solitary rehearsal, progress is slow and onerous. Although the process of regularized repetition is a well-recognized denominator in any skill acquisition activity, it is also the Quality and Deliberateness of that practice that matters more than simply the number of hours invested.
The SmartMusic subscription is a web-based application environment that makes practicing more intentional and rewarding, and, dare I say it - even fun! Students listen to their part being played, record themselves, play with a back-up band, have their performance assessed for accuracy and much much more. Students are now also able to complete playing tests from the comfort of their home and have multiple opportunities to record and send in their very best “take”. Teacher feedback is received digitally and the students can then re-listen to their recording with any constructive critique in mind.
As an added bonus for our students, SmartMusic has a vast library of music that can all be accessed with their membership. From movie favourites to jazz standards, concert band and solo classics - SmartMusic has it all.
Although it is not a new program, we feel that glitches in previous software versions of SmartMusic have been resolved and that it is a valuable tool for our students. This year, we are re-piloting the program for use in Grades 5, 7 and 9.