Using SmartMusic in class is a great way to encourage good practice habits and to reinforce the importance of good intonation and rhythmic accuracy. Unfortunately using SmartMusic at home has been problematic for some students due to what some might describe as a complicated user interface. Luckily SmartMusic's authors have listened to these complaints and have released a new updated version of the software that solves many problems including student microphone placement and microphone volume settings.
New Ways To Use SmartMusic
Tips and Secrets of SmartMusic Master Educators
I finally purchased Smart Music and have gotten the music department at my high school on board for comprehensive integration into the curriculum. Though Make Music has put forth versatile programs in Smart Music and Finale, I was somewhat miffed at the fact that Finale does not allow the inclusion of repeats for .SMP assessment files. <br /><br />I spoke to a tech support person yesterday and pointed out that many exercises within the method books integrated in Smart Music have repeats and that assessment works just fine. <br /><br />His response was that Finale decided not to give us, the end users, such functionality. <br /><br />In my opinion this is preposterous. Repeats seem to be such a rudimentary element that a software company should include in its functions.<br /><br />If you know of any information I am unaware of but should be in terms of the cross functionality of Finale and Smart Music, please do pass that on.<br /><br />Thanks and I very much enjoy reading your blog.<br /><br />Leo
Leo,<br /><br />I admit that it has some quirks. One of the other Finale SMP issues I have ran into is the hoops one must jump through in order to save and upload full concert band scores to SmartMusic if you are creating them yourself. This is especially a problem if you are trying to create something that the students can view on the screen as they practice. In my opinion uploading assignments should be able to be done through the Impact back end instead of having to use the SmartMusic software to upload then turning around and going back to Impact in order to assign it.<br /><br />It would also be nice to see them incorporate a generic user account that everyone can get to to see any assignment that has been assigned in the past even after they have submitted it. Once an assignment is submitted they can no longer get to it through the easy Assignment listing.<br /><br />Overall though the SmartMusic software is a great product. As long as they continue to improve it I will continue to use it. It definately makes a difference in my student's practice and abilities.
Students can view their past submitted assignments, as well as the grades they have received, by going to www.smartmusic.com/impact and logging in with their Impact login ID/password.
The new version of SmartMusic incorporates a link on the student assignment list that takes them directly to Impact's gradebook. Until they added this I doubt any of my students ever bothered to check their grades because even though I told them about it I doubt they rememebred to go to the SM web site to check.
Leo,<br /><br />Thanks so much for the comments. I wanted to let you know that at MakeMusic, we are always looking for ways to improve our user experience. The task of allowing repeats in assessable SMP files has been assigned to the Finale engineering department and we expect to have a resolution near the back to school time frame. I hope you have a great deal of success with our products and we look forward to hearing more from you.