The Concordia Music Department is thrilled to announce the purchase of a SmartMusic account for every middle and high school music student. SmartMusic is a revolutionary online learning tool for musicians of all ages and ability levels.
We've heard wonderful stories about Concordia students exploring new music, finding everything from classical solos to video game music - all at the appropriate level for them. Students report it's "fun to use" and that it's "amazing how much music there is." One Cadet Band student said, "It feels like I'm playing with the whole band!" What a change from 2020 when most of our students sadly didn't have access to their instruments for six months or more. This time, music at Concordia isn't just surviving during distance learning and lockdown - it's THRIVING!
So, what is SmartMusic and how does it work? Students log in and open any one of thousands of songs with sheet music for their instrument matched with accompaniments or recordings of professional ensembles. When the student hits the play button, the accompaniment recording begins to play while a cursor highlights the notes in the student's part. You can adjust settings like the tempo and volume of the recording, switching on and off a metronome, or even hearing just your own part. There are sight reading exercises as well to help students improve at learning new music quickly.
One of SmartMusic's most amazing tools is the ability to give students feedback on their accuracy of pitch and rhythm. Students record themselves and SmartMusic highlights what they did right or wrong, so they know what they need to work on. It's like having a practice test with your teacher whenever you want! With these basic elements already in place, the teacher can focus on deeper musical ideas like tone and expression.
More great news for our students is that SmartMusic will be accessible all summer, so they can continue to play, explore, and improve even during the school vacation. We anticipate the Concordia performing ensembles will start the 2022-2023 school year stronger than ever before!