Teaching Concert Music or the Method Book
SmartMusic Blog
by Anthony Granata
2w ago
Do I teach concert music or the method book? It’s a conversation I have with colleagues all the time and it’s something I ask myself each day in the classroom. We have concerts coming up – a culminating performance experience that demonstrates what our students know and in many ways highlights the strengths of our program and of our teaching. But is teaching to the concert what’s best for our students? Your answer will naturally depend upon the structure of your program, your curriculum, and the instructional contact time you actually have. In the end, it comes down to what you prefer.  B ..read more
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Preparing for Festival with MakeMusic Cloud
SmartMusic Blog
by Dan DiPasquale
3w ago
Dan DiPasquale is a member of the MakeMusic Innovators program. Throughout my career, I’ve strongly believed that it’s important to involve as many students as possible in festival and contest. Not only are they great performance opportunities for both individuals and ensembles, but the preparation for these events are amazing opportunities for musical growth. However, despite their name, the preparation does not always feel so “festive.” Balancing concert programs between multiple ensembles, preparing for sight reading sessions at contest, all while dealing with interruptions from snow days a ..read more
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Sight Reading For All: Applications of Sight Reading for Teachers and Students
SmartMusic Blog
by Kate Warren
3w ago
Sight reading is a fundamental skill that offers a myriad of benefits extending beyond the traditional scope of music literacy. This article explores the applications of sight reading for private music teachers, music students, and band directors.  Practicing sight reading not only improves music literacy, but also helps musicians build a strong foundation for further musical development and enables them to tackle more challenging music in the future.  MakeMusic is currently offering free subscriptions to Sight Reading Studio – a new application that quickly generates unlimited music ..read more
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Lights, Camera, Practice! An interview with Brian Balmages, creator of the new Foundations Series
SmartMusic Blog
by MakeMusic Official
3w ago
Tell us about the Foundations Series. What is it and why are you so excited about it? I believe this series solves several problems that ensemble conductors and private teachers struggle with on a daily basis: Motivating their students to practice more Helping students make more of an immediate connection between the music they are playing in band or orchestra and the world around them Achieving more meaningful student engagement during the technique portion of ensemble rehearsals (and for that matter, making technique more fun for students in general!) Essentially, the Foundations Series is ..read more
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Power Up! Taking Your Clarinets Over the Break
SmartMusic Blog
by Christine Wolf
1M ago
Taking clarinet students “over the break” can be a daunting task for many band directors.  Often, a single method book does not give the students enough access to the needed skill for them to be successful.  The purpose of this blog post is to share with you a curated Clarinet Register Progression that can be used by the entire band as much or as little as needed by your students.  There are many ideas on the best way to take clarinets through this important transition.  These ideas are just that, a method that has been successful to me over the last 28 years of my teaching ..read more
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January 2024 Repertoire Update
SmartMusic Blog
by MakeMusic Official
1M ago
In the last month, our Repertoire Development team added 73 interactive tracks across 57 new publications to the Music Catalog.  Browse below to discover new favorites among the continuous new repertoire included with your regular subscription. New works for concert band, string orchestra, jazz ensemble, choir, and solos for any instrument or voice are included in this month’s new interactive music ready to assign, practice, and record in MakeMusic Cloud. Highlights include concert band works by Carol Brittin Chambers, Tyler S. Grant, and Michael Sweeney; string orchestra works by Seth Be ..read more
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A Week in Washington, Advocating for Music Education
SmartMusic Blog
by MakeMusic Official
1M ago
Ron Manus, Chief Business Development Officer, Tom Gierke, Senior Vice President, Business Development, and Jennifer Paisley-Schuch, Director, Business Development from MakeMusic and Alfred Music joined a delegation of 85 music and arts advocates, music industry leaders, music teachers and faculty, and business leaders to speak directly to Members of Congress and their staff in support of full funding for quality, comprehensive school music education programs for all children.  Over the course of three days, delegates received a series of briefings from national arts leaders and peer-to-p ..read more
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Power Up! Tips for Teaching Beginning Snare Drum
SmartMusic Blog
by Brandon Kunka
1M ago
Teaching beginning percussion students can be a very exciting experience. However, without the proper first steps, bad habits can be set that could take years to undo. Percussion can be somewhat terrifying if you’re “thrown into the fire” without prior experience or sufficient methods training in college. While it’s easier to get a characteristic tone from percussion than it is with wind instruments, there are many pitfalls that can set students up for failure. Here are some essential first steps for the snare drum that will help get your students started successfully: 1. Before you hold the s ..read more
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Weekly Highlights Emails: Strengthen the Connection Between Home and the Music Classroom
SmartMusic Blog
by MakeMusic Official
1M ago
We know that supported student musicians can more easily become lifelong lovers of music and the arts. The supporting adults in a child’s life very often want to help, but do not always feel equipped to assist with music education, especially if they don’t play an instrument or read music themselves. Teachers: you are so busy. You have a lot of tasks on your plate well beyond just teaching music. While it would be ideal to send frequent personalized communication about each of your students, there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  MakeMusic Cloud’s Weekly Highlights Emails feature ope ..read more
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MakeMusic Cloud’s 2023: Wrapped
SmartMusic Blog
by MakeMusic Official
2M ago
Thank you for being part of the MakeMusic family in 2023. We’ve had a great year and are excited to see what 2024 will bring, but first, we’d like to reflect on what we’ve accomplished together over the past 12 months.  Your passion for music fuels us. The following feature updates from 2023 were requested by users like you. Thank you for the input to help MakeMusic Cloud continue growing and improving into a product that helps fuel your passions. 2023 User Requested Updates  ? Assigner Improvements – the assignment process received a MAJOR upgrade ? ? Assignment Notification Emails ..read more
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