What is SmartMusic? SmartMusic is interactive music software that is transforming the way students practice.
How will this help my child practice? Since a band director or private lesson teacher can’t be there with them while they practice at home, SmartMusic provides the guidance to help them practice more effectively.
• This software gives students access to thousands of pieces of music. In many cases, they can select a piece of music and actually see it on-screen.
• Then, instead of practicing alone, students click the “start” button and play or sing along with background accompaniment. They actually hear how their part fits within the whole ensemble.
• If they are playing a piece that appears on-screen, they get instant feedback. The notes show up green and red, telling them which notes they got right or wrong.
• And, students can slow down a piece at first and then gradually increase their speed as their skill grows.
Many practice tools are included in SmartMusic:
- There is a built-in tuner to help with pitch.
- A metronome helps students learn how to play rhythms accurately.
- The built-in record feature provides immediate feedback. Students can learn a lot by listening to themselves.
Using SmartMusic on a Home Computer
I have more than one child at home. Do I need more than one subscription? Yes, families with more than one student will need multiple subscriptions for use at home. Families with multiple students will have the opportunity to bundle SmartMusic Student subscriptions at a reduced price. The first Student subscription will be $40. Each additional Student subscription will be $20.
We have two computers at home; can our child use either one of them? Yes, SmartMusic subscriptions are assigned to an individual and not a computer.
How about the safety of my computer? What are the chances of getting computer viruses? SmartMusic complies with all industry standards for safety. Having standard virus protection on your computer is always advised.
How do I get help if I run into technical issues with the computer, the microphone, or the speakers? You will find a lot of good information at www.smartmusic.com in the Support section.
There is a Knowledge Base that has FAQs along with great answers. You can also submit a question to the SmartMusic customer support group online at www.smartmusic.com/support. Or, you can call our toll-free technical support number, 866.240.4041.
What am I required to have on my home computer to make this work? The requirements to run SmartMusic are relatively standard:
• Windows PC or Macintosh
• Internet access required
• 1GB available disk space
• Microphone (purchase online at www.smartmusic.com)
• Headphones or speakers
• Additional details are found at http://www.smartmusic.com/support/systemrequirements/
Why is this offered as an annual subscription, instead of just letting me buy it? To keep the price affordable, SmartMusic is offered on a subscription basis. If it were made available for purchase, the price would be much higher due to the extensive library of music and the responsibility to pay royalties to publishers for their copyrighted materials. The annual subscription cost is $40. You will also need an instrumental microphone, which is $29.95; this mic has the capability to attach to your instrument and allow your computer to create a quality recording.
Why do we have to pay this extra expense for the music program my child is in? You don’t. However, we highly recommending that you invest in SmartMusic. This software is changing the way students practice at home. Because of all the amazing features, students want to practice instead of being pushed by you and their director. We are seeing more students come to school more prepared, more confident, and excited about their music.
I really can’t afford this. What other options do we have? We have SmartMusic on laptops that can be used in the school practice rooms. Your child may use SmartMusic in those rooms, however, if at all possible, we want to encourage you to consider buying a subscription. Home practice is an important part of your child’s education.
Getting Started with SmartMusic
I don’t want my child using e-mail. Why do we need an e-mail address? Initially, an e-mail address is used to activate SmartMusic on your computer. In addition, if the teacher is making assignments through SmartMusic, then students need to log in to receive their assignments. Rest assured, all assignments are sent via the Internet, so the e-mail address is simply used as a unique identifier for security purposes. If your student is 13 or younger, parental approval is required and you can monitor every step of the process.
I’m not good with computers. Who is going to help me with this? Extensive self-help tools are available at www.smartmusic.com in the Support section.
Specifically, the QuickStart Videos will take you through every feature step by step.
For more questions and answers, be sure to check out the Knowledge Base in the Support section at www.smartmusic.com/support.