PLAINFIELD – At the beginning of the school year, the symphonic band and concert band classes at Troy Middle School in Plainfield received iPads and a new computer program to assist them in learning music pieces.
The software is called, “SmartMusic.” It is an interactive music education program the students use at home on their own tablets or laptops while practicing with their instruments.
They choose the piece they want to practice, and the program “listens” to and records them playing it. When the student hits a wrong note, the screen displays that note in a red color. The program also gives live feedback if the rhythm is off.
With the software, students may practice a piece solo, or they may choose to play with the program’s background band of professional musicians, giving them a feel for how their piece fits in with a group.
TMS band director Bill Goetz said the recordings of professional bands allow the students the chance to get an exposure of playing with professionals.
The teachers also use the program for grade assessments. Students play an assigned piece at home, record it until and then send it to Goetz or fellow band instructor Jenny Carlton, who assign the students grades and provide feedback regarding articulation and tone quality.
The Troy Band Boosters and Troy Community Consolidated School District 30C paid for the iPads and software.