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Houston County Schools purchase “SmartMusic” for bands

HCBOE purchases “SmartMusic” for all five band programs in the system
Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 4:56 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Rehearsals outside of the classroom will hold band members in Houston County School Systems more responsible.

“We’re all excited about it because we all think that our band programs are really going to improve because of this accountability we will be able to have,” Lori Hart, Director of Bands at Wicksburg High School, said.

The Houston County Board of Education voted to purchase the virtual platform, SmartMusic, for all five band programs in the system. This will be used in and outside of the classroom.

“Spring brought new challenges for us and we all went into a lock down and schools were closed and we were not able to have musical access with our students in a way,” Hart said. “So we came together this summer and really said we’ve got to find a way to make this happen for our students.”

Students will login to their account, complete their assignments, rehearse their parts and have the option to explore other activities for extra practice.

“The pieces of music that are in there are set up so they can hear their part, mute their parts and hear all the band parts which they normally wouldn’t get when they practice at home,” Marc McLendon, Director of Bands at Rehobeth Middle School and Rehobeth High School, said.

Students can complete assignments at their convenience on their iPad or laptop.

“Enable us to do pass offs, we can upload our stand tunes, our halftime shows music, whatever we’re working on at the time and upload that into SmartMusic,” McLendon said.

This new tool is a time saver for both directors and students.

“It will tell them what they are doing right, it will tell them what they are doing wrong, it will help them correct it, and then it also, for the virtual students, will be able to submit a playing test to us already graded and so it is very beneficial,” Hart said.

For students who may excel at a more rapid rate than others in the classroom…

“They can start improving and you can teach on their level at least on an individual basis and you can’t really do that in a class setting with 25 to 30 students with mixed instruments,” McLendon said.

These band directors are to set to begin teaching students how to navigate Smart Music when they return to the classroom.

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