10 Ways to Use SmartMusic Playlists in Your Teaching

10 Ways to Use SmartMusic Playlists in Your Teaching

Using the Playlist creation and sharing features in the SmartMusic by MakeMusic Music Catalog is an easy and quick way to organize yourself and share music with students and colleagues. Keep reading to check out 10 effective ways to use Playlists in your classroom!

1. A Playlist per Prep! 

You probably teach more than one class each day, and probably teach multiple ability levels of students, too! Save your “teacher brain” some energy and create a playlist you can quickly open up for each of your classes. This will save you time searching for the correct titles during class, and will be a great place for you to save music for future lessons! 

2. A “Practice these before…” Playlist!

With the ability to share a Playlist in just a couple of clicks, you can make clever use of them with students. Prepare a playlist of things students should practice BEFORE completing an assignment for you. This gets them doing some guided yet individual practice with things you have hand selected. With a Playlist like this, you can select things from multiple method books, exercises, or selections of music for truly limitless and custom possibilities! Using this kind of Playlist and checking in on your Class Analytics will give you some great insight to your students’ practice habits and help you to guide them appropriately!

analytics menu

3. Student Created Playlists 

Encouraging students to explore the Music Catalog gives them an opportunity to discover new favorite pieces of music and get excited about practicing. Have them create their own Playlists within some parameters to share with you and their peers. Here are a few ideas: 

  • Students create a Playlist of things they want to play at upcoming concerts
  • Find every version of Hot Cross Buns (or any other common beginner level title) 
  • Superhero or Movie Themes
  • “Student Name’s” Greatest Hits (full of their favorite pieces performed over their time in your program) 
  • Mood Playlists to share with the class – “Songs to play/sing when you are happy, sad, bored, determined, etc.” 

4. Concert Repertoire Playlist

Creating and sharing a simple Playlist of your upcoming concert or performance music makes it easy for students to find it all in one place! 

5. Warm Ups/Exercises Playlist

Create a playlist of warm ups and/or other exercises that you’d like students to work through on a consistent basis. You can even add things you have uploaded or created in the Compose tool to a Playlist to share! Make sure to show students how to access your Playlists during class time on your projector screen—in no time it will become second nature to them to open them up when they go to practice! 

6. Teacher Playlist of Pieces for Future Use

Use a Playlist (or several) to map out and plan what you are going to do with students in the coming months or even years! Saving titles directly to a Playlist within SmartMusic will allow you super easy access when you are ready to assign them to students or peruse them again to choose what to perform next. You’re sure to find tons of great material in our incredible Music Catalog that includes HUNDREDS of festival appropriate pieces! 

7. Improv or Excerpt Playlist

Your young jazzers can practice their improv skills on loop (and with great professional accompaniment) when you share a playlist of charts with solo sections appropriate for their instrument and ability level. You can also share improv tracks and any custom made exercises in this kind of Playlist. Be sure to demonstrate how to use the Loop tool live in class on your projector to make it easiest for your students to practice specific measures efficiently! This idea would also work well for any other instrument/voice specific etudes or excerpts of any genre!

8. Choose Your Solo Playlist

Help students choose an appropriate solo for themselves by creating some Playlists for them to access. You can truly differentiate your instruction by creating as many Playlists as is appropriate for you to offer each of your unique students some great solo options. Since creating a Playlist is so simple, your time will be efficiently spent! 

9. Sight Reading Playlists

Compile your own custom created Sight Reading Builder exercises into a comprehensive Playlist for students to practice their reading skills with! You can use your creativity to title the Playlists and exercises to clearly define the skills that will be practiced with them, and can always add lines from method books or other exercises to reinforce specific concepts.

10. Themed “for fun” Playlists

Encourage your students to practice during breaks, holidays, or any day by compiling some themed Playlists for them to explore. You could even have them join in by creating their own themed Playlists to share! 

As you can see, Playlists within SmartMusic are flexible enough to fit many needs, are ultra-shareable, and are a best-practice way to stay organized!

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