Fredericksburg Area Young Musicians


An important message about SmartMusic: The old SmartMusic Classic is being retired. The current new version is required to link up to your FAYM classes. Please do not renew your old subscription or purchase a new subscription until told to do so by the FAYM teachers. We will give you complete details on which version to subscribe to, as well as how to link up to your classes. Please wait for instructions!

SmartMusic Demos will be on Wed. Jan. 15, 12:00, and Thurs. Jan. 16, 12:00. Please attend one or both sessions to learn about the NEW SmartMusic program, how to use it at home, how to link up to your FAYM classes, and how to practice and submit assignments. It looks quite different than the Classic version, although the assessment part works the same way.

All Band, WindStars, Strings, and Chorus classes use SmartMusic for assignments and grading. Other classes may use it as well, such as Music Theory or Recorder. Please check with your teacher to see if your class will be using the program. As always, the SmartMusic program is not required in order to participate in any class, but is highly recommended as a practice and assessment tool.

The orchestra, band, percussion, chorus, recorder, and Music Theory classes will offer SmartMusic homework assignments for practice, assessment, and grades. (These assignments are optional.) While a subscription to SmartMusic is not required, students who subscribe and do the optional assignments will have an advantage over the other students with their practicing and progress. Students without a SmartMusic subscription can still practice and complete assignments on their own, but the SmartMusic subscription will give students an extra learning advantage, as well as extra tools, such as recordings, sightreading, tuning help, exercises, and class assessments and grades. The teacher will use SmartMusic each week to make assignments and assess each student's progress. Grades are automatically given by the program upon the completion of each assignment.

SmartMusic Classic is a practice tool! A subscription is not required, but is highly encouraged.

Read all of the information below to find out more about how it works! 

How to use SmartMusic with FAYM Band, Orchestra, Chorus, Recorder, and Music Theory

Since FAYM classes only meet once a week, students are on their own with their practice for the other 6 days of the week. SmartMusic fills the role of the teacher at home, letting the student know when notes and rhythms are correct or incorrect. The teacher can also email specific assignments and directions right to the student. The student, in turn, can send the teacher a completed assignment from the practice session for grading.

A student subscription to SmartMusic is only $12 a YEAR if you subscribe through FAYM. That's $1 a month!  The software is web-based, and is works with both MAC and PC. The paid subscription is to authorize you (the user) to access the entire library of "Smart" accompaniments for method books and concert pieces.

Follow these links to find out more about SmartMusic:

SmartMusic home page click here


SmartMusic Basic Information

From the SmartMusic website (www.smartmusic.com):

SmartMusic is award-winning music software with the power to transform music learning. Students of all ages and skill levels can play or sing with professional accompaniments, making practice both rewarding and fun. An affordable subscription to SmartMusic gives students the opportunity to explore a wide variety of music from the world's largest accompaniment library featuring thousands of titles for band and orchestra, solo contest repertoire, popular method books, jazz, and skill-building exercises.

SmartMusic provides an ideal home practice environment to prepare concert music and develop essential skills. It makes practicing fun so students want to practice longer and more often.

Definitely better than practicing by yourself

Students play or sing their own part with accompaniment played by SmartMusic. With SmartMusic, you have an instant backup band right in your practice room.

Get instant feedback

When you play with SmartMusic, the software follows what you're playing and shows you on the computer screen how well you're doing. Correctly played notes turn green. Notes you miss turn red. It's easy to figure out where you need more practice.

Correct fingering

If you need a reminder on how to play a note, click the note and SmartMusic will show you the correct fingering.

Move at your own pace

Start practicing slowly until you get the hang of it, and then increase the tempo. SmartMusic puts you in control. If you already submitted the assignment your teacher gave you, you can move ahead to new songs.

Make a recording of your performance

Record yourself playing with or without your SmartMusic backup band as accompaniment. Be the star of your own CD to share with family or friends! Or send a recording to your teacher for review and grading.


You must have a computer that has internet access. The cost for a subscription is $12 per year, per family.

Feel free to go to the website and play around with it first before subscribing. There are several free song files included, as well as plenty of exercises in rhythm, scales, and ear training. The software is not difficult to use, but does take a little while to get acquainted with all of the features and get comfortable using the program. If your computer does not have a built-in microphone, or if your microphone is not high-quality, you will want to purchase one for your computer. SmartMusic offers a microphone for purchase, but any microphone will do. The advantage to using the SmartMusic microphone is that it comes with a clip to attach directly to your instrument for the best sound. Mrs. Shirk uses the built-in mic on her MAC laptop with no problems.