Fredericksburg Area Young Musicians


Please DO NOT renew or purchase SmartMusic for the 2020-2021 academic year on your own. SmartMusic has a new policy which requires the school (FAYM) to purchase all subscriptions, and students pay the school (FAYM) directly for specific level access to the program and the class material. 

SmartMusic Demos will be on Tues. Aug. 25, 12:00, and Fri. Aug. 28, 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, Conducting, and Chorus classes are REQUIRED to 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 highly recommended as a practice and assessment tool.

The orchestra, band, and chorus classes are REQUIRED to use SmartMusic homework assignments for practice, assessment, and grades. Other classes may use the program, too, so check with your class teacher. (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 $10 a semester (August until December 31) if you subscribe through FAYM. That's less than $3 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, and to link up to the specific FAYM classes. 

All children from the same family can share an account, unless they prefer to have their own logins and accounts (which is usually desired when children are in the SAME class at the same time). If you choose to give each child their own account and login, the cost is $10 per account for one semester. 

Follow these links to find out more about SmartMusic:

SmartMusic home page click here



You must have a computer or laptop that has internet access. The cost for a subscription is $10 per semester, per family. SmartMusic only works with the CHROME browser on a laptop, or using the SmartMusic app on a tablet (iPad). You cannot use SmartMusic on a SmartPhone.

SmartMusic requires some kind of microphone - either a built-in mic (MacBooks), or you can plug in an external mic. 

The use of headphones or ear buds are HIGHLY ENCOURAGED when you record, so you can hear the recording, but the computer won't hear itself (it gets confused between your playing and the background music). Remember that on most devices, the microphone and the speakers are very close together! The computer can hear itself very well!

If you want to see the basic idea of how SmartMusic is helpful for practice, click on this link for a very short video. 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. 


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.