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Roanoke City Schools introduces ‘Smart Music’ to music curriculum

Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 7:58 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -A bow glides along the strings in the empty auditorium of John P Fishwick Middle School Friday morning.

“Karen, turn your camera on sweet pea,” said Michelle Smith-Johnson, to one of her students, virtually.

Smith-Johnson is the orchestra director for Fishwick Middle.

“Give me a thumbs up if you’re set and ready to go.”

Class is very much in session.

“And we talk through assignments, have daily discussion, use technique everyday, and echo back and forth,” said Smith-Johnson.

A program called Smart Music helps with this. The school system bough a subscription for it, for the first time this year.

“We’re able to continue instruction, we’re able to still do the same things as if we were in person, it’s self guided for the student, it’s very intuitive. and once you get the hang of a couple of tools you’re right there and ready to go.”

Music may sound a little different through a set of computer speakers, but it’s still being played.

The hope is that the challenging parts will soon get figured out in person. And the auditorium will once again have a full audience.

“Yeah we’ll pick up from where we left off and we’ll be altogether and it will be great,” said Smith-Johnson.

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