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April 29, 2010

ULM Division of Music installs new Smart Music Practice Room

The University of Louisiana at Monroe Division of Music has installed a Smart Music Practice Room in the Band Building, according to Interim Department Head Dr. Derle Long.

“Smart Music is a computer program that can be set to follow performers when they slow down or speed up as they learn a piece of music,” said Long. “The computer slows down or speeds up the accompaniment of an instrumental or vocal solo or the background of a band, choral, or orchestral piece.”

Long said this means the program enables the performer to become more confident, because it can be set to follow stricter tempos and performance parameters. The program can access an online library of over 30,000 compositions including a large collection of jazz works, band and orchestra methods, and other types of vocal and instrumental etudes and study pieces.

The Smart Music Practice Room is equipped with a computer, microphone, USB control pedal, and a 500-watt Logitech surround sound system all housed in a portable, locking metal cabinet.

“Music students access the room through an electronic identification card reader,” said Long. “Plans are for the room to eventually house an electronic drum set, keyboard, bass and guitar amplifier, so that entire jazz, rock, and other combos can use the system to practice skills and learn new music.”

A Student Technology Access Plan (STAP) grant funded the room. Funds will be requested in subsequent years to equip more practice rooms with Smart Music capabilities in anticipation of duplicating its capabilities in the music faculty studios.

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