I currently have my students completing three SmartMusic assessments at the end of our second trimester. One assessment is based off their music, a second is a sight-reading assessment, and the third is a clapping assessment from Essential Elements 2000 Book 2 (there are clapping exercises in the Essential Elements series).
For three of my choirs, I assigned a sight-reading assessment based in 6/8, generated directly from Finale 2012a’s own set-up wizard.
A student came in today to ask for help with that sight-reading assessment, and I was surprised to see that SmartMusic counted the exercise off in two beats (the student is supposed to subdivide on their own in three?) and my tempo marking of 70 bpms (which was set as I created the assignment through SmartMusic) was making the dotted quarter note 70 bpm, not the eighth note.
It could be that the entire issue is my fault and that I missed some setting in SmartMusic which would force the tempo to reflect the 8th note instead of the dotted quarter–but if that’s the case, I need to spend some more time in the program.
One of the biggest challenges was that when I went back to put a tempo in the original Finale file (eighth note=70), the resulting SmartMusic tempo was 23 (dotted quarter), and the “location indicator” (green line) only moved on each beat, a dotted quarter at 23 bmp, which makes following that tempo very difficult indeed.
For now, I’m going to avoid creating/using my self-created 6/8 sight-reading assessments and stay in simple meters (4/4, 2/4, 3/4). As a request, if anyone has created SmartMusic assessments in compound meters and had success with those assessments, could you you please drop me an e-mail? I’d like to learn what you are doing to make SmartMusic work with compound meters.