[caption id="attachment_95490" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="SmartMusic extends students' practice outside the classroom."][/caption]

Seventh-grade cellists Lindsey Williams and Taylor Wilson squeeze into a small, cluttered room at Owensboro Middle School's north campus. In front of them, a laptop tuned to SmartMusic shows an up-tempo selection from "Rondeau" sprinkled with red notes on top of black ones. Their score: an 82.

Kentucky’s Owensboro Public Schools blended SmartMusic, a piece of interactive music software, into its fine arts curriculum in October, footing the bill for 362 individual, $36 subscriptions at a discount of about 20...

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