I hope everyone is surviving recital season! Things look a little different this year, don’t they? I was browsing through old photos on my school’s Facebook page reminiscing about the grand recitals we had at an old church on Bloor St (Toronto) with close to 100 bodies inside gazing lovingly at the little performers. We thought we had another year left there but it’s now being turned into condos (sad face!) I know many have struggled to put together online recitals this season, it’s a big project! On one hand, you invite more people from other parts of the world that wouldn’t normally attend such an event and you save on rental. On the other hand, dealing with the latency and technical issues with Zoom (especially lately for some reason) can be a major headache! We hope to have a recital feature in the next version.

Every teacher I’ve met online recently has done an amazing job with adapting to this turbulent world of online teaching that we’ve all been thrown into. Who would have thought we would be here now? I sure didn’t think I would be working on the development of an online video conference app with built-in music tools for teaching virtually. Yet here we are and some of us are really embracing this brave new world. I’m so proud of all of us.

To recap on whats been built so far:

  • Video Conference platform with the lowest latency possible giving the student the ultimate experience

  • Easy student sign in with a never changing four to five digit code

  • Collaborative whiteboard with annotation (yes you can work at the same time with no extra settings)

  • Collaborative file upload – bring on the worksheets and games to play together

  • Custom emojis with kid friendly and musical icons

  • Conversation or music mode options for the best sound with the simple click of a button

  • The Grand Staff with interactive keyboard that can enter in notes to be edited using a musical palette or place dots or numbers on the keyboard for demonstration–the keyboard is polyphonic with four sounds: piano, guitar, jazz keyboard & organ

  • Guitar & Ukulele fret boards with movable dots and numbers for demonstration (no more staring awkwardly into the camera) with interactivity, TAB and treble clef input

  • Music worksheets

  • 2500 guitar chord charts

  • Custom metronome

  • Guitar and ukulele tuner with visualization

  • Bookmarks – save your URL’s here for quick access and for student practice reference!

  • Embedded YouTube

  • URL cut and paste

After I write this list I realize just how many cool features we’ve created. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from the last blog where I asked you if you would like to see your video and student’s on the Grand Staff together. The vote is to be able to view your student’s video, but the teacher’s screen should be collapsible. Thank you to everyone who took the time to write to me or comment on social media. You have been heard.

We are entering our Alpha Release phase very soon. This release should be able to accomplish a majority of all workflows as specified, but potentially without the full level of polish and usability. It’s basically an unfurnished house. We will be testing this release ourselves with colleagues and our team. Then YOU get to test it! I know some of you are super excited about this, as am I.

For those of you who have not already sent emails to be on the beta tester group B list for testing the end of January, please do not hesitate to send me a quick email to tell me you would like to be on that list! We have 160 slots and special bonuses for testers! info@musicology.ca

Thats all for now, folks! Stay safe everyone and happy holidays!

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