Whenever I think of places like Silicon Valley, I imagine an image like something out of The Simpsons where they have flying cars, robots bringing lattes and everything is digital and self-serve – even your Pilates instructor is a robot! I know that’s not what it’s actually like but it’s one of those mysterious places that you hear about on the television or read about in an article and think ‘wow, I’d really like to see that place!’ I’ve never been into Hollywood, but Silicon Valley makes me pretty excited. Why am I even mentioning this? You’ll see below.

As CEO of a software company, I’ve had to create a team of amazing people around me and I feel so very grateful to have access to these amazing people. It is truly humbling. This week was focused on creating an advisory board and getting our new advertising/marketing firm up and running. We now have one of the top two advertising firms in Toronto working on Musicology – you’re going to see a lot of changes really soon.

Back to the Advisory Board: you might be wondering what the heck that is. It’s a team of professionals from different areas of expertise that are on the Musicology team to help us get off the ground. These people are usually from different fields so they can all compliment the project as a whole. (One day, I hope to do the same for another start up. It’s the circle of entrepreneurs!)

This is where I bring you back to Silicon Valley. One of our advisors actually lives and works there in the tech industry. I feel very lucky to have her valuable input to help guide us. It’s the kind of feeling you experience when someone out of nowhere does something super nice for you without any intention except to help you succeed. Makes the world seem like a big old ball of warmth with all the feels.

On the development side, the team at Arcane Four are on a much needed break for the holidays, and they’ve been working diligently to get as much done as possible before leaving. Apple has accepted our app and we are now able to open up testing to our immediate circle before entering beta testing. We have been making conference calls on the app and we did not experience one second of disruption! It was like I was in the same room with them. Crystal clear sound and the screen didn’t freeze once. We didn’t get a chance to play instruments together, but that is on the list for next time. Musicology will have minimal latency on the teachers end and is designed so that the student has the ultimate experience.

The palette for the Grand Staff drop-and-drag editor is still being built. That is the biggest part of the project and it’s going to be glorious when it’s ready. The idea is that you can play a note on the virtual keyboard (or a few notes if you have skinny fingers haha!) and they will pop up on the grand staff. Then, you just need to edit with the musical palette to create a small 2-4 bar song. This kind of feature I am really excited about. I have visions of teaching new beginner songs to my little elementary students and having them build a song of their Primer Piano Adventures book on the screen, reinforcing the new concept for that lesson.

The guitar portion is on it’s way. There is a big fret board across the screen and TAB with a treble clef below. It will be interactive as well so stay tuned for that. Currently, there are dots you can drag all over the fret board to show a hand position. There will be options to change the strings from a traditional appearance to fun rainbow strings – going with our rainbow theme that’s a popular trend with kids right now. There is a database of 2500 chords for guitar and another one for ukulele. There will also be a board for ukulele as well to play around with. Oh, and the fret board can be flipped if you’d like a different view or are left-handed. We hope to add more instruments in later updates. The more feedback we get from teachers like you, the better! We are always listening.

The designer has delivered his first concept design of graphics for the appearance and it looks very polished already. They call his part of the project UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience). He is like the interior designer who comes in and makes everything look pretty. Once our advertising team gets going we should have something for you to look at very soon.

As we enter a province-wide lockdown in Ontario, I wish everyone the very best for the holiday season. Hang in there! I know everyone is doing their part, and we are hopeful that Musicology will make lockdown life a little easier for music teachers in the near future.

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