Simplicity on the Screen

App screen - grand staff

The developers knew from the very beginning that I wanted this app to look and perform like that big white kitchen you’ve always wanted. You know, that beautiful white quartz countertop with nothing but a single bowl with some lemons in it. That stove with convection so everything cooks evenly. You know exactly where the coffee cups are because in addition to all the cookware matching and stacked perfectly behind those transparent cupboards, it is extremely well organized. Do you ever use apps and think, “Who designed this?!?” or, “Why can’t I understand these settings?!?” and, “What does that even mean?!” Well, I have. We can’t continue to work like this! All these years of training and teaching and here we are in this new era of technological education working on something that compares to those cheap winter shoes you bought last year but regretted it the first snowfall.

I went to visit the developers in Ottawa last weekend and it was a really great to finally meet them all in person. We’ve been communicating online since last Spring and finally putting a real human face to our virtual relationship was great! They were kind enough to let me visit their studio on Saturday and it was everything you see in the movies: screens everywhere, wires and loads of coloured codes on the monitors. They started off by showing me what was built so far, (I’ve only seen screen shots), so that was neat to see exactly how the app is working from a personal perspective. They installed Musicology onto my iPad which has been great to finally up close.

Musicology will be set up on TestFlight soon, which is like the App Store, but for developers to run diagnostics with live tests. I’ve learned that every single thing they do and create has to be tested multiple times in multiple ways so that we can be sure we have an amazing product. I’m thankful for their thoroughness!

Currently in progress: they are building the Grand Staff which has an interactive polyphonic keyboard that will input notes onto a line of the grand staff, with a musical palette to edit notation. I’m already thinking of all the fun things I can do with my students with that feature. They are also working on the metronome, which will be heard by both teacher and student, with a soothing click and real time adjustments. The guitar/ukulele tuner is also in test mode and I’m super excited to try that! My 6-year-old son takes ukulele lessons with one of our teachers and I currently pay $8CAN a month for a ukulele tuner app. How cool will it be for them to learn to tune the instrument directly from their virtual lesson?! That is the point of Musicology – to incorporate all the tools teachers use and put them into one streamlined video conference app with audio/video built for instruments (and a fun button to switch to conversation mode!)

We want to hear from you:

I love getting emails after a blog is sent out. I have a question for you: do you think it’s necessary to be able to see both the student’s and teacher’s video screen on the page while in the Grand Staff? It takes away screen space, but I do like to see my student’s face while they are answering questions. What do you think? See photo below.

One more thing about the metronome: here is a video that gives some idea of what it will look like in your lesson. I’ve noticed that when I am teaching on Zoom that as soon as my student puts their traditional metronome on I can’t hear anything else! All I hear is clicking. With Musicology, you can hear your student play along with the metronome beat and comment on their playing at the same time. A lifesaver!

Thank you again for all the support and keep the message requests coming! Take care, friends!

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