Hello fellow music teachers!
We have been very busy around here so I apologize for not writing to you sooner. Things are ramping up and launch is right around the corner. We are very excited about that.
Let me ask a question to those who are already attempting to teach online with traditional conferencing apps: do you really have anything close to the same engagement with students that you did with in-person lessons? Are you just getting by? After you’ve gone through all the settings to “enable original sound/high fidelity mode’’ and you’ve connected your ethernet cable to your device and you’ve put on your expensive, noise-cancelling headphones, is it anything close to what it was like when you were teaching students in the same room?
I have to tell you about something amazing I saw this weekend, something that blew my mind. We did a video shoot at a really beautiful space in Dundas called Millworks, and I saw the app come to life before my eyes. We were out to capture some real life action with the app, and my six-year-old son was playing the part of the student. Here’s the crazy part: my squirmy son was completely engaged the entire time! He essentially did a four hour lesson and didn’t get bored at all. We even heard him say, two hours in, “I love taking music lessons with you on the computer!”
They drew notes on the whiteboard at the same time. They sent emoji’s to one another that covered the entire screen. They worked on a 5-finger scale together, collaboratively, on the interactive Grand Staff. The teacher would drag notes to the staff and my son could do the same. They played the scale, together, on the interactive piano keyboard and the teacher could see the keys light up when he pressed them. Really cool. It was amazing to see and really helped reinforce the position for him so he could play the melody on the actual piano. The same was done for the interactive guitar fretboard and ukulele fretboard.
The metronome was played from the Home screen and then a rhythm sheet was brought up on the whiteboard while the metronome still clicked away, so he could clap along to the beat. Then, of course, emoji’s were on every screen for a fun reward.
The built in web search was super fun too. The teacher simply typed in a page they wanted to visit and sent it to the student to view interactively. Almost like a screen share but not entirely the same because no one has to see the private workings of the teacher’s screen. She could keep that to herself and simply use the built-in search engine. Amazing!
One cool thing I noticed right away is that when he and his teacher did some rhythm clapback together (by simply uploading a photo of a rhythm sheet) the clap did not cut out once. That was amazing for me to hear in real life because this has been a major problem with Zoom and other conferencing apps. They always cut out when they hear a clap. Not Musicology. The sound was completely smooth.
From just coming out of a six week, online schooling lockdown I have never seen my son so engaged in an educational program. It was as if he was back in the same room with his teacher. I don’t even think he realized he did a whole four hours. It was inspiring.
Here’s what is coming up: the selected Alpha testers (you know who you are!) will receive an email early next week with a form to fill out to get on the testing program. You can then teach with Musicology and really see for yourself what it is all about. Your teaching and help during this testing period is vital to the success of Musicology because you will be helping us uncover bugs and work them out before we launch – THANK YOU! Beta testers will follow shortly after. You will also receive a guide to all the icons and how to use them.
We value your input so please do not hesitate to send an email. Remember, we want you to criticize us and tell us what you really think. ‘Hey, I would really like to see such and such’ or ‘I think this feature can be smoother if it operated this way’. Our developers are on standby to make this the ultimate platform for teaching music online. And remember that we will always keep adding on new features. This is not the final product but only the first version.
I’ve been finding it difficult to explain to people just how amazing this platform is, only because it literally has never been done before. Our platform is nothing like any other platform out there. It’s hard to understand until you actually experience it, like I did last weekend.
I also want everyone to know that, of course, we will be offering a trial period so you can see what it’s all about before you pay anything – we know how important that is.
We’re really looking forward to our testers using Musicology for the first time and hearing their reactions. We are so excited to get this thing launched.
Take care and talk soon!