Music - for those who love it - is a life-long pursuit. The landscape of the musical world is constantly changing, not only is sound and style, but also in the way we consume and distribute music. As music teachers and instructors, the job sometimes becomes even more complex.
Lori Kozlowski, Contributor for forbes.com, writes about a new program that can help both students and teachers:
Matt Sandler, musician and co-founder of Chromatik, was a music teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District and saw the strain on music learning and teaching.
Chromatik is a music technology company redefining how people practice, perform, and learn music. Essentially they are a music company, powered by technology, focused on education.
Regardless of device, the platform can be used anywhere. “Laptop, desktop, iPad — you can take it everywhere. You can use it in the classroom, in the recording space, with your band, in the garage, in your church,” said Sandler.
“We have pushed forward very heavily to make it 100% free to every musician in the world.”
Today the startup launched on iPad and on the Web. They are already being used by over 300 music organizations in the United States, including UCLA, the Salvation Army, and the Los Angeles Unified School District.
In addition, they have secured investment from a number of artists and business professionals in the music industry, including Grammy-winning artist Bruno Mars, Virgin Records co-chairman and co-founder of Shangri-La Music Jeff Ayeroff, and the Carnegie Hall Foundation’s Dr. Jennifer Snow.
The platform can be used by professional artists on stage, in ensembles, and during practice to streamline their playing and practice processes. It can also be used by the casual musician (as Sandler puts it, “the guy picking up a guitar to impress a girl, or a rock band that’s just forming”).
For students and teachers in schools, Chromatik offers a new way to learn and instruct.
“If you look at arts education, it’s a foundation that should be within our schools — in every program, for every student, regardless of demographic or area that you live,” he said.
Indeed, there is a nationwide movement, gaining attention, to change the focus on the future of education from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education to STEAM, adding the “Arts” as the “A” that rounds out an ideal curriculum.
As students in the United States continue to learn music in public schools, while budgets for arts education continue to be slashed — Sandler points out that this strains the teacher to student ratio, making learning and teaching music difficult.
“Students don’t have the resources they need to play music within the school districts. And even when they do, they don’t have access to their teachers. Music has the worst student to teacher ratio, in any subject area. It’s about 80 to 1 in bands, orchestras, and choirs across the U.S.,” he said. “It’s actually staggering.”
“Combine that with the fact that you can’t grade music on a Scantron. You have to listen to it. It creates a fundamental problem that teachers can’t give personal assessment to every student.”
In the education space, Sandler said they didn’t want to replace teachers, but rather provide a tool that could help teachers do their jobs better, and give students a better experience.
“It gives the teachers and students a way to perform, practice and collaborate in a way that they’ve never had before. It’s actually one of the first ways that music teachers can give homework assignments. Teachers give the assignments, students login at their home computer. They get the full set of music, they can record themselves, listen to themselves, and then take their best recordings and push them back to their teachers to get feedback.”
On all fronts, for the professional artist to the 6th grade flute player, Chromatik is hoping to make a cumbersome process easier. Sandler said, “We want to be the right hand platform for musicians. The musician’s OS.”
At Creative Soul, we love to teach music. We are constantly looking for new ways to innovate and streamline our programs. If you, or someone you know, is looking for a modern, progressive, and unique music education experience, get in contact with us. We offer a wide variety of programs that suit any age and skill level. Contact us today for a free evaluation.