In 2014 two significant music education research reports (ABRSM & National College for Teaching and Leadership) were published in the United Kingdom. Their recommendations and or the priorities they identified, set out the next key steps to be taken by specific stakeholders (Policy makers, educators & schools and teacher) to advance certain aspect of music education. The current advances in technology and the recommendations and priorities, provided an opportunity to transform the landscape from the ground up.
Before and since the reports, a number of applications have been created that have sort to address some of the issues raised in the reports. The unassailable fact that seems to go unmentioned in all of this, is that when solutions appear to be created in isolation, while eliminating some inefficiencies they give birth to new frustrations that make it impossible to achieve overall efficiency in an endeavour. This is evident in the music education space by the fact that over the last few years some excellent applications have been created, they have generally fallen into 1 of 5 categories. They have sort to:
• Make aspects of the administrative side of teaching more efficient
• Provide tools that facilitate a more efficient teaching experience
• Facilitate teaching Online
• Facilitate the development or assessment of aspects of your musicianship skills
• Assess and or measure your psychomotor skills (level of technical proficiency).
While they have provided efficiency gains, they unfortunately have also moved us further away from achieving what should be the primary objective of integrating technology in music education, making the overall experience of teaching and learning to play a musical instrument as efficient as possible, every time. These apps provide ample evidence that a narrow perspective underpinned by an incoherent strategy continues to shape the future face of the landscape. As a consequence the overall experience of learning and or teaching someone to play a musical instrument remains inefficient.
To begin to eliminate the unnecessary inefficiencies and the frustrations they have and continue to cause, frustration that have become an accepted part of the process, requires a broader perspective and clear vision that must be centered around and shaped by the needs of the 2 most important stakeholders (A Teacher & Student), because they are different sides of the same coin. Only then will we begin to truly transform the landscape.
Built with this in mind Mytractice is the first of a kind app, it ushers in a new dawn. It is primarily focused on making the overall experience of teaching and learning to play a musical instrument as efficient as possible. To this end
• Through an intuitive interface it streamlines the steps that precede the actual act of practicing,
• It supports any practice strategy and learning methodology.
• Provides a teacher with an overview of how all their students are performing which can be filtered to view any individual students practice stats
• Facilitates real time practice feedback
• Opens the door to quantitative analysis based on precise and real time practice data
• Provides an overview of where an individuals practice time is being spent,
• Provides real time visible evidence of an individual’s musical development, and gaps in their learning
While for a variety of reasons it can be difficult to teach an old dog new tricks, even when it’s in their best interest. With Mytractice, in part focused on freeing you to focus on using as much of your often limited practice time practicing, it’s important that everything is done to raise its profile, so that young kids who are just beginning the hugely rewarding journey of learning to play a musical instrument, will have one less source of frustration or cause (overall inefficiency of the learning process) not to stay the course. Additionally with it providing an overall picture of how they are developing, the visible evidence can provide much needed encouragement that progress is being made, especially when it feels so slow, which in turn can help fuel the fire of determination during the challenging times they will undoubtedly experience. Anything that supports and encourages efficient independent learning in young children has got to be a good thing, I’m sure mum and or dad will agree.