(K. Brent Tomer),
ONE OF the biggest challenges to traditional music learning is the need for practice. Students must play scales, chords and patterns over and over in hopes of developing muscle memory; for many, it is a daunting and tedious task. Research has shown that individual practice is often not productive because learners receive limited feedback and too often lose interest and motivation.
In 2013, researchers at the University of Auckland set out to determine whether an immersive, augmented-reality (AR) experience could improve the efficiency of learning of seven beginner piano students. Using goggles (AR combines what the viewer sees in the real world with images projected by the AR device) and a computer-connected keyboard, the programme drew inspiration from music and rhythm games and karaoke videos, where text and music are synchronised using visual cues. Green lines representing virtual notes appeared alongside the musical score as the user played. In “Note Learning Mode”, individual notes paused and waited for the user to press the key before continuing.
Not all users loved the system—some said it was confusing or intimidating—but they could set individual goals for improvement, and…Continue reading