New music learning web app listens, gives live feedback and adapts In real time
Skoove, a music learning platform claiming to offer the world's first interactive online piano lessons, opened to the public in beta on 15 September.
Operating through any web browser, Skoove is build around a library of expertly designed, software-driven lessons, which the learner navigates by connecting a keyboard or e-piano to a computer. The app gives aspiring and returning pianists real-time feedback on their progress, adapting to their pace as they advance.
Sign-up for the public beta is free and available now from the Skoove homepage.
The platform's course curriculum has been developed and curated by Dominik Schirmer, former lecturer at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. The curriculum combines a wide srange of popular music favourites with games which teach music theory and note reading.
Skoove's method breaks down popular songs and the relevant associated theory which they help to illustrate into easy interactive steps, codifying into software what has always been the best way to learn to play music. Motivated new students will be able to play their first melodies in just a few hours.
According to Dr Florian Penge, Skoove founder and CEO:
'We have designed Skoove to combine the best elements of a live tutor giving real-time feedback and adapting to the student with all the convenience of the web, being available anywhere 24/7, and at a fraction of the price.
'61% of the people in the US, UK, Australia, and Germany would like to learn a musical instrument, but currently only a fraction actually do*. With Skoove, we hope to make that dream a reality for anyone with access to a computer and desire to learn.'
Once users sign up through the Skoove homepage, they can access their unique profiles via any supporting device and web browser, with their progress and stored repertoire to be resumed at will. Following a free public beta period the full commercial service will offer subscriptions of between 5 and 10 euros per month. Skoove is currently available worldwide in English and German, with more languages to follow shortly.
Targeted primarily at beginner piano students aged 12 and older, Skoove works through any modern web browser with an epiano or keyboard connected via USB. A version for acoustic pianos that makes use of devices' internal microphones is currently in development, and is slated for release later this year.
What about the technology behind the platform? According to Stephan Schulz, Skoove co-founder and COO:
'With the support of world-renowned research institute, Fraunhofer IDMT (led by one of the inventors of the MP3), we have developed our own algorithm, 'web-based polyphonic real time pitch validation'. This compares the frequency of the student's input audio with the notes that should be played in order to estimate the likelihood that the student audio matches the target score. Our patent-pending control of the app via users' keys allows students to always stay focused on the piano and minimises distractions.'
Skoove was founded in August 2014 by two experienced industry professionals with a track record in running successful music technology ventures. Stephan Schulz founded the multiroom wireless hifi system Raumfeld in 2008, which was recently acquired by HG Captial/Teufel. During his 10 years at Native Instruments, Dr Florian Plenge grew the Traktor product line to become the world’s leading DJ platform with millions of users.
The company recently completed a seed funding round with the largest German early stage fund, the High Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), and continues to be supported by the Microsoft Ventures Alumni program.
The Skoove public beta is available for free sign-up from 15 September 2015. For more information visit the Skoove website.
*Sources: GFK (2012), Gallup Poll (2009), Nexus (2007)