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Music Theory Software Wishlist?

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Hi Folks,

I’m thinking about developing a website to help people practice ear training/sight reading/music theory . My goal is to make something that’s a bit friendlier and more beautiful to use, something that would help beginners (like my mother) along ‘the path’.

It looks like folks on this forum have been thinking about teaching and learning quite a bit. I’m curious to hear if there are any ‘wishlist’ items, or favorite sites/apps that people are currently using.

I put up a little 7 question survey here: https://docs.google.com/a/musikata.com/forms/d/1cVpuRYNmc7oBf4FE2YN4XWXiwn0uY6yo1Nw0-8eXljw/viewform

If you’ve got a few minutes, I’d love to hear what you think!

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Thanks for generous response, this information is *very* helpful for figuring out what would make things better for people.

Here's a brief summary of what people sent in to the survey link. It talks about some of the tools people are using now, and what things they would like to see. Hopefully this information is useful to others too!

(Note: suggestions came from this forum and a few others, which explains the instrument-specific links)

= Current Sites/Apps People Use to Help Them Learn =

















The Amazing Slow Downer: http://www.ronimusic.com/index.html

How to play Jew's Harp: http://www.jewsharpguild.org/play.html

Pete Lockett's Drumming how-tos: http://www.petelockett.com/pete%20ne...go%20page.html

Functional Ear Trainer: http://www.miles.be/

= What People Would Change =

Make it easier to use: 17%

Make it look better: 13%

Make it less expensive: 13%

Make it easier to track my progress: 9%

Other: 48% (

- make it easier to find chords to a song

- find the right level for various types of students (e.g. juveniles/adults, beginners/advanced)

- improve the tones used, instead of just midi tones

- better browser/device compatibility

- more options, more interactive

- exercises should load quickly to help with repetition

- alternative metronome tracks (like drum beat tracks)

- backup tracks for practicing

- feedback for people as they play or sing to show when they are playing in tune

- genre-specific sections (e.g. common jazz chord progressions)

= Responses to Possible Features =

The percentage indicates the percentage of respondents who wanted this feature.

interval training: 20%

rhythm training: 20%

music theory: 17%

reminder emails to remind you to practice: 4%

a scoring system to help you track your progress: 11%

the ability to do exercises alongside your friends and track each other's progress: 10%

a few 'paths' or possible mini-courses that help guide beginners in a subject: 12%

Other: 6%

- app for notation reading

- chord recognition

- encourage people to play with others

- Specifically harmonic ear training

- play back of your playing/singing

- harmony training

- pairing dictation with sight reading

= $$$/Sustainability =

Not surprisingly, most people would prefer a website/app to be free

For people who said they would be willing to chip-in to fund development, many people preferred one-time fees, or a very low subscription fee.

But with so many existing free options, it would be hard for many people to justify paying for a site or an app, unless it was *really* fantastic.

= General Comments =

- A few people noted that perhaps ear training/music theory should not be taught at all online or through software. They suggest that software can sometimes distract learners from really listening.

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