69. What Makes an “Ugly Duckling” Different from a “Black Sheep?”
Over the recent years, certain traditions have been established in the organization of computer programs. They should definitely have windows and a menu, which can be traversed with a cursor. Our program has nothing of the sort. It doesn’t resemble any familiar methods of music education at all , nor traditional computer products. Because of this, I often receive negative feedback about its appearance. But what’s most important is that it works!
We didn’t want to overload the screen with windows and other common attributes of an interface. All of that is unnecessary. We swore off the use of a mouse; a toddler has a hard time getting the mouse to go where it needs to. It is much more comfortable to select commands through the computer keyboard. The program has connected all of my methods together, enriching them with animation and computer graphics. It effectively teaches adults and three-year-old toddlers.
Now, my students come to my lessons with a full arsenal! They learn much more material than before without any impediment. The program doesn’t only teach them to play songs and read notes, but also communicates their level of progress in numbers. Music lessons have been transformed from a punishment into a celebration, playtime, and the parents sighed with relief. Not only that, but now they can see the results with their own eyes; they can even learn themselves, alongside their kids.
Some time ago, the grandma of one of my students complained to me that her husband gets so absorbed in learning a new song that he won’t allow his granddaughter to approach the instrument! In Europe, there is a good, old saying: “In order to really become educated, one must have minimum of three diplomas – one for your grandparents, one for your parents, and one for yourself. Many generations of people have missed the opportunity to receive a music education. Now, with the help of our invention, they can make up for lost time, and this is wonderful news!
If I were to write about all of my hardships and challenges, to complain about human stubbornness and inability to accept new things, this would be a thick and sad book. I have had my fill from the chalice of the innovators, and can certainly say that it’s a bitter drink. But each time I see how effectively it works and what kind of results it’s capable of, I understand that we are on the right track. We really have done a good deed for music education.
Much that is in our software is unprecedented. It is best to get a copy of it for yourself, and see it at work. I want you to understand – the future of music education depends on productive training of playing skills, and this can only be achieved with a computer.