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New App Could Transform Music Teaching in Schools

Music students at work.

A new application developed at the University of Sussex helps a music instructor to deconstruct a musical piece so each player can view his or her part individually.

Credit: University of Sussex

Scientists and musicians at the University of Sussex in the U.K. have developed Syncphonia, a new application that enables a music teacher or conductor to deconstruct a piece of music into its component parts so notes and tempo for each player's instrument is displayed on an individual tablet and highlighted bar by bar.

The researchers say Syncphonia could potentially transform musical instruction by enabling each player to keep time with the rest of the orchestra without getting distracted.

"The app successfully removed barriers to learning, like getting lost, or getting out of time with the other players, while not 'deskilling' them--they still had to read the music," says Sussex professor Ed Hughes. "This resulted in fewer children becoming discouraged and leaving the group than their teacher had previously experienced, and allowed the group to progress more quickly, learn more complex pieces, and produce a better quality sound than without the app."

From University of Sussex (United Kingdom)
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