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AI has an important role to play in the lucrative education industry. The global private tutoring market alone will be worth more than $102 billion by the end of this year, with public education offering an equally fruitful opportunity.
AI-powered music tutoring startup Tonara today announced the launch of its Tonaro 360 music tutoring service, along with a new music store. Throughout beta testing, music teachers reported an up to 68 percent increase in practice hours among students using Tonara 360.
So how does it work? I had a demonstration during my recent visit to Cyber Week in Israel, and it is seriously impressive.
Tonara offers a mobile and desktop app that includes everything from a dashboard for teachers to a library of licensed music for students. It also features a unique scoring system that measures how students perform and rates them accordingly, which is where AI comes into play.
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“Playing music has the unique ability to inspire those playing and listening, however the process for teaching and learning how to play is broken,” Tonara CEO Ohad Golan told me. “By using technology to help teachers more easily provide feedback and guidance to students, as well as providing students with the right environment to effectively learn how to play music, we are fixing music education by bringing joy back into the process, encouraging and supporting students to pursue their dreams of becoming musicians.”
Tonara’s AI can currently recognize piano, cello, flute, and violin. The company intends to add more instruments from these families shortly.
Tonara also includes a chat system so that students and teachers can stay in touch with each other, and today’s announcement of Tonara 360 means that in addition to teachers being able to record themselves playing the song for students to copy, those budding musicians have access to as much content as they like.
That content comes from the new Tonara Store, also launched today, which has license relationships with the likes of Disney, Sony, Universal, Warner, Schott, Alfred, and others.
Tonara also helps students overcome the most challenging element of learning to play an instrument — daily practice. By combining AI and computer algorithms, along with feedback from teachers, it is able to create an engaging and motivating practice environment.
When I saw it in action, it quickly picked up on errors in timing, notes, flow, and more to determine where the student needed to improve. It does this using the microphone on the device the app is running on, and it is smart enough to be able to pick up on differences in the environment. Playing piano in a small bedroom sounds very different from playing in a large hall, for example, but Tonara knows how to weigh all aspects of the performance.
Tonara also includes a “Teacher’s Zone.” This dashboard allows teachers to manage all of their students in one place, communicate with them between lessons, give at-home assignments, and monitor progress with real-time statistics. If teachers are tutoring privately, it will also help them collect payments, a feature that will be introduced in a forthcoming update.
Tonara’s AI compares pitch, rhythm, tempo, and fluency against either the teacher’s version of a specific score or the licensed material a student is copying. Gamification mechanisms offer rewards and stickers for goals achieved, and a leaderboard — which can be individual or based on groups — keeps things competitive to promote learning.
Tonara 360 is available as a monthly subscription service. In conjunction with Tonara 360, the company is introducing Tonara Store, which lets students select from its catalog of licensed music.
Tonara 360 is priced at $39 per month, with $20 going to the private tutor. Tonara Store includes over 1,000 music pieces, with score following, magic cursor, feedback, and more, and is priced at $9.90 per month.
What’s next for Tonara?
The company will soon offer an option to learn music remotely. Teachers won’t be restricted by geographic limitations, and students will be able to find any teacher for any instrument, regardless of where in the world they are located.
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