Teaching apps could do away with music instructors

Imagine if an iPad was judging your musical ability instead of your fellow humans.

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The most terrifying thing about learning an instrument is the moment when you have to play in front of an examiner. It's also a moment that future generations might be spared if the new Scalebook app is any indication. The software is designed to help trainee violinists improve their scales in preparation for the big day. What's interesting, however, is that the app can listen to your playing via the iPad's microphone and provide feedback. There's even a mock exam setting where you'll play under test conditions and receive a written report on your performance. Crucially, this information is set out in the same style and format as you'd receive from a flesh-and-blood official from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

As we said, right now it's just designed to help budding violin players improve their scales, but enhancements are coming very shortly. An update, due in the spring, will widen its library to include a more diverse range of instruments include trumpet, flute and clarinet. Given the increasing visibility of online music teachers like Skoove, it seems possible that you could become an accomplished musician from the comfort of your own home. Although, until someone invents a robot that'll force you to practice instead of playing Xbox, you'll still have to overcome the motivation gap on your own.

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