Virtual music schools could open the world to aspiring music students


I'll never forget my last piano lesson. Halfway through Fur Elise, I glanced over at my instructor, to find he was eating a bologna sandwich, with his eyes closed. I'd chosen him not because of his reputation, but because he was nearby. Even then, I thought there must be a better way, and now, thanks to the Internet, development is underway for a virtual music school that will allow students to study under masters anywhere in the world.

The EU has funded the Vemus Project, (Virutal European Music School) to develop the tools necessary for virtual music tutoring. The project began with instruments that produce a less complex, monophonic sound; the clarinet, flute, saxophone and recorder. The first goal was to design software that would help a student practice. The computer would listen to the practice, compare it with the written score, and provided feedback to the student about where he had gone wrong. This would go a long way toward overcoming ego-based learning problems.