FAQ

Welcome to our FAQ page.  

 

If your question is not covered here or on our How To Videos page, please email support@musiah.com

 

Scroll down to see our Troubleshooting FAQ's.

 

General Faqs

How do I access the lessons?

If you are having difficulty accessing the lessons, the first thing to check is whether you are trying to access the lessons by logging in to the website at www.musiah.com? If yes, this is the issue. (You only need to access the customer login area of the website when you first download / install the software).

Once the software has been installed, to access the lessons, you simply need to start the Musiah application on your computer.

 

WIndows Users:

Start the application by double clicking the Musiah 'M' icon on your Windows desktop. If you cannot see the Musiah 'M' Icon, please search for the Musiah program within Windows and then start it.

 

Mac Users:

Launch the Musiah application from the launchpad or from the Applications folder.

 

Hopefully, the above tips will resolve any difficulty are may be experiencing accessing the lessons, but if not, please don't hesitate to let us know by emailing support@musiah.com and we'll be glad to assist you further as needed.

What is Musiah?

Suitable for adults and kids from age 7, Musiah is the world's first A.I. (Artificially Intelligent) virtual piano teacher capable of teaching a student to play the piano in a very natural way. It is a truly revolutionary concept in teaching piano lessons that comes in the form of a software application that runs on your computer.

 

Musiah responds to students' playing just like a traditional piano teacher and encourages them to progress at their own pace. It's a serious piano teaching tool that feels like fun and boosts the development of a student's playing skills by providing a new form of supervised practice.

 

Research proves that Musiah students learn 16 times faster than students learning the same syllabus through traditional piano lessons and they have a lot more FUN.

Why is Musiah important?

Musiah's online piano lessons is quite simply the greatest concept EVER developed in relation to teaching music and will profoundly change the way people study music, particularly piano.

 

Developed and refined over the last 17 years, the Musiah Piano Teaching Method is a proven method that has already been taught to over 80,000 students in Australia alone, and now through this extraordinary new invention based on Artificial Intelligence known as Musiah, you can experience the profound insight and exceptional teaching talents of acclaimed teacher, Musiah inventor and founder of Australia's largest national in-school keyboard music program, Brendan Hogan in the comfort of your own home — when it suits you.

Why choose Musiah as my piano teacher?

In the words of music maestro John Foreman (Musical Director of Australian Idol 2003-2008 and now Musical Director of Young talent Time): "Musiah absolutely the best value, the most convenient and the most fun way to learn piano".

 

Available 24/7, Musiah will be with you every step of the way as you learn a diverse range of pieces from classical to folk music, jazz and contemporary dance styles seamlessly presented in a never-before-seen environment so the lessons look and feel like fun, but you're really learning, progressing and achieving at the best possible pace for you.

How much does Musiah cost?

Please see our Piano Lesson Prices page.

How do I get started?

Please see our Getting Started page.

Minimum System Requirements

WIndows users:

Operating System: Win 10, 8, 7, Vista

Processor: Dual-core processor or better

Memory: 2 GB RAM / Graphics Memory: 128MB

Storage: 5 GB available hard disk space


Mac users:

Operating System: Mac OS 10.9.0 or above

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.13 GHz

Memory: 2 GB RAM / Graphics Memory: 128MB

Storage: 5 GB available hard disk space

 

iPad Users:

iPad 2 or better. Suitable iPad devices include iPad 2, iPad 3rd Gen, iPad 4th Gen, iPad Mini, iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, iPad Pro 12.9", iPad Pro 9.7", iPad 2017.

 

iPad Beta Testing:

Currently, Musiah Unity for iPad is is available for closed (invitation only) beta testing. If you would like to participate in the beta testing, please advise your Apple ID email and your iPad model if known by email to support@musiah.com. An invitation will be sent to the Apple ID email you provide us and will come from “TestFlight” (Apple’s beta testing system).

 

Additional Equipment:

A MIDI piano keyboard (see keyboard info) OR you can set up your computer keyboard to play piano notes. Alternatively, iPad users can use the On-Screen Keyboard available in Musiah Unity for iPad.

 

Notes:

  • For computer users, we recommend using a wired mouse. Wireless mice, even after calibration, are prone to latency and are therefore not recommended. Laptop tracking pads are also not suitable.
  • Windows laptops may require higher specifications.
  • Musiah software is not suitable for use on Microsoft Surface running Windows RT.
  • Bluetooth headphones are not recommended for use with Musiah as they lead to latency.


What kind of MIDI piano keyboard do I need?

Can I use a computer keyboard to play piano notes in Musiah's piano lessons?

Yes, absolutely. If you would love to try Musiah's piano lessons but don’t own a MIDI piano keyboard — this is a perfect temporary solution. Using the FREE Musiah Virtual Piano Keyboard you can now play piano notes on your computer keyboard while you learn how to play the piano with Musiah. Free Virtual Piano Info.

Is Musiah compatible with MAC?

Yes.  Musiah-for-Mac is now available. Simply take our Free Online Piano Lessons 14 Day Trial and one of the available download options will be Musiah-for-Mac.

 

What is the story of Musiah?

While Musiah is just as suitable for adults as for kids, to make the lessons fun for our younger students, lessons take place within the context of an adventure story.

 

Set in the year 4015, the piano student is one of the few surviving humans in the galaxy and with the galaxy under threat from a race of invading machines known as the Atonals, the student (you) must save the galaxy from imminent destruction.

 

The student, together with other characters, join together to help legendary pianist and renowned piano teacher Musiah Anthemius Felc, the last of the Musiah, save the galaxy by unlocking the Lost Song which is hidden within the pages of an ancient musical textbook.

 

By unlocking the Lost Song the student will become the next Musiah and reveal a profound mystery which will enable them to repel the Atonals and save the galaxy.

 

Related Articles

Musiah Story — Learning Piano Is Now Fun

Online Piano Game

Video: The Musiah Story — Making Piano Lessons Fun

What ages is Musiah suitable for?

Musiah is suitable for students from age 7* to adulthood**.

 

*While most students at age 7 are able to comfortably use/learn with Musiah, it should be understood that children develop at different rates, so a small percentage of 7 year olds may not be quite ready to begin learning piano/keyboard (with Musiah or any other piano/keyboard teacher).

 

**Sometimes mature adults ask, "Am I too old to learn piano with Musiah?" As Musiah is a computer-based learning environment, you will need to be able to comfortably navigate around your own computer. As long as you have a basic level of computer skills, age is no barrier. As a rough guide, if you know how to send an email with an attachment, you have the necessary computer skills to learn and thrive with Musiah.

What level of playing skills will a student achieve through Musiah?

By the time a student has mastered "The Lost Song" at the end of the Musiah piano lesson syllabus, they will have reached approximately a Grade 5-6 standard of playing. For more details on this or related questions, please see: Crystal Ball Gazing: Where Will My Musiah Piano Lessons Take Me?

Refund Policy

Since we offer each of our new customers a free 14 day trial within which to satisfy themselves that Musiah works on their computer, we have a no refund policy.

 

As there is only a very limited range of things that can go wrong with the Musiah software, it would be very rare for Musiah not to run as intended on your computer IF you provide a PC that is in good working order and meets the minimum system requirements and a MIDI keyboard in good working order.

 

Having said that, if you do experience issues (whether during or after the 14 day trial), please do NOT assume it is a fault of the software but rather a performance/technical issue at your end — which we are more than happy (within reason) to assist you to diagnose and hopefully solve.

 

Performance issues can be caused by a number of factors at your end that are beyond our control such as: you may have a virus, you may be running too many programs in the background, your hard drive may need to be de-fragmented, you may have a faulty usb port or other hardware fault, etc.

 

If you would like to request assistance with a technical issue, please simply email support@musiah.com.

How do I cancel my subscription?

To cancel your account at any time, simply log in to your account (by clicking 'Login' at the top right corner of this website). Then enter your email address and your Musiah password.

 

Once inside the login area, click "Subscription", then "Cancel Subscription".

 

Please note: 3 working days notice is required for your cancellation to take effect. This means you must cancel 3 working days prior to the next billing/subscription period to avoid being charged for the next period.

How do I re-activate my account?

Re-activating your account (e.g. if it has been cancelled or suspended) is easy.

 

Please simply log in to your account (by clicking 'Login' at the top right corner of this website). Then enter your email address and your Musiah password.

 

Once inside the login area, click "Subscription", then "Manual Payment" and follow the prompts.

Why do some debit cards / pre-paid credit cards experience issues when signing up?

From time to time, customers who are using either a debit card or a pre-paid card experience issues when attempting to sign up for a Musiah subscription.

 

Please be assured that we have checked with both our bank and our payment gateway, and both advise that we are fully set up to support card types such as debit cards and pre-paid cards.


We have also had our programming team to do some manual testing for these card types using their personal debit / pre-paid credit cards, and using each card type, we have been able to sign up without any issues.


If you are experiencing an issue with one of these card types, it is specific to your card and most likely stems from the fact that not all cards, especially debit cards / pre-paid credit cards are created equal.

 

Each bank / card issuer may put their own parameters / restrictions on how their card may be used.

 

So for example, a debit mastercard issued by one bank may allow you to set up recurring transactions such as a Musiah subscription, whereas the same card type issued by another bank may not.


Even if you use the card for lots of online transactions without problems, these are usually one-off purchases. With Musiah the transaction type is different insofar as it is a subscription (i.e. a recurring transaction).


Another possibility is: a debit mastercard issued by one bank in your country of residence may allow that card to be used for transactions with merchants outside the country, whereas another bank issuing the same card type may not.


And lastly, an issue that can arise with not only debit / pre-paid cards but also regular credit cards is if the cardholder is in one location (e.g. New York) and wishes to pay for a relative in another location (e.g. Washington state), depending on the card issuer, the difference in address of the two parties can cause an issue.


So unfortunately, we cannot tell you exactly what the issue is, but we can confirm that it is not at our end. We are as set up as we can be.


Hopefully, if you are able to try another card, that should resolve the issue, or, in light of the above information, if you have a discussion with your bank / card issuer, it may be possible to pin-point the issue from their side.

What size is the download?

The Musiah piano lesson course is divided into 13 levels. As each level is completed, the next level is downloaded. The initial download file is the app itself at around 69.4MB for the Windows version and 26MB for the Mac version. Then, straight after installation, the app will start downloading content files for the first level totalling around 500MB. (Level 1 has more data than subsequent levels. Later levels are smaller to download, typically 200-300MB).

Will I need to purchase any additional piano books to learn piano with Musiah?

No. All pieces in the Musiah piano lesson course are included when you become a subscriber, so there are significant savings compared to the costs of piano sheet music normally associated with traditional piano lessons, not to mention benefits to the environment that come from not needing printed piano sheet music.

Why was Musiah developed?

Piano teacher & Musiah inventor Brendan Hogan is passionate about bringing the joy of learning piano to students everywhere who for one reason or another find it difficult to access traditional piano lessons.

 

Brendan Hogan has trained music teachers for over 17 years and was inspired by the hundreds of teachers he has trained to develop Musiah to ensure piano lessons are delivered to all students at a consistently high level and to put out-of-this-world piano lessons within reach of people everywhere across the globe. By learning piano with Musiah, students will receive all of the benefits of traditional piano lessons and will learn to play piano 16 times faster in a way that is very affordable, convenient and FUN.

What is ‘The Musiah Piano Teaching Method’?

Musiah inventor Brendan Hogan has spent more than 17 years and thousands of hours training, observing and coaching hundreds of teachers in the highly specialised art of piano teaching.

 

As a result his piano teaching method has evolved and he has developed a highly efficient and unique take on traditional piano teaching techniques. His method is known as 'The Musiah Piano  Teaching Method'.

How does Musiah monitor my progress?

The main Musiah piano lesson application runs on the student's local computer and a secondary application that tracks every student's progress is run via an internet connection. Locally, Musiah monitors every note played by the student giving continuous feedback and guidance on how they're going and what they need to do to improve (just like a traditional piano teacher) while also using centrally gathered data to continue to develop and refine the curriculum so the course will continue to improve and evolve.

How long will it take to complete the entire Musiah piano lesson course?

Most students learning with a traditional piano teacher for half an hour once a week take around 5-6 years to complete the 13 levels. With Musiah's online piano lessons, it will take considerably less time. For more details please see: Crystal Ball Gazing: Where Will My Musiah Piano Lessons Take Me?

Will I need a private piano teacher while using Musiah?

No, Musiah is a standalone piano teaching tool and students using the program will receive all the benefits of traditional piano lessons. Invented and developed by pianist, composer and piano teacher Brendan Hogan, the A.I. (Artificially Intelligent) component of the Musiah piano lessons program means students receive quality instruction and responsive experienced assistance as if Brendan was teaching each student personally.

How does Musiah encourage students to practice the piano?

First and foremost, while Musiah is a serious piano teaching tool, the interactive game-like nature of the program makes learning to read and play piano pieces more fun than ever.

 

Additionally, there are multiple layers of incentives to encourage students to practice and continue to progress through the course.

 

For example, students must complete each piano piece to a high standard to collect stars that are required to unlock the piano performance challenges at the end of each level.

 

By completing the piano performance challenges, students acquire pieces of the clavitrisk (a special key) that will ultimately unlock 'The Lost Song' and save the galaxy.

 

Students are also promoted to a higher rank at the end of each level, the ultimate rank being that of Musiah which students are promoted to upon completion of the course.

Why is it important to teach music theory?

Teaching music theory is very important as it helps students to read and understand the piano pieces they're playing and gives them the skills to learn other pieces of their choosing. Musiah teaches all required theory in a gradual and natural way as students progress through the program.

Will I receive feedback from Musiah?

In addition to the instant feedback you will receive from Musiah during your lessons, Musiah's online piano lessons also provide optional progress reports that can be emailed to parents weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

 

Musiah also has unique Progress Metrics that enable a student to compare their progress with the site average and with students in their age group in their state, country or the world. Additionally, reports and/or progress metrics can be shared with friends/relatives so they can be kept up to date with how the student is progressing.

 

And for the ultimate feedback, students can send a video of their piano playing to Musiah who will email them personally with encouraging feedback and suggestions for improvement. To send a video to Musiah, click HERE.

Can I install the Musiah piano lesson software on more than one computer?

Yes, you can install the Musiah piano lesson software on as many computers as you wish — even if they have different IP addresses.

What is Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)?

A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) focuses on the development of machines or computer programs that can engage in intelligent human behaviours.

 

For exaple, Musiah is an expert A.I. system. Expert systems are typically computer programs dedicated to solving problems and giving advice within a specialised area of knowledge with the aim of matching the performance of a human specialist.

 

Musiah utilises a number of new approaches to signal and image processing and a number of aspects of artificial intelligence, mainly pattern recognition and inference to overcome a wide range of short-comings in other non-human tuition applications that have to date prevented artificial tuition of complex subjects such as learning a musical instrument.

 

Read More about Musiah's Artificial Intelligence

 

For a more detailed explanation/overview of A.I., you may find the following article interesting... 

 

http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/whatisai/whatisai.html

Will the Musiah piano lesson software be upgraded?

Yes. Musiah uses data from each student's progress to ensure the Musiah piano lesson course will continue to improve and evolve. Musiah also monitors all feedback provided to continually update and evolve the program.

Troubleshooting Faqs

Software Installation Instructions

To install the Musiah software on your computer, please review these Software Installation Instructions.

Download Issues

If you are currently experiencing a download issue, please bear in mind that there are many factors beyond our control that can potentially cause download issues, e.g. issues on your computer / network issues, viruses, etc.

 

As a place to start, please check that your computer;

  • meets the minimum system requirements
  • has sufficient free disk space
  • is plugged in during the download (as opposed to running on battery).

 

If yes, the next thing to do is disable your anti-virus, then try downloading  again.


If at any stage, the download seems to have slowed down or seems to be taking an unusually long time, check that your internet connection is not being "shaped" by visiting www.speedtest.net and clicking "Begin Test". If your download speed is really low, say somewhere around 0.1Mbps or 0.2Mbps, your internet connection is definitely being shaped, which usually means you have exceeded the download limit on your plan. Your download speed will usually return to normal at the commencement of your next ISP billing cycle.


If you are attempting to download the Musiah software from within a school, university or large corporation, there may be a proxy server involved. The Musiah software will attempt to use your default credentials for the proxy server details which will work in most cases. But if the download is not working for you at a school, university or large corporation, try downloading it at home.


If you are using a university or college computer and you are having difficulty downloading the software off-campus (e.g. at home), you may need to download and install the software on campus.

 

If the issue does not appear to be related to any of the above factors, you may need to engage a local computer technician as download issues are almost never caused by either the Musiah application or our web server.

 

That said, we remain more than willing to assist you in any way we can.

I can't hear audio from my headphones/speakers

First check the basics:

  • Make sure your speakers/headphones are plugged firmly into the correct port on your computer.
  • If using speakers, make sure they are turned on.
  • Also check the sound on your computer is not muted.

 

Next check these points:

  • Some computers get confused if more than one set of speakers/headphones is plugged in at the same time. Try only having one pair of headphones (turn off any speakers) or only one set of speakers (unplug headphones and turn of any additional speakers).
  • Some computers get confused if you have multiple audio drivers installed on the computer. Musiah by default will use whatever audio driver is set as the default for the Operating System. So if you are trying to hear the sound on a pair of speakers that you normally use with an audio driver other than the your Operating System's default audio driver, this could be the issue.
  • Musiah is not designed to be used with external audio hardware (e.g. an mbox) as this can contribute to latency issues. If you are trying to hear the sound via an external audio device, this will not work. You need to connect your speakers/headphones directly to your computer.

 

If you need further assistance, please email support@musiah.com

I'm experiencing crackly or stuttering audio

Adjusting the Audio Buffer size can assist with this issue. The audio buffer size can be adjusted on the Settings screen.

 

If you are experiencing crackly or stuttering audio, try moving the slider to the right to increase the audio buffer size. If this does not solve the issue then it may be that your computer does not meet the minimum system requirements. If this is not the issue and you would like further assistance, please email support@musiah.com

Keyboard detection issues

The first and most important point: If your MIDI keyboard is not being detected, please do NOT assume it is a fault with the Musiah software. In all honesty, this particular issue is NEVER due to a fault with the Musiah software. It is always due to issues such as those described below.

 

Please go through each of these points carefully. If you require further assistance, we will be happy to help.

 

To start with, make sure that your keyboard is connected to your computer at that the keyboard's power switch is set to "ON".

 

Note: Always turn your MIDI keyboard "ON" first, then start the Musiah app. If you turn your MIDI keyboard on after starting the Musiah app, the app may not see your keyboard until you have restarted the app.

 

Next, if your keyboard has its own sounds/speakers, turn your keyboard volume down to ZERO so you will be able to hear the Virtual instruments within the Musiah app.

 

Then check that the correct  MIDI Device is selected from the MIDI Device drop-down list on the Settings screen within the Musiah app. If you are using a USB 2.0 cable, the correct device will be your MIDI keyboard. If you are using a MIDI-to-USB cable, it will be your cable.

 

If your keyboard/cable is not displayed on the MIDI Device drop-down list, or if it is displayed, but despite this, the keyboard is not being detected or the app is not responding when you press the keys on your keyboard, try/check the following:

 

  • If you are using a MIDI-to-USB cable, try switching the two plugs around at the back of your keyboard.
  • Regardless of what type of cable you are using, there could be an issue with the USB port on your computer. Try plugging the cable into a different USB port. Desktop users please note: Usually the usb ports at the back of your tower are more reliable than the ones at the front.
  • If trying different USB ports does not resolve the issue, please also make sure your computer has the latest driver(s) for the each of your USB ports.
  • If your keyboard is reasonably sophisticated, it may have a setting called "Local ON / OFF". If you just want to play your keyboard away from the computer, you would normally have it set to "Local ON". Usually, "Local" needs to be set to "OFF" when using Musiah (or other midi software). For the sake of completeness, whether Local is currently ON or OFF, try changing the setting. (If changing this setting does not resolve the issue, be sure to put the setting back the way originally found it).
  • Some makes and models of keyboard have two different modes of operation, sometimes referred to as usb 'device' modes. If this applies to your keyboard, make sure your your keyboard is operating in 'midi mode' (sometimes this is called 'usb-to-host') as opposed to 'storage mode' (a mode for backing up song / instrument data to your computer).
  • If you are unfamiliar with the general functions / settings of your keyboard, please refer to your keyboard manual. If you don't have a copy of the manual, google it online, e.g. "Roland RD64 manual". When the search results are displayed, always choose one from the keyboard manufacturer's website in preference to other websites claiming to offer the same manual.

 

If you're using a USB 2.0 cable:

Instances of keyboards with USB 2.0 not being detected are pretty rare. Assuming there are no faults with your computer or keyboard, and no settings on your keyboard that are preventing it from sending midi data to your computer, there are only a few issues that can cause this.

  • If you have a 64 bit operating system, check that your MIDI keyboard is compatible with your Operating System. Occasionally, we have come across instances where customers had a keyboard with drivers that were not compatible with a 64 bit operating system, so no matter what music software they used, the keyboard would not work.
  • There may a fault with the socket on the back of your keyboard. The cable plug should fit firmly in the socket. If it is loose, this could be the issue.

 

If you're using a MIDI-to-USB cable/converter:

The most common cause of issues with this type of cable is an incompatibility between the MIDI-to-USB cable and the keyboard. If you have tried/checked all the above points and your issue is still persisting, the fact that your keyboard is not being detected does not mean there is anything wrong with your MIDI keyboard, or with your cable for that matter.

One of our earliest customers had a 17 year old digital piano, and initially she tried a MIDI-to-USB cable that did not work. Because one of our team members happens to live not far from the family, he went to her house and tried a different MIDI-to-USB cable which worked fine. But the interesting part was, he took her original cable away and tested it with a different keyboard and it worked fine. So there was nothing wrong with either the keyboard or the cable. It was just a minor incompatibility issue which raises its head from time to time.

 

For this reason, we recommend using a keyboard with USB 2.0 capability (if possible).

 

If your keyboard requires you to use a MIDI-to-USB cable (i.e. it doesn't have a USB 2.0 port), we recommend buying a good quality cable (do not buy the really cheap cables on e-bay).

 

For Yamaha keyboards, ideally you should use a Yamaha midi-to-usb cable such as the Yamaha UX16. For Roland keyboards, try the Roland UM-ONE.

 

If these cables are not available in your area, a make / model of midi-to-usb cable that seems to work with just about every make / model of keyboard (including Yamaha / Roland) is the M-Audio UNO. Please note: This observation is based on feedback / experience from our customers. It is not a recommendation.

 

With any keyboard / cable model you may buy, there is always a 1-2% chance that there may be an issue of some sort and if this happens with a product that we recommend, it has been our experience that folks are inclined to say, "but you recommended it".

 

Other things to try:

  • Make sure the MIDI in/out connectors are plugged in correctly at the back of your keyboard. If in doubt, try switching the connectors around.
  • Also make sure you are using the latest drivers for your MIDI-to-USB cable/converter.

 

On the topic of drivers, if you happen to be using a Yamaha keyboard OR a Yamaha midi-to-usb cable, I can honestly say that we have more customers with Yamaha driver issues than all the other makes and models of midi keyboard / midi-to-usb cable put together. Not only are Yamaha (in my opinion) not on top of their driver management, many of the pages on the Yamaha web site that are supposed to bring you to the relevant driver are broken — and have been broken for several years.

 

If you need a Yamaha usb-midi driver, here is a page that contains some generic Yamaha drivers that should work with all their keyboards / cables. (Mac users will notice that, at the time of writing, this page doesn't contain any drivers beyond OSX 10.9. That's because Yamaha still haven't bothered to produce drivers for OSX 10.10).

 

http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/global/en/downloads/firmware_software/mididrivers/

 

If none of the above suggestions / steps resolves your issue, you may find it useful to test your keyboard with MIDI-OX (Windows users) or with MIDI Monitor (Mac users).

How to test your keyboard with MIDI-OX (Win) or MIDI Monitor (Mac)

Regardless of which type of cable you are using, there is a simple test you can do to ascertain whether there is an issue with your MIDI keyboard and/or your particular cable/keyboard.

 

Windows Users:

 

First, simply download and install this small free MIDI diagnostic tool called MIDI-OX.

http://download.cnet.com/MIDIOX/3000-2170_4-75451990.html

 

After you've installed it, plug your keyboard and cable in, turn the keyboard ON, turn your keyboard volume down to ZERO, and run the MIDI-OX app. Select Options > MIDI Devices and it will list all midi input devices in the top left panel.

Click on the MIDI input device that corresponds to your keyboard/cable (it will turn blue) and also click on one of the midi output devices shown such as Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth (this will turn blue as well) and click OK.

 

Note: This is very rare, but... if (when trying to select your midi input / output device) you receive an "Undefined External Error" message (or similar), google "midi-ox" followed by the exact error you are getting, e.g. "midi-ox undefined external error". This will bring up articles explaining how to fix the issue (which, in the examples I have seen, stemmed from errors in the computer registry).

 

Next, if your midi keyboard has its own sounds, make sure that your keyboard volume is turned down to ZERO so you can hear the sound coming from your computer.

 

Now check that the Main Output Monitor (within MIDI-OX) is being displayed. To do this, under the MIDI-OX menu items, find the 5th icon from the left (just to the left of the bright green icon). If you mouse over this 5th icon it will say "Main Output Monitor". Click it once to make sure what you are seeing is in fact the "Main Output Monitor".

 

Now play some notes on your keyboard and you should hear them.

 

You should also see some green and blue writing appear on the screen (in the black area).

 

If you don't see any writing on the screen when you play keys on your keyboard, the test has failed, in which case your options are as follows:

 

If you are using a MIDI-toUSB cable,

1. You could try a different MIDI-to-USB cable. We recommend buying a good quality one such as the M-AUDIO UNO (do not buy the really cheap cables on e-bay) OR
2. You could buy a MIDI keyboard that has USB 2.0 compatibility which would eliminate MIDI-to-USB compatibility issues (this is by far the most reliable option - see our Keyboard Info page for tips on what to look for when choosing a MIDI keyboard).

 

If you are using a USB 2.0 cable... you need a new keyboard, i.e. it's a keyboard fault.

 

If there is green/blue writing on the MIDI-OX screen, for each note you play on your keyboard, you should see ONE "note on" message (when you press the key) and ONE "note off" message (when you release the key).

 

If there are two "note on" / "note off" messages for each note you play, this is almost always a keyboard fault which is quite common in the poorer quality keyboard brands such as "Base" or "Meike". (Please avoid these brands as they are dreadful).

 

The only time two "note on" / "note off" messages might not be a keyboard fault is if you have a very fancy / high-end keyboard with lots of customizable settings, in which case it could be a setting on the keyboard. In this case, try to disable any unnecessary extra layers/pads on your keyboard (you'll need to consult your keyboard manual). If you don't have a copy of the manual, simply google it.

 

Mac Users:

 

To test your MIDI keyboard, first download and install a free MIDI diagnostic tool called MIDI-Monitor which is available HERE:

 

http://www.snoize.com/MIDIMonitor/

 

Similar to the instructions for Windows users above, the basic idea is; as you play keys on your keyboard, MIDI monitor will display details of the MIDI data it is receiving.

 

You should see ONE "note on" message (when you press the key) and ONE "note off" message (when you release the key).

 

All customers:


If the test does not work (i.e. no writing is displayed on the screen OR two "note on" / "note off" messages per note are displayed, you can be assured that the issue is not related to the Musiah software.

 

If you would like further assistance, please email support@musiah.com and be sure to include the exact make and model of both your midi keyboard and (if applicable) your MIDI-to-USB cable/converter.

Keyboard latency (delay) / sync issues and computer performance issues

Keyboard latency is a delay that can occur between when you play a note on your MIDI keyboard and when you hear the sound from your speakers/headphones, particularly on older computers, computers with low specifications or computers with performance issues.

 

Computers that experience latency are also quite likely to experience sync issues — this is when Musiah's baton/the cursor point to things on the sheet music at times that are out of sync with the click track/backing track.

 

Keyboard latency/sync issues generally do not arise if your computer meets the minimum system requirements.

 

Also, latency is more common on Windows computers than Mac computers because Macs have comparatively superior audio drivers.

 

Currently, the Musiah software uses the default WIndows / Mac audio drivers. On a Mac, a latency of 10ms or less is achievable, which is negligible. However, on a Windows  computer, latency usually sits at around 26ms — which is as good as it usually gets on most Windows computers.

 

Although this is just about noticeable (if you're very attuned to it), it is still quite subtle and very playable. Where we tend to receive reports / perceptions of latency is when the latency increases beyond 26ms, typically due to computer performance issues.

 

Just to be clear, when the app is running as intended, there should be no significant latency. If you are experiencing latency, it is not a fault of the software, but rather an external issue which is beyond our direct control. That said, it is usually possible to make some adjustments to your computer that will improve latency (assuming your computer meets the minimum system requirements) and is otherwise in good working order.

 

If you are using one of the older versions of the Musiah software, simply switching to Musiah Unity may resolve or at least improve the latency.

 

This is primarily because older versions of the app use virtual instruments that are much more memory hungry than the virtual instruments ih Musiah Unity. Even if your computer has good specs on paper, if the sound card is not very good, simply choosing Musiah Unity can make a difference.

 

Also, on the Settings screen in Musiah Unity, there is a 'Latency' slider one can adjust.

 

As an example, in Windows, the default (recommended) latency setting on this screen is generally 26ms. If you move the slider to the left a little, e.g. to 16ms, you'll find the latency will improve, but you will probably experience crackling audio.

 

On some Windows computers, you may be able to reduce the latency setting a little without encountering crackling audio, but for most Windows computers, 26ms is the optimal stable setting.

 

By contrast, on many Mac computers the latency setting in Musiah Unity can often be reduced to 10ms or even 5ms without encountering crackling audio.

 

The Unity version of Musiah is available to download from the customer login area of this website (look for a link on the right of the 'Dashboard' page).

 

Irrespective of which version of Musiah you are using — to check your computer for factors that could be causing / contributing to latency, please go through each point/suggestion below.

 

Checking Your Computer For Performance Issues

 

Before you start, please note that Musiah is not designed to be used with external audio hardware (e.g. an mbox) as this can contribute to latency issues.

 

Also, please do NOT use bluetooth headphones as these are prone to significant latency when used with Musiah.

 

Be sure to connect your (wired) speakers/headphones directly to your computer.

 

First, check your CPU usage as follows:

 

Windows users:

 

  • When you start up your computer (before starting the Musiah app), right-click the task bar and select "Start task manager".
  • Click the "Performance" tab.

 

Mac users:

 

Go to: Finder>Applications>Utilities>Activity Monitor (double click Activity Monitor)

 

All customers:

 

If your CPU usage is more than 20%, this suggests a performance issue on your computer. For example, if your computer when idling is running at 50-100% CPU usage, this will definitely cause latency and/or sync issues. The higher the CPU usage, the more severe the issues will be.

So the first, and very important step is to exit/disable all non-essential programs that are running in the background chewing up resources, especially those that start up automatically as soon as you boot up your computer even if you are not using them.

 

Common culprits are listed below, though I'm sure you'll find a few other equally unnecessary programs / services if you look carefully for them;

 

  • anti-virus (one is fine, but if you have several 'security' related programs, this is not necessary for most people. Try disabling them to see if that helps.)
  • skype
  • skype updater
  • internet browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer, Chrome, FIrefox, Safari)
  • Google Updater
  • Apple Push service
  • Bonjour service
  • iPod service / updater
  • Garmin service / updater
  • printer services
  • Adobe Acrobat Synchronizer / updater
  • Adobe flash updater
  • Adobe Updater Startup Utility, Adobe Acrobat Reader / updater
  • dropbox (if you don't use this regularly, disable it)
  • iTunes Helper
  • Camera software
  • Quicktime

 

Any of these applications will run fine even if they are not enabled at start-up — you can simply open them when you want to use them. There is absolutely no need for them to be running all the time, i.e. just because you turn on your computer. So as you find them, please disable them so that they do not run on 'start-up'.

 

If you need help doing this, please ask a friend, relative or computer technician. We are more than happy to provide support that relates to the Musiah software, but we do not have the resouces to provide general computer support.

 

Other midi programs running in the background can also contribute to latency, e.g. piano marvel and playground sessions are examples of midi programs that both run services in the background from the moment you boot up your computer even if you are not running those programs, and each of these is known to cause latency in Musiah. Please disable these and services associated with any other midi applications / DAWs.

 

Next make sure the hard drive on which your operating system is installed has at least 15% free space. If Musiah is installed on a different hard drive, please also make sure that drive has at least 15% free space.

 

Also make sure your computer has all the latest Operating System updates.

 

If the issue is still persisting, run a virus/spyware scan to make sure your computer is not underperforming due to a virus.

 

Windows users:

If your main hard drive(s) are not SSD and have not been defragmented recently, please defragment them.

 

You may also wish to run a registry cleaner. A good free one is CCleaner. (Google "ccleaner").

 

To further tweak your computer's settings, right-click 'Computer' and select 'Properties, then 'Advanced system settings.

 

Under the 'Advanced' tab, next to 'Performance', click 'Settings'. Under the 'Visual Effects' tab, select 'Adjust for best performance' and click OK.

 

Under the 'Advanced' tab, next to 'Performance', click 'Settings' again.This time, under the 'Advanced' tab, next to 'Adjust for bet performance of', make sure 'Programs' is selected. If it is not, select 'Programs' and click OK.

 

After you have made these changes, restart your computer and see if the latency has improved.

 

If not, there are a couple of further settings you can tweak.

 

Right-click 'Computer' and select 'Properties, then 'Advanced system settings'.

 

Under the 'Advanced' tab, next to 'Performance', click 'Settings' once again. Under the 'Advanced' tab, next to 'Virtual memory', click 'Change'.

 

Note: You only need to change the settings here if the 'Currently allocated' paging file size is significantly less than the 'Recommended' size. If yes, follow the steps below...

 

To change the settings;

  • first deselect 'Automatically manage paging file size for all drives'
  • then select 'Custom size'
  • In the 'Initial size' field, enter an amount roughly the same as or slightly less than the 'Recommended' size
  • In the 'Maximum size' field, enter an amount greater than the 'Recommended' size but less than 'Space available'
  • Finally, click OK and restart your computer.

 

In case you're wondering, it's perfectly safe to make these changes to the paging file size, and if you don't find them beneficial, you can always undo them by returning here and selecting 'Automatically manage paging file size for all drives'. 

 

All customers:

As far as computer performance goes, now that you reached this point, there is not much else you can do in terms of computer tweaking / tidying up without going to extremes.

 

That said, one slight possibility that remains is a midi keyboard / midi-to-usb cable driver issue.

 

Generally, midi keyboards and midi-to-usb cables either work (with no latency) or they don't work at all. However, if you have tried all of the above and you still have latency, it is worth checking that you have the latest driver for your midi keyboard or (if applicable) your midi-to-usb cable as this may make a difference.

 

Note: If you are using a midi-to-usb cable, you only need to check the driver for the cable, i.e. you do not need to check your midi keyboard driver. This is because the midi-to-usb cable is a midi device in its own right. When connected to your computer, the computer only sees your midi-to-usb cable. It doesn't know or care what midi keyboard (if any) is at the other end of the cable. As far as the computer is concerned, the midi-to-usb cable is effectively your keyboard. In other words, you only need to check the driver for the device that is connected directly to your computer.

 

Most of the time, you can find drivers for your keyboard or midi-to-usb cable simply by googling the make and model of your keyboard / cable followed by the word "driver", e.g.  "Roland RD64 driver".

 

When the search results are displayed, always choose one from the keyboard / cable manufacturer's website in preference to other websites claiming to offer the same driver(s).

 

If you happen to be using a Yamaha midi keyboard OR a Yamaha midi-to-usb cable, you may find that a page on the Yamaha web site that is supposed to bring you to the relevant driver is broken (this happens a lot with Yamaha).

 

If you need a Yamaha usb-midi driver, here is a page that contains some generic Yamaha drivers that should work with all their keyboards / cables. (Mac users will notice that, at the time of writing, this page doesn't contain any drivers beyond OSX 10.9. That's because Yamaha still haven't bothered to produce drivers for OSX 10.10).

 

http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/global/en/downloads/firmware_software/mididrivers/ 

 

Once you have done all of the above, you have pretty much done everything that can be done to improve the latency on your computer, i.e. it is now as good as it is going to get.

 

As an alternative to testing your MIDI keyboard with the Musiah software, it might be useful to test your keyboard with MIDI-OX (Windows users) or with MIDI Monitor (Mac users)

 

At the end of the day, if the latency is still significant in Musiah Unity (or in MIDI-OX / MIDI Monitor), the best option may be to upgrade the computer.

 

I hope the above suggestions have been helpful. If, after trying the all of the above, you would like further assistance or advice, please email support@musiah.com.

How to calibrate your mouse to reduce latency

Mouse latency is the slight delay between when you click the mouse button and the time it registers on the screen.

 

To be able to tap rhythms in time with a beat using your mouse, it is necessary to calibrate the mouse on some computers, especially laptops as they are usually calibrated to suit the tracking pad as opposed to a normal wired mouse.

 

Please note: Laptop tracking pads are not suitable for use with Musiah. Wireless mice, even after calibration, are prone to latency issues and are therefore not recommended. We recommend that you always use a wired mouse with Musiah.

 

TIP: Alternatively, using the keyboard shortcut [UpArrow] to tap rhythms in your Musiah lessons is another potentially more user-friendly way to complete rhythm tapping exercises

 

That said, if you wish to calibrate your mouse...

 

Windows users:

 

In Windows 7

Go to Start > Control Panel > View Devices and
Printers > Right-click the Mouse icon and choose "Mouse settings".

 

In Windows XP/Vista

Go to Start > Control Panel > Double click the Mouse
icon.

 

Then...


Under the Buttons tab, adjust the "Double-click speed" as required. While the optimum settings will vary on each computer, we suggest trying about 100% (all the way to the right) for this setting.*


*When tapping a rhythm, each click is a single click, but if this "Double-click speed" setting is too slow, some rhythmic patterns may be misinterpreted by your PC as double-clicks.


Under the Pointer Options tab, adjust the speed of the "Motion" setting to suit your computer (usually around 75-100% is a reasonable setting), though again this will vary from computer to computer.

 

Also under the Pointer Options tab, check the "Enhance pointer precision" checkbox.


Please note: In some rare cases, it may be best to slow the mouse speed down. We have had a small number of customers with "skittery" mice for whom putting the above speed settings all the way to the left (i.e. 0%) worked best. Ultimately it comes down to what suits your computer/mouse.


I've calibrated my mouse and I'm still having difficulty tapping rhythms:

If you do have any further issues with your mouse, there is one more thing you could try... namely, plugging the mouse into a different USB port.

 

Drivers for USB devices are specifically associated with individual devices on specific USB ports, so there could be an issue with that particular USB port, or at least the mouse driver on that USB port.

When you plug it into a different USB port, the mouse driver will re-install. Then it would be interesting to unplug and replug the mouse into the same (new) USB port. If things are working normally, it shouldn't reinstall the mouse driver again.

 

Mac users:

 

Click the Apple Icon (top left of screen)>System Preferences>Mouse and adjust settings as per the above directions for Windows users.

How to start my first piano lesson with Musiah

For the best guidance on how to start your first piano lesson with Musiah, please refer to Pages 1-4 of the User Manual accessible within the Musiah app by clicking HELP>USER MANUAL.

I am stuck on the Play all 5 Cs question

If you are answering the question correctly but the Musiah app is telling you that your answer is incorrect, this issue is almost always due to a fault with your MIDI keyboard.This particular keyboard fault is quite common in the poorer quality keyboard brands such as "Base" or "Meike". (Please avoid these brands as they are dreadful).

 

The only time it might not be a keyboard fault is if you have a very fancy / high-end keyboard with lots of customizable settings, in which case it could be a setting on the keyboard. In this case, try to disable any unnecessary extra layers/pads on your keyboard (you'll need to consult your keyboard manual). Alternatively, if the keyboard manual is available online, we are happy have a look at it to see if we can figure out whether it is in fact a setting that needs to be changed.

 

In summary, the issue is that the keyboard is sending out two midi messages for each note played (it is only supposed to send out one midi message for each note played). So, in a question where the answer is just a single note (e.g. play Middle C) the keyboard will appear to work fine. This is because, in a single note question, once the Musiah app has received the correct note, it then stops listening. So if an extra note is played (or the same note is played twice), this is generally not an issue.

But in a question such as play all 5 C's on the keyboard (where the answer is a sequence of notes), because of the fault in the keyboard, the Musiah app receives the two midi messages from the keyboard when you play the first note, and the app thinks that you are playing the first note twice (which of course you are not).

Realistically, if your keyboard is one of the cheap/poor quality ones and you are having this issue, your only option is to purchase another keyboard. Our Keyboard Info page describes what to look for when choosing a MIDI keyboard.

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I am 66 years old and just started piano lessons with Musiah only a couple of months ago. I had not taken piano lessons, or played the piano for that matter, since age 12. I just completed Level 7 and am completely satisfied with my progress. I really like the fact that I can take the lessons at my convenience whenever it fits into my work schedule. I can do it at home and don't have to travel for a piano lesson. I can go at my own pace. I also like the "objectivity" that the program provides. The interactive artificial intelligence is an awesome way to learn how to play.

 
 

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