Virtual piano teacher – Musiah (in 'story mode')
Tip: If you’re looking for a virtual piano teacher, we highly recommend Musiah.
Musiah is the world’s first truly artificially intelligent virtual piano teacher.
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To answer “What is a virtual piano teacher?”, let’s look first at the meaning of the word “virtual”. Virtual has a lot of different meanings.
In the present context, virtual, in general, can be defined as: “That which is so in essence or effect, although not formally or actually; admitting of being called by the name so far as the effect or result is concerned.”
Applying the meaning of virtual to a more specific context — that is, the computing context — virtual means: “Not physically existing as such but made by software to appear to do so from the point of view of the program or the user.”
If we get more specific still, we can see a number of products or services that claim to be, or involve, virtual piano teachers.
For example, some real-life, human piano teachers use Skype and webcams or FaceTime for people with Apple devices (Mac, iPhone, or iPad) to teach piano lessons to anyone in the world.
However, in these cases, the piano teacher isn’t virtual at all; they are still traditional piano teachers but they use technology to communicate to people remotely.
As a result, these “virtual piano teachers” have the same drawbacks as traditional piano teachers: they charge the same expensive rates, they teach only once or twice a week, and are available at a time that suits them. The only main advantage to these virtual piano teachers is you don’t have to travel anywhere to take your piano lessons.
If you search the Internet for “virtual piano teacher”, you will find another kind of so-called virtual piano lessons: written instructions online on how to play piano, perhaps with diagrams, and sometimes audio and video. But these virtual piano lessons or apps are little more than teach-yourself piano books. You’re not given any real-time feedback or encouragement or correction or interaction with the piano teacher.
Your search on “virtual piano teacher” will also yield a lot of YouTube videos, which also provide no feedback or interaction. And your search will find a number of virtual keyboards online.
These virtual keyboards provide a visual representation of a keyboard that you can “play” using your mouse or computer keyboard. These virtual keyboards come with very little instruction and don’t let you play a real keyboard or piano.
With these virtual piano teachers, you’re more likely to learn where the letters are on your computer’s keyboard than where to find the right notes or keys on a piano keyboard.
Musiah is the only product that is truly a virtual piano teacher. Applying our earlier definition of virtual, Musiah, as a virtual piano teacher, provides "in essence or effect" the "same result" as a traditional piano teacher. Let’s see how…
Musiah works as a virtual piano teacher by employing a sophisticated 'expert system'. In A. I. terms, an expert system is a computer program that solves problems and gives advice in a specialised area.
The aim of the expert system is to match the quality and performance of a human expert in the area.
Expert systems have been used as virtual doctors to diagnose illnesses, virtual stockbrokers to trade shares on the stock exchange, and virtual lawyers to provide legal advice.
Expert systems rely on Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques. As a virtual piano teacher, Musiah (the program) incorporates several new aspects of Artificial Intelligence.
Specifically, Musiah uses pattern recognition and inference to overcome shortcomings in other computer tuition programs that have so far prevented virtual tuition in complex subjects such as learning piano.
As a result, Musiah (the name or title of your virtual piano teacher) can adapt his behaviour to fit new circumstances. Musiah can reason — that is, he can draw inferences that relate to the given task.
When Musiah assesses your piano playing, the program uses unique algorithms to compare the current state (how you have just played the piece of music) with the goal state (how the piece of music should have been played).
Musiah then considers such matters and whether you played extra notes, left notes out, played wrong notes, got your timing wrong, held some notes for too long or not long enough.
Then, depending on your individual situation, Musiah selects the issues he needs to address, the order in which he should best address them, and the actions he needs to take to guide and coach you until the current state of your piano playing is transformed into the goal state.
In these ways, Musiah overcomes the limitations of the other kinds of so-called virtual piano teachers mentioned earlier.
Video lessons and written tutorials have no interactivity. Video lessons and written online tutorials can’t monitor what you’re playing or provide relevant feedback. These kinds of so-called virtual piano teachers can’t track your progress and modify course content as required.
Virtual piano teachers communicating via Skype can’t be around all the time when you need them. By contrast, Musiah is available around the clock, 24/7. And Musiah provides much more affordable piano lessons than a traditional piano teacher.
And if you choose 'story mode' (an optional setting), Musiah provides not only a virtual piano teacher but also virtual piano student classmates.
You interact with these virtual students the same way you interact with Musiah, your virtual piano teacher.
Your virtual classmates play different parts within ensemble pieces with you, such as bass, strings, brass, woodwind and percussion parts, while you play the piano part.
To try Musiah’s virtual piano lessons, you just need a musical MIDI keyboard connected to your computer or iPad.
Musiah’s main application runs on your local computer or iPad and a second application tracks your progress over the Internet. On your local device, Musiah monitors every note you play, providing you continuous feedback and guidance on how you’re progressing and what you need to do to improve.
So don’t be fooled by all the claims you find on the Internet about products purporting to be a virtual piano teacher. With patents pending in numerous countries around the world, there is only one artificially intelligent truly virtual piano teacher — Musiah.
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