Learning to play the piano is getting an immersive upgrade with a new augmented reality (AR) piano training software called Music Everywhere. The HoloLens app aims to help students of all talent levels build fundamental music theory and performance skills. While traditional piano lessons can cost upwards of $100 per hour, Music Everywhere is free on the Microsoft store and offers a cost effective tutoring solution that provides students with immediate interaction feedback, making it differ greatly from watching a video tutorial.
Founded in 2017, Music Everywhere began at Carnegie Mellon’s ETC with Seth Glickman, Fu Yen Hsiao, and Byunghwan Lee realizing the nascent technology could be used for skills training. The app was the first Augmented Reality music learning platform to take first prize in Microsoft’s HoloLens Developer Contest, beating more than one-thousand submissions.
App users slip on their AR headsets and follow the instructions displayed directly on their instrument to learn how to play the piano. A virtual band accompanies the user to teach them how to improvise within a group setting. The software also includes interactive theory lessons, live practice sessions, and animated demonstrations that allow you to explore blues, rock, jazz, and classical styles.
Music Everywhere currently operates on a bidirectional MIDI-over-Bluetooth connection utilizing a Microsoft HoloLens AR device or Windows Mixed Reality immersive headset.
It has been hinted that Music Everywhere may be headed to Mira as well, a lightweight AR headset that is powered by an iPhone. Mira retails as an iPhone accessory below $200, compared to a HoloLens that can cost upwards of $3000. This partnership could help Music Everywhere break down the digital divide and open up AR piano training to more people.
In a recent presentation, CEO Seth Glickman acknowledged that the next step for Music Everywhere is to expand its software to help students learn a greater range of instruments besides the piano. Glickman described the AR component of Music Everywhere as “a layer of digital information superimposed on top of our real world.”