Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

In tune with learning music electronically

30.03.2005


When music teachers and students first heard about the IMUTUS interactive tuition many were sceptical about its ability to improve upon traditional learning. Today, evaluation evidence suggests that it has a really strong great potential of making music education more fun, entertaining and effective than ever before.



The result of more than two years of work by music experts and software developers in Greece, Italy, France and Sweden, the IST programme-funded project has created what project coordinator Spyros Raptis describes as “a truly efficient and effective music learning environment which holding much promise for the future”.

Using real-time audio processing and recognition technologies, 3D virtual reality modelling, and evaluation and feedback tools, IMUTUS opens a new interactive world to music students whether they are at home, in the classroom or even taking classes remotely over the Internet.


Complementing traditional teaching

“The aim was not to replace music teachers, as some of them may have feared when we proposed the system, but to create a complementary tool to improve the way students learn music,” Raptis, a researcher at the Institute for Language and Speech Processing in Athens, explains. “The initial scepticism of teachers and the uncertainties of students were soon overcome when they started to use the system, with tutors seeing their students improving faster and the students themselves finding it fun and engaging to use.”

For the purposes of the project the system was targeted at children between the ages of 9 and 14 learning to play the recorder, a wind instrument that is commonly used in schools and conservatories across Europe in the initial stages of music education. The main role of IMUTUS is to help students learn more effectively when they are practicing at home after class, giving them much needed feedback about how they are performing musical scores.

“Whereas students traditionally went home and practiced alone, with IMUTUS their performances are recorded and evaluated in real time, letting them know if they made any errors, where they went wrong and how to correct it,” the coordinator notes.

By loading the software into a normal PC with a microphone, IMUTUS records and recognises what the students are playing, comparing it to uploaded scores presented in XML format. An evaluation module analyses how their performance sounds and offers constructive feedback when they are done playing to improve their interpretation of the score. A three-star overall grading system supplements the detailed feedback and gives appreciated rewards as the performances improves. Using 3D modelling the system incorporates a virtual reality avatar that can play any uploaded score, allowing the student to see where their fingers should be placed.

“We used advanced algorithms as well as score matching and score following to ensure accurate audio recognition and its conversion into MIDI output, which in the case of monophonic instruments such as the recorder is relatively simple,” Raptis says, noting that only minor changes would be needed to use the system with other wind or brass instruments. “Polyphonic instruments such as the piano or the guitar, where many notes are played at the same time, are harder to address.”

Trials underline the benefits

The real benefits of the system come to light when the student returns to the classroom, as two trials at music schools in Stockholm and Florence showed.

In the Swedish evaluation 12 students were divided into six pairs of equal musical ability. One student in each pair used the IMUTUS system for their homework in a controlled environment, while the other did not. “The results were beyond all expectations,” Raptis says. “The students who used IMUTUS returned to class and played with far fewer mistakes than those in the control group. Over the course of a couple of weeks the error rate of those using the system declined much faster than the rest.”

“The improvement was stable across the three weeks and there is a persistent effect on students’ musical skill, even now a month later,” one teacher commented after the tests.

“I am positively overwhelmed that students found IMUTUS such fun. It exceeded my expectations,” said another.

A more subjective approach was taken in the Italian trial, with the teachers themselves asked to evaluate their students’ performance.

Indeed, for students the IMUTUS system provides a more “engaging and entertaining” environment in which to complete their homework, with many students playing scores repeatedly until the evaluation system gave them a three-star mark. “Fun is something that is essential if students are to maintain an interest in what they are learning,” Raptis notes.

With the project having ended in February, the partners are now planning to develop the system further and are looking to carry out more evaluation trials. “We would like to test it with all the students of a music school over a prolonged period of time,” the coordinator says. A mid-term goal is to produce a commercially available software package incorporating the in-home assistant, teaching aids for tutors and Internet connectivity that would allow “a student to learn from a teacher no matter where they are, something that could lead to the creation of a pan-European online music school.”

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht The classroom of tomorrow – DFKI and TUK open lab for new digital teaching and learning methods
03.05.2018 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Studying outdoors is better
06.02.2018 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>