Yousician

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Yousician
Industry Music education
Founded December 2010; 7 years ago (2010-12)
Founder Chris Thür and Mikko Kaipainen
Headquarters Helsinki, Finland
Key people
Chris Thür, (CEO, co-founder)
Mikko Kaipainen, (COO, co-founder)
Anssi Klapuri, (CTO)
Seva Moshanin, (CMO)
Products Yousician for Guitar, Piano, Ukulele, Bass, Voice
Yousician for Educators
GuitarTuna
Number of employees
100
Website official website

Yousician is an interactive music service to learn and play a musical instrument. Yousician currently supports guitar, piano, ukulele and bass, and is available on iOS, Android, Windows and macOS platforms. Yousician analyses the users’ playing on their real musical instruments, and provides them with instant feedback and guidance. Yousician claims to be the world’s largest music educator.[1]

History[edit]

Yousician Ltd. is a Helsinki based music education company founded by Chris Thür and Mikko Kaipainen in 2010 under the name Ovelin,[2] and was part of the Startup Sauna accelerator programme at Aalto University.[3] Yousician states its mission as "Making musicality as common as literacy".[1] The company develops and operates a music service called Yousician, and a tuner application called GuitarTuna. As of December 2016, Yousician claims over 8 million monthly active users worldwide across their products.[4] In 2012, the company raised $1.4m from Silicon Valley-based investor True Ventures.[5]

Yousician[edit]

The Yousician service is built on audio signal processing technology that can recognize notes and chords played by its users on their real instruments (both acoustic and electric).[6] Users are shown either a gamified, colourful version of sheet music or tablature notation for an exercise, and hear a backing track as they play along. A major criticism of this app is its inability to display correct, standard, black and white music notation.[citation needed] Using the built-in microphone of the device, Yousician listens to the users play, gives feedback on accuracy and timing, and tracks users’ progress over time.[7]

Yousician is currently available for four instruments: guitar, piano, bass and ukulele. For every instrument, Yousician features a syllabus developed and produced in-house by the company. Syllabi are made up of songs and exercises, tutorial videos and mini-games to learn new skills. Over all instruments, there are around 150 missions and over 25,000 exercises available. Yousician also has a user generated content platform where users can create their own content via an in-built editor for their own usage, or choose to share it with the community. There are some features available that do not require an instrument, e.g. ear-training or theory practice while people don’t have instruments at hand. Yousician operates under a freemium model where one lesson per day is given for free, while unlimited lesson time is offered via paid subscriptions.[8]

Guitar[edit]

Yousician for Guitar was the first instrument launched on the platform when it was released in November 2014.[9] The syllabus of guitar is divided into 3 paths: Lead, Rhythm and Knowledge. The standard visualization for guitar is a tablature view, but users can also choose to display songs as sheet music or a hybrid of the two.

Piano[edit]

Yousician for Piano was the second instrument launched on the platform in November 2015. The syllabus of piano is divided into 3 paths: Classical, Pop and Knowledge. The standard visualization for piano is a simplified version of sheet music, but users can also choose to display songs as traditional sheet music.

Ukulele[edit]

Yousician for Ukulele was the third instrument launched on the platform in December 2015. The syllabus of ukulele is divided into 3 paths: Lead, Rhythm and Knowledge. The standard visualization for ukulele is a tablature view, but users can also choose to display songs as sheet music or a hybrid of the two.

Bass[edit]

Yousician for Bass was the fourth instrument launched on the platform in April 2016. The syllabus of bass is divided into 2 paths: Playing and Knowledge. The standard visualization for bass is a tablature view, but users can also choose to display songs as sheet music or a hybrid of the two.

Voice[edit]

Yousician for Voice was the fifth instrument launched on the platform in August 2018. There's a single path in the syllabus. The visualization is a chromatic staff where notes are represented by bars, comparable to some other singing applications such as SingStar.

Yousician for Educators[edit]

Yousician for Educators is a service built on the Yousician platform for teachers using Yousician with their students, both for in-classroom and for the students to practice at home. Teachers are able to assign and monitor homework tasks and student progression from the Educator Dashboard. As of February 2017, Yousician claims the service is being used by thousands of teachers around the world. Yousician has a “Distinguished Educators” section featuring teachers that help other teachers to utilize Yousician in their classrooms. Yousician for Educators uses a freemium model for teachers and their students, although they previously had a free model for teachers.

Reception[edit]

Yousician was released on November 2014, to mostly positive reviews. Guitar World called it “modern technology’s gift to music education” and in March 2015 it was featured as 'Editor's Choice' in the Apple iOS App Store.[10][11] Critical voices usually do not question the product itself, but contrast it to the option of learning to play an instrument in private lessons. Voicesinc.org for example stated that “If you’re happy to learn from a digital screnen, then it’s great, but if you want a lot more human interaction and demonstration, there may be some better options.” As of February 2017, the Yousician app had 122’895 ratings on Google Play with an average 4.4 of 5 star rating and on the iOS App Store 16’542 ratings with an average of 4.6 of 5 stars.

Yousician was featured two times as 'Editor's Choice' in the iOS App Store and won a "Best of 2016 Apps" award from Google Play. Yousician was one of Wired's top 100 European startups in 2012,[12] and were also featured in The Sunday Times "World's Best Apps List 2012". Yousician and its apps have won several technology and start-up competitions, including SXSW Accelerator 2012 (Music)[13] and Midemlab 2012.

As of July 2018 Yousician has removed all user-generated content, an act some users regard as negating its worth completely.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Landing page". Official website. Yousician. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  2. ^ Lappalainen, Elina. "Tamperelaiselle Ovelinille miljoonasijoitus Piilaaksosta". Talouselämä. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Geere, Duncan. "WildChords enlists animals to help you learn guitar". Wired.co.uk. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Slush Conference. "5 years after winning Slush100". YouTube. Slush - official channel. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  5. ^ Anderson, Greg. "Ovelin Grabs €1.1 Million From True Ventures". Arcticstartup.com. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Anssi Klapuri - From Time-Frequency to Time-Pitch Domain: Psychoacoustic vs. Data-Driven Approach". Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Apple Appstore, iTunes. "App description". Apple Appstore. Apple. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  8. ^ Grannell, Craig. "Review: Yousician Guitar Gamifies Learning Chords and Riffs". tapsmart.com. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Leier, Kendra. "Unlock the Yousician in you!". kendraleier.com. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  10. ^ Priario, Guitar World. "Yousician Is a Fast, Fun Way to Learn to Play Guitar". Guitar World. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  11. ^ Gray, Chris. "Ep 68: Find My iPhone & Spring Ahead". hipcast.com. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Cheshire, Tom. "Europe's 100 hottest startups 2012: Helsinki". Wired.co.uk. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "SXSW Music Accelerator 2012 Recap". Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "Yousician User Forums". 

External links[edit]