Students play on-line learning games that teach fundamental musical skills within a learning management system.
The system provides both "ad hoc" and automated sequences of play.
Administrators/teachers can self-manage most elements of the system.
Students receive quantitative scores upon successful completion of a game.
Pricing is based upon the number of student seats for which scores history is desired. Students marked "inactive" do not use a seat.
Purpose. MusicLearningCommunity.com (MLC) is a website presenting hundreds of online learning games designed to educate users in music literacy; sight-reading, music theory, aural identification, and keyboard skills.
Users. The site has public access to some free games and marketing information. Free trials of up to 14-days are provided (right now one month). Subscribers can be schools with one or multiple teachers, home school students, private music teachers, and adult students. Pricing is based upon the number of student seats, which are the number of students for which game score history is maintained. Retaining history is not a requirement for use of the learning games (such as in a group teaching environment) so the minimum 5 slots is almost always adequate for those cases.
Games. Each game teaches a very specific concept with simple graphics and sound. An attempt is made to always reinforce aural skills with visual response and vice versa. Each game has a Learn (tutor), Play (practice), Quiz (mastery), and Review (retention) stage. Some games also have a Challenge stage, which allows users to compete with other users worldwide. A Review stage is a repeat of the Quiz, used for testing retention.
Scores. Whenever a game is played through to the end a quantitative score is recorded in the database. Each game has a target score. Whenever the target score is met or exceeded on the Quiz the user is considered to have mastered that concept, an indicator (green checkmark) appears on the screen for that game. For Challenge games a gameboard is available (pending) which shows scores of the top 20 students in the world (by first name and city. Although teachers and administrators may play games, scores and score history are only recorded for students.
Planned Simplicity. The simplicity combined with the sequencing makes learning music fun, while a deceptively powerful tool. For adults the recommendation is to "think like a kid again" and enjoy the games while progressively learning music literacy. A more "glitzy" or "theatrical" approach to game design was intentionally rejected, as it was found that the student's attention can be easily distracted, diminishing learning.
Children with special needs who are introduced to playing these music learning games have been found to not only enjoy them and learn music skills, but it has been found that they advance in other areas of development as well.
Subscription. The website is subscription-based to the subscriber level non-public portal. A subscriber is synonymous with "member, and is identified with a username and e-mail address combination and given a unique member number. The subscriber/member is considered to be the “Administrator”, with the capabilities of entering student information and teacher information, depending upon the subscription level capabilities.
Using log-on credentials of username and password the subscriber/member gains access to the Subscriber-Administrator resource center (Dashboard). From there, the Administrator may enter Teacher and "active" Student information into the system up to the number of student seats for the particular subscription level. (Additional "non-active" students may be entered.) An active student, upon entering their assigned username and password, gains access to the student music learning center (Dashboard) and can play games. In the Solo subscription level the Teacher defaults from the subscriber information but can be altered by the Administrator (subscriber).
Subscription Levels. Offered are a free trial subscription for up to 19 student seats (PRELUDE Subscription), a paid subscription of from 5 to 19 student seats (SOLO Subscription), and a paid subscription of from 20 students up (ENSEMBLE Subscription). Permanent access to the Music Learning Community Network is provided at all three levels--username and passwords do not expire when the subscription (game-playing) ends.
The PRELUDE Subscription includes 19 student slots, a 14-day automatic length of subscription, access to the Administrator level, Teacher level, and Student Level, and multiple teachers (in addition to the subscriber), and optional Teacher-Admin, and 19 students can be entered. The subscriber can do a full assessment of the suitability of the site for their needs.
The SOLO Subscription is for one teacher and up to 5 student seats ($7.95 per month) plus students can be added beyond 5 (at $0.80 per month) up to 19.
The ENSEMBLE Subscription includes a minimum of 20 student seats ($19.95 per month) plus students can be added in sets of 5 beyond 20 without limit ($0.20 each per month up to 120), multiple teachers can be added without limit. Above 120 students the cost per student declines.
Credentials. Upon subscribing the member may create their own username and password. A subscriber is given a unique member number. The member number is connected to the “Administrator” level capabilities, which includes the ability to add Teachers (with usernames and passwords) and students (with usernames and passwords). These member credentials remain active whether or not there is a current subscription.
For the Prelude Subscription and the Solo Subscription, the Administrator and Teacher are automatically the same username and password (the Administrator should be able to change the defaulted Teacher username and password) . For the Ensemble Subscription the member (Administrator) must create one or more Teacher accounts with usernames and passwords. An optional Teacher-Admin user role is available. Students can be created by either the Administrator or Teacher. The “student name” title can also be “group” (e.g. Third Grade).
Student Information. A subscriber enters student information into the system. This includes firstname, lastname, username, password. Also, the student is assigned his or her sequence name and sequence start position.
E-Learning Presentation. Upon log-in a student user is presented with the Student Dashboard page. On that page a student may get score reports, select their next pending assignment, or select other games to play.
The e-learning systems presents learning elements in prescribed, named, sequences. A student user is presented the next learning element upon completion of the previous element in the sequence. What sequence is presented is determined by the assignment by the Teacher (or Administrator).
If the student chooses to play games other than the next assignment, the student may choose from any of the games. Individual games are presented by Level, Concept Category (e.g. Pitch-Aural), and sub-category.
Any game played from the All Games menu may be re-played if it appears in an assigned sequence.
MIDI Keyboards. Any game that presents an interactive keyboard can be played using a mouse or a MIDI keyboard attached via USB or Bluetooth (mobile devices). The Chrome MIDI capabilities are used, so any browser based on the Chrome system will work. For iOS (not Chrome-based) a custom MusicLearningCommunity.com app has been created.
Learning Management System. Learning elements consist of games, text, graphics, music, video, and awards. These are combined in Assignments. Assignments are sequenced in Groups. Groups are sequenced in Named Sequences (including Lifetime Musician Curriculum). [A template is used by the Education Administrator (internal) to create and modify these sequences for deployment of them to the website. Every game element has a unique number. A sequence is created by properly entering these numbers into the template]. A display of sequence details is available.
Sequences. Currently there are three automated sequence (courses) options: (1) LIFE - Lifetime Musician Curriculum, MLC’s proprietary sequence; (2) SOLF - Solfege, based on fixed Do; (3) EVAL - an abbreviated sequence designed to help a teacher evaluate a (new) student's depth and breadth of music literacy understanding.
Named Sequences, correlated to several popular music theory methods, were included in Version 1.0. These are not automated, and not updated since 2015, but are included through the Help Center for teachers wishing to use them.
Account Management. A subscriber can self-manage their subscription information via the website, using Stripe services. We accept Discover, American Express, MasterCard and Visa credit cards. There are three membership payment plans: Prelude, Solo, and Ensemble. A member signs up for one, but can upgrade (or downgrade) at any time. The Prelude level is a free trial and requires no credit card information.
If a member changes the number of student seats in either the Solo or Ensemble plan the change in seats occurs immediately but the billing increase occurs at the next scheduled charge date. A Solo monthly subscriber may increase or decrease in increments as low as one student slot. An Ensemble subscriber may increase or decrease in increments of 5 student slots ($1.00 per month). An annual subscriber in either plan may increase and be charged a prorated amount, but cannot decrease the number of student slots until the annual subscription termination date.
The amount to be charged is automatically calculated from the base amount ($7.95 for Solo and $19.95 for Ensemble) and then adding an incremental amount for the number of student slots selected (either $0.80 over 5 or $0.20 over 20, with increasing discount as number of students increases).
Self Management. Any subscriber paying monthly has the ability to self-manage a suspend and re-start date, during which time no charges will be made and no student access is permitted. The process for an annual subscriber to re-subscribe and alter the number of student seats is simple and encourages re-subscription. There is a 30-day period during which the subscription is active but payment has not been received.
Member Management. For managing memberships member forms are presented that include the basic customer information of name and address information, two e-mail addresses, two telephone numbes, and some optional profile information,.
Do these games work as advertised? Please look at the testimonials of actual users.
Our website is divided into:
public "Marketing Pages" in front of the member log-in;
a non-public "Learning Management System"; and a linked
public "Help Center". The Help Center is linked to
"Google docs" documentation and images.
Financial details are handled via connected "Stripe" services.