Teaching music online can never be as effective as in-class lessons, right? Actually, digitalized pedagogy and learner-centric HBL can come close…

During the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic, enrichment classes took a big hit as many students were made to undergo home-based learning (HBL), and courses in the creative arts were difficult to move online.

Fast forward to the present: while physical classes are slowly being resumed, many schools have digitalized their operations in preparation for future pandemics.

DigiconAsia.net learned of one enrichment school that teaches music with via an innovative e-learning platform that offers a mix of interactive learning modules and guided tutorial videos. The platform offers vibrant graphics, bite-sized formats, and engaging videos that enhance the learning experience no matter whether students are locked down or physically present in class.

Julius Holmefjord-Sarabi, co-founder and CTO/CFO, Aureus Group explained how he went about boosting learning resilience…

DigiconAsia: On YouTube, there are all kinds of learn-it-yourself videos. Is your new platform, Koko comparable to them?

Julius Holmefjord-Sarabi (JHS): YouTube is a great resource to learn a wide variety of things, and Koko also uses the platform to promote free content and learning tutorials.

How are we different in terms of our scale, consistency and updated content? You may find good instructors on YouTube, but they will have a limited number of videos and content to teach with, even if they have been around for years. With Koko, users can expect a consistency of quality teaching from a range of highly qualified teachers. Students can switch teachers during a course, and our content library is carefully curated to complement all the different levels of training.

In addition to this, a focused learning platform like ours is designed with certain features that help users learn more effectively. When users learn new notes or musical concepts, they are given an opportunity to apply those and refine those skills in musical exercises. These exercises are tailored to make the newly learned skills easier to develop, like practicing scales, but they are way more fun as we have great backing tracks to accompany students during practice sessions.

DigiconAsia: What age groups does Koko cater to?

JHS: Koko has been designed for self-learners, which we internally categorize as around kids aged 10+ years and above. Our lesson videos are three minutes or less. Users can log on after a long day of work or school and complete three to four lessons, learn a part of a song, and move on with the rest of their day within 15 minutes. 

To ensure a rich supply of copyrighted music for teaching music to students of all ages with a wide range of preferences, we have successfully negotiated licensing agreements with major publishers to reproduce songs from various artists. While, we can use the entire song, there are certain pedagogical matter we have to be mindful of when creating arrangements for our users to learn. Specifically, we need to create song arrangements for learners of different musical instruments (for example, arrangements are different for piano or violin students) and at various difficulty levels for these popular songs.

Our internal testing has shown that students feel more confident when learning to play a song they have previously learned, but at a higher difficulty level. This trend helps us in planning effective training that is more personalized regardless of whether it is online or in-class.

DigiconAsia: How does Koko fit within Aureus Academy’s digital transformation journey?

JHS: We use technology to offer our customers a best-in-class experience—from both an operational and learning perspective.

We started by completely revamping our operational systems by building scheduling, billing and even payroll modules on Salesforce. These are all integrated, allowing us to roll out a customer app for our students so they can manage their lessons and schedules.

We have over 15,000 lessons rescheduled each month on the app, which means our team can focus on providing the best service and lesson experience possible. Since the rollout of this digital platform, we have increased our revenue by over 300%, which tells us that we are on the right track.

After we built all of these things and improved our operations, we felt confident to take on the curriculum and lesson experience onto the Web and make it more engaging for students. This is where Koko comes in. It took us two years to develop, but it is just the beginning of our digital development for our lessons as we plan on doing a lot more in the coming year.