What is PRAISE?
PRAISE is a social network for music education with tools for giving and receiving feedback. It aims to widen access to music education and make learning music more accessible and more social.
At its heart PRAISE will provide a supportive, social environment using the latest techniques in social networks, online community building, intelligent personal agents and audio and gesture analysis.
Any member of any community can post audio to any community for which they are a member and ask for specific kinds of feedback on various regions of that audio. Any community member can respond with text, or with other audio to emphasize a particular point about style or performance for example.
Praise will enable online virtual communities of students with shared interests or goals to come together to share their music practice and music goals with each other so the process of learning can become social and shared and giving positive feedback and constructive criticism each other is part of the fabric of the community. Perhaps the best metaphor would be to think of a music workshop where people would play something and others would be invited to give feedback.
The PRAISE platform will allow a range of different communities to organize themselves naturally. One community may be a group of undergraduate students on the same university course studying for an exam; another may be beginners learning simple guitar chords; another may be experienced jazz composers wanting to share ideas with each other and another may simply come into existence to talk about various performances of Bach preludes.
The system will be versatile enough to support a structured course, in the style of a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) such as a twenty-lesson course on learning jazz piano. The system will also support more flexible communities of people coming together to learn about electronic music, for example, where norms and patterns of sharing and feedback will be self-determined and can emerge naturally and then be supported through the latest research in norms, and trust and online communities. Feedback from peers and experts will be supported by state of the art techniques in audio, gesture and corpus analysis e. Each learner will have a personal agent who will record their progress, their goals, their relationships with other learners and which will learn how the human student prefers or best learns to play or understand music.
Requests and responses are expressed in terms of text, a score, a chord sequence, multi-track audio, attachments and links (e.g. to a YouTube movie). Feedback can come from real peers as well as from “electronic peers” that can perform sophisticated gesture and audio analyses. The system will also be extended with tools for interactive practice such as the virtual band system developed at Sony. Music learning with children will be investigated by experimenting with novel haptic instruments such as the Mogees system (developed at Goldsmiths and recently presented in a TEDx talk – ``www.tedxbrussels.eu/2012/speakers/bruno_zamborlin.php”.)
Students and tutors can be electronically assisted by virtual tutors to help them learn a skill (e.g. improvisation or arranging) or to suggest a next challenge from a predefined corpus. The suggestion is pedagogically founded, for example by being based on Lev Vygotsky’s pedagogical theory of “Zone of Proximal Development” (ZPD). In a jazz setting, the electronic tutor could detect that a certain kind of chord hasn't been played yet and thus suggest a new song from The Real Book that contains no new challenge except this new chord. Also, a sensible interface is provided for human tutors in order to enable efficient follow up of their students.