In 2014, it’s safe to say that there is no shortage of subscription services online. You’ve got your Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go for online TV and movies, Spotify, Napster, and Deezer which are music streaming services, and you’ve even got subscription services such as TrunkClub which is a styling subscription service that sends you clothes! There are subscription services everywhere that do almost anything you can think of that make your life as convenient as possible but for music consumers, one service has always been lacking. That has been music education.
Apollo-M is the solution to this lack of music education and is largely funded by one of the largest companies for music education: LearnToPlayMusic.com. They have injected over $2 million for their aspirations of helping more people have access to more knowledge online. The service is expected to launch around Spring of 2015 and are hoping to attract one million subscribers within one month. If this occurred, Apollo-M would be placed among the top twenty “social and content delivery platforms.” They claim to have over 35 years of music lesson content in fact. This service is not only for the person just picking up the guitar but it can also be used by a professional musician looking to branch out and learn more.
What I think is especially great about this is how much money you can save. The subscription costs $5 per month and for this price, you will have access to any sort of lessons for any sort of instrument you can think of. I remember when I began playing guitar at the age of 16, I would spend all my cash on my favorite guitarists’ instructional DVD’s or tablature to learn to play a song that I loved. Just a DVD or Tab book alone could cost $20. If I had this service when I was growing up and learning, I could have had access to a much larger library of knowledge for a lower price. Plus, another reason why they have a leg up on the traditional ways of learning guitar is that they have what is called: “Apollo-M Interactive Gameplay”, which they claim is the most advanced learning tool available. I like this because it has the potential to make something like learning Music Theory which to many (including myself) can be rigorous and a pain to learn, fun. Not only this, but they are also creating a social network that can connect you with musicians with similar tastes, connect music professionals to other music professionals, and to bring together students and teachers together one on one, live! The only problem that I see here is that in 2014 there are thousands upon thousands of instructional videos, demonstrations, lessons, and videos on YouTube alone that can all be accessed for free as well as ways to connect musicians, professions, and student and teachers so it will be interesting to see how Apollo-M can expand upon this and create something even better.
Also, because this is a paid subscription service, I can only image that there might be some sort of compensation for the teachers who put lessons on this service. This could create revenue for many music teachers of many genres playing a plethora of different instruments. It isn’t mentioned specifically how the compensation is going to work but we can hope that contributors can be rewarded like how a band is paid for streams on Spotify (however little that may be).
The other reason why I think this is a fantastic idea is because it can help create a brighter future for all the future musicians. Even though the industry seems to be shrinking with the drastic decline of record sales, that doesn’t stop people from either learning to play an instrument just for fun or to try and create a hit song and tour the world! It can only benefit the business and music in and of itself having musicians with more knowledge that can really expand their mind and create something special. Musicians from across the world that maybe could never afford to have one on one lessons for $50 per session can access a plethora of content online for only $5. There is no limit to what kind of good that this service could do on developing brains. Music has a magical effect on students young and old showing how beneficial it can be. According to the latest scientific research, neuropsychologist Nadine Gaab claims that if you are able to start picking up an instrument earlier in life, you are more likely to have better reading skills, better math skills, and overall better learning and comprehension(http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2014/07/music-language-brain).
All in all, I think that this service can really benefit a large scale of people and can help to shape musicians of future. Not only can one learn a variety of instruments and new genres to expand your playing if you are new to music or are a professional, but you can also access everything for a low price. So no one has the excuse not to learn music for lack of money or lack of resources!