Learning Piano? These Sauntering Holograms Want to Help


Researchers at MIT’s Tangible Media Lab are developing a way to teach basic musical concepts through colorful dancing holograms. Popular Science reports that a new program called Andante, which is currently in development, teaches piano students which keys to strike using tiny human-shaped holograms who walk, strut, and leap gracefully across the keyboard.

According to researchers Xiao Xiao and Hiroshi Ishii, Andante doesn’t just guide students through pieces of music, it helps them visualize musical concepts like scales, melodies, and rhythms. Andante is based on the idea that music is an embodied experience; we don’t just listen to music, we feel it. In a paper published in the journal New Interfaces for Musical Expression [PDF], Xiao and Ishii explain that Andante is “based on a view of music pedagogy that emphasizes expressive, full-body communication early in the learning process.”

“To many musicians, a profound sense of motion lies at the heart of every masterful performance. The performer must first understand how the music flows and then translate that understanding into bodily movements that render sound in the physical world,” the researchers explain. “Andante promotes an understanding of music rooted in the body, taking advantage of walking as one of the most fundamental human rhythms.”

Check out Andante in action above.

[h/t Popular Science]

Banner Image Credit: Tangible Media Group, Vimeo