Our startup of the week is Studioso, an online app that aims to bring the field of music education into the 21st century. Founder of the company, Ocean Salazar, explains how he developed the idea for the app: “For 14 years I have always has a passion in playing the violin. The problem is that when you start very young you don’t have maturity and discipline to be methodical and do research. I was slow in progress because most of my time in practice is outside the classroom without instruction.”
Studioso solves the info gap by helping students practice more efficiently though a streamlined guided practice, progress tracking and connections with teachers. “As soon as you leave practice, you can go back into notes and be guided from home.” Says Salazar
Studioso’s has been beta trialed by over 300 teachers and has over 160 institutions interested in purchasing. Studioso recently won the 1st place of the Minnesota Cup youth division and is part of the USC Rossier Entrepreneur accelerator.
Studioso is managed by a six person team. The founder and CEO of the company is Ocean Salazar, a freshman at the university of Southern California, who has experience working at an investment firm and in playing the violin for 14 years. The IT expert, Charles Porth, has over 6 years of programming and IT consulting experience, specializing in back-end development, cybersecurity, and project management.
Studioso’s total addressable market in the US is worth $954 million. The brand is focused on the 32 million students who participate in in both school and private music programs. For students, the yearly subscription price is 45 dollars while for institutions the price is 200 dollars.
The company is primarily a B2B platform, functioning as a learning management system for music education.
Studioso optimizes music education by allowing teachers to communicate assigned practice objectives, tracks practice progress in real time to motivate students and comes with a timer, a collection of efficient practice techniques, a by-hour practice target and visible teacher instructions.
When students start a new practice session, they choose the length of the session, the repertoire and a warm up. The first quarter of practice is warmup. Once the warmup is over, students go to the main repertoire of pieces to study, what to focus on and special techniques. Students keep track of this via an in-app timer.
“What’s cool is that students can access the technique library of the app which sorts all the special techniques and methods.” Says Salazar. “It’s like going to the gym where if you randomly swing weights you’re not going to make much progress. “
Once students finishes a session, the app records the time and puts it in the progress tracker on the dashboard of your weekly target, for teachers to to check.
In the technique library itself, all the techniques are written by teachers. “Music teacher have always taught students their practice methods verbally.” Says Salazar. “This app changes that by creating a single place to access the practice method so it no longer has to be accessed from teacher to to student and teacher to teacher with the risk of miscommunication.”
6 Months – Market the product and get feedback for the pilot program to improve usability and user interface.
1 year – Introduce more features and expand on a web platform. Right now its on Android and IOS but in one year we hope to expand to web to have more universality on who can use the app.
5 years – Use the data to create a music education AI algorithm to give live feedback on practice at home, while also helping teachers design a tailored curriculum.