In January, when Alain Merville and his team launched a comprehensive new platform where students of all ages could learn from internally renowned musicians through the latest streaming technology, he had no idea that the field of online education would grow exponentially in the months that followed.
A talented jazz pianist and a professor at the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston, Merville was determined to offer students an experience that was truly “state-of-the-art,” both with respect to the quality of the instructors and also to the audio and visual qualities of every digital lesson. To bring his vision to life with the outstanding technical quality he desired, Merville turned to the talented team at 7 Avenue Media in Danbury, and the video segments resulting from this collaboration have received a steady stream of praise.
“As a musician and a music professor,” Merville says, “I wanted to offer music students at all levels of ability access to some of the world’s greatest musicians and also a level of support so that they could truly benefit from these courses.” Noting the enormous popularity of the “MasterClass” series of online courses, featuring instructors like Steve Martin teaching comedy and Martin Scorsese sharing insights on filmmaking, he wanted to feature instructors who might otherwise be out of reach of music students, and allow aspiring music learners the opportunity to be taught by celebrity musicians, yet with a carefully designed curriculum, as well as have some fun along the way. Besides their Masterclass tier of classes, Yousicplay also offers an Academy tier which allows student of all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, the opportunity to learn in an even more extensive curriculum-based approach from elite music college level professors.
Merville also realized that it was important to capture each and every lesson with the highest standard of audio and video quality, knowing that students would watch each lesson countless times and truly immerse themselves in the learning process. With this in mind, he sought the help of 7 Avenue Media founder Ardonyx Day, and the team embarked on a busy schedule of capturing lessons by some of the world’s most talented musicians.
Although the YousicPlay platform is only eight months old, students have already had the chance to learn from instructors from around the world. The online course featuring Latin jazz pianist Jesús Molina, born and raised in Colombia, has already been purchased by several thousand music students, featuring lessons that span a wide range of skill levels.
In August, Alain Merville and the 7 Avenue Media team traveled to Los Angeles to film lessons featuring the world-famous jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. This course – which will be available starting in early October – reflects Yousicplay’s goal of offering courses featuring award-winning musicians who might otherwise be “out of reach” to students, because of busy
touring schedules and other factors. A ten-time Grammy winner, Sandoval – a protégé of the jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie – is also the recipient of a Presidential Medal of Freedom, honoring his courageous journey involved in defecting from Cuba to become an American citizen.
In addition to the enthusiastic response of music students around the world, who have been eager to learn from the world-class instructors offered by YousicPlay, Merville was also thrilled to receive a nice compliment from a genuine jazz legend. “When we were speaking with Arturo Sandoval to plan his course,” Merville says, “he told us that he had been approached by MasterClass, who wanted to feature him on their platform. Arturo spend some time checking out the classes on our platform and chose to work with us instead because he was impressed with the way we really make certain that music students are given all the resources they need, to make the most of the experience. That tells me that we’re really on the right track!”
Other musicians who will soon be available on the YousicPlay platform include singer/songwriter Cory Henry, from the popular jazz/rock/funk group Snarky Puppy, and also Argentine-Mexican singer-songwriter and popstar Noel Schajris. At this time when online learning is expanding at rapid pace, Merville is pleased to see, as the expression goes, “the students are ready” and “the teachers have appeared!” The result will be a global expansion of musical expression and joy.
To learn more about the online courses available on the YousicPlay platform, visit: https://yousicplay.com/