Leah Harris was teaching music full time and performing regularly as a singer in Stockholm before she joined the company in March of 2015.
“I saw the job ad, got a good feeling about the company, and then picked up and moved to Helsinki to try out things with Yousician. I came here and it was the best move I ever made,” she says.
As she comes up on her one year anniversary at the company, we’re taking a look back at her first three months, where a lot came together quickly. As a Music Education Designer, Leah was charged with creating Yousician’s Piano syllabus and tailoring Yousician into its first instrument outside of the guitar. By the end of her first three months they were already testing out the MVP with new songs and a whole host of new features.
“It started with curriculum. We decided what paths we wanted and went through to decide what would be involved in each level. I was working with Markus the [music] Producer – to say something like this song needs to be in C major, uses these notes, and sounds like this.”
“He would come back with some awesome tracks… we had an idea to have some epic songs, like really dark with low men’s voices like Game of Thrones,” Leah laughs. “We had some good tracks like Dr. Medieval for the first MVP. But maybe it wasn’t for everyone. You know, let’s try to give people what they want with a more positive mood.”
On top of the music, the other big question was how to adapt Yousician to the piano. One idea was to use a different view, such as vertically falling notes that hit the keyboard. It can get users playing complicated things quickly, but Leah says they focused on horizontal approach and visual style that can also be applied to standard notation. Yousician “colored notation” uses colors to help users learn notes like standard notation and also offers a chord-based learning approach for contemporary styles.
“It’s something that we’re working on because we feel it’s super important to overcome the challenge of learning sheet music,” says Leah.
At Yousician, Leah is continuing to work on the Piano’s syllabus while also having her eyes on the big picture. “I feel people here have a fantastic way of approaching things – people are passionate and really care about our users by doing the Lean Startup approach to give people what they want.”
One of her takeaways is that that she’s learned you can accomplish a lot of things quickly. “The team here has been carefully chosen based on their passion, and I’ve never seen so many enormous, exciting ideas come together so fast.”
The Yousician team is growing. We’d love for you to join us in making the world a more musical place.