Symphony Tacoma has entered into a partnership with Meludia, a French music education company, to help local students stay engaged with their music lessons while COVID-19 restrictions are keeping them out of the classroom. The Meludia Method, a web platform which includes 625 interactive music learning exercises, will be available to about 3,000 participating music students in Symphony Tacoma’s Symphony2U program, University Place School District, Tacoma Youth Symphony Association, Tacoma Youth Chorus, University Place Presbyterian Church Alleluia Choir, children of Tacoma Refugee Choir, and students of Symphony Tacoma musicians.
Once area schools closed, Symphony Tacoma’s education team quickly pivoted to research and develop new virtual content to help students maintain the momentum in their music studies. Meludia’s ear training program came highly recommended by colleagues of Maestra Sarah Ioannides. After evaluating the quality of the program, Symphony staff conferred with Meludia’s creators and determined that it would be a solid alternative for youth participating in Symphony education programs, including Simply Symphonic and Symphony2U.
Symphony Tacoma negotiated a discounted per-student rate for interested area school districts. Thus far, the University Place School District has contracted licenses for its students, and the City of Tacoma has agreed to cover the costs for 250 youth who participate in the Symphony2U music coaching program in five Tacoma schools through the Tacoma Creates initiative.
“I am very excited about Symphony Tacoma’s partnership with University Place School District sponsoring Meludia memberships for our students,” said Chris Burns, orchestra director for Narrows View Intermediate School and Symphony Tacoma’s principal bass. “We have long recognized the wide ranging benefits of music in a student’s education, and Meludia has been a wonderful addition to our music program, offering students an engaging and meaningful way to develop their musical ears on their own at home and at their own pace. Symphony Tacoma’s initiative to bring Meludia to our students is a perfect way to enhance their experience of music.”
The partnership with Meludia began when Music Director Sarah Ioannides was invited as a delegate to the World Culture Summit in Abu Dhabi in 2017 with the support of the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and Symphony Board. “I have worked on the platform and found it to be valuable for ear training for both kids and adults, including professional musicians,” says Ioannides. “I am so pleased that we are able to make Meludia available to local students so they won’t fall behind in their music studies over the summer.”
The Meludia platform allows students to proceed at their own pace through a game-like platform using sleek minimalist visuals and acoustics. Learning occurs through right-brained instinct and experimentation, rather than a more traditionally prescribed process. The gaming component adds an element of sport and motivates players to aim for the next level as they heighten their ability to listen.
Two Symphony2U musician coaches are also participating in Meludia training to learn the many facets of the program. After the training, they will create instructional videos customized for different age groups, from beginning violin elementary students through high school orchestra players. Access to the training program will be distributed from teachers to their students who will be able to stay connected with their music in new enriching ways while outside of school.