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Guitar Professor Mak Grgic Wins InnoVision Education Award for Music App

Notey, a leading AI-based music education company co-founded by University of South Carolina Assistant Professor of Guitar Mak Grgić, was recently awarded the 2023 InnoVision Award in Education. The award recognizes innovative approaches to education that create new educational opportunities and experiences for students, new methods of delivery, or improved quality and efficiency.

Two months after it launched its application in the Apple store, Notey was selected as the winner in the category from nearly 100 applications submitted nationwide.

“We are so grateful to receive this award because we believe it will eventually help millions of people to experience the wonder of playing musical instruments,” says Grgić, a two-time Grammy-nominated classical guitarist. “Music and gaming are a great combination. Music sets the mood, and then the game pulls you in. This way, we apply extrinsic values such as rewards, upgrades, and power-ups to imprint the values of music practice.”

Music and gaming are a great combination. Music sets the mood, and then the game pulls you in. 

— Mak Grgić, Assistant Professor of Guitar and co-founder of Notey

Notey is the first ever AI-enabled, fully gamified music lesson app for younger users. As many parents know, music lessons are one of the most important aspects of a child’s brain development. Unfortunately, many families cannot afford lessons, or their schools have had to cut music education due to lack of funds. Some parents can get lessons but need a helping hand when getting kids to practice. Notey helps solve all these problems while making it fun for young musicians.

Notey partners with music teachers and students to add spice to practice sessions. This supplement to teaching works best as a tool to get the students extra excited about practicing. Moreover, Team Notey can work with music teachers and schools to integrate existing curricula into the game!

“The opportunity to teach music to so many people excites us. There are also many ways that music and gaming intersect in the real world. We’ve made that intersection into a way to learn musical instruments, and we hope to bring music into households worldwide,” said Notey co-founder Adithya Bellathur.

Notey was founded in 2022 and participates in the TechStars accelerator program in Washington, DC. Notey supports guitar practice and playing but will add new content for other instruments early next year while continuing to evolve the player experience into the AR realm with interactive AI feedback in the coming months.

InnoVision Awards, established in 1999, is South Carolina’s premier organization dedicated to the advancement of innovation and technology. InnoVision is the only program of its kind – a grass-roots, volunteer-led non-profit organization made up of businesses, organizations, universities, and individuals dedicated to finding innovation and technology in products, services, and education from across the state, and recognizing and honoring peers for achievements in their respective fields. InnoVision Awards are the mark of distinction for outstanding leadership, innovation, and technological excellence.

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