We are happy to have content to show you, as well as a promise that the site will be up and running by early October! It will be feature complete, with a lot of content being updated regularly for the first several months. This first period will essentially be the Beta period. If you are a backer with a reward, your reward will start to count after the Beta period ends (so if you got 6 months of Advanced, you'll have 6 month of advanced when the site launches, as well as however long the Beta period lasts).
Here are some core links for everyone until the site is up!
I mentioned content - Please enjoy these preview videos!! They are representative of the format which course videos will take on KMA proper. These include subtitles, as well - both in English and Chinese (Mandarin). These videos are a little shorter than average, and each course will have ~10 - 15 videos total. Courses will also have quizzes, and other forms of instruction (PDFs, downloadable MP3 exercises, etc).
For now, enjoy these, and feel free to submit any feedback to me. I always appreciate it.
Thank you to everyone for all of the support! We are excited to make this project a reality, and help you with you and your students' music education =)
Here is a sneak peek of the pre-release version of KMA!
What is Kitsune Music Academy, and who is it for?
Kitsune Music Academy (KMA) is a subscription platform, one which aims to be a resource for musicians to further their education. Students will be able to use KMA to understand music at a very elementary level, and also reach concepts which go beyond what one would expect to learn in a college music program. Lessons will be presented via well-produced videos, as well as printable resources and exercises. KMA will also host live streams with guest teachers, as well as offering private, online lessons for a nominal fee (with various discounts, depending on membership level).
KMA is ideal for the following types of students:
- Absolute beginners looking for an interactive resource to begin their journey, at a significantly lower price than conventional private lessons.
- Intermediate musicians who are seeking a challenge, as well as motivation to improve.
- Advanced, college-level musicians who would like to see difficult concepts broken down into easy-to-understand courses. Also, by using the forums, having the ability to seek guidance.
- Home-schooled students and teachers - the live streams will be a fantastic way for interaction with KMA's teachers, and the plethora of resources on KMA will keep you busy for a very long time.
- Students in public education who want to learn more about topics they don't have time to talk about in music classes. There will be special pricing available for students and teachers.
- Students who are already enrolled in private lessons with a teacher who would enjoy additional resources. Also, their teachers are more than welcome to join and request lessons which cater to their curriculum!
You mentioned Membership Level? What do you mean by that?
KMA will have three tiers of membership: Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced. Elementary will cater to people with little-to-no prior knowledge of music. Intermediate will assume the student has had some experience with music, or has completed the lessons in the Elementary tier. Advanced will be directed towards those who have completed Intermediate, or who already have a strong knowledge of the topic at hand. It should be noted that the tier system works like an inverted pyramid: If you are an Elementary subscriber, you will only have access to the Elementary courses and lessons; if you are Intermediate, you will have access to Intermediate and Elementary courses; and, of course, if you are an Advanced subscriber, you will have access to everything.
Why use a subscription site when YouTube has videos like these for free?
This is a totally valid question, especially considering I have previously made instructional videos on YouTube. I've spent a lot of time watching these videos, and found the information to be inconsistent - within the same channel, sometimes it was great, other times it was just wrong. Also, few channels had the full spectrum of education. There is a fair amount of content available for new players, but very little for intermediate and advanced.
I've found similar issues across other subscription-based online music education sites. Without naming names, here are a few of the issues I've found with them:
- Too expensive. Good courses, but literally sometimes over $1k for a course.
- Reasonably priced (but still too high, in my opinion) but doesn't go far enough into the advanced topics to be worth the price.
- Little to no interaction with their community for feedback.
I aim to produce very high-quality content which truly stretches the range of skill levels. I also aim to be fully interactive with the community of KMA. And, of course, I want the price to be low. The pricing structure of KMA will be $5 at the lowest tier, and $15 at the highest. This is lower barrier to entry than all of the other subscription-based sites, and will offer a broader range of content. And, to be completely clear to the audience, I am pursuing a subscription-based model because I do not want to have ads on this site; but still need to pay server costs.
What kinds of courses do you plan to offer?
Upon the official site launch, there will be courses for Piano, Bass, Voice, Theory, and Music Production. For a detailed look at what is planned for these first courses, please refer to this document.
Beyond these, there will be more instruments (at least Guitar and Drums), as well as more lessons in the existing courses. Once the initial courses have been established, it is expected to have (at least) 5 new lessons per month. The site will have discussion forums where students can talk about previous lessons, as well as make suggestions for new ones!
What will you do with the funds from this Kickstarter?
Any and all funds received from the Kickstarter will go towards the development of KMA. There are equipment costs (Camera(s), Lavalier microphone(s), etc), development costs (Website development, content creation, etc) as well as ongoing costs (subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud for asset creation, etc).
If funding exceeds the requested amount, additional teachers will be brought in, and we will prepare more courses for launch (including Guitar). We will also begin captioning videos, including Chinese translation! 如果资金超出所定目标，我会计划在教学视频里加入中文字幕。
In your summary, you mentioned "Supplement or replacement for traditional music lessons," could you clarify on that?
Absolutely. I do not want to kill the traditional music lesson. In fact, I think they are an incredibly important part of our musical culture. That is why I very explicitly chose the term "supplement." I would love for teachers to recommend KMA as a resource to further their learning, or even be implemented into lessons! I use the term replacement because, in some cases, perhaps students live in a location without any music teachers for what they want to learn (I know bass teachers can be hard to come by, sometimes) - in this case, it would be a way for them to learn what they're interested in without compromise! Though I feel strongly that our content will be good enough to be a complete series of lessons on their own, I would love to work alongside teachers to give students the best education they can get!
So who are you, and what qualifies you to teach me?
My name is Alex Gelinas =) I've been a musician for over twenty years, with extensive experience in performing (I have an associate's degree in music performance from Grant MacEwan University) as well as music production/computer music (I'm an honours with distinction graduate from the Electronic Production & Design program at Berklee College of Music). I've also been teaching lessons (privately, as well as doing online tutorials/lessons) for nearly ten years. I was also one of the primary developers of MusicPlay Online! KMA is more than just me, though - I have other teachers on board already, and they will be introduced over the course of the campaign!
Risks and challenges
With an ambitious project such as this, the biggest risk is that the launch of the site will slip past its projected late October release date. The most likely cause of this would be a lack of content at the time of release. Content is being generated at the initial time of writing this Kickstarter, and will continue well after the launch of the site. The website is also under active development, with elements such as the subscription architecture and platform already in place. The creator of KMA is a proven professional, with a history of hitting target dates on web projects.
A secondary concern would be making sure the user-base stays at enough of a level for KMA to stay open. There is a lot of content planned for the future, and the quality will be of the level where students of all levels will be satisfied.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)