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The LUMI Manifesto

Music is a universal language that everyone understands. So why is it that so few people can ‘speak’ it? That's the question that set us on the path to create LUMI, and over the last four years we have developed some strong opinions about music learning. Here is our manifesto.  

Music learning is a human right

Music is a fundamental part of human experience and self-understanding. Music making is a uniquely powerful way to express our emotions. And music learning and play has extraordinary benefits, from supporting brain development to boosting self-confidence. We all have the right to be musical. 

Music learning is fundamentally broken

When you imagine someone learning piano, you might picture a student sitting on a piano bench with a teacher beside her. She’s looking at sheet music, and learning a classical piece. But all of these images – the teacher, the sheet music, the choice of song – are based on an out-dated ideal of how one should learn music. It can often be a joyless, rigid process that is inaccessible to most people. It doesn’t fit with the digital, exploratory, and creative ways we learn today – certainly not with remote, self-driven learning to which we are all now adapting. The challenge is not just access: we need to fundamentally change how we approach music learning. 

We are on a mission to revolutionize the way people learn to play music. 

It isn’t our goal to tell you what to learn, or what your end goal should be. So what is our goal? Helping you to experience the joy of playing music. To do this, we have built a platform based on 4 core principles, that come from our extensive experience as musicians, teachers, creative learners, and people who want to radically rethink music learning - from curriculum to notation to practice. We believe all music learning should be: 

1. Accessible 

We want music learning to be within reach of every household. We believe that you should be able to learn from anywhere. It should be frictionless to get started. To be accessible to everyone, music learning needs to be inclusive. It must embrace different kinds of music and diverse approaches to learning, and free itself from bias. And it should be open to folks regardless of whether they are young or old, short or tall, male or female - this, for example, is why we made LUMI keys slightly smaller than traditional keyboards which are optimized for tall people (i.e. men) with large hands. 

2. Fun 

Music is a joyful way of expressing oneself - and to get good at it takes time and practice. But at the same time, music is a journey and only the journey matters - there is no final destination. And if the journey isn’t fun, the vast majority of people will simply give up and tell themselves it is because they lack talent. This is why we have made sure the LUMI app is built around entertaining activities and game-like exercises. 

3. Interactive 

Music is like language - you learn to speak before you learn to write. Nobody worries if a toddler pronounces words in a funny way - mature language comes from constant playful engagement, experimentation, and practice. We learn art by making messes and trying new things. The path to becoming an athlete usually starts on the playground.  We believe that music learning should be about doing before theory, interaction not just explanation. Our bite-sized lessons are interactive and guide you step-by-step so you can learn at home, at your own pace. All the activities in LUMI are about trying and experiencing what it is to be musical yourself.

4. Personal  

Learning music is about YOU. Everyone has different tastes in music, different goals, and aspirations. For us, first and foremost this means a music learning platform needs to be tailored to your interests and needs. It means you should be learning with music you listen to and love - whether you’re into Beyonce or Bach. Personalised music learning needs to leverage modern approaches to data so you can see what you are learning and how you are progressing and this can become the basis for a curriculum that’s made specifically for you. 

Collectively, we can change this. 

Music is human magic. We want it to be un-intimidating, un-boring, self-led, data-driven, remote-first. That’s why our keys light up! Let’s use technology to break down all the barriers to music learning. Let’s make sure that there are no gatekeepers. Let’s make sure everyone can experience this joyful and profound form of human expression.

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