Vancouver – Tritone  is proud to introduce “Javakeys “, the latest advanced feature for its online music education systems. “Javakeys” is a virtual keyboard interface, enhancing the design of Tritone’s e-learning tools, and expanding the interaction between the computer and “Javatrax” – Tritone’s music performance evaluation engine.
Javatrax provides web based performance evaluations for music played into the system via a music keyboard interface. Javatrax threading technology creates three evaluations simultaneously and immediately provides a graphic display of note, timing and expressional errors made. Virtual Performance recordings and evaluations are saved in CourseWatch 2.0 – Tritone’s web based data management system – for later review and playback by both teacher and student. Javatrax is an integral part of the overall Tritone Music Series online education system used to teach such musical elements as note reading, ear training, rhythm, and more.
“Javakeys” was designed as part of a solution to a number of Tritone’s original goals. The Tritone Music Series was designed and is best used with an electronic music keyboard. Ideally every student in every class using our system should have access an electronic keyboard. For distant learning situations or virtual school activities, they should also have one at home. We know this is not always possible and “Javakeys” overcomes the obstacle.
With two different operating modes, “Javakeys” provides a virtual and interactive tool that substitutes for the music keyboard in performance and music learning activities. In one mode, “Javakeys” effectively transforms the computer’s own keyboard into a musical interface. An onscreen display reinforces the relationship between the computer keyboard and a music keyboard, allowing the student to actively play music.
Tritone works very well with touch screen technologies and the virtual keyboard mode of “Javakeys” further compliments this application of our online music education system. Using an onscreen graphic image of a music keyboard, music and music exercises can be played by tapping the keys of a touch screen, or by clicking the keys with a mouse or computer keyboard on more traditional computer setups. In either of its two modes, “Javakeys” performs in real time, and the modes are interchangeable even in the middle of an exercise.
School districts have been extremely positive about the new application. Garnett MacMullin, Tritone’s CEO, states that “Tritone’s unique set of applications open opportunities for districts to implement e-learning music throughout the district without having to set up specific music labs. Tritone’s concept was to make the internet a virtual music lab but schools and districts were still having trouble with equipment costs or space. Now with the new “Javakeys” interface any computer in the school can provide access. Students at home without an electronic keyboard can also perform the same tasks.”
Tritone Music Series is inspirational for general music education with the teacher and students using an interactive smart board. This application allows the introduction of web based learning of music with performance evaluation without the investment in the electronic music instruments. This is excellent for class interaction and participation. There are few online learning programs that can actually teach a physical skill and we think this could be interesting for large scale presentations.
Currently, Virtual schools offer little in the area of music but activity in such schools is increasing. Providing music keyboards to all their music students to accomplish the performance testing is often quite difficult. Tritone Music Series can be used with an electronic keyboard, but the new “Javakeys” virtual version expands the opportunities, reaching out to a wider base of students, and allows them to complete the same learning objectives as those in traditional classroom settings.
Ultimately, “Javakeys” cannot substitute a real music instrument for more advanced music study. But it does offer an effective first step into the world of online music education. We hope that this experience will inspire schools and students alike to make further investments into their music programs and take full advantage of the online on demand motivating technologies and music education content that Tritone provides.
Many decommissioned labs and dated computers and equipment can be re-commissioned and simply adapted for music education. Tritone applications leverage existing technologies and with the advent of “Javakeys” opens new doors for music learning online at school and home.