Yousician Brings Together Heart’s Nancy Wilson and Hootie’s Mark Bryan For Educational Visit With Montclair State University Students

Mark Bryan

Heart’s Nancy Wilson and Hootie and the Blowfish guitarist Mark Bryan each made recent virtual visits with the students at Montclair State University’s John J. Cali School of Music in New Jersey as part of the educational learning platform Yousician’s Guest Teacher Series. Each session involved a Q&A from the students and sage advice from the veteran artists on breaking into the industry, how they composed their hit songs and the importance of music education.

Yousician uses innovative technology that gives players real-time feedback on their playing and offers interactive learning for guitar, bass, ukulele, piano and voice with lessons, exercises and songs. Dr. Bryan Powell, Assistant Professor of Music Education and Music Technology at MSU, used Yousician in his ‘Guitar Techniques’ and ‘Teaching Popular Music’ classes as a remote music learning supplement to his existing syllabus.

The global pandemic and advancements in digital technology have allowed Yousician to innovate and provide free premium+ subscriptions to 150 students at the University as a compliment to their music education curriculum.

“It’s been a great experience integrating Yousician into the class syllabus this semester,” Dr. Powell said. “My students have found it to be really helpful to have a guitar practice tool that is fun and motivating, and I like that it provides them with real-time feedback, especially during remote learning when I can’t be with them in person.”

Nancy Wilson

Wilson, Yousician’s first female guest teacher, performed iconic Heart hits “Barracuda,” “Even It Up” and “Silver Wheels” and then tested the Yousician app with the song “Barracuda.”

“I think learning to play by ear is one thing that is really good to be able to improvise by ear and not to be stuck only playing by reading music on a page,” Wilson said. “Developing your ear, harmony and intervals is really gratifying because you can pick up an instrument and ‘oh, yea, I think I know how that goes’ and you can kinda figure it out without needing a crutch of music on a page…. I think music educators can help develop the ear which is just as important as knowing how to read [music].”

Mark Bryan

Bryan performed several Hootie classics and new material from his upcoming new solo album, Midlife Priceless. He also discussed his recent experience as a music educator in South Carolina.

“Teaching ‘Music Industry’ at the College of Charleston was a chance for me to share 20 years of experience with the next generation. It also helped shape my understanding of how we share music in the era of streaming. More than ever, I feel purposeful about sharing the gift of music; a blessing whether you’re giving or receiving.”

The Yousician Guest Teacher Series launched this past summer with iconic musical artists such as Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Jason Mraz and Phil Collen from Def Leppard. The class experiences bring artists into the classroom to inspire students to keep their music education going no matter the circumstance.

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