DIARY OF AN INVENTOR: Sally Megan Maric and the Chroma Music System

When design student and music fanatic became frustrated with they old-fashioned ways to learn an instrument, she embarked on a mission to shape the future of music practice.
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Research shows that although many young people take up an instrument at school, they can find practice difficult and stop shortly after.

The Chroma Music System, therefore is a two-part system designed to aid young learners in teaching themselves, without the input of an adult or teacher and reduce frustration when practicing.

The system is comprised of the Chroma; an electronic light with 12 coloured LEDs, and a set of special musical books. The 12 colours of the system coordinate with the 12 notes of a scale, giving each tone an assigned colour.

The Chroma Relay itself is designed to tighten to the front of music stands, illuminating the book to avoid distraction and ensure the light is directed away from the student, making it safe and easy for young children to use.

This system was designed to make a connection between a musical note and the written notation, a colour association based upon Chromesthesia, which is where colours are seen when sounds are heard. It’s a phenomenon we all experience to a certain degree.

The Chroma Relay provides feedback to the student in the form of colour lights so that they can determine for themselves when the colours on the Chroma do not match the colours in the book.

Essentially, the manner in which we learn music has not changed for years, and I believe it I about time that it did. Although this system uses a new coloured style, it still introduces children to normal notation and targets the particularly tough beginning stage of learning music.

The Chroma was designed to be sleek to appeal to adults with a colourful flair for the younger users, while the price has been kept to a minimum in order to make the product affordable after purchasing expensive instruments.

At this point, the system has received positive comments from many people, especially at the New Designers Exhibition where I was lucky enough to receive a number of positive comments.

In fact, I encouraged children to play with the product and was pleased to hear that they enjoyed the colourful feedback the system provided.

I aim to continue to develop the Chroma Music System as a personal project and perhaps try to market the product when it is better refined.

Music is a passion of my own and I hope that in the future the Chroma might help music become a passion of another.

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