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A music education could be more valuable than you think. Studies show that a music education improves vocabulary, reading, memory, and motor skills.

Check out this infographic below from The Music Void.

music education

 

My buddy Bruce Houghton at Hypebot, caught me last week for a quick interview before Rethink Music.  Here is an except from our discussion:

HYPEBOT: Your new focus is on consulting and investing. Are there any sectors, particularly within music and music tech, that particularly interest you or where you see the most room for growth?

DAVE KUSEK: Online education is one of them. This is an area that is already transforming how people learn and gain job skills and it is only going to grow as time goes on. There are big opportunities here that will effect tens of millions of people around the world. Online training is going to be huge. Job requirements are shifting and people need to be able to adapt to changing circumstances that can benefit them. The traditional model of higher education is already under pressure and there are many people and companies exploring alternative models that are very interesting.

The other area I am bullish on is live music and live events. The live concert experience cannot be digitized, yet can benefit enormously from technology. There really has not been much innovation in live music or in music merchandising beyond ticketing. I think there is a lot more that can be done with mobile technology and am actively working in this area. My investment in Tastemate is one way of digging into this potential in a meaningful way. We will be bringing our service to a venue near you, very soon.

I also think that there is potential to expand the reach of live performance using remote technologies. I am interested in ways to cut the costs out of touring to make it more profitable and to reach broader audiences. It is amazing to me that there has not been more activity in this area either, so I am looking for companies and people to work with that are thinking differently about what live music is all about and how to make it even more lucrative.

HYPEBOT: What are some of the things that Digital Cowboys has done in the past or is looking to do now?

DAVE KUSEK: We are focused on business development, marketing and product development, particularly in online and mobile services. We also do strategy consulting for businesses wanting to expand or enter new markets or make acquisitions. I say we, because while I am the managing partner, I also leverage a network of people around the world and with different specialties that I bring together to form a team to address the issues. For example, with a lot of the product work that we have done I brought together a team of visual designers and user experience people to execute on the product vision and do the testing. With business development projects I sometimes work with friends that have particular contacts or relationships that are beneficial to my clients. Sometimes I put together a couple different investors or strategic partners to provide capital or distribution or some other need. The main thing is to get the work done and show results, while trying to have some fun and work on interesting projects that are pushing the envelope.

HYPEBOT: There’s some talk of another tech bubble. Do you see think we’re approaching one in music and media technology?

DAVE KUSEK: I do think that some of the deals we have seen recently are off the charts, like Instagram – but who knows? That has all the earmarks of “bubble” written all over it. But Facebook is also about to go public and at their level, what’s another billion dollars?

But really I don’t think overall that we are at the point of frivolousness and excess that we witnessed in the earlier dot-com bubble, at least not yet. I believe that people are just beginning to figure out better ways to communicate and interact and learn via technology. That is having massive implications on the future of society around the world. Take a look at the stock market trend over the past 100 years and you will see that things tend to move up and people get smarter and more prosperous. I am an optimist.

There are a lot of music startups getting funded these days and certainly they are not all going to make it. I think we will see some consolidation in the DIY space as there are probably more companies addressing that market than the market really needs. The same is true for music streaming and distribution and music discovery. I think the real breakthrough companies will be formed by trying to do something completely different, rather than mimicking the past with technology. We’ll see.

HYPEBOT: Any plans to write a follow-up to the “Future Of Music” book?

DAVE KUSEK: I plan to spend a lot more time posting things to my blog and on digitalcowboys.com. This is a much better way to continue to update original thinking and way more efficient than writing another book. The music industry has gone digital and online outlets like Hypebot really do work as conduits in this business. That is a real bright spot in the transformation of the music industry. So, look for more at futureofmusicbook.com.

You can get the entire interview here.

More coverage from Hypebot here and from Billboard here.

A new study, released by the US Department of Education, found that many types of online education for a college degree are better at raising student achievement than face-to-face teaching is.

That’s quite a seal of approval.

The big advantage in digital learning is the “time on task,” or flexibility for a student to absorb the content of a subject. Once students are given “control of their interactions,” they can set their own pace. They often study longer or visualize a problem differently. Professors are also forced to design better instructional techniques by the very nature of the technology.

The most effective learning occurs when a school combines e-learning with classroom teaching. Yet for many students, such as stay-at-home parents or those with day jobs or those with low income, online learning is all they can afford in time or money.

The Education Department is making plans to create free, online courses for the nation’s 1,200 community colleges – which teach nearly half of undergrads – to make it easier for students to learn basic skills for jobs. The courses would be offered as part of a “national skills college” managed by the department.

The rapid rise of e-learning may finally help burst the bubble in rising tuition costs, which now average more than $25,000 a year for a degree from a private bricks-and-mortar institution.

Someday the best college teachers in the country won’t need to be confined to one institution but will find their lectures and course materials spread to millions of students at low cost via the Internet. That would be a huge, historic leap in productivity for the education industry.

The US needs more competitive workers with advanced degrees, a goal set by President Obama. In the past decade, the number of university students worldwide is up by nearly half to 153 million. Any country that makes learning more accessible and less expensive through cutting-edge cybertechnology – say, by putting textbooks on devices such as the Kindle – will have a leg up in the global knowledge economy.


Read more from CS Monitor.


Check out Berklee’s Online Music School

It is one thing to talk about the impact of technology on the music business, and it is another thing to actually do something positive with it. The video clip below describes some of the work that we have been doing here at Berklee to address the opportunities brought about by technology on the business of music education.

http://www.artistshousemusic.org/player/flvplayershare.swf?file=http://www.artistshousemusic.com/video/berklee/berklee.flv

Check out the online music school Berkleemusic.com

See other similar video clips at ArtistHouseMusic.