As predicted by leaks Duolingo, the app synonymous with language learning, is expanding its portfolio into a new discipline with Duolingo Music. When it launches next month Duolingo will also be rolling out its Maths lessons (which have been in beta for around a year) to the main app, so you’ll be able to develop your math, music, and language skills all in one place.
According to the announcement trailer and press release we’ve been sent, the new digital piano experience will help develop your skills across “hundreds of interactive lessons” so you can find out how to perform “over 200 familiar tunes”. Based on what we’ve seen you’ll pick up music theory skills, as well as learn how to play tunes on an in-app virtual keyboard.
Best all, just like the existing Duolingo language courses (of which there are over 40), you’ll be able to access the music and math teaching for free. Duolingo has said the new experiences will be ad-supported just like the existing language lessons unless you pay for Super Duolingo – though it's not yet clear if Super will go up in price because of the new courses.
The new music course will launch on iOS devices on October 11 and will be available in both English and Spanish. We’ve been told by a Duolingo representative that other platforms and languages will be supported “soon” but there are no firm dates yet – hopefully we’ll learn more at Duocon which also takes place on October 11.
Not leaving my home screen soon
Duolingo has been a permanent resident of my home screen for the past few months with my lesson streak currently over 110 days long. Ahead of a holiday to Belgium it was one of the language apps I used to develop my French skills, and (in an attempt to actualize my hopes of a holiday there) I’ve pivoted to learning Japanese since returning home.
The gamified courses (and the very emotive Duo widget I have set up for the app that shows the bird morphing from determined to sad to filled with the rage of 1,000 suns as the end of the day draws near and I haven’t completed a lesson) have kept me coming back for more – striking a good balance between engaging and informative. With these new music lessons on the way too, the app might have just further cemented itself to its spot on my home screen.
That said, I’m a little skeptical of the virtual keyboard experience. I’m worried it’ll be a little too small on my phone, and that playing it wouldn’t translate all that well to playing an actual piano. Given its success with language lessons, I'm hopeful the music experience will be solid too, but I'll have to hold off judgment until I’ve tried it out for myself – unfortunately, as a Google Pixel 6 user I might be left waiting a while for the Android release.