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The Full Story


Everyone deserves opportunities for innovative and interactive music lessons that help their development and creativity. Give yourself and your loved one a chance - so we can spread the wings together.


Do you think learning music can help children’s development? Do you have a passion but have been putting it off? Our innovative music curriculum has two strong competitive advantages over other educational institutions. Curious? Scroll down to learn more!


Ripple Effect Music is an organization that provides quality music education to all ages and levels in Portland, Oregon.

We provide music lessons with our innovative music curriculum and technology. Our goal is to create a 501(c)(3) organization to provide music lessons to underprivileged children by matching donors.


Ripple Effect Music believes in people’s limitless potential. We believe in diversity, creation of goodwill to lead an abundant life, and sustainability. 


Music connects people fluidly, just like a ripple effect. Ripple Effect Music helps students to maximize their potential with an immersive musical experience. Everyone deserves the same first step. We, as adults, were often told less is more. We would like to make an exception for our students and actualize the old cliché, “The more, the merrier”. It's the cliché that can heal the wound.

The Innovative Music Curriculum

  Many private music teachers use the existing teaching materials, such as Faber Piano Adventures. For beginner piano students, more than 80% of the teachers ask the parents to purchase the same book by default. While the existing books provide convenience and structure to teachers, we found out that it unnecessarily prolongs the learning process. It often takes more than three months to finish one book, and we have met numerous students who were still unable to read the music after spending one year in other educational institutions. 


  On the other hand, we customize the sheet music and empower our students to read music from day one. By using the music notation program, Sibelius, students can experience interactive learning experience in real time during the lesson. For example, the music notes are not “printed” on the paper - we can move them on the screen and show students how they sound as they go up and down. It also saves a huge amount of lesson time, compared to teachers “drawing” notes on the staff paper. This way, teachers can spend more quality time with students. We also send customized sheet music to parents, and it’s just a few clicks away. The customers will never hear us explaining “The song he wants to learn is too difficult for his level.”, or see the hand-written homework that can get messy easily. 


Music Notation Software, Sibelius












An example of hand-written sheet music and assignments by other educational institutions













An example of customized sheet music by Ripple Effect Music, tailored within a few minutes during the lesson


















  However, it was not only the flexibility and efficiency that made our curriculum the top performer in multiple states and institutions. Because of its interactiveness and brain-stimulating process, it enables our students to write their own original songs. As experienced teachers guide gently, people can maximize their potential and pleasantly surprise their loved ones. When they heard their children’s original songs, the parent’s satisfaction went up significantly more than listening to them playing the existing classical songs. 


  Interestingly, this pedagogy often shined more virtually. When the music schools switched to 100% virtual lessons in 2020, the biggest concern for the music teachers was that the satisfaction of customers was significantly low. Physical presence next to each other and sharing the moment can be more essential in playing music than learning math, and students often feel blocked. Since this pedagogy asks students to develop creativity and stimulates the brain more than just playing the instruments, we maintained or increased the satisfaction score consistently.


  One of the concerns of parents is that their children do not like practicing the instruments. Writing their own song often keeps students engaged and makes them want to play more. Another interesting observation is students often write more advanced songs than their level of playing. Students' learning speed went up significantly by writing the original songs and learning how to play them. The writing process helps enhance both reading skills and creativity. When the students went back to the original book after 2-3 sessions of writing and playing, teachers often found that the book already become too easy for them.


This pedagogy and software utilization meet all of the VRIO criteria for competitive advantage analysis - valuable, rare, costly to imitate (both money- and time-wise to develop), and fully exploitable by the organization. 


An example of the original song written by a 5-year-old student, composed during the 30-min private lesson: 












  This new student from another music school had focus issues, and his parents were concerned that they couldn’t keep him engaged. By writing fun songs, and naming & coloring more advanced chords on the sheet music, he became very enthusiastic about learning piano.

Advanced Music Technology

  Because of the current music that they are listening to in 2023, young children’s ears are more advanced than adults might assume. However, the music they are asked to play at the music school was written hundreds of years ago, even though it has wonderful values. It is a no-brainer why some students hate practicing - it simply is not interesting to their ears. 


  Our executive director, Hae-Jeung Kang developed the curriculum using high technology with her expertise and education in executive MBA and the latest music technology. With her impressive array of awards, studies, and over 18 years of teaching experience, Hae-Jeung thoughtfully designed an interactive music curriculum that helps children’s development and enhances creativity. In addition to the music notation program for education, we can efficiently record and produce the student’s original songs, even with orchestral sound. We can record from Pop to orchestral music in one lesson room, without investing a huge amount of money in a recording studio, grand piano, violinists, drums, cables, and rehearsal time and space. Parents may find their young children’s well-produced music on Spotify. It must be a fond memory for the family! Music is not tangible, and that is another big challenge in music education. It’s not easy for the stakeholders to see the progress clearly. By producing a valuable end result with the students, customer satisfaction increases with cherishable memory.  


Example of virtual orchestra session on Logic Pro X (Music Production Software)

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