More important than launching a creative product is launching a creative product that actually works, especially in education. There is an art to impact.
In business, you are always looking for what can give you an upper hand against your competitors. Whether its price or something that makes your product catchy. In education, this is even more important because it can be the deciding factor on whether your product gets in front of students. However, you have to be careful with only focusing on creativity because when it comes down to teaching children, the only thing that matters is if you are actually helping them improve their understanding. You must have an impact! Yes, lessons should be engaging and it’s wonderful when the students are dancing, laughing, and having a good time. However, after that experience is over what have they taken away? What will they remember to bring back to the classroom to perform better? These are the hard questions I force myself to answer daily. Make Music Count is a math company which means our results need to improve math performance. Also, every educational company needs to keep this in mind when adding new creative methods to capture students attention. The goal at the end of each lesson needs to be retention and application back to the original subject. With our music incorporation into each math lesson, I had to be careful that the math was not lost in the piano playing. However, thankfully our lessons use of direct math application keeps a good balance between “feeling like math” while offering music as the reward. Most importantly our data shows that we are actually improving the performance of our math students.
Make Music Count students increased their math test scores by 28%
There’s another take on not getting lost in the creativity that I’d like to touch on. Many entrepreneurs get sostuck in the creative process of making a product that they forget that there’s a business that you need to form around it. This is a particular place where many businesses die. With Make Music Count our creativity is in the curriculum that has been created but how was I going to get this to the students? This is the difference between having a product and creating a business around your product. Please understand that no one is going to figure this out for you. There wasn’t one school that’s going to think of where to put my curriculum during the school day, or how it was going to be paid for. I had to do my research to realize that the best place for my program was during after-school programs. My class was loud and sounded like a band rehearsal. It would have been difficult to put that during the school day. Then I realized that there are grants like the 21st Century grant that is specifically created to pay for enrichment activities and vendors to be used during after-school programs. Also, with that, I had a creative product and now a business model around how it will work.
I am facing this same challenge now that Make Music Count is an online platform for iPads and Android tablets. The product is finished, engaging, and awesome but what route is best for getting it in front of parents, teachers, and students? Should I market it through social media platforms? Should we partner with other educational platforms that already have the following and just need new creative math tools? Should we do both? I’m not sure of the answer just yet, but the point is that as an entrepreneur I can not pat myself on the back for a finished product because there’s a business model that needs to be created around it. Be creative but afterwards create the business to get your creativity in front of people to have an impact.
For more information visit makemusiccount.com . Search “Make Music Count” in the Google Play or Apple store to download our app for your Android tablet or iPad.