If you tuned in to Duocon 2023, our newest offering was probably music to your ears 🎶 That’s right, we’re introducing a new Music course!

Why Music? Well, studies show that learning music helps with reading, verbal, listening, and math skills. It can even delay the cognitive decline associated with aging. Though music education has many benefits, more than 3.6 million students in the U.S. don’t have access to music education. And for those wanting to pursue further instruction, private lessons can cost up to $400 per session!

Duolingo characters Oscar and Duo dancing on a piano keyboard. Purple musical notes swirl around them.

Music fits our mission to make education accessible to everyone on the planet—and we wanted to make sure the millions without access to music education could still develop these fun and enriching skills. While other apps focus on training learners for a performance on a specific instrument, we decided to take a much broader (and more accessible) approach. With the new course, anyone can learn music literacy, including reading and identifying notes and playing familiar songs.

Three screens showing the new Music course. The first iPhone screen shows a Duolingo path labeled "Unit 1: Learn the notes C, D, and E" and there are two nodes completed. The second two screens are exercises from the Music course: the phone is oriented horizontally for both. The first exercise shows someone playing notes on a keyboard that correspond to notes on a staff, and the second is a "fill in the blank exercise" where a learner drags the appropriate note or rest note onto the staff.

In addition to complementing our mission, the Music course fits the Duolingo teaching style perfectly. Instead of watching lengthy videos or reading long-form text to get explanations of musical concepts, learn through interacting with game-like exercises that keep you focused and engaged.

A  GIF of an iPhone screen during a Music lesson. It shows a screenshot from a lesson where a learner drags the note to the appropriate spot on the staff.

Using an on-screen keyboard, you’ll learn bit-by-bit, finding notes on the keyboard and then on a staff. Throughout a lesson, you gain playing, sight reading, and listening skills, and eventually, put your new knowledge to the test by playing full-length songs!

A GIF of an iPhone screen during a Music lesson. It shows a screenshot from a lesson where a learner plays the notes shown on a staff on the piano keyboard below.

ICYMI, we previewed the Music course at Duocon 2023. The Music course is part of an expanded Duolingo, where you can learn all of our available subjects (Music, Math, and more than 40 languages) all in one app. You can watch the full talk below!

Now, for some FAQs…

What will I learn in the Music course?

Right now, Music teaches you…

  • Rhythm
  • Note names and where notes are located on a piano
  • How to put sounds together in order to play a familiar song
  • How to read music and “translate” what you see or hear
  • How to train your ear to distinguish notes and different sounds (like high vs. low notes)

Will Music lessons count towards my Duolingo streak?

Yes! An expanded Duolingo lets you study more subjects in the same app. This means that your Music (and Math!) lessons will count towards your streak, and XP you earn from these courses will help you finish Daily Quests, unlock new achievements, and more!

Do you need to own an instrument to use the Music course?

Nope! Our delightful course gets you started learning notes and reading music all from your phone. We’re helping you build a foundation for music education that you can apply to any instrument!

Are there different instruments available?

Right now, all of our lessons are based on a piano keyboard.

When can I enroll in the course?

We’re excited to bring our Music course to as many learners as possible. To start, Duolingo Music will be available on iOS devices (OS 16 or higher) in English and Spanish, but we’re hoping to bring the course to more learners very soon!