You might rembemer from your piano lessons when you were nine years old that sheet music isn’t all that intuitive when you first start playing. Finnish startup Hurry Up! Games released their first game called Hoot, which is targeted towards amatur musicians, mainly children, who are just starting to learn the basics of music theory. The app is being developed by game developers Miro Holopainen and Antti Kovanto, and is being funded by AppCampus. The two entrepreneurs participated in Helsinki’s AppCademy, the AppCampus accelerator. Naturally as part of being in AppCampus, the app can be found in the Windows Phone store.

“I love music and I’ve been a musician for over twenty years. I realized I needed to learn music theory to breakthrough to the next level. But.. It turns out learning sheet music is a struggle. I thought to myself, there must be a better way to learn this stuff.“ Says Miro Holopainen, the designer of HOOT.

The method for learning music theory is baked into the gameplay. At first there is a tutorial that tells about note lengths, pitch heights and how to use the game. “Then it gets interesting, says Holopainen. “First you hear an example song, then you try to replicate it, by moving notes up and down on sheet of music. So, it is not a questionnaire – the music theory is embedded into the game and couldn’t function without it.”

As a complete beginner the game sounds difficult, but you can bribe your in-game teacher with an apple to give some advice on correct positions.

“I feel that music theory is actually very hard to learn and a source of frustration for the kids and the adults, in a thing that should be about joy, that is music,” says Holopainen. “If an app like HOOT can help you take some of that frustration away, I’m happy.”