USC School of Music faculty member wins InnoVision Award for Education and Technology

November 14, 2023

Notey, the leading AI-based music education company, was awarded the InnoVision Education award this week, just two months after it launched its application in the Apple store. Notey was selected as the winner in the category from nearly 100 applications submitted nationwide.

Mak Grgic, Assistant Professor of Guitar at the University of South Carolina School of Music and two-time Grammy-nominated artist, is the company’s co-founder.

“We are so grateful to receive this award because we believe it will eventually help millions of people to experience the wonder of playing musical instruments,” said Grgic. “Music and gaming are a great combination. Music sets the mood, and then the game pulls you in. This way, we apply extrinsic values such as rewards, upgrades, and power-ups to imprint the values of music practice.”

Notey is the first ever AI-enabled, fully gamified music lesson app for younger users. As many parents know, music lessons are one of the most important aspects of a child’s brain development. Unfortunately, many families cannot afford lessons, or their schools have had to cut music education due to lack of funds. Some parents can get lessons but need a helping hand when it comes to getting kids to practice. Notey helps solve all these problems while making it fun for young musicians.

Notey partners with music teachers and students to add spice to practice sessions. This supplement to teaching works best as a tool to get the students extra excited about practicing. Moreover, Team Notey can work with music teachers and schools to integrate existing curricula into the game!

“The opportunity to teach music to so many people excites us. There are also many ways that music and gaming intersect in the real world. We’ve made that intersection into a way to learn musical instruments, and we hope to bring music into households worldwide,” said Notey co-founder Adithya Bellathur.

Notey was founded in 2022 and participates in the TechStars accelerator program in Washington, DC. Notey supports guitar practice and playing but will add new content for other instruments early next year while continuing to evolve the player experience into the AR realm with interactive AI feedback in the coming months.

Learn more about Notey’s World at


InnoVision’s Education Award recognizes innovative approaches to education that create new educational opportunities and experiences for students, new methods of delivery, or improved quality and efficiency.