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by Natalie Staines
BandHappy began as just a name and came to R2integrated in need not only of a brand identity, but of a unique, first-of-its-kind web experience that would serve as a musician social community portal for teachers and students. The founders of BandHappy wanted a site that could connect teachers and students located anywhere in the world to facilitate music lessons with the help of streaming video. The site required eCommerce capabilities to support BandHappy’s service-fee business model and enabled teachers to create and sell their services through the site.
R2integrated first created the BandHappy logo and brand elements, which became integral to the design of the website. Designers focused their attention on creating a simple user experience that would also serve as an all-inclusive platform for students and teachers. R2i recommended Drupal as the CMS framework due to its open modular architecture, ability to integrate with external systems such as eCommerce platforms, and its flexibility for customization. Leveraging these core aspects of Drupal, r2i developed a robust social community site for BandHappy that serves three critical functions: a platform for instructors to create and sell lessons; a platform for students to find and buy lessons; and a platform that fulfills the lessons through live streaming video with real-time note taking capability. In addition, instructors can offer group lessons and limit the number of students who can participate in the class.
The site allows for teachers to tsell both online and on site lessons, which are conducted in person while a musician is on tour. Regardless of the lesson selected, the platform automatically sends email reminders to both the students and the instructors reminding them of their upcoming class. This “in-platform” messaging is a secure communication forum that was the result of custom programming to provide a high level of privacy to professional musicians who do not want their email address to be made public. Using customized profile pages, students can access archived lessons, view their lesson history and save favorite instructors, and instructors can develop new lessons within their profile as well as promote upcoming classes and events.
The BandHappy website gained 20,000 registered users in a little more than a year. BandHappy staff have the capability to manage the member database without technical skills. Emphasis is placed on vetting instructors and teacher profiles so the best, most qualified and trusted teachers are part of the BandHappy music community.
The success of BandHappy in its first year earned it visibility in Van’s Warped Tour and again in 2013, BandHappy music lessons will be given during the Tour.
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· Privacy capability that allows BandHappy to communicate with instructors and for students and instructors to communicate without revealing contact information such as email addresses
· Functionality for students to take notes during video sessions
· Teacher and student profiles with an intuitive, user-friendly interface on the front-end and integrated functionality on the back-end to associate lessons, sale/purchase history and favorites