Duolingo to add music and maths lessons as part of major app update

Duolingo will offer 200 tunes to learn and hundreds of maths lessons (Duolingo)
Duolingo will offer 200 tunes to learn and hundreds of maths lessons (Duolingo)

Music is the universal language of mankind,” wrote American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

And, research has proven his mantra correct. Studies have shown that melodies, rhythm and songcraft transcend borders, and can even help exercise your brain.

So, it’s no wonder that Duolingo is adding music lessons as one of its first educational courses beyond languages.

The app, which is used by more than 74 million people worldwide every month, will offer music and maths tutorials starting on October 11. Of course, its cute owl mascot will be on hand to cheer you on every step of the way.

Duolingo currently offers English speakers access to 39 languages free of charge. In the vein of  a mobile game, users earn streaks and experience points for completing daily interactive sessions, where they learn words and phrases by listening, typing and spelling them.

The free app comes with adverts, but you can ditch them by paying for the premium version, Super Duolingo, which offers perks like unlimited access to boot.

Next month, Duolingo will debut a new music course with a similar gamified experience. Users will be taught to read and play music on a digital piano through hundreds of bite-sized lessons. The app will offer a total of 200 familiar tunes, Duolingo said.

Along with its new music course, users will also be able to access maths lessons, which are currently available through a separate app, Duolingo Math (sic).

If the existing app is anything to go by, users can expect the courses to cater to children and grown-ups, and to span topics such as multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, areas, geometry and measurements.

In April, government figures revealed that around eight million adults in England have the numeracy skills of primary school children, while 60 per cent of disadvantaged pupils do not have basic maths skills at 16.

The findings coincided with Rishi Sunak’s campaign to make all pupils study maths until the age of 18.

Duolingo said the music and maths courses will mark the first time it has offered multiple subjects on its platform.

The company previously indulged its playful side by adding fictional languages Klingon and High Valyrian to its app. In March, Duolingo announced an AI-powered virtual tutor that users could practice languages with in a conversational manner. The chatbot is available to subscribers for £19.99 a month or £9.99 if purchased with an annual subscription.