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Link to original story on ShoutoutDFW

Meet Becky Billock | CEO & cofounder of Noteful LLC, pianist, recording artist, music educator

June 13, 2023 Leave a reply


We had the good fortune of connecting with Becky Billock and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Becky, every day, we know about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?


I’ve been a piano teacher since I was 12 years old. Although I was wholly obsessed with the piano from when I started at age 4, I was never enthusiastic about the theory assignments my teacher would try to send home with me. I wanted to play the piano, not fill out a worksheet. Fast forward a few years, and I found myself trying to get my own students to do this work. (Newsflash – my students weren’t any more excited about it than I ever was!) Fast forward again to the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 and I found myself, like many others, with a bit more time on my hands than I was used to. One of my kids was taking a computer programming course at home and I decided I wanted to take a stab at it as well. We did several creative projects as part of the course and I was inspired both by how much fun it was, as well as all the possibilities that it brought into view. The “back of the napkin” plan for the Noteful app was created during this time. I was able to pull together a dynamite team and now, after two and a half intense years of research, planning, and creating, we are getting close to launching the beta version of the app.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?

My goal with founding Noteful has been to give music students of any age a powerful tool for building their foundational knowledge of music: to decode what’s on the page, what’s heard in a performance or recording, and how it all fits together.

Let’s imagine a student named Leila. Leila wants to play keyboard in the band at her school. She wants to know what’s going on when she shows up for band rehearsal, so reading music and developing her musical ear will save her a lot of anxiety. Leila also listens to her favorite Taylor Swift song all the time and wants to play it. She found the sheet music but needs to know how to read it. Leila also heard another song on Spotify, but can’t find the sheet music, so she’s been trying to pick it out by ear. In addition, Leila also has come up with some really cool tunes herself, and wants to write them down. By completing daily bite-sized fun games on the Noteful app, Leila can gain confidence with recognizing notes on the staff and other musical notation, she can hone her listening skills to help with learning the song by ear, and basic music theory is the glue that helps all the other concepts stick together and make sense.

There are several ways that Noteful differs from other music learning apps. On the most basic level it’s going to be a fun game. Users will be able to compete on a leaderboard, maintain a streak, and unlock new levels as they progress. The user interface we’re currently working on is whimsical and imaginative and it has been so fun to see people’s faces light up when they engage with it.

The lessons themselves are divided up into bite-sized chunks that will motivate students to keep up their daily practice. We’re working now to build a cool new part of the gamification that I can’t share the details of yet, but I’m super excited about and I know users will love! In addition, all our learning content is free. (We will be offering optional subscriptions for an ad-free experience and a few other perks, but the actual content will not be behind a paywall). We are also creating lots of user feedback and instruction to aid learning. Many of the other existing apps tell you whether you got an answer right or wrong, but they fall short on feedback that develops understanding of the concepts.

When we do launch, we’ll have to onboard users gradually–we’re a small team and we want to ensure a great user experience. In light of all this, we have started a waiting list for people who are excited for Noteful to become available. So get on the list now!

Has the journey been easy?


I wouldn’t quite say it that way. It’s been incredibly interesting, fun, engaging, and yep, sometimes super frustrating. There was a 24-hour period awhile back where we thought we had completely wiped our entire database. That was a pretty stressful day, but in the end we were able to restore everything and get things running again. The awesome thing is that our team has been so great through all these types of challenges. I couldn’t imagine working on a project as epic as this with anyone else.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

I have to give a mountain of credit to my mom for instilling in me and my brothers a spirit of curiosity, as well as the powerful notion that we could acquire the skills and/or knowledge to do anything we wanted. I was a homeschool kid and some of my most enduring–and endearing–memories are my mom’s response to any sort of question. Instead of just giving us an answer off the top of her head, or shooing us away, she would give a thoughtful look, and then say, “Why don’t we look that up?” Growing up in the pre-Google era, this meant books. We had a generous collection at home, but often we would trot off to the library to find the answers to our burning questions. I didn’t appreciate at the time that what I was really learning was so much more than the answer to some childish question. I was learning the skill of sleuthing out information–a skill that continues to translate well, even in a Google-saturated world.

I want to give a huge shoutout to my kids. They are both dancers–my eldest is becoming a serious hip-hop dancer, and my youngest is a trainee with Maria Caruso’s Bodiodography Contemporary Ballet. I’m daily inspired by their work ethic and their emerging artistry.

Last but not least, I am humbled to have such an amazing team working with me on the Noteful project. My husband, who teaches software engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, spent his sabbatical last year developing the app and I’m lucky enough to have one of my brothers as well as two other long-time friends as cofounders of the company. I wouldn’t be able to pursue this goal without their expert help. You can get the full skinny about our team at








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