Determining commercial viability. Although we recommend determining commercial viability before filing a patent application -- it can save you thousands in fees -- it's not a prerequisite for patent protection. There are many ways to assess commercial viability for an innovation and in his book, Patent It Yourself, David Pressman lists over 60 factors that can make a difference such as cost, ease of use, ease of production, durability, convenience, novelty, etc. Many of these innovation factors may not be applicable to a music-teaching system and you can probably get a relatively reasonable perspective by reviewing the music-teaching systems industry -- that is, the sale of instructional book, CDs, DVDs and apps. If you have the funds to have someone else review an innovation, two independent invention evaluation services considered reputable by Pressman are: the Wisconsin Innovation Service Center, and the I2 Innovation Institute. Otherwise, avoid invention promotion scams.
Copyright and Trademark. You can't stop others from using your publicly disclosed ideas but you can stop others from copying the way you express those ideas using copyright law -- for example, your books and CDs on the subject. And, if you can register the name of your system as a trademark, you can prevent others from using a similar name. You can't stop others from discussing the underlying principles of your method as we wrote about in a recent post.