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Piano Wizard teaches playing by doing

Allegro Multimedia, a provider of music gaming software and musical education tools, announces the debut of Piano Wizard, a video game that teaches people of all ages to play piano in a fundamentally different manner than traditional piano lessons or instructional videos.
Piano Wizard uses a proprietary computer game engine along with a color-coded piano keyboard (bundled with the software) to allow beginners to simply and quickly hit the correct note at the correct time. The Piano Wizard software lets the user play actual songs and through gameplay, musical logic, theory and notation are subconsciously learned.
“We live in a fast-paced information-driven society, where our kids learn how to use a computer and play video games sometimes even before they learn to read,” said inventor Chris Salter, CEO of Piano Wizard’s parent company, Allegro Multimedia. “We have a huge failure rate with many of the frustrating teaching methods of the past and cannot expect them to hold any interest for people learning about music today. Attention spans and spare time are at a premium in today’s society, so our mission is to make music learning fun, fast and engaging from the first minute.”
With the Piano Wizard software, colored "notes'' - disguised as colorful icons like dinosaur eggs or rocket ships – travel along a straight line upward toward the same colored key on the computer screen. The player then simply hits the same color key on their piano keyboard when the note reaches the colored piano keys on the screen. Piano Wizard teaches the user how to play a song first and later provides insight into the musical theory. At advanced levels, the software flips the line that the notes are traveling on so they are horizontal, mimicking the lines of the staff. Now the notes are moving across the screen exactly the way music is read, demonstrating to the user the underlying logic of musical notation and theory.
The game’s beginner’s level is intended for children and adults, while the advanced mode can challenge and stimulate even seasoned pianists. The software is compatible with standard MIDI files (SMF), allowing users to import their favorite song and play along with a completely new music game. This allows advanced users to learn complicated scores and arrangements by letting the computer simplify and customize it for them.
Piano Wizard has already been adopted by music professionals at all levels. PBS's Scott “The Piano Guy” Houston has endorsed the game because of its ground-breaking instructional method. Southern Illinois University's School of Music uses the software to teach incoming university music students and in conjunction with the SIU Child Development Center they have also created the first Piano Wizard Academy to teach children how to play piano with this product.
Piano Wizard requires a PC running Windows 98 or newer, a MIDI keyboard and a MIDI connector. It will be showcased at winter Namm show 2006, Anaheim, booth #6324.
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