Piano and Keyboard Method

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It’s pretty amazing how far music education has come and the different ways of learning. A few months ago, I wrote about this really cool product called Piano Wizard that turns learning how to play the Piano into a game. I used to be an avid player and played for ten years before stopping. So I’ve wanted to get back into playing. It’s ironic that as I write this, I’m watching a John Legend concert on Blu-Ray and it’s beautiful. But more importantly when he sits down at the Piano playing, I can honestly imagine myself up there doing the same thing. Heck, back in the day I used to perform recitals all the time. So Piano Wizard got me back into one of my early loves. But there’s another software application called Piano and Keyboard Method from eMedia group and it takes everything you learn in Piano Wizard to a whole new level.  Piano Wizard is geared towards kids 5 – 12, while Piano and Keyboard Method is geared towards adults.  I prefer the ease of Piano Wizard, but love the depth of Piano and Keyboard Method.

My issue with Keyboard method is, that it’s such an old fashion, old school style CD-Rom that it gets irritating, at times, because it seems like a good portion of it runs from the CD-Rom. Every time I start to get into it, I’m prompted to insert the CD-Rom. This CD includes lessons on everything you wanted to know about playing the Piano but were afraid to ask.  There are a over 300 different lessons, everything from beginning things like finger movements and learning the key layout to more advanced techniques like learning to play by ear. 

 

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Like Piano Wizard, Piano and Keyboard Method comes with about 100 songs that you can learn how to play. The interface isn’t as pretty, or "game like," or really connected to your Midi Keyboard. But it does play the notes for you using an animated keyboard. I set my laptop up on my Piano and and ran the program and followed along. I learned how to play Piano Man and Candle In The Wind this way. And it only took me a couple of hours. I wish the song selection was better, but it includes a lot of the standards like Amazing Grace, Bach, and some Rag Time. In some ways I preferred this method to trying to learn on a little 49-key Midi-Keyboard.  I mean, hey, I do have a Steinway Upright that served me well when I was kid, so it was nice to sit their and feel the keys under my hands again.

Using this CD I was able to learn how to read music again and get on the way to being able to work my major and minor scales again. The thing about Piano Wizard is, there’s no incentive to delve deeper into the theory. It includes it, but you have so much more fun of the "instant" gratification of being able to actually play music instead of "learning" music.  The software includes a Metronome, Recorder and the before mentioned 100 tracks. After I’m done with this, I really want to try out their How to Learn Guitar Pack. Guitar Hero has got me thinking I can play the Guitar for real.

If you really want to learn how to play the Piano and have the patience to do a lot of reading and really be "taught", there’s a lot to like about this. At $59.95 it is like having your own personal Piano Teacher, I remember being forced to do all of these exercises and reading the theory when I was in Elementary school. If I stick with this, I’ll be up there on the stage with John Legend and his beautiful Yamaha Grand Piano someday.

 

Product – Piano and Keyboard Method
Website – http://www.emediamusic.com

 

 

Final Grade B

EM Review by
Michelle Alexandria
Originally Posted 2/11/08