Piano Wizard Premier

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Piano Wizard Premier Game Poster Image
Fun piano lessons for all ages.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a novel way of teaching kids (and adults) how to play piano. It's worth noting that some of the "easy" songs may be too difficult for beginners.

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What's it about?

With PIANO WIZARD PREMIER, kids (and adults) learn how to play the piano by playing a video game on the computer and using an attached keyboard as the controller. The Piano Wizard approach is very different from traditional music programs, which usually start by teaching kids how to read music. In this game, kids play music first and then learn musical notation.

Players start by hooking the included digital piano keyboard (Midi) to the computer using an USB port. Next, they select one of 200 available songs, including kids' favorites, classical, folk, and pop tunes; players can also download favorite Midi songs from the Internet. As they listen to the music, they practice hitting the correct note -- or notes. As players progress through the game's four steps, they learn to read music while playing.

Is it any good?

Players may find that trying to improve their score is very motivating -- and as a result practice more. Tweens and teens will love that they can learn to play piano by practicing music that they've downloaded into game. While this product is fascinating to play, it would be better if it offered a suggested path of gameplay for the beginner. It has an "Easy Mode," but many of these songs are too challenging for kids new to the piano.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why playing a video game makes learning to play the piano fun. Is it the gameplay that makes it fun, or the competition of trying to beat your previous score? Maybe it's being able to choose which music you want to learn. Parents might want to help young children find songs that are simple enough. For tweens and teens, this game becomes more fun when kids download their favorite songs into the game.

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