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Updated Reviews.

5) Piano Wizard and Piano Wizard Academy, by Music Wizard Group
(Click HERE to enter the Piano Wizard product site)

What You Get    Suitable For    Lowest Price    Risk: Order Security + Guarantee    Course Creator Bio    Course Description    What We Think    Buying Tips    Product Site

Disclosure: As a professional reviews site, we are sometimes compensated by the companies whose products we review. This in no way influences our reviews, which remain unbiased. Full Details Here.

What You Get:

Varies depending on preferences. A typical selection contains:
   Piano Wizard Premier Software
   M-Audio MIDI Piano Keyboard
   USB Cable
   Color Coded Stickers
   Multiple DVDs
   Multiple Videos
   Multiple Books or eBooks
   Numerous MIDI Songs

Suitable For:

Beginner , Intermediate , Advanced , Professional.
Mostly for Children, ages 3 to 13.
Also for Parents and Grandparents, and for Piano teachers teaching Children.

Compatible with PC and Mac.

Lowest Price:

Lowest price is available from the publisher, by clicking here . Price varies depending on package purchased (for example: with or without piano, number of DVDs, printed books or eBooks, etc.)

Risk: Order Security + Guarantee:

No Risk Order, Full Guarantee.

The Piano Wizard shopping cart is monitored daily by ScanAlert/Hacker Safe. The ordering process is straightforward and clear, and orders are processed over a secure and encrypted connection. Security and encryption are handled by Thawte, a leader in the field. It doesn't get better than that, and order and credit-card details are very safe and secure
Piano Wizard offers a 30-days, No questions asked money back guarantee. If you are not 100% satisfied, just return the course and receive a full refund. If return is due to a technical problem (very rare) they also cover the shipping.

This is our way of doing business. Two thumbs up!

Course Creator Bio:
Our grade: Excellent.

Piano Wizard software and course developer Chris Salter has undergraduate degrees in both Music and Linguistics, and a master's degree in Musicology from UCLA.

Professor Don Beattie and Delayna Beattie, developers of the Piano Wizard Academy courses, have appeared in music programs, performances and festivals throughout the U.S. and internationally. Don is in his 29th year as Director of Piano Pedagogy at the School of Music of Southern Illinois University. Delayna has been a music teacher for 25 years. They've instructed their Beethoven Goes to School” music assembly programs to thousands of school children throughout the USA.

Course Description:

At the heart of this course is a (non-violent) video game specifically written to make children love learning to read music and to play the piano, instead of hating it and trying to skip lessons and practice. The concept of using a video game to teach piano is not unique to Piano Wizard (for example – check out Piano is Fun). What is unique, though, are both the level of execution of the game and how well it performs in actually teaching piano.

The best way to explain this course is by seeing it in action (videos available Here by clicking the click the "see more videos" link). Following is our description of the course, along with our notes (if videos were enough, skip description and read our opinion Here):

The course uses the piano keyboard to control the video game. This ensures that your child uses the right keys to get the desired results in the game, that learning is intuitive and that it takes place from the first moment the course is used.

The course is arranged in five distinct steps, taking the child from complete novice to intermediate or advanced piano player:

On step 1 a color coded piano keyboard image is displayed horizontally at the top of the screen. The child selects a song to practice on, and as the music starts playing, bubbles matching the piano keys of the song rise up vertically from the bottom of the screen, till they pass though the notes on the keyboard image and exit the screen. The child's aim is to play the matching note on the physical keyboard just as the bubble passes the note on the keyboard image shown on the screen, which is when the note should actually play in the song. If the child plays the right note on time, the bubble bursts and the child earns credit points. As the child does not yet have a grasp of notes and the keyboard at this stage, the keyboard image and the notes are color coded, and the keys on the physical piano are similarly coded using adhesive stickers (durable, washable, and removable). Basically, at this stage it's play-by-color.

Step 2 is similar, but the keyboard image on the screen is rotated - displayed vertically at the left of the screen, with the bubbles moving horizontally from right to left. This enables understanding how music notation is written (sheet music), and defines how the right hand should correspond to the bubbles (and notes) on the top of the screen and the left hand to those on the bottom.

Step 3 takes this further, by replacing the bubbles with actual notes traveling horizontally on a musical staff. Though the notes and keyboard keys are still color coded, at this stage the student actually starts playing by reading notes.

On step 4 the child loses the "training wheels" of color. The notes on the musical staff are now black, and the child plays solely by reading notes on the staff. This comes rather easily after step 3 is mastered.

Step 5 is an outgrowth of the course, intended to take the learning to a real piano, without using the software. As the student can now read music with no need to use colored aids, teaching is now performed via excellent DVDs and songbooks, teaching higher concepts of fingering, posture, playing by ear and more advanced technique.

Note that step 5, the culmination of this course, is available in all "Piano Wizard Academy" packages, but not in regular Piano-Wizard-only course. We fully recommend purchasing the Academy packages, as they enable teaching piano to the next level. They are what actually enable the student to play well on a real piano after stopping to use the program. Academy DVDs and lessons provide good tuition not only for children, but also for teens and adults.

What We Think:

We cannot even start describing how much children liked this software course, and how well they progressed using it. It truly amazed us!

Teaching is first rate, and for children we could not find any real flaws in the product. Learning is fun, intuitive and results arrive very fast compared to conventional teaching methods. To children, the course is one big computer game - a lot of fun, guiding them through progressively advancing difficulty levels. In fact, the game is a means of getting them to practice again and again, constantly learning to read music and to play the piano.

Where the course does lack is when used for teaching teenagers (ages 14 to 20). Teenagers and adults will enjoy using the Academy DVDs and books, but they might find the first two levels of the video game a bit too calm or "kidsey" for their taste. Clearly the course is intended for children, and focused around them. However, teenagers can always turn off the colorful backgrounds, which should make the game more attractive to them.

Teenagers aside, for children the course is very effective. The game is fun to use and varied; it enables progressing levels of difficulty; The software reads any standard MIDI format files, which makes it extremely flexible: besides hundreds of MIDI songs supplied with the course, one can download professionally made "fully licensed" pop songs from the company's online music catalog at WizardTunes.com; moreover - one can download any number of MIDI songs or tunes (readily available for free download on the net), and learn how to play them. The software reads the song, and automatically renders the game for teaching the new song – generating "bubbles" and staff notes for playing the music. We find this very powerful.
The "learn by play" nature in steps 1 to 4 matches the way learning naturally occurs with children. It is much more effective for children and certainly more fun than "conventional" piano lessons where learning occurs through frontal tuition and is treated as a chore. Step 5 (in the Piano Wizard Academy courses) provides high quality "conventional" teaching, but this only comes after the child already knows how to play and starts to enjoy playing by its own.

Music is all about hitting the right note at the "right time - and that's exactly what Piano Wizard teaches!

This course easily wins our Editor's Choice award for teaching children how to play the piano. Adults should prefer a more comprehensive program that will also enable them to learn advanced items and are less focused on children. However, for children the course is unbeatable, and if you are a children's piano teacher, if you want to teach your children or grandchildren the piano or if you are a child at heart - this course is for you.

Buying Tips:

  1. The Shop On-Line section provides two families of products: Piano Wizard and Music Wizard Academy.

  2. Piano Wizard offers the Piano Wizard Easy Mode or Piano Wizard Premier software, alone or with various keyboards.

  3. Music Wizard Academy offers similar combinations, but adds the Academy DVD lessons and songbooks. In addition, the academy packs also provide memberships to piano wizard's WizardTunes music library, which provides an enormous supply of songs and notes to learn to play using the piano wizard software.

  4. We find that the Academy sets effectively take the learning to a much higher level, and are highly recommended.

Product Site:

For more information about Piano Wizard or if you would like to order the course, click here .

Next: Test Conclusions >>

Table of Contents
Play Piano Courses
Learn and Master Piano
Rocket Piano
Piano By Pattern
Power Piano Chords
Piano for children: Piano Wizard
Piano Lessons: Test Conclusions
Buying Tips
Keyboard Chord Finder

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