One of the unique features of Piano Wizard's learn to play piano software is the introduction of colored music notes in Step 3. The Piano Wizard method actually uses 4 steps. Step one starts off with colorful objects scrolling down the screen. In step 2, these objects go from right to left. In step 3 they become colored music notes. And finally, in step 4, the color is gone and the notes appear in traditional black and white.
The visual images in our heads when we hear songs are filled with color. Think about the psychedelic music from the late 60s. Yet music notation, for all of its' rich history is still in raw black and white. Learning to read music is a difficult task for many of us. It's made far more difficult than what it needs to be to actually play an instrument. So much so that it becomes an obstruction.
The initial concepts may appear easy, such as the 5 line staff and "every good boy does fine" and maybe even a treble clef. But then you add on layers and layers of complexity and musical "hieroglyphics" and before long, people are scratching their heads and just giving up.
So how does the use of colored music notes help children learn to read music?
Let's look at how the use of colors help children learn.
- Using color can help direct students' attention, assist with memory, clarify instructions, and help visual learners, which many of our students are. 1
- Color in the learning environment provides a non-threatening environment that improves visual processing, reduces stress, and challenges brain development through visual stimulation/relationships and pattern seeking. 2
- Children learn and retain information longer when color is used in educational material and in the classroom. Eighty percent of the brain receives information visually. Color stimulates the visual sense and encourages the retention of information.3
- Probably the simplest answer, "It makes things more fun, so you can learn through playing." 4
Children aren't the only ones that can benefit from color learning. Teens and adults benefit too in their respective environments. In fact, corporations use colorful visual cues in their training materials that stimulate their employee's brains.
As for music learning, the colored music notes become instantly recognizable as a note, rather than just a symbol wedged between 5 lines. This makes the transition to traditional music notation much more natural, effective, and fun.
People have asked if there is any difficulty in the transition from color to black and white. In other words, does the student become so dependent on the colors that they have a hard time adjusting when they are taken away?
That's an easy one to answer. Ever ride a bike? Most of us started with training wheels. At some point, the training wheels were taken off...and magically you were riding a bicycle with only 2 wheels. It's the same concept here. That's why we often refer to Piano Wizard as "training wheels for the piano"
For more information on Piano Wizard Academy, please visit www.pianowizardacademy.com
1 Using Color In Teaching and Learning - http://faculty.academyart.edu/resource/tips/853.html
2 Colour In Classrooms - http://marynabadenhorst.global2.vic.edu.au/learning-spaces/colour-in-classrooms/
3 How Does Color Affect Learning - http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4570805_color-affect-learning.html
4 -How Do Colors Help You Learn - http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_colors_help_you_learn