My reason for giving up was the same as every other kid’s: My teacher was a crabby old meanie who made learning how to tap ivory keys more work than play. McCarthy is not a professional pianist just someone who failed to learn how to play piano from an instructor and decided to create a friendlier, more interactive learning experience. The keys light up and then you press them with your fingers.
McCarthy Music’s founder Kevin McCarthy stopped by Mashable to give me a demo. McCarthy is not a professional pianist — just someone who failed to learn how to play piano from an instructor and decided to create a friendlier, more interactive learning experience.
Playing songs is as easy as following the lights. The keys light up and then you press them with your fingers. The iPad app displays the real music notes with numbered notations corresponding to each finger. If you press the wrong key it lights red. There’s also left and right hand assisted modes where the piano plays one hand for you while you learn with the other.
Learning new things, especially the piano, is never easy. If like me, you had a grumpy old pianist for an instructor, getting scolded for not striking the keys hard or light enough could leave you scarred.
“The goal is to have fun,” McCarthy says. “We’ve heard from piano teachers that [the Illuminating Piano] is a really compelling and engaging way to play the piano. It’s clearly a much more efficient way to play. This is a hobby. It’s supposed to be fun.”
The Illuminating Piano’s rainbow lights are designed to suck you in — to entice you with its game and toy-like simplicity. I’m not going to lie, I got sucked into its lights within seconds, and so too did my colleagues Dasha and Annie.
McCarthy’s not the first company with a learning piano. Casio makes a couple of learning keyboards, but they’re not nearly as inviting; they don’t have keys that light up in a myriad of colors, only red dots. Casio’s learning keyboards are also limited in content.
Illuminating Piano’s music store has around 1,000 songs spanning a wide variety of genres from old-school to recent music — including “Let It Go” and songs by Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift — and it’s constantly adding more. All of your “lessons” are also synced to the McCarthy Music Cloud, so you can check your progress from any iPad or PC. Songs start at $4. Read more…