Remember old fashioned piano lessons? Sitting up straight on the hard piano bench where the lovely Mrs Smith would give you a gentle tap on the back of the hand with a ruler if you didn’t curl your fingers properly!

Well thankfully times have changed, and (we hope) that piano teachers no longer plan to teach with a ruler as their main means of correcting students!

Still, in the last ten years a new breed of Music Education has popped up: Computer Games which are part entertainment, and part education.

Certainly there is some worth in games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band Sometimes it can really feel like playing the real instrument when you are playing these games

The great thing about these games is that it is giving people the opportunity who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to pick up an instrument and know what it feels like to be on stage with a guitar, or play a tune on a piano.

Of course if you are serious about playing an instrument then these games are not and should never be your primary source of tuition.

However together with lessons from a teacher music games can provide invaluable assistance. Games like this do have educational value – quite a lot of it in fact.

For example if learning guitar you can learn the form and structure of a song through playing the game, then go and learn the correct chords and riffs from a teacher.

If you are learning drums there is some value in playing the Rock band drum kit, however its layout isn’t quite the same as a real kit, which is a bit disappointing from an educational perspective.

Learning piano with one of the Piano learning tools such as Piano Wizard can also be helpful. With this software you can attach a real electric piano to the computer via MIDI and play the notes on the screen in real time.

The things to look for when choosing a music game:

Try and find a program that you can use a Real instrument with. This should be easy for the piano programs like piano wizard, however the technology isn’t quite there for guitar yet to play the game with a real instrument.