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!

However, a new type of Music Lessons have evolved over the last few years: These things that are part educational, and very much sold to the entertainment market – they are computer games.

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 educational music 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.

However these games should never be your main method of learning the instrument if you are really serious about playing music.

These games can provide excellent help with learning music, provided you use them in combination with lessons from a teacher. They certainly shouldn’t be written off as having no educational value.

If you are learning to play the guitar the game can be used to help you learn the structure and form of the songs, and then you can take it to your teacher and learn the correct riffs and chords.

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. In this game you can play the notes on the screen in real time on a proper electric piano which is hooked up to the computer via MIDI.

Some things to help you choose 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.