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: 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

Perhaps the best thing about games like this is that they give an opportunity to play instruments to people who otherwise wouldn’t. Thousands of people have had the chance to feel what its like to play “fur elise” on the piano, even if its just in their own lounge room.

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

However together with lessons from a teacher these games can provide invaluable assistance. 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.

It can also be helpful for piano students to use a computer game such as Piano Wizard. 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:

It is best if you can use a Real Instrument as the controller for the music game. 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.