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Author Topic: Piano Wizard Academy Offer - Exclusive to BrillKids Members!  (Read 37680 times)
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Lappy
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« on: November 08, 2010, 02:14:14 AM »



"If you want to introduce music literacy, the art of music and learning an instrument, even if you have tried in the past and haven't been able to get through to your kids, haven't found a place to start or even materials to use- don't throw in the towel quite yet..."

As you all know, we at BrillKids have been working with Chris Salter from the Music Wizard Group, and first off, we’d like to thank everyone who participated so actively in our music forum discussions!

The insights, experiences, questions and opinions have all proven quite valuable – both to old and new members, and we’re very pleased to have such passionate individuals like you in our forum who are so willing to share what you know.

As a way of saying thanks, we’re proud to announce that Chris and the Music Wizard Group have generously agreed to give you – our BrillKids members – a special offer to get their products!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Be sure to also check out all of our forum discussions about teaching your child music. We are especially proud to provide you with these offers, and we are looking forward to providing you with more discounts and promotions from our partners.

Enjoy the new promotion, and to everyone, happy learning!



« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 02:19:37 AM by Lappy » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2010, 04:04:48 AM »

For those of you interested in reducing shipping costs, please see this:

http://forum.brillkids.com/teaching-your-child-music/cost-saving-option-for-overseas-members/

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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2010, 08:35:48 AM »

Thanks for the generous offer !  Wink I wish that I had made a wise choice to purchase piano wizard academy and a rewarding investment for both my kid and myself  smile

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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2010, 09:11:21 AM »

Hello Chris

I have been waiting for this special offer! Thank you for working it out. However, I would just like to find out if I could buy the Piano Wizard Academy (without keyboard) together with 2 more copies of the software. How could the shipping be done so that I would not incur more cost? I know there is the option of buying the software with the midi-USB cable at $134 on your website. But if I order 2 from your website and 1 from the special offer ... the shipping will cost more? Is there also the option of buying just the software with downloadable sheet music to reduce cost of shipping? (books are heavy) Also I am exploring if it is cheaper to use a third party shipping (that is - ship to US address and from there they will ship to Singapore) ... is it possible to give me the weight of PW without keyboard? Thanks a lot!

Nancy

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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2010, 01:56:19 PM »

Hello Chris,

Thank you very much for the special offer. I have one question.
Does the software allow installations to more than one computer?
It would be an ideal present it for my nieces, but I would love to keep it for my son (and me :-))  too. Will I need to buy two copies than?

Thanks for your reply.

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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2010, 05:31:59 AM »

How much is it for the shipping to Hong Kong?

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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2010, 05:31:29 PM »

All,

Sorry I did not get back to you on this thread sooner, I was focusing on ongoing threads and since I had not posted on this one I had not gotten notice of new posts. I will try and hunt down new posts and new topics more diligently!

First question was kind of complex about shipping and cables with the special bundle. First of all, the cable bundle that you refer to is something we are phasing out, for a few reasons, but we may have some left in the warehouse. The USB/MIDI cable is something that is needed less and less, MOST new keyboards use a standard printer type USB cable, which is a LOT cheaper, ($5 to $10 bucks at any office supply store), so you may not actually need a "USB/MIDI cable unless your keyboards have ONLY MIDI ports (these are small coin sized round female plugs with about 5 pins, usually in the back of the keyboard) but most models also work now with just the type A type B USB to USB printer cables. So, double check the keyboards to see if they actually need that specialized adapter. We have some in the warehouse if you do, but once we run out we will not buy more as they are more and more obsolete.

Second, we are phasing out the software only, we actually only kept some around for schools. This is because the disconnect between what the software does alone and a full music education in a box is very big, and people call tech support to ask them how to do what the Academy does without having the DVDs, the sheet music, or any deeper musical orientation. I think of it like this, that the software is like a Ferrari engine, when put in the car with wheels, brakes, body, seats, steering wheels and instructions how to drive, can take you anywhere fast. But if you get it without the rest, then it is kind of a do-it-yourself project for trained professionals only, and people end up calling us to learn how to turn the engine into a car. We just realized we were in the business of selling complete solutions, not parts of it that didn't really resolve the core concern, which is music education that works.

All this to say, call or email Mary Menger, our office manager, and place the order directly with her, and ask her if she can combine the orders (if you still want the cables) with your Brillkids bundle order. Her email is mmenger@musicwizard.com, our phone is 303-530-4227, her extension is 224. She works business hours in Boulder CO, which is Mountain time, on hour later than California.

Now, the next question may remove the need to order extra software at all. Our license allows households to install the game on up to 3 computers in a home. For schools, the license is individual per computer, that is why we kept some copies of Premier for schools, so they could install it on multiple workstations legally, and usually only one teacher or facilitator Academy unit is needed. Make sense? So if you need it for installation in a teaching studio or school type environment, get the extra software, if it is to put it on the kids computer and mom and dad's laptops for convenience, that is permitted under the End User License Agreement. Registration is mandatory to update the software with the latest version and songs, so if we see too many registrations for the same serial number we know how to disable piracy issues, but mostly people are honest and fair with us, as we try and be with them.

Finally, for individual countries, I would go to the shopping cart and put in your full shipping address and refresh, and it should show you your options. If you want you can double check with Mary Menger above on that, we had a glitch earlier where it was not differentiating with or without keyboard, but that seems resolved now.

Again, apologies for not seeing these additional posts earlier, will try and be more vigilant. You can always message me directly through the forum as well.

Thanks

Chris

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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2010, 09:20:49 PM »

Hi Chris,

My husband and I have been looking at different piano teaching software for the last couple of months now and can't quite come to an agreement on which product to buy. I hope you can help us resolve our disagreement.  LOL

Our daughter is 28 months old - she has a longer attention span than most toddlers her age and is pretty well-coordinated. We THINK she is ready cognitively for the very first stage of PW, the only question is whether it will hold her interest or not. I saw a lot of young children using PW in your videos but none quite as little as she. At what age do most children start using your program? We already have a Yamaha digital keyboard (model PSR-E313/YPT-310). It has MIDI terminals but no USB ports. Does this mean I would have to get a USB-MIDI interface to plug it into the computer? Do you think my daughter, with her little toddler fingers, would be able to use this keyboard with PW? Or should we get a child-sized keyboard first so that it won't be too difficult for her to press the keys? In your (or Don's) experience, how long does it usually take a child to transition to reading normal sheet music? How about an adult? Are there any students at all who are not able to or have great difficulty in transitioning  i.e. doing away with the crutches of color-coding? Finally, it is my understanding that I can import any song into PW and learn to play it - even obscure Chinese or Filipino folk songs - as long as it is in MIDI format. Am I correct?

Sorry for the many questions and thanks for your wonderful offer for BK members.   smile

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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2010, 11:37:09 PM »

OK, lots of great questions, I will try and answer the all here.


"Our daughter is 28 months old - she has a longer attention span than most toddlers her age and is pretty well-coordinated. We THINK she is ready cognitively for the very first stage of PW, the only question is whether it will hold her interest or not. I saw a lot of young children using PW in your videos but none quite as little as she. At what age do most children start using your program?

CHRIS- We do not advertise because developmental issues are so variable at that age, but we have had two year olds play the game fine, IF they know their colors. Sometimes the game is a fun way to learn them. That being said, there is a "Free Play" mode that we use with even new borns, where whatever they bang on the keyboard produces colored game objects, but this is mainly to get them associating music with play with the parents, and again, to help play to learn their colors. It sounds like she is either ready or will be shortly, in weeks or months. For me this is exciting because it is in the formative stages of the brain, and we know music helps connect those synapses so well. You may not be able to move to the next levels or off the game entirely as fast, but she can learn songs on levels 1 and 2 and go back to levels 3 and 4 and off the game later. Learning the songs and playing is one thing, that develops the brain, but learning to associate music notation with what she knows is the first stage to full literacy. Make sense? Can't hurt and she will only have fun. My daughter was 2 when we got the first prototype, and I witnessed her move from 2 colors ("I just like pink daddy") to the full range of colors and keyboard on a single song. She was helping me play Pachebel's Canon in D, (just pink and brown daddy, to help you) and I got busy and she didn't want to stop, so I watched, and she suddenly "got" the keyboard and moved to the next color, the next, etc. I slowed down the tempo and watched her move from 12% correct (just two colors) to 87% correct in one session. Those moments are magical, it is like you see their brain and consciousness grow before your eyes, when they connect the dots. So basically I would say give it a go, if she is not ready yet sounds like she will be there soon, and you can learn the colors together with the game.

We already have a Yamaha digital keyboard (model PSR-E313/YPT-310). It has MIDI terminals but no USB ports. Does this mean I would have to get a USB-MIDI interface to plug it into the computer?

CHRIS- Yes, you will need that. However, Yamaha sells their own, you can probably find it locally, and they work better with Yamaha keyboards than the generic ones we sell. (Yamaha keyboards send extra signals, a kind of "chatter" that some other cables don't always translate). So I would suggest the Brillkids bundle with no keyboard, and get the Yamaha brand MIDI to USB cable. Other keyboards work fine with generic USB to MIDI cables, but Yamaha can be tricky.

Do you think my daughter, with her little toddler fingers, would be able to use this keyboard with PW? Or should we get a child-sized keyboard first so that it won't be too difficult for her to press the keys?

CHRIS- We used to sell a smaller "mini-keys" size keyboard, but the kids always want to play on a "real" size keyboard after like a month, so the Yamaha will be fine. It is actually easier for them to find the larger keys, and the early fingering is for little hands on full size keys, so no problem. In the Piano Wizard game play mode the pressure on the keys is not important, but in Free Play she may need to play hard to hear it.

 In your (or Don's) experience, how long does it usually take a child to transition to reading normal sheet music? How about an adult?

CHRIS- OK, this can vary, but in any case far faster than normal traditional lessons. Kids do best, then athletes (quick reactions, hand eye coordination) then adults, then musicians (to much thinking at first, they are translating while they play, but after they get the hang of it the zoom past the others) then some seniors who have minor motor and coordination issues. THEY ALL SUCCEED, but at different rates, and require different kinds of coaching or encouragement, perhaps just a different pace or tempo. We try and create an environment of fun and not competition, and that works wonders. As for your daughter, as I said above, she may hold back from moving to the sheet music or notation stages, or may astonish you. I had a 3 year old demoing the game for her parents, and she got to level 3 no problem, (color coded notes) and I figured that was that. I then just showed the parents the options of showing the note names and she blurted out "ABC!" I asked if she knew her ABCs and she did, and we took her to level 4 with no colors, just black notes with the letter names, and she did great. We were all stunned, because this was 15-20 minutes from zero, i.e., it was her first time with the game.

Are there any students at all who are not able to or have great difficulty in transitioning  i.e. doing away with the crutches of color-coding?

CHRIS- This is where the simple star stickers come in. They want to please, and when you actually take the star stickers and reward them for level 1, then level 2 (on the sheet music page) they now WANT to get another star. Again, we circle back if they get tired or frustrated at any level, and try it again, holding out the reward and encouraging them to try. A GREAT technique is to simply do the next level and ask for "help", i.e., left hand, right hand, or even just one key, that gets them seeing it is not tough at all, and soon they are kicking you off, saying you are "messing me up" . .. Again, when you treat it like another level of the game (Can we get to 5 stars?) they go with it. I made the mistake of telling my son I would give him a dollar for each song he would learn on all four levels. In one week I owned him 16 dollars, and he was 10! My wife complained, but it showed what he could and would do! So be creative, but they absolutely will play more and longer if you play with them and listen, and encourage and reward them. Not hard to understand, but with the game, you actually CAN, and that is very cool to experience new music with your kids.

Finally, it is my understanding that I can import any song into PW and learn to play it - even obscure Chinese or Filipino folk songs - as long as it is in MIDI format. Am I correct?

CHRIS- Yes, but as I have said before, it is a "box of chocolates" as Forrest Gump would say, in other words, when you download things on the net, the quality of the MIDI arrangements may leave a lot to desire, but most arrangers separate the melody into an separate track, so usually you can find a version that pleases you, but remember the MIDI files online were NOT created for Piano Wizard, Piano Wizard was created to be able to play almost any MIDI, so we give you tools to find the right track, modify arrangements, select the right keyboard range, all explained in our help systems. That being said, downloading new songs is a blast, you never know what you will get, and because the game can play the accompaniment, you can have a lot of fun "surfing" a song, just seeing if you can handle it. I sometimes download some crazy rock and roll that I have no business playing and invite the kids to "help". My wife hates it because we always go past bedtime because we are acting like fools and lose track of time. Don't forget music is infinite in its variety and complexity, and it is a life long journey, and plenty of time to build up your "repertoire".

Sorry for the many questions and thanks for your wonderful offer for BK members.

CHRIS- No problem, they were great questions, hope this helped!

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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2010, 06:37:06 PM »

Hi Chris

- My son is only 18 months at the moment, too young for piano wizard, but I would love to use it with him and any other children we have in the future.  I'm just worried that if we need to get a new computer later on that the software may not be compatible with it.  Will we have access to free upgrades of the piano wizard software?

- I like to write my own songs and would love to learn the piano so I can put music to them.  Can the USB keyboard be used for things other than the game - e.g. playing and recording my own music onto the computer?

Thanks heaps
Kelly


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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2010, 07:07:30 PM »

Kelly,

So far all of our updates have been free updates, but if we come out with a new version there may be a nominal charge, say $19.95 or $29.95 to upgrade, but that is 6 months to a year away at best. The keyboard we include is what is called a MIDI controller, and it is universal for all MIDI programs, so yes you could use it for your own songwriting and composing as well.

18 months is such a great age, as a person trained in developmental linguistics I find is so fascinating as they now begin to walk and talk, and you can literally "see" them think and understand new concepts. As I said, if they don't know their colors, Free Play mode can be a fun way to learn with them.

Thanks

Chris

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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2010, 03:16:52 AM »

Thanks Chris
Yes, I'm sure he would love free play mode.  Every time we go to his nana's he walks straight over to her piano, hops onto the stool and starts "playing".  It actually sounds pretty good!

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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2010, 04:05:06 AM »

Except with Free Play the colored objects come up from the bottom as he plays, so he can hit yellow and produce yellow (G). It can also be set to notation view so colored notes come out of the right side as he plays.

Have fun, that is my favorite age!

Thanks

Chris

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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2010, 06:31:31 AM »

I like Piano Wizard.  We've had it for a little more than a year, I think.  I only bought the computer software and nothing else.  I already owned a weighted keyboard with midi output.  I purchased a cable and hooked it up to our computer.  I used it with two of my boys (ages 7 and 9).  I didn't buy the Academy bundle because my husband could teach piano if he had the time to.  There are many times I wished I had a paper copy of the music the children were playing. 

The software came with 4 levels.  My 7 year old is at the end of level 2 and my other is at the end of level 3.  But then our computer that used to sit on top of our keyboard was needed elsewhere and we haven't been able to get back to it.  So, I handed my 9 year old a piano lesson book, and after reading the instructions in it, he easily picked up playing from a book.  My husband came home one day and asked, "Where did he learn to play that?' I told him he just figured it out on his own. I think the book was only a level one book, but he was playing a melody that used both hands.  I suppose I should encourage him to continue building skill, but I've been letting him just enjoy playing.  I think the softward helped him in learning to read music, but more than that, it helped him practice using his hands to make the music sound nice.   

Towards the end, the color stickers, that you stick on your keyboard, were losing their colors.  But by that time, the boys weren't really looking at the keyboard.

The boys seemed to enjoy it.  Having the accompaniment while they played made it sound very nice.  I think it was an encouragement while they practiced, that they could make nice sounding music.

My 2 year old loved playing on the free-play mode.  He is 3 now and I would like to see if he'd understand the concept of pushing the right notes at the right time.  I liked the setting where the child could see the note's lettering as he played.  He also liked getting to make the keyboard sound like different instruments. 

Well, I just thought I'd share my experience with part of the Piano Wizard products. smile

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ChrisSalter
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2010, 07:29:18 AM »

Thanks for the feedback and comments. We usually supply extra stickers, if you have lost them, please contact me and we can send you some more.
 
I understand why you hoped to save money if your husband could teach them, the question is usually time. If he is as busy as me it is tough to set time aside. The idea of the videos is to empower you to be able to encourage them at any time and move them along with your coaching and encouragement. Your husband's insights will of course be a great plus and encouragement to them, but the real secret is time on the instrument, and practice, so I invite you to consider getting the Academy, you will see your sons blossom in ways the game alone could not accomplish. We have a package for registered users that is just the Academy without the keyboards or software that is also discounted for Brillkids members. Let me know if you are interested or contact Mary Menger, our office manager, and ask her about it when you ask for more stickers. (Mmenger@MusicWizard.com) Make sure to mention Brillkids and tell her I said to send you the stickers for free.

Thanks again for the kind words, and may your boys prosper and thrive!

Thanks

Chris

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