It is often said that the piano is the ‘king of instruments.’ It is therefore not surprising that many music lovers try their hand at this instrument, which has a dual identity as a stringed and percussion instrument, every year. The most popular instrument in the US, it’s estimated that 21 million Americans play, about 1 in 10. But it’s not always easy to take the plunge as the piano is an expensive and cumbersome instrument.
PianoVision is trying to remedy this problem. This app, available for download on the Meta Quest headset, uses augmented reality and virtual reality to teach music lovers to play the piano. It presents itself as a tool that will accelerated your learning of this instrument.
Amateur pianists can practice on an “air piano”, i.e,. a completely virtual instrument, to learn the notes and hand positions. Alternatively, they can use PianoVision alongside a real piano or keyboard. All they need is a VR headset and a USB cable. The application relies on augmented reality to make interactive graphics and images of musical notes appear before the eyes of its users.
Other features allow budding pianists to choose their level of difficulty or to practice their scales or play pieces from a vast catalog. It includes works from the classical repertoire as well as popular songs. The application also offers the possibility of integrating new scores in order to practice on the melodies of your choice.
Added to all that is a “multiplayer” mode, which allows PianoVision users to practice in virtual rehearsal rooms and even organize concerts. This feature is not unlike an initiative launched by the UK’s Royal College of Music in 2020. At the time, the institution partnered with The Innovation Consultancy so that its students could perform in legendary concert halls… without having to travel at all. All thanks to augmented reality.