Lindsey Wright, a doctoral student in piano performance at the U, is making learning the piano easy and affordable for elementary school students in Utah. Wright observed that Utah schools were cutting the funding for music programs. In response, Wright created U-Play Piano, an online computer-based piano curriculum that is much more affordable and engaging to kids.
“It pains me to think of a world without music education,” Wright said.
By using electronic keyboards and this online piano curriculum, U-Play Piano has alleviated the financial strain that hiring a personal piano teacher can have on parents and school districts.
“The real excitement for me is seeing how an art form that has been around for hundreds of years can change in such a dramatic fashion,” said Jared Pierce, the composer for the U-Play Piano program and another doctoral student in piano performance.
The beta version of U-Play Piano has been implemented in three Title I schools in Utah, and it has already seen results. Not only are the kids involved in the program making great strides in learning to play piano, but they have also been documented having improved test scores and increased school attendance.