MAC’s Interactive Piano, seen at the bottom of the Home Page, is now ready to use. Directions are provided on the website if you are not familiar with how to play a keyboard. MAC keys are played with the cursor of your computer. Songs used with infants and toddlers have been rewritten so that you can play them without having to read music notation. We are grateful to MAC’s web designer, Trish Proto, Executive Board member, for her superb work on this project. The product is our successful offering of a keyboard that anyone on the Internet can use.
An Early Childhood Summit was held in 2000, entitled Start The Music. Sponsored by the National Association for Music Educators, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and the U.S. Department of Education, the core idea was that music is integral to the education and development of children. The Summit Report described the values of music to include increased bonding between parent and child, a medium for self-expression, and a belief that music had a “multiplier effect” on reasoning skills. Music was also considered a highly effective means of receiving information about the world, with an ability to teach such basics as counting, colors, social skills, and relationships among ideas. Music was thought to contribute to school readiness, and to help children become more aware of the phonemes that make up language skills necessary for success at school. A major problem in offering music to infants and toddlers was an effective delivery system.
The Summit recommended that a music delivery system be “do-able” in the early childhood environment. People working in early childhood programs noted that distance learning was among the most underutilized strategy for teacher preparation and professional development. The MAC Piano is our effort to address these unmet needs. We hope that it assists in “connecting the dots” for both professionals and parents by making a keyboard as accessible as the nearest computer. Developmentally appropriate songs using this keyboard are provided
MAC’s keyboard will also be used in future neuroscience studies. In addition to enjoyment, it provides the public with an opportunity to examine and experiment with visual pattern recognition when learning where to find the names of the white notes. Older children can play the piano themselves. It offers auditory pattern recognition through the sequence of sounds that can be played and repeated. The keyboard provides limitless examples of spatial awareness and language associated with basic concepts such as up, over, down, under, higher, lower. Interest in music and the brain dates back to the 18th century and continues to the present.
We will post periodic music updates and new songs for MAC’s Interactive Piano. In addition, everyday exploration of human language, emotion, and motor skills that can be heard and seen on the Interactive piano will be posted periodically. Please email us with your feedback.