Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Want to play piano? There's an app for that

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QUINCY Jones says he has co-created the music version of Rosetta Stone.

The 79-year-old composer-producer launched a new music education application Tuesday called Playground Sessions, which teaches users how to play the piano. He said the app will help children and adults learn how to read music and understand the mechanics of piano playing.

"The concept is brand-new," Jones said in an interview last week. "I have been praying for this for a long time. It has a learning concept similar to (language-instuction software) Rosetta Stone. I'm blown away by this."

Playground Sessions, http:// playgroundsessions.com, is a musical app with real-time feedback and video tutorials from pianist David Sides. It features about 70 popular songs by the likes of Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Frank Sinatra.

Jones, who produced Michael Jackson's Thriller and other successful albums, hopes Playground Sessions will have an impact on music education programs in schools around the world.

"Our kids in this country know less than any other country," Jones said of music education in the United States.

Chris Vance, who co-created the app and founded Playground Sessions, got together with Jones more than a year ago after working alone on the application for three years. He said Jones immediately saw a vision for the product.

Vance also said Sides was an easy pick when he was selecting a pianist for the project. "I wish I had someone like him teaching me how to play the piano," Jones said of Sides, known for his popular piano covers on YouTube, including his rendition of OneRepublic's Apologize, which has garnered more than 10 million views.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 20, 2013 D3

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