The Piano Lesson: Legendary Producer Quincy Jones Launches Music Ed App

February 20, 2013  |  

Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP

Music legend Quincy Jones is getting into the app business. The famed producer has launched a music education app called Playground Sessions. Jones designed it as a Rosetta Stone-style product  and it teaches users how to play the piano.

The 79-year-old composer-producer also says the app will help children and adults learn how to read music and understand the mechanics of piano playing.

“The concept is brand-new. I have been praying for this for a long time. It has a learning concept similar to Rosetta Stone [language-learning software]. I’m blown away by this,” Jones explained in an interview, reports Billboard.

The musical app has real-time feedback and video tutorials from pianist David Sides and features about 70 popular songs by Beyonce and Justin Bieber, Katy Perry’s “Firework” and even standards like Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”

Jones, who has produced everyone from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson, said he hopes Playground Sessions will have an impact on music education programs in schools worldwide. Jones’ alma mater, Garfield High School in Seattle, will be among the first schools to test it out.

According to Billboard, Jones said of music education in the United States, “Our kids in this country know less than any other country. We need something like Playground Sessions to push us forward.”

More than a year ago Jones was approached by Chris Vance, who co-created the app and founded Playground Sessions, to help take the app to the public. Vance had worked alone on the application for three years. According to Vance, Jones understood the vision for the app and had a desire to make learning music a fun experience.

“I wish I had someone like him teaching me how to play the piano,” Jones said of  pianist Sides, who is known for his popular piano covers on YouTube, including his rendition of OneRepublic’s “Apologize,” which has garnered more than 10 million views. Check him out, along with the new app, in the video below.

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