Yamaha and Quincy Jones team up for music education

December 6, 2013
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BUENA PARK, Calif., December 3, 2013 –Yamaha today announced a new partnership with Playground Sessions, the award-winning interactive keyboard software co-created by music legend Quincy Jones.  The companies’ partnership demonstrates a shared desire to increase access to high-quality and engaging music education for aspiring pianists in the U.S.

            Yamaha will include a free trial version of Playground Sessions software in the latest edition of its Yamaha Survival Kit, a keyboard add-on pack designed to enrich players’ experiences with their new instruments. People who purchase Survival Kits, which also provide power adapter, foot switch/pedal and stereo headphone accessories, as well as 1-year warranty extensions, can use the Playground Sessions software to learn to play their favorite music with their computer right away. Additionally, anyone who buys the software from PlaygroundSessions.com can purchase Yamaha keyboards and the software together at a special price.

            “Playground Sessions is a turnkey way for a beginning player to instantly interact with their new keyboard as soon as it arrives in their home. The ability to learn popular songs from their favorite artists is a strong incentive,” said John Shalhoup, Chief Marketing Director, Yamaha Corporation of America. “Yamaha sees this partnership as a natural fit, as we both strongly believe in the power of playing music, and are committed to finding innovative ways to get more people playing.”

             Playground Sessions is an innovative music software program that teaches you how to play the piano and keyboard using popular songs, gaming elements, and social connectivity.  Adaptable for all skill levels, Playground Sessions’ iTunes-like library features songs from artists such as The Beatles, Beyoncé, Queen and Alicia Keys. Users follow interactive video tutorials taught by YouTube piano sensation David Sides, whose videos have nearly 200 million views.  Playground Sessions has revolutionized sheet music by developing a real-time feedback notation engine that alerts players right away to which keys they’ve played correctly and incorrectly.  Data from the notation engine enables scoring, leaderboards, badges and rewards to keep users engaged, having fun and, most importantly, learning to play.

            Yamaha, in addition to being the leading manufacturer of keyboards and other musical instruments, has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to music education. For over 50 years, more than 6 million students in 40 countries have studied at Yamaha Music Schools, which foster a love of music in people of all ages. Yamaha also offers an array of programs implemented at public and private schools, as well as through its large dealer network, including the Keyboard Encounters program, which uses best-in-class methods and technology to facilitate both teaching and learning.
            “Yamaha has set the standard in musical instruments for many years and shares Playground Session's commitment to music education. This is why I’m so thrilled to be working together,” said Quincy Jones. “By combining Playground Sessions’ technological innovation toward learning with Yamaha’s leadership in keyboards, we can truly inspire a new generation of musicians.”

            “Yamaha shares Playground Sessions’ enthusiasm to make learning as much fun as playing,” said Playground Sessions CEO and co-founder Chris Vance. “Together, Yamaha and Playground Sessions will bring piano lessons to many more people in a way that fits with their digital lifestyles.”

            The Yamaha Survival Kits with the Playground Sessions sampler is currently available at authorized Yamaha keyboard dealers for MSRP $49.00. Each kit contains a card with a promotion code that allows players to sample Playground Sessions’ songs and music theory Bootcamp lessons at Rookie, Intermediate and Advanced levels. 

            Playground Sessions’ membership options allow players to save on individual songs and the Bootcamp music theory lessons by joining on a yearly or quarterly basis at $9.99 or $14.99 per month, respectively. More advanced players can purchase lessons, songs and the revolutionary interactive sheet music a la carte.

            Playground Sessions is compatible with any MIDI or USB keyboard and can be purchased at www.PlaygroundSessions.com or at Guitar Center locations throughout the U.S.

            For more information on the Yamaha Survival Kit, which includes a free trial version of Playground Sessions software, please visit http://4wrd.it/YAMAHA_SURVIVAL_KIT.

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