Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Quincy Jones and Chris Vance launch Playground Sessions

 Multi-Grammy winning Producer, Composer and Arranger Quincy Jones and co-creator Chris Vance today announced the public launch of Playground Sessions (, the play-to-learn software application that teaches users to play piano with lessons that use fun songs popularized by the likes of Michael Jackson, Beyoncé and Justin Bieber.

Playground Sessions is a music application for download that teaches people to play the piano using popular songs, real-time feedback and video tutorials from YouTube piano sensation David Sides, whose videos have nearly 200 million views. Playground Sessions uses contemporary learning techniques and elements of gaming to keep users engaged, having fun and, most importantly, learning to play.

“A musical ‘Rosetta Stone,’ Playground Sessions holds the key for beginners to learn to play the piano and be introduced to the intricacies of music theory.” said Jones.  “Music is the world’s common denominator, and there is nothing I am more passionate about than getting music and music instruction into the hands of children and adults who can benefit from its intangible magic.  Playground Sessions is the ultimate technology to bring music to people of all ages who have the passion to learn it.”

In addition to new features and an Advanced level curriculum, Playground Sessions has also added nearly 70 songs and 25 video tutorials to the new public version, including Katy Perry’s “Firework,” David Guetta’s “Without You,” and Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”

Playground Sessions' real-time feedback is a groundbreaking innovation in music notation, allowing players for the first time to not only hear what they are playing but also see what they are playing instantaneously.  This results in students learning the music much more quickly since they can now focus on problems areas much more clearly.  The technology was developed by Utah digital agency Rain, a specialist in creating rich digital experiences.  

Playground Sessions’ Bootcamp tutorials are a revolutionary approach to teaching theory and were developed by NYU music instructor Alex Ness. The Bootcamp packages are designed to teach new students the relevance of music theory by tying it back to songs you know and love.

“Quincy Jones pushes us every day. Since traditional ways of learning can be hard, his vision has been to make the music fun while making the lessons effective,” said founder and CEO Chris Vance. “He drives us to make the product entertaining. To have a 27-time Grammy Award winner developing this product with us has been a joy on two levels – he knows what people want to hear and, as a result, our lessons are built around hit songs. He also knows how to play and expects what we teach to be on par with any private lesson with an instructor.”

The lessons include Rookie, Intermediate and the new Advanced level piano arrangements to match the users’ level of proficiency. While learning, students can track their progress, receive grades for accuracy so they know what areas of their playing require extra practice and tap the application’s social features to play alongside friends and students from around the world.

“We have received incredible feedback from our beta users,” said Vance. “With lessons based on fun, not to mention familiar, songs, people have been thrilled by how quickly they learn to play what used to take years of practice.”

Playground Sessions’ new membership options allow students to save on individual songs and videos and the Bootcamp series by joining on a yearly or quarterly basis, $9.99 and $14.99 per month, respectively. More advanced players can purchase lessons, songs and sheet music a la carte. In contrast, piano lessons often cost up to $100 per hour of instruction.

Playground Sessions is compatible with any MIDI or USB keyboard. For more information and to download the application, please

No comments: