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Wii Music Goes to School

Nintendo, maker of the new Wii Music video game, has collaborated with the National Association of Music Education (MENC) to integrate the game into the music curriculum of 51 cities across the United States.

According to an article by on Feb. 10, music teachers, such as Eileen Jahn at the St. Philip’s Academy in Newark, N.J., have already seen the positive effects of the video game as a teaching tool.

“[The students] are giddy with excitement when they walk into the room and see the Wii set up,” Jahn said in the article. “Their aural skills are improving with every lesson, and they have developed rhythmic and improvisational skills as well.”

Nintendo’s Marc Franklin said that when MENC first saw the product demonstrated, they were excited about the potential it had for the organization, and in the classroom.

“Once you see the product and you see the performance aspect of it, and people interacting with it, it clicks,” Franklin said.

Wii Music doesn’t require players to match beats, like in Guitar Hero or Rock Band. Using the Wii Remote and controller, players can experiment with more than 60 different virtual instruments ranging from bagpipes to ukuleles. They can play mini-games such as “Handbell Harmony” and “Pitch Perfect.” They also can improvise as part of an ensemble.

“At any grade level, it’s essential to provide students with the tools and encouragement they need to be creative,” said John Mahlmann, executive director of MENC. “We look forward to collaborating with Nintendo to drive awareness and advocacy for music education through Wii Music.”