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Yamaha Keyboard Encounters Turns 20

Yamaha Corp. of America celebrated the 20th anniversary of Keyboard Encounters, the company’s flagship group piano course. Geared towards students 10 and up, Keyboard Encounters was introduced after a year and a half of test-marketing.

"By challenging the misconception that you can’t learn to play piano as an adult, Keyboard Encounters has revolutionized the way piano is taught," said Mark Anderson, marketing director, Yamaha Keyboard Division. "Rather than focusing on simply being 'the best,' it groups students according to age, musical background and goal, offering revolutionary methods for each individual to measure and progress towards their target."

Intent on creating a new standard for group piano courses, the program’s developers collaborated with top Yamaha dealers to perfect the program. Taking up to two years to complete, the program consists of six modules and a supplementary book that focus on each student’s self-discovery and self-motivation. Learning classrooms are equipped with Yamaha Clavinova digital pianos that include record and playback features to enhance the learning experience. The program also features accompaniment software, developed especially for Keyboard Encounters and the Clavinova that encourages progress.

The program’s success has led the company to offer guitar lessons and drum circles, among other activities to staff as a part of a company-wide wellness program.