If you’ve ever attempted to teach yourself piano (or any other instrument, for that matter) you know it can be frustrating to go it alone. There are lots of systems and gadgets and programs to help you learn on your own, but not many of them provide the kind of self-paced, interactive help that the Gigiway Piano and Violin Learning Pen offers. The high-tech pen needs only to be pointed at a piece of music or a notation, and it’ll play the music or explain the notation. The pen can even be used as a tuner or as a digital metronome.
Budding musicians have to use the special books and sheet music that works with the pen, though the company will work to encode other music books (in large enough quantities) not already in their library. But this isn’t just a device that reads music for you: it was created and perfected by a team of professional musicians and broadcasters who recorded every bit of the audio material that the pen plays.
Besides just playing the piece and providing the names of certain notations, the pen can also give helpful hints about how to play a certain part of the music. Users can select the playback speed of the song, so if they’re having trouble grasping just how a certain section should sound, they can slow it down and play at a pace that’s easier to keep up with. The pen has built-in speakers, or it can be connected to headphones or external speakers depending on the practice environment. While it may not replace hands-on teachers entirely, the Gigiway seems like a great way to supplement lessons on your own.