Allegro Multimedia / Fisher Price Deal Opens Doors to Music-Making Fun for the Next Generation

February 10, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Tampa, Florida – February 2006 – Allegro Multimedia and Fisher-Price®, Inc., a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NYSE: MAT), recently signed a strategic licensing agreement that harmonizes Allegro’s Piano Wizard method with Fisher Price’s innovative commitment to music education. The agreement allows Fisher Price to introduce Allegro’s technology into the toy market as part of the “I Can Play™ Piano system that features the Piano Wizard Method.

Piano Wizard is a revolutionary teaching platform changing the way kids are learning piano. “Our strategic partnership and licensing agreement with Fisher Price ensures that future generations of children will use the Piano Wizard method as training wheels in discovering a life-long, love of the piano, ultimately helping to create many more musicians,” says Chris Salter, CEO of Allegro Multimedia and inventor of Piano Wizard.

The Piano Wizard method is inherently different from other music-teaching approaches, introducing the actual playing of real music as an amazingly simple interactive video game. The ground-breaking technology allows virtually anyone to play songs within minutes and transforms the tedious and traditional methods of piano practice into an exciting video game! Piano Wizard can make the first few years of a child’s musical experience fun instead of torture, like having training wheels for the piano.

“The problem with the way many people learn piano is that they go through all the traditional methods for months and months, and they’re still not playing anything they want to play,” says Scott Houston, the host of Play Piano in a Flash! and The Piano Guy with Scott Houston shows on public television. “They aren’t inspired to practice, and they stop learning. That’s why I think Piano Wizard is really clicking with people. Instead of saying they have to go and practice, they are genuinely getting immersed in this game. It turns practice into simply learning to play quicker. For any of my students who come in the door and say they are nowhere, don’t understand how to read music and need a place to start, I will definitely be using Piano Wizard. To be able to see how the progression of this product turns the playing of the game into playing real music, and how easily that transition takes place, is very impressive to me.”
“Piano Wizard’s simple interface allows players to learn by doing, simply by hitting the right key at the right time, as Bach so famously put it hundreds of years ago,” Salter says. “Because the game can subconsciously teach music essentials to children at such a critical development stage, they can learn music deeply and intuitively, almost as if it were a native language, which is how we believe Mozart processed and assimilated music at such a young age.”

“In the same way children subconsciously learn to organize parts of speech by hearing and speaking, by playing the Piano Wizard game, children begin to absorb and deduce basic music theory,” Salter continues. “Foundations of structure and fundamentals are being set without needing to know how to read. Much like we all learn our native languages by speaking, kids can subconsciously absorb the underlying mathematical logic of music, the grid of pitch and time, by playing. Only with Piano Wizard, it streams by as simple color coded game characters, not difficult to master hieroglyphics.”

This year, Fisher Price is focusing on developing high-quality toys in the musical arts and the use of the Piano Wizard method in its upcoming I Can Play ™ piano system will aid in achieving the goal of helping kids learn naturally, and painlessly, through musical play. “We are looking forward to a continued relationship with Fisher Price and setting the stage for a revolution in music education, particularly as it affects early child development and the well known subsequent benefits to math and SAT scores in later life,” Salter said.

“Given our expertise in the creation of unique learning platforms and our understanding of the value of musical play, we recognized the Piano Wizard method as the perfect basis for our new generation of musical toys,” says David Allmark, general manager and senior vice president, Fisher-Price. “Fisher Price together with the Piano Wizard method will begin to instill a lifelong love of music in children worldwide.”

About Allegro Multimedia:

Allegro Multimedia, Inc. is a leading provider of music gaming software and musical educational tools that teaches both young and old alike how to play the piano and read music. Allegro Multimedia’s mission is to increase music literacy and the ability to play and read music among all classes of people; to provide an answer for parents and educators as well as religious groups and government agencies to combat the onslaught of mind-numbing violence and destruction that has traditionally dominated the video game industry; and to build long-term relationships with our customers by providing quality products, training, support and additional exciting gaming products that continue to move our mission forward in a fun, safe and non-violent and yet exciting way for children of all ages. Allegro Multimedia would like to create a tidal wave of interest in music making and achieve universal musical literacy among all people regardless of age, national origin, or economic status through fun and exciting non-violent, music training video games. In addition to Fisher Price, Allegro Multimedia currently boasts a wide variety of promotional and technology partners, including keyboard manufacturers M-Audio, MIDI software partners Midisoft, interactive ad agency Euro RSCG, infomercial production outfit One Productions and MIDI song provider CyberMIDI.

About Fisher Price
Fisher-Price, Inc., a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NYSE: MAT) and located in East Aurora, New York, is the leading brand of infant and preschool toys in the world. The Company has a 75-year legacy of high-quality toys that enhance early childhood development. Its often-emulated Play Laboratory was the first child research center of its kind in the toy industry, allowing researchers to observe the way children play and how play benefits their development. Some of the Company’s best-known “classic” brands include Little People®, Power Wheels® and View-Master®. Fisher-Price is also a leading developer of baby gear products (nursery monitors, infant swings, high chairs) as well as a wide array of character-based toys inspired by high quality children’s programming such as Sesame Street®, Dora the Explorer™ and Winnie the Pooh. The Company’s web site, at, provides valuable information and resources to parents.