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Nintendo strikes deal to put Wii Music in US schools

Wednesday, 14th January 2009 09:15 GMT By Mike

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Nintendo has announced that thanks to what it calls “newly formed collaborations with select schools and educators,” its Wii console together with Wii Music will be part of the curriculum in some schools in America.

“The goal of Wii Music is to inspire people of all ages to enjoy music,” said NoA executive VP, Cammie Dunaway.

“By partnering with educators and bringing Wii Music into their classrooms, we hope to give students a memorable, hands-on experience that helps them discover their own creative voice.”

Some teachers are already well behind the idea:

“Wii Music has brought a renewed excitement to music class for students from first grade to fifth, myself and even some of the classroom teachers,” said Helen A. Krofchick, a music teacher at Doby’s Mill Elementary School in South Carolina.

“I love how many music standards can be covered in such a short time. Students also have to use language skills, spatial awareness and hand-eye coordination.

“We have a school very supportive of the arts and Wii Music has empowered our program even more. Any system that is educational and can add a love of music to children’s lives should be in every classroom,” she added.

Wii Music has received mixed reviews so far and has amassed 63/100 score on Metacritic.

Full release after the break.

By Mike Bowden

NINTENDO’S WII MUSIC STRIKES A CHORD WITH MUSIC EDUCATORS

New Partnerships Bring Fun Music Software to Classrooms Nationwide

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 13, 2009 – Nintendo’s new Wii Music™ game is spreading from the family room to the classroom, thanks to newly formed collaborations with select schools and educators. To help inspire students and promote an active appreciation for music, Nintendo is working with teachers to incorporate Wii™ consoles and Wii Music software into their lesson plans to offer teachers a unique tool for creativity and improvisation.

Nintendo’s collaborators in this effort include MENC: The National Association for Music Education, which is recognized as the world’s largest arts education organization and as a teaching resource for all levels from preschool to graduate school. MENC will help teachers in 51 cities across the nation integrate Wii Music into their curricula, making use of the game’s 60-plus instruments and fun array of tutorial exercises in rhythm, tempo and song structure.

“The goal of Wii Music is to inspire people of all ages to enjoy music,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “By partnering with educators and bringing Wii Music into their classrooms, we hope to give students a memorable, hands-on experience that helps them discover their own creative voice.”

The Wii console’s motion-sensing controls allow Wii Music users at any experience level to step up and jam, whether playing solo or as part of a group. Using the wireless Wii Remote™ and Nunchuk™ controllers, players make simple, intuitive movements to strum a guitar, play a trumpet or bang a drum.

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

Some teachers already have begun to incorporate Wii Music into their lesson plans.

“Wii Music has brought a renewed excitement to music class for students from first grade to fifth, myself and even some of the classroom teachers,” said Helen A. Krofchick, a music teacher at Doby’s Mill Elementary School in Lugoff, S.C. “I love how many music standards can be covered in such a short time. Students also have to use language skills, spatial awareness and hand-eye coordination. We have a school very supportive of the arts and Wii Music has empowered our program even more. Any system that is educational and can add a love of music to children’s lives should be in every classroom.”

Other collaborating and partner organizations currently include San Francisco’s Blue Bear School of Music and New York’s Opus 118 Harlem School of Music. Teachers in these programs will use Wii Music to build students’ familiarity with technology while bolstering their ability to create and improvise. Experts in the field of music say getting kids interested in music at an early age can help build a lifelong appreciation.

“The joy of playing music is something that should be experienced by everyone, regardless of age, talent-level or experience,” said Joe Lamond, President & CEO of NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants. “Research shows that more than 82 percent of people who don’t currently play a musical instrument wish they did. Wii Music can help address this by providing a positive introduction for millions of people who might not otherwise be inclined to try.”

Remember that Wii features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other Wii features, visit Wii.com. For more information about Wii Music, visit www.WiiMusic.com.

For more information about Nintendo, visit www.nintendo.com.

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6 Comments

  1. Blerk

    Wouldn’t it be great if the kids could learn to play some proper instruments instead?

    #1 6 years ago
  2. Tonka

    They can’t?

    #2 6 years ago
  3. Psychotext

    I don’t have words for this…

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Esha

    “hand-eye coordination”

    I had thought that excuse died off in–what–the 90′s? Seeing it pop up a decade later made me giggle, all the better that it was mouthed by an apparently clueless teacher.

    Kids’ll love not having to actually learn anything worthwhile, though.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. Tonka

    When I was a kid we had all sorts of weird real life instruments for this kind of thing. Surely stocking up on coconut shells, marimbas, cow bells, maracas, wooden sticks, triangles and tambourines would be a better investment.

    Or would it? Are kids not as easily entertained now adays? Does it have to be on a screen to inspire?

    I’m all for Wii Music as a tool for parents who want their kids to do some semi-sensible thing with their screen time. But as a tool in schools I see it as counter productive.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. SticKboy

    What’s wrong with a fucking glockenspiel??

    #6 6 years ago

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