I remember having seen Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution dance pads at many homes and stores, even many years after the original game came out. I also remember having seen students dancing at some teacher’s classroom during lunch time once a week at game club meetings. Those were great times.

Now, Nintendo is following Konami’s footsteps when it comes to bringing something benefitial for our kids at schools. With the release of Wii Music a few months ago, students now have something entertaining and engaging to do to learn in the classroom. Most teachers, especially the ones who have not grown up around gaming, still do not take interactive education into account in the classroom and prefer the old way of reading a book and testing their students on the subjects taught (which is still good for most subjects), though things seem to be changing slowly.

For now, at least in music classes, students can now experience a new way to learn and to enter into the art of music more than ever before. Eileen Jahn is one of those teachers who are experiencing interactivity and education, thanks to Nintendo and the National Association for Music Education.  Jahn and other teachers have just implemented Wii Music into their lesson plans.

Read the following press release for more info.

Recuerdo haber visto plataformas de baile Dance Dance Revolution de Konami en varios hogares y tiendas, hasta varios años después de que salió el juego original. También recuerdo haber visto a estudiantes bailando en la aula de un maestro durante la hora de recreo una vez a la semana en las reuniones del club de juegos. Aquellos fueron buenos tiempos.

Ahora, Nintendo está siguiendo los pasos de Konami cuando se trata de traer algo de beneficio a nuestros niños en las escuelas. Con el lanzamiento de Wii Music hace unos meses, los estudiantes ahora tiene algo entretenido y atractivo que hacer para aprender en el salón de clases. Muchos maestros, especialmente aquellos que no han crecido con los juegos, aún no toman en cuenta la educación interactiva en el salón de clases y prefieren la vieja manera de leer un libro y darles exámenes en los temas enseñados (lo cuál es bueno para varias materias), aunque las cosas parecen estar cambiando lentamente.

Por mientras, por lo menos en las clases de música, los estudiantes pueden ahora experimentar una nueva manera de aprender  y de entrar hacia el arte de la música más que antes. Eileen Jahn es una de aquellos maestros quienes están experimentando la interactividad y la educación, gracias a Nintendo y a la Asociación Nacional para la Educación de la Música. Jahn y otros maestros acaban de implementar Wii Music a sus planes de lecciones.

Lean el siguiente comunicado de prensa para más información (en inglés).

Wii Music at St. Philip's Academy with instructor Eileen Jahn

Wii Music at St. Philip's Academy with instructor Eileen Jahn

From/De: Nintendo: Music instructor Eileen Jahn of St. Philip’s Academy in Newark, N.J., instructs (from bottom left to right) students Jordan Taylor, Andrew Vollenberg, Haraan Ransom and Morgan Scott as they match handbell notes playing the Wii Music “Handbell Harmony” mini-game on Dec. 16, 2008. St. Philip’s is among the first schools to incorporate Wii consoles and Wii Music software into its music lesson plans via Nintendo’s educational collaboration with the MENC: The National Association for Music Education.


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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  1. TeacherJay

    I like the idea of teacher using newer technologies in the classroom and applaud this teacher’s efforts for trying. I am not convinced though this is not just a gimmick to gets kids involved and will fade as soon as the novelty dies down. The “bells and whistles” of a new toy in the classroom may work in the short-term, but it is no substitute for well-planned, interesting and appropriate lessons. If teachers learn how to incorporate technology such as the Wii into their teaching as tools, and not as the main attraction than perhaps they will prove themselves to be effective.

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