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Practicing Piano via Video Games

The controller of a Nintendo Switch game console

Are you suddenly finding yourself with ample time to play your Nintendo Switch while seeking out fun ways to make use of its technology? Breath of the Wild is a fun game with many hours of adventure, but perhaps you’d like to flex your musical muscles. Instead of traversing the Hyrule countryside, you’d like to see if you have what it takes to be the next Lang Lang.

Recently dropped on the Nintendo eShop is Pianista: The Legendary Virtuoso, a game that pits you against some of the most difficult piano works in the repertoire. Working on a similar mechanic to Guitar Hero or Rock Band, the game challenges you to accurately press the system’s controls in time with the prompts that you see on the screen. The difficulty is varied and you receive an overall score based on the accuracy of your performance. If you’re curious to see how you stack against players from around the world there is a leaderboard. The game also has a “concours” mode that has pre-packaged recital programs in different difficulty settings. And if you’re feeling like making this a co-op situation you can go head-to-head against another player by each taking a controller from the Switch.

There are 77 works from 23 composers included. Each composer has a short biographical entry on their page, which may entice you to head out and learn more about them. While the library seems to consist of just the greatest hits (Debussy’s Arabesque #1 or music from The Marriage of Figaro) there is opportunity for the game to eventually include more works via digital downloads. You can scale each work to your own skill level, and as you progress in the game, art work for your “keyboard” gets unlocked.

To learn more, visit Nintendo’s eShop from your Switch. And then call up your piano teacher. They probably miss you.

Written by:
Jennifer Miller Hammel
Jennifer Miller Hammel
Published on 03.19.2020