Schoenhut digital pianos at Toy Fair
Schoenhut Piano Company showed new entries in its digital toy piano line at the Toy Industry Association's 114th North American International Toy Fair, which closed Tuesday at the Javits Center.
Having formed the New Tech Learning digital technology company and added digital to its classic toy piano collection last year, the venerable manufacturer, which has been at it since 1872, showed 25-, 30- 37- and 61-key digital models bearing the New Tech Learning label. Leonard Trinka, who owns Schoenhut with his wife Renee, placed an iPad against the music rack of a 25-key digital and turned on a piano instructional app.
"It marries music and apps with a piano that sounds more than a tinkly [sounding] toy [piano]," said Trinka, adjusting the volume on "Mary Had a Little Lamb." The app showed the proper notes to children while encouraging them to learn by awarding points, also rewarding them with "background music when they get good at it," added Trinka.
The app then "emails parents with scores, and tells them how their kids are doing," Trinka noted, relating perhaps the system's greatest asset: "It teaches kids to play piano by making them think they're playing a game!"