Play Along Keys has been under development for several years. It is the primary product of Real Keys Music, Inc.
I’m Bruce Cichowlas and am the primary designer and developer for Play Along Keys, both IOS and Android versions. I also do most of the arrangements and performances using my home studio and various music technology software as well as working with indie artists, music licensing and servers.
Play Along Keys exists because I would like young people and others to feel what it is like to perform music with others, even if they have no previous music background. I’ve also always liked the idea of learning something in a game and then being able to transfer it to real life such as a piano or other keyboard instrument.
Besides Play Along Keys, which is not income-producing for me, I work at several other jobs. One is elementary school technology and sometimes music teacher. Whether it is a piano, a synthesizer, a programmable robot or a computer, I want my students to know that not only can they learn and use these complicated-looking thing, but they can also be creative with them, using them as an extension of themselves. I want them to have the thrill of knowing as well as the feelings of enablement and individual creativity.
On a larger scale, I think performing music is important for communications and understanding in the world. As a music performer, I often jam with other musicians, some from far-away places. I am always impressed on how we can communicate to one another through music and improvisation, sharing our abstract ideas and thoughts, even though we may be from very different cultures and have no language in common.
I want Play Along Keys to be friendly to kids and parents and don’t want parents to need to worry about commercialism and where advertising might come from. I also don’t want young people or others to miss the fun and experience of Play Along Keys because of cost. So I’m currently underwriting all the server, licensing and other costs of Play Along Keys, though one day I hope to have some NPR sort of sponsoring, perhaps by a musical instrument manufacturer or a record label. Meanwhile, I pay bills mainly through doing custom IOS and Android software for many companies.
I hope you enjoy Play Along Keys. Yours thoughts, ideas and comments are always very welcome at [email protected] .