This digital keyboard actually teaches you how to play songs on the piano

This digital keyboard actually teaches you how to play songs on the piano

  • TheONE Smart Piano TON uses color-coded LED lights to indicate which keys to play, leading your fingers through music and helping establish muscle memory.
  • The instrument features a full 88 keys and faithfully recreates the sound of a genuine grand piano, though it can also be paired with headphones or external speakers.
  • TheONE Smart Piano app helps guide you through individual songs, teaches you to read sheet music, and challenges you with games.
  • It's pretty expensive at $799, but it's ultimately cheaper than buying a piano and paying for lessons.

I can't play the piano — at least not yet. But were you to listen to me play "Für Elise" or "Green Sleeves" on TheONE Smart Piano TON digital piano, you'd think I'd been at the keys for years (ok, maybe months). Note that I meant it when I said "listen to me play" because were you to watch me, my cover would be blown when you spotted the red and blue LED lights popping up above the next keys to be tapped.

When paired with TheONE Smart Piano app, this full-sized, 88-key digital piano becomes a powerful teaching tool that can help the abject amateur and the advanced pianist alike. The most basic way to engage with the piano is to select a song and then dutifully follow the LED light prompts — a red light for the fingers of your right hand, a blue light for the left — striking the keys as the light illuminate. This sort of playing won't teach you much about music theory or have you reading Bach's sheet music, but it's satisfying to hammer out a tune the first time you sit down to tickle the keys.

While having some fun tapping out songs is all well and good, let's be frank here: TheONE Smart Piano TON is way too expensive to buy if all you plan to do is play around. But if you actually want to learn how to play, it's a lot cheaper to buy one pricey digital keyboard than it is to take lessons for years. And the last time I checked, an actual grand piano costs more than $10,000 if you want something halfway decent. Even uprights cost at least five grand for any real quality. 

I started off simply following the lights and slowly growing more comfortable playing a few select songs, but soon I realized I wasn't really learning how to play music, but rather how to memorize those specific tunes. However, as the LEDs lead your fingers, so too does the sheet music displayed on TheONE Smart Piano app highlight the notes corresponding to the keys you're playing. Over time, using the piano and app can develop both muscle memory in your fingers and an understanding of reading music. Put those together, and hey, you're a piano player.

I'm not going to pretend you will learn to play the piano overnight with this keyboard, nor will you gain true competence in a matter of days or weeks or even months. Learning to play an instrument well takes time and effort, but with TheONE Smart Piano, you can indeed learn to play — no teacher or traditional lessons required.

So yes, it's expensive, but it's effective. You'll also sound like you know what you're doing on day one — just don't let anyone see the red and blue lights helping you cheat your way through Pachabel's "Canon."

Business Insider