Sometimes just wishing for something isn’t enough. Sometimes it takes some effort on one’s own part to make that dream come true, especially when it comes to a piano, a big piano, that would have cost a fortune.
In this case the dreamer is one Justin Neilsen. He owns and operates his own music school in Eagle, called of course the Nielsen’s School of Music in Eagle.
Way back when, Neilsen was enamored by the dance-on piano seen in the classic fantasy/comedy film, “Big” starring Tom Hanks. He’d always wanted one but the price tag was too steep. That piano scene featured Hanks and veteran actor Robert Loggia dancing in tandem on the giant piano keyes. It was created for FAO Schwartz and goes for the staggering price of $300,000.
That’s a price that’s way out of Neilsen’s ball park so he had to come up with another solution and for a mere $16,000, he did it.
A friend and neighbor, Ken Cenell, who is an entrepreneur, marketer, and inventor, put his skills to work and with lots of wood and a reported mile of wire, created what both men call the ‘Monster Piano’. It took Cenell about six months to manufacture the first one.
He’s improved on it and now it’s made of high grade acrylic and advanced software. Cenell, as it turns out doesn’t even know how to play a piano. Not only that but Ken Cenell has only what he calls is a 1960s electronics education. He amusingly states that he learned how to build the piano using just himself and Google.
The piano has five octaves, 60 keys, and 128 sounds that also includes an operatic voice. It’s an interactive device that teaches you along the way. Songs that are stored in its memory module are used to instruct users ow to play them by the voice.
The ‘Monster Piano’ is so big that Neilsen had to get a bigger room to put it in. He hopes this piano and it’s programming will help kids enjoy learning the art of the piano.
One has to hand it to Neilsen and Cenell for putting together something that might change the face of education and music, and they did it to make a personal dream come true. It’s this kind of innovation that makes America great as well as brings new life into the music and educational scenes.
Perhaps their new ‘Monster Piano’ will be featured in a major motion picture or television series and someone else will be inspired to make their musical dreams come true. If it’s happened once, it can happen again.
Image credit: ktvb.com