Innovative Music Program Raises Autism Awareness

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( — April 5, 2015) Longmont, Colorado — 


Autism is a highly heritable, neuro-developmental disorder that affects 1 in 68 children in the United States. Autism, also referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is five times more common among boys than girls (1 in 42 boys will be affected). Raising autism awareness and receiving support from community partners is critical step in battling this developmental disorder.


Life Prep Academy is a nonprofit organization based out of Utah that operates in San Diego, California. Their mission is to “empower groups of people who would otherwise be left out.” Life Prep Academy, with support from Music Wizard and Bertrand Music, have started an innovated music pilot program. The program is entitled “Music Is For Everyone” and currently serves 10 special needs families.


Music Wizard contributed their accelerated music video game software system and Bertrand’s Music contributed 10 midi keyboards. The goal is to positively impact the 10 special needs families through music and raise autism awareness in the community. There were positive results within weeks of the “Music Is For Everyone” in home training program with a wide range of challenged individuals. For example, Tanner is a 15 year old, non verbal autistic teen. By playing a simple music video game, he was able to articulate individual finger movement for the first time in his life. Conner, a 7 year old autistic boy, was able to successfully complete the first 10 songs with 90-100% accuracy. Finally, Linda, who has cerebral palsy, was through specialized warm up exercises was finally able to curl her fingers while playing the game.


Music Wizard’s specialized video game software is called Piano Wizard. It is a simple music video game system that allows users to play real songs in only minutes using a revolutionary patented 4-step approach. Piano Wizard Academy has also added videos lessons and songbooks that coordinate with the software. In addition to this, it is an open ended MIDI system allows users to import songs online into the game format. Paivi Lappalainen, a Finnish American who graduated from Brigham Young University, is the founder of the Life Prep Academy. She feels passionate about raising autism awareness and is very satisfied with the program results.


For her, being able to watch Jed, a non-verbal boy with severe mental challenges, complete an entire 100 lesson curriculum in just over 2 years, was very rewarding. Jed started out being unable to ask for a glass of water and now can play and read complex sheet music from Bach and Beethoven. Chris Salter, Music Wizard founder and CEO, was enthusiastic about the programs’ success: “Piano Wizard Academy allows virtually anyone to now enjoy the benefits of music education and music therapy that were once too hard, too expensive, to difficult to achieve or enjoy. Jed’s example shows just how easy and fun the game is, and yet how potentially transformational music’s benefits can be.” Specialized music therapy is having amazing results with autistic children and teens. Could playing a video game be a low cost, high fun way to bring music therapy to many more families?

Music Wizard

7367 Glacier View Rd
Longmont, Colorado United States 80503