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  Hi-tech instruments get rid of music lessons
Updated 16 April 2002, 18.23

Peeved with piano lessons? Fed up with learning the flute?

Then a new toy invented in America could be for you.

  Click here to chat about music

Beatbugs make music when hit
Experts at the Toy Symphony project have designed musical gadgets which are easy to learn and don't need practice!

Beatbugs are rhythm instruments which you tap to create patterns, and they automatically make it sound like a tune.

And Shapers are colourful balls which produce notes when they're squeezed.

There's also software called Hyperscore which allows you to play music by drawing shapes on a PC.

Great but why?

Toy Symphony creator Tod Machover came up with the idea because he felt children have to struggle too much when learning to play.

And kids at Dublin's Ark Children's Centre who tried them out gave them the thumbs up.

"One lesson shows you the basics," said one. "It's easy to learn but fun at the same time."

Tod has even written a concert for the new instruments, which he'll be playing in Glasgow on 2 June.

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