A music instructor and guitar shop owner in Vermont uses the popular video game Guitar Hero as a part of his lessons, not only because it gets kids interested but also, as Dan Bolles reports in the alternative weekly Seven Days, because it instills the player with a sense of rhythmic timing and a subconscious recognition of melody lines. “Essentially, what players see as little colored dots scrolling down a TV screen are actually a form of guitar tablature,” Bolles writes. “And when you connect those dots, you’ve got the makings of a real guitar player.”
Normally, I don’t buy these arguments about the vast benefits of video games (hand-eye coordination, anyone?), but this is the theory being put into practice by real music teachers. If only they’d had Saxophone Hero when I was in sixth-grade band.