If you’ve always dreamed of learning to play the piano but have never had the space or resources to have one yourself, then all is not lost. If you fancy yourself as the next Elton John or Richard Clayderman, your PC can emulate a piano to a pretty impressive degree of reality. Of course, it’s not exactly the same playing Beethoven’s Fifth on your keyboard compared to ebony and ivory but it’s a darn sight cheaper and a good start for beginners in particular.
Synthesia (formerly known as Piano Hero) is probably one of the most popular packages with beginners because of it’s simplicity although it’s by no means the most effective learning tool. The program merely requires you to play the simulated piano keyboard by following the notes as they fall on the keyboard which isn’t easy. However, it does allow you to connect an external keyboard if you have one. As the name suggests MidiPiano turns your keyboard into a MIDI synthesiser rather than a piano but it at least gets you familiar with the keyboard. Electronic Piano follows a similar format although with a much greater range featuring 128 different instruments, all of which can be played from a piano-synthesizer keyboard.
However, the most realistic dedicated piano app has to be KB Piano which realistically reproduces the crisp clear notes of a piano and also simulates the violin and guitar. However, it does rely rather heavily on DirectX and is the most likely to crash of all the piano tools out there.