While nothing compares to learning on a real MIDI piano keyboard, for those wishing to try a few lessons before deciding to purchase a MIDI keyboard, this Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard is a great FREE temporary solution.
You can use the FREE Musiah Virtual Piano (which enables you to play piano notes on your computer keyboard) to complete all of the first two levels of the Musiah piano course — that’s 34 songs, before you ever have to buy a MIDI keyboard. But of course, your experience will not be not be as good as if you can get hold of a real MIDI keyboard to play on.
So only use this approach as a temporary measure (and please read all the information on this page).
How To Set Up The Virtual Piano In Minutes
1. Download and install this Internal Midi Port: Download setuploopbe1.exe
Note: At the end of the installation a Loopbe1 Manual may open up. You do not need to read this or do anything further as Loopbe1 will just work.
2. Download this Virtual Midi Piano keyboard (VMPK) and install it: Download vmpk-0.4.0-win32-setup.exe (5.0 MB).
Note: If you receive a message saying this file is “not commonly downloaded and could harm your computer, just ignore it. The download is perfectly safe.
3. Download MusiahVirtualPiano.zip, save it to your computer, and unzip the file.
1. In Windows, click Start and and in the search box type VMPK (which stands for Virtual Midi Piano Keyboard). To make the VMPK easier to find, you may find it helpful to right-click VMPK app in the start-up menu, then select Send to>Desktop. This creates a shortcut to the VMPK that will sit on your desktop.
2. Open the Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard and click Edit>MIDI Connections.
In the Output MIDI Connection field, select LoopBe Internal MIDI and click OK.
3. Next, click Edit>Preferences and place a tick in the check box next to “Always On Top”. Then click OK.
4. Lastly, click Edit>Keyboard Map>Open> and navigate to the location on your computer where you unzipped the zip file containing MusiahVirtualPiano.xml. Select MusiahVirtualPiano.xml and click Open. Then click OK.
Note: Each time you run the VMPK it will remember these settings, so you will not have to repeat these steps in the future.
How To Use The Virtual Piano Keyboard In Musiah's Piano Lessons
Always open the VMPK first, then open the Musiah software.
The first time you use the VMPK with Musiah, go to the Settings Screen and make sure “LoopBe Internal MIDI is displayed in the MIDI Device drop-down field.
To test that the VMPK is working correctly, click Run Configuration. Skip Steps 1 and 2, then on Step 3/6 check that the MIDI Device field is still displaying LoopBe Internal MIDI, and try playing some notes on your keyboard.
If you don’t hear any sound…
Firstly, please be aware that the Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard is not intended to be used on its own, i.e. outside the Musiah Piano Lessons Software. If you try to use the VMPK on its own, you will not hear any sound.
Within the Musiah Piano Lessons Software, you simply need to click the VMPK app so that it has the ‘focus’, then try playing some notes on your computer keyboard and it will work. This takes a little getting used to as the VMPK will only work if it has the focus. So any time the sound stops or it seems like it is not working, this is usually because you have clicked somewhere else on your screen other than the VMPK (which causes it to lose focus). Just click on the VMPK to give it the focus and it will work just fine.
Click Return To Settings and then click Save.
Hiding the Windows Taskbar...
If you would prefer not to see the Windows Taskbar when using the VMPK, right-click on the Windows taskbar, click Properties, place a tick in the check box next to “Auto-hide the taskbar”. Click Apply, then OK.
Note: Do NOT minimize the VMPK because you won’t be able to click on it. Instead, if it’s in your way, just drag it towards the bottom-left corner of your screen so most of the VMPK app is off-screen, but you can still see the top of the app to click on it when you need to give it the focus.
The Note Range Covered By The Musiah Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard
How to answer questions or play notes outside this note range
In Lesson 01 there is a question: “Play the C above middle C”. To do this, either click with your mouse on the appropriate key on the VMPK (on the screen) OR press the “A” key on your computer keyboard.
Also in Lesson 01 there is a question: “Play all 5 C’s on your keyboard”. To do this, either click with your mouse on the appropriate keys (in order) on the VMPK OR press the following keys (in order) on your computer keyboard: 1 Q I A Z.
In Lesson 30, you will need to play the C above middle key. In this instance, I recommend using the “A” key on your computer keyboard.
By: Brendan Hogan