A Cincinnati high school student has invented a software program that helps deaf and hearing-impaired people visualize music. The program, which he calls a Chromatic Music Visualizer, associates the chord values in music with different colors. The idea is to show the emotions in music, so that people who can’t hear can enjoy music and experience it alongside their family and friends.

Aaron Ziegler, who is a senior at The Seven Hills School, says his program will convert any song into a visual display that expresses the emotions of the song. He’s now working with musicians and the deaf community to perfect the technology. Once that’s done, he says he’ll make the program available online for free.

While we eagerly await an opportunity to plug some Grateful Dead into the Chromatic Music Visualizer and see what colors come out, the invention is no laughing matter: Ziegler won the Technology Award at Ohio Invention League’s Invention Convention and will go on to compete at the national level.