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Students Take Part In ‘Remote’ Piano Lesson Using Yamaha’s Disklavier

Christian Wissmuller • Supplier Scene • June 2, 2014

On Thursday, May 22, high school students in Las Vegas and Washington D.C. participated in the first ever three-site “remote” master class with a college professor located in New York. The event illustrated the powerful distance learning capabilities and Internet connectivity of Yamaha’s reproducing piano, the Disklavier, and the emerging Disklavier Education Network.

This “town hall” style event was attended by Las Vegas Academy of the Arts students, on site at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, along with students at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts in Washington, D.C. Both groups participated in personalized piano master classes conducted by Dr. Magdalena Baczewska (Professor of Piano at Montclair State University, Adjunct Piano Faculty, Mannes College Of Music) at the Yamaha Artist Services Piano Salon in midtown Manhattan.

Each participating location was equipped with a monitor and a Yamaha Disklavier linked together over the Internet, which enabled all the participants to collaborate with one another in real time.

First introduced 25 years ago, the Disklavier has earned a formidable reputation at colleges and most recently at an increasing number of K-12 school districts around the world both for its artistic qualities and its ability to reproduce accurate, note-for-note performances—ideal in the sharing of lesson and performance content.

Now in its fifth generation of refinements, the Disklavier has been imbued with powerful networking capability that enables two or more instruments to be connected over the Internet via Yamaha’s proprietary RemoteLive™ technology, which makes the Disklavier Education Network (DEN) possible.

In simple terms, this enables pianists to perform live in one location, while their exact keystrokes and pedal movements are transmitted in real time to other instruments located anywhere else in the world, along with synchronized video. The pianists’ keystrokes are then faithfully reproduced, note for note, in real time on the remote instrument, as if they were there in person, while they can be seen and heard on an adjacent monitor in perfect sync with the remote piano performance.

At the presentation, students at The Smith Center and Ellington School played musical selections on the Yamaha Disklavier piano, while Dr. Baczewska sat at the Yamaha Artist Services Piano Salon in Manhattan, listening, watching and coaching that same piece as it is recreated "live" on a third Disklavier seamlessly synched to a live Skype broadcast. Dr. Baczewska responded and played her instrument, while the keys and pedals came alive on the instruments at the remote school locations.

Yamaha believes the full education potential of its “remote lesson” technology is extremely high, considering that it offers top tier artists and college professors the flexibility and travel cost savings provided by live master classes with students at distant educational institutions conducted over the Internet.

The technology has been quickly welcomed by institutions such as the Berklee College of Music, The Juilliard School, University of California, Los Angeles, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Washington, D.C. Public Schools, to name a few. 

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