How do we use music technology in our lessons?
While you may know that our studio offers CDs of studio recordings and live performances as well having all the students’ music online, there is much more we employ to enhance each student’s learning of the piano.
Digital Recording Technology
Professional digital sequencing software is used to record the pieces for our students’ CDs during the lessons. This is how every student gets their own CDs twice a year. We use MOTU’s (Mark Of The Unicorn) Digital Performer as our professional digital sequencing audio and MIDI editor, the most powerful in the industry for many years.
Music notation software allows students to write their own pieces and have their own professional printouts. We submit students’ pieces annually to the Piano Explorer Magazine, which has published our students’ compositions to their readership. We use Avid’s Sibelius as our professional music notation software, the maker of ProTools and the Scorch plug-in for online viewing of music.
Slow down software takes a recording and slows it down from 33% to 400%, all without changing the pitch. A student can then hear difficult, fast pieces played slowly and accurately, and yet have the human sound (since it is played from the original recording, not a MIDI file). We send students home with a practice CD to work on slowly and carefully, so that they can learn the piece quickly and accurately. We use Ronimusic.com’s “Amazing Slow Downer” software, for both the Mac, iPad, iPod, and iPhone, and teach our students how to use it too.
Live audio recording is used at recitals to record each student’s recital performance. We have also found a growing interest among our students to record vocals along with their piano accompaniment. This software also has become a valuable practice tool when we record a teacher counting out loud to a piece. The student can take a CD home to practice with the teacher’s recorded instruction. Digital Performer and WireTap Studio Pro are what we use, depending on the job.
Digital Sheet Music Library
In addition to the tremendous library of sheet music we have at the studio (we have thousands of pages, hundreds of books!), we have on CD and can print the complete piano works of the following composers as needed: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Grieg, and Chopin. Literally thousands of pages!
We also have “The Ultimate Collection of Piano Studies and Exercises” which includes Hanon, Czerny, Gurlitt, Pischna, Brahms, Burgmuller, Heller, and many more. Another “Ultimate Collection” in our library is “Sonatinas and Easy Classics” which includes almost 50 composers. We have thousands of pages of original music by the masters available to the students. This covers most all classical piano music available anywhere in the world.
Online Music History: We have access to special online musical resources that we reference to print out or email to students about virtually any composer you can think of. Pictures, artwork, and music samples, as well as a complete history of music help make this a valuable teaching tool. Among the sites we use are ipl.org (The Internet Public Library) and of course, Wikipedia.org.
Printable sheet music online: We also use up-to-date websites for popular music for the more recent music. Musicnotes.com is one such site (among many). We download sheet music from professional sources online to find the newest releases of pieces and music available, as well as only having to pay per piece instead of having to pay the full price for a compilation book. We can search, download and print immediately and there are no shipping costs, of course.
Other online music references: These are incredible resources we use to show students how to look up composers, explore many styles of music, have a free preview to listen to pieces, and read reviews. This includes our own researched YouTube videos of professional musicians, and other individual sites too numerous to list here.