Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 47

and may even sense that he contributed a note to the ensemble. Such gaming experiences, however, fall far short of real music making. Real music making involves a direct, physical, and visceral connection between the player and the instrument as well as realistic aural feedback.

Student performances with a virtual orchestra
Although there is a lot of emphasis these days on the development of games that provide virtual experiences that require no previous, serious training (such as flying a plane, playing a professional sport, or operating on a patient), there are now compelling technologies available that serve the serious piano player who has actually spent years developing his chops. For example, on September 16, 2011, eight youngsters ranging in age from seven to sixteen performed piano/keyboard concertos by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and MacDowell on the Libby Gardner Concert Hall stage at the University of Utah. These students were participants in the SummerArts program and had won this performance opportunity in a concerto competition the previous month. Dr. Susan Duehlmeier, piano chair at the university, organ-

ized the opportunity which was fully supported by the local piano dealer, Daynes Music. Dr. Duehlmeier wanted these students to “get a chance to try out what it would be like to play with an orchestra, before they ever rehearse with a real one.” The program included individual movements from: Concerto in C Major, Hob. XIV:4, by Franz Joseph Haydn Concerto in F Minor, BWV 1056, by J.S. Bach Concerto No. 11 in F Major, K. 413, by W.A. Mozart Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 23, by Edward MacDowell Concerto in A Major, BWV 1055, by J.S. Bach Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488, by W.A. Mozart Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052, by J.S. Bach As expected, the students played on a nine-foot concert grand (a Steinway in this case). Conspicuously absent was a conductor and orchestral musicians. In their place was a computer and speakers. Had you been in the audience, you might have been fooled into thinking that these kids were playing to a Music-Minus-One CD recording. MMO (www.musicminusone.com) is a venerable company that has produced innumerable play-along recordings of piano concerti and other orchestra works, minus the soloist. MMO

Tomorrow Today:

Tech Tips

George Litterst, Editor
Submit your questions to this column by sending them to PianoBench@aol.com.

Will an iPad be useful in my teaching?
Although there are many smart, mobile devices available today, the iPad is compelling for many reasons. Unlike a smart phone, the screen is much bigger (1024 x 768). In fact, the screen is a lot bigger than those of many competing tablets. Not only is the screen large, it has color. Additional hardware features include front- and rear-facing cameras (on the newer iPad2), wi-fi capability, and—if you purchase a 3G model—GPS. Given these hardware features as well as Apple’s ability to integrate a compelling, touch-based user interface, the device has become extraordinarily popular. Before answering the question, I should point out that there are very good tablets from various manufacturers that are based on Google’s Android operating system, and some have large screens. Other tablets are failed products (the HP tablet), are not yet proven in the marketplace (tablets based on the Windows 8 operating system), or are struggling to get market share (RIM tablets). There are still others that are primarily ereaders but which have some computer-like functionality (i.e. can run a limited number of apps). At this point, the iPad has the richest set of apps available and many apps that are of interest to piano teachers. For starters, there are any number of interesting metronome apps (see this column in the March/April 2011 issue). Beyond that, there are music apps for: • displaying PDF files of music (you can turn the pages by tapping or swiping the screen) • music flashcards (see the technology column in the March/April 2011 issue)
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012

• MIDI recording/editing/playback • play-along accompaniments • music games Of course, all of these categories of apps are in addition to other useful features, such as e-reader apps, Skype (using the camera), web browsing, and so forth. I have found that the iPad is versatile in many unexpected ways that have benefitted my teaching. I’ll point out just one example as an illustration. I do a bit of real-time, online teaching, and I use Skype to communicate verbally and visually with my students. At various points during a lesson, I would like to have face-to-face interaction with my student. At other times, I would like to provide my student with a side view of me and my piano. If my laptop is positioned in front of me on the piano or slightly to the side (so that I can use music), it is very easy for me to look at the screen and simultaneously look at my laptop’s built-in camera. This provides eye-to-eye contact with my student. When I switch to the side-view camera and talk to my student, my student will see the side of my face if I am looking at my laptop monitor. This, of course, makes no sense from the point of view of the student. It is much better for the student if I turn to face the side-view camera when it is active and I am talking. For me, however, it is odd to talk at a camera and not see the student. What I need in this situation is a second monitor, positioned just below the side-view camera, which also gives me a view of the student. iPad to the rescue! There is a very nifty, $9.99 app for the iPad called Air Display. This turns my iPad into a second, wireless monitor for my laptop. Once I have Air Display turned on and connected wirelessly to the laptop, I set the laptop and Air Display to mirror each other. At that point, it does not matter which direction I face, the laptop ahead of me or the Air Display (and side-view camera) to my side. In both cases, I’ll be able to see my student in the Skype video window and achieve eye-to-eye contact. This solution has proven to be very convenient to set up and has substantially improved the long-distance teaching experience.
CLAVIER COMPANION

47



Clavier Companion - January/February 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clavier Companion - January/February 2012

Clavier Companion - January/February 2012
Contents
Editor's Page: New discoveries
Variations: Tackling a twelve-year old's slump
Musings: Creative being and the disciplined life
An interview with Jean-Yves Thibaudet
The story of music on board the RMS Titanic
The enchanted world of piano fairy tales
Jazz & Pop: The rhythms of jazz: Syncopation
Music Reading: Recipes for effective teaching
Perspectives: Coping with burnout
Technology: Virtual reality in the piano studio
Tech Tips
First Looks: What Music Means To Me
New music reviews
CD & DVD reviews
News & Notes
Pupil Saver
Keyboard Kids' Companion
Advertiser Index
Questions & Answers
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Clavier Companion - January/February 2012
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Cover2
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Contents
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 2
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 3
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Editor's Page: New discoveries
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 5
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Variations: Tackling a twelve-year old's slump
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 7
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Musings: Creative being and the disciplined life
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 9
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - An interview with Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 11
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 12
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 13
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 14
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 15
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 16
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 17
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - The story of music on board the RMS Titanic
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 19
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 20
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 21
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 22
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 23
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 24
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 25
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 26
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 27
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 28
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 29
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - The enchanted world of piano fairy tales
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 31
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 32
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 33
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 34
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 35
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Jazz & Pop: The rhythms of jazz: Syncopation
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 37
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Music Reading: Recipes for effective teaching
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 39
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 40
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 41
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Perspectives: Coping with burnout
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 43
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 44
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 45
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Technology: Virtual reality in the piano studio
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Tech Tips
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 48
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 49
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - New music reviews
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 51
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 52
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 53
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - CD & DVD reviews
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 55
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - News & Notes
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Pupil Saver
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 58
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 59
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Keyboard Kids' Companion
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 61
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Advertiser Index
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - 63
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Questions & Answers
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Cover3
Clavier Companion - January/February 2012 - Cover4
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