Las Vegas and D.C. Students Take Part in 'Remote' Piano Lesson over the Internet with Classical Artist in New York City

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Yamaha Disklavier Reproducing Piano Enables Students Nationwide to Collaborate "Live" over the Internet

Las Vegas Academy of the Arts students participate in a remote master class at The Smith Center in Las Vegas.

“This represents unprecedented distance learning, performance and evaluation possibilities for teachers and students, and defines the benefits of this instrument . . . for education-minded audiences,” said Walt Straiton, Yamaha.

The piano is no longer an island unto itself.

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.

In addition, it has been enthusiastically embraced by many of the world’s foremost performing artists and leading educators, including jazz pianists Gerald Clayton, Danilo Pérez (Berklee College of Music), Edward Simon (SF Jazz Collective) and Jeremy Siskind (Western Michigan University); classical pianists Frederic Chiu, Simone Dinnerstein, Dr. Inna Faliks (UCLA), Byron Janis, Alexander Kobrin (The Schwob School and NYU) Anne-Marie McDermott, and Dr. Lisa Yui (Manhattan School of Music).

“The piano no longer needs to be an island in the classroom. Just as with personal computers before it, our new technology makes it possible to connect multiple pianos, students and teachers across the country or around the world via the Internet,” said Walt Straiton, Institutional Solutions Group manager, northeast region, Yamaha Corporation of America. “This represents unprecedented distance learning, performance and evaluation possibilities for teachers and students, and defines the benefits of this instrument and associated opportunities for education-minded audiences.”

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About Yamaha
Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is one of the largest subsidiaries of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, sound reinforcement and home entertainment products to the U.S. market. Products include: Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products and Nexo commercial audio products, as well as AV receivers, amplifiers, Blu-ray/CD players, iPod docking systems, earphones, headphones, home-theater-in-a-box systems, sound bars and its exclusive line of Digital Sound Projectors. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology and entertainment products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, professional music, installation and consumer markets.

About Magdalena Baczewska
Recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Polish Minister of Culture, and laureate of the Award for Outstanding Polish Citizen Abroad, pianist and harpsichordist Magdalena Baczewska [pronounced BaCHEVska] has been praised for her “world‐class playing” (The American Record Guide). Growing up in a family of musicians, Magdalena started piano instruction at the age of five, and at twelve made her orchestra debut. As a winner of international piano competitions, she has appeared worldwide as a solo artist and in orchestral performances. Hailed as “imaginative and instructive, a player of taste, purity of tone, and clarity of line,” Magdalena appeared on major radio shows across America and Europe, including NPR, WQXR, and Voice of America.

Magdalena is currently a piano faculty member at the Mannes College New School for Music, and John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University in New Jersey. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Manhattan School of Music (C. Keene), along with Bachelor and Master's Degree from the Mannes College, New School for Music (J. Rose).

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