Fresno City College is Among the First U.S. Community Colleges to Install the New LC4 Clavinova Lab

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Enhances and Expands College's Music Education Offerings

Fresno City College music students experience an innovative approach to learning the piano thanks to the school’s new Yamaha LC4 Clavinova Lab. Photo Credit: Dr. Brandon Bascom

“I look forward to seeing Fresno City College lead the way for other schools and music programs to incorporate this innovative technology to boost music education,” said Jim Fishback, president of the Fresno Piano Gallery.

When Fresno City College music faculty determined it was time to replace the nearly two decades-old digital pianos at their school, they began researching with one question in mind: what would make the learning experience as efficient and positive as possible for music students? It soon became clear that the Yamaha LC4 lab and Clavinova digital pianos stood out from other available options.

Since last October, music students at Fresno City College have been learning, practicing and performing in one of the first LC4 Clavinova Labs to be installed at a U.S. two-year college. The new lab allows more students to become involved in the music curriculum at Fresno City College, and broadens the teaching capabilities of faculty. By pairing wireless, state-of-the-art capabilities with 24 digital pianos from the critically acclaimed Yamaha Clavinova series, the community college has enhanced and expanded music education offerings to students.

The intuitive, flexible LC4 lab system allows music educators to control piano instruction wirelessly to teach a group of up to 48 students — all at once, in smaller groups, or one-on-one — from any location in the room. A network of headphones and microphones allows teachers and students to engage directly with each other in private practice or one-on-one instruction. Instructors are freed up to move around the room, listening to students play and making real-time suggestions, especially in regard to physical approach. Then, with the touch of a button, the practice room “walls” may be instantly removed for group study, teacher-only broadcasts or “all together now” ensemble performances. Instructors even have a mute button to disable students’ instruments when it’s time to focus attention.

“We’ve been waiting years for this. Having the LC4 communication system has really made my teaching more efficient and I’m able to help more students during class time,” said Dr. Brandon Bascom, piano instructor at the college. “And, I can pair two students together so they can help each other, which also maximizes my teaching time. Using the wireless headphones and the teacher control box on my iPad® means I can teach from anywhere in the room. Being able to demonstrate techniques right in front of my students, one-on-one, is a godsend.”

The piano lab features 23 Yamaha Clavinova CLP 545s and one teacher model, the CVP 709, the most advanced model in the series. By reproducing the playing experience and sound of the world-class Yamaha Concert Grand and Bösendorfer Imperial grand pianos, Clavinovas broaden students’ musical horizons. Dr. Bascom and the Fresno City College staff also favored the CLP 545s for their real wooden keys, which offer a traditional touch alongside the vast functionality of a digital piano. And, with unprecedented wireless iPad integration and exclusive Yamaha iOS apps, students and teachers may easily share music online, archive their own songs or favorites, browse custom performance settings from the Internet and download new songs directly from http://www.yamahamusicsoft.com into their Clavinova, all without having to connect any cables.

Jim Fishback, president of the Fresno Piano Gallery, worked closely with Fresno City College staff and Yamaha Corporation of America representatives throughout the selection and purchase process. Fishback said the new LC4 Clavinova Lab adds to the college’s standing as an innovative leader in music education in California and beyond.

“This is very exciting new technology, and the new wireless LC4 Clavinova Lab reflects Fresno City College’s commitment to provide the best resources to its students,” Fishback said. “I look forward to seeing Fresno City College lead the way for other schools and music programs to incorporate this innovative technology to boost music education.”

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About Fresno City College
Fresno City College (FCC) was established in 1910 as the first California Community College in a system that has now grown to 109 campuses enrolling 1.5 million students. FCC is a comprehensive learning community offering innovative educational programs and 118 Associates Degrees to address the lifelong learning needs of a diverse population. Music majors may specialize in instrumental, vocal, guitar, piano or commercial music to earn the associate in arts degree. FCC is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

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Peter Giles
Giles Communications
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