Southeast’s Holland College of Arts & Media Unites Cutting-Edge Technology and Music Education in ‘Remote’ Piano Masterclass

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Students were introduced to a remarkable application of distance learning, thanks to cutting-edge Yamaha “Remote Lesson” technology and Yamaha Disklavier “reproducing” pianos.

Jake White, a music education student at Southeast, listens intently to Dr. Allan Huckleberry's instruction from the University of Iowa during 'remote' piano masterclass.

“Integrating Disklavier technology into our music programs has allowed our students to push the boundaries for what they can achieve creatively, and also keeps them at the forefront of how music is created, produced and taught today,” said Dr. Kevin Hampton, chair of Southeast’s Department of Music.

The Holland College of Arts and Media at Southeast Missouri State University conducted a state-of-the-art “remote” piano masterclass on October 13 taught by a professor located at the University of Iowa — a campus nearly 400 miles away.

Students were introduced to a remarkable application of distance learning, thanks to cutting-edge Yamaha “Remote Lesson” technology and two internet-connected Yamaha Disklavier “reproducing” pianos located at each college.

The technology allowed Dr. Allan Huckleberry, an acclaimed piano professor at the University of Iowa, to evaluate “live” performances by Jake White, a music education student at Southeast, and Layne Collier, a student at Kelly High School in Benton, Missouri, both participating in the lesson in Southeast’s Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Music Recital Hall. There, masked and socially distanced attendees watched as the magic of the masterclass unfolded.

From the University of Iowa, Huckleberry could see, in real-time, the depth of keys and pedals the students used, not on their piano, but the Disklavier in front of him. After the performances, Huckleberry offered valuable insight to each of the students over video chat, while playing his Disklavier remotely to visually illustrate his points. With perfectly synchronized video streaming between the two locations, both teacher and students performed back and forth for one another, as if they were sitting on the same piano bench in the same room.

The Disklavier technology not only gives students the ability to partake in remote lessons and masterclasses, but also enhances music education students’ studies in one-to-one teaching, especially at a time when distanced learning is essential for music students around the world. The college also plans to use the piano to accommodate prospective students with the opportunity to audition remotely.

“Integrating Disklavier technology into our music programs has allowed our students to push the boundaries for what they can achieve creatively, and also keeps them at the forefront of how music is created, produced and taught today,” said Dr. Kevin Hampton, chair of Southeast’s Department of Music. “At the Holland College of Arts and Media, it is extremely important to us that our students are career-ready from the moment they graduate, and this technology gives them that next level for performance readiness that we strive for.”

Southeast’s Holland College of Arts and Media is the only campus in Missouri dedicated entirely to the arts and the only fine arts-dedicated campus in the state in which all programs hold national accreditation. The college boasts a 100 percent career placement rating for its music education students. The “remote” piano masterclass — and the technology used to conduct it — furthers the college’s mission to provide its students access to state-of-the-art technological resources ensuring career-readiness.

The school recently acquired 40 Yamaha pianos, including the Yamaha DCFX Disklavier used during the masterclass, as well as several Hybrid pianos with Bluetooth compatibility. The acquisition has allowed the school to expand upon its mission of blending technology and the arts by giving students the opportunity to push their creative abilities in every aspect of their studies, including music composition, sound design, arranging and education.

As an ever-evolving technological staple in music education, the Yamaha Disklavier has earned a formidable reputation at educational institutions around the world both for its artistic qualities and its ability to reproduce stunningly accurate, note-for-note performances — ideal in the sharing of lesson and performance content.

For more information about The Holland College of Arts and Media at Southeast, visit https://semo.edu/arts-media/

For more information about Yamaha pianos in educational and institutional settings, visit http://www.yamaha.io/YamahaISG

About Southeast’s Holland College of Arts and Media
Southeast Missouri State University’s Holland College of Arts and Media prepares students to launch careers in the arts, design, entertainment and media industries, while inspiring excellence and a passion for training, knowledge, critical thinking, creativity and global engagement.

The college brings together the Departments of Art & Design, Music and Mass Media and the Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance at Southeast’s breathtaking River Campus where programs cut across disciplines that are offered in settings promoting the study of all the arts.

About Yamaha
Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is the largest subsidiary of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, sound reinforcement, commercial installation 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, MusicCast wireless multiroom audio systems, Blu-ray/CD players, 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, music, professional audio installation and consumer markets.

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Stephanie Talarico
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