George Litterst is a nationally known music educator, clinician, author, performer, and music software developer. A classically trained pianist, he is co-author of the intelligent accompaniment software program, Home Concert Xtreme, the electronic music blackboard program, Classroom Maestro, and the long distance teaching and performing program, In...ternet MIDI. More

Video: A valuable tool for teachers

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Playing the piano is much like driving a car. When you drive a car, you have a destination in mind, and you focus your attention simultaneously on both the route and the moment-by-moment actions that will bring you to your destination. Along the way, you not only look at the road ahead, but you also acquire an awareness of cars around you, you keep...
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Practical tips for video recording your teaching

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What app(s) do you use for recording video on your smartphone or tablet? Stella: On my Android phone and tablet, I usually use the app that comes with the operating system. The various makers of Android devices (Samsung, Motorola, etc.) each provide a video recording app for their devices. Although the app that you get from each manufacturer is dif...
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How do mobile devices and apps inspire and facilitate your teaching?

Ev​ery teacher who uses a mobile computing device has a favorite application. But rather than asking teachers about their favorite apps, I prefer to ask deeper questions: Do mobile computing devices have a transformative effect on your studio, your studio management, or the way in which your students learn?  I received fascinating answers...
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Yes, technology can simplify your hectic teaching life!

It's true! Check out the solutions from your colleagues that follow. There is no one approach that is the best one for all teachers. If you read on, I know you'll be impressed with how creative good teachers can be with the business side of their teaching lives! Automating the paperwork and focusing on teaching by Anna Fagan Casey bo...
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Wires, Cables, and Devices - Oh, My!

Wires, Cables, and Devices - Oh, My!
When it comes time to remake your studio, it is a good idea to plan for your current and future technology gear, which may include any of the following: hi-fi system, recording paraphernalia, computer(s) and peripherals, pianos or keyboards with MIDI features, printer and scanner, networking devices, and maybe even a f...
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Silent movie accompanying for students and professionals

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​In 2012, we are so far removed from the so-called silent film era (ca. 1894-1929) that most of us have only a vague concept of what it was really like. Although the films of that period were silent, their presentation was not. In the small venues, films were accompanied by the local pianist (who was often the neighborhood piano teacher) or a small...
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Charting the future course of music history

​Not long ago, a professor of piano pedagogy at a prestigious collegiate institution asked me to be a guest lecturer for a day. The topic was technology. The class was attended by a fine group of young pianists who were completing work on a graduate degree in piano performance. During the session, I got to know the students a little bit. I was inte...
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Your musical future: Hints from the 2012 NAMM show

​Virtually every industry has one or more trade associations that represent the industry as a whole. This is true for producers of car parts, toy manufacturers, medical suppliers, funeral homes, and so forth. Typically, these groups have trade shows that are open only to members and provide opportunities for suppliers to show their latest wares and...
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Virtual reality in the piano studio

If you are a Star Trek fan or at least have a passing familiarity with the television series, you may be aware that people still play music and attend concerts in the twenty-fourth century. Given the fact that computers do so much for human beings now and will do even more in the future, it is certainly comforting to know that our descendants will ...
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RMM really is for everyone!

The Recreational Music Making movement is all about inclusiveness and creative self-expression. Embedded in the RMM philosophy is this statement: No matter what music background you may or may not have, no matter what physical or mental limitations present themselves, you can participate in the joy of music making and express yourself creatively!&n...
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How do you use mobile computing devices (such as smart phones, portable listening devices, and tablets) in your teaching?

​Just when we have reached the point where traditional, personal computers have become ubiquitous in the home, modern society has become inundated with new mobile computing devices. These mobile devices are basically computers disguised as cellphones, listening devices, and e-readers. As Apple's Steve Jobs has informed us, we can now carry the Inte...
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How do you use technology to facilitate long distance instruction?

How close to your student do you sit during a piano lesson? How close do you sit to your computer screen  when using your computer? Imagine that you typically sit about two  feet from your computer screen. Further imagine that when you sit at your computer you are talking to someone, face-to-face, on your computer screen, and the other pe...
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How do you use recording technology in your studio?

Do you remember the glorious days of cassette tapes? For a substantial period of time - from the late 1960s to the end of the century - it seemed like everyone had one or more cassette players. Best of all, a teacher or student could purchase an inexpensive cassette player that also had a recording feature. For music teachers, cassettes marked the ...
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How do you build, organize, and manage your website?

from the series: ​Tomorrow Today: Technology George Litterst, Editor A professional website is the essential doormat for the 21st-century piano studio. It is a location where prospective students can learn about you and what  you offer, a tool for communicating with your students, and a venue for sharing your students' performances with t...
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How do you use technology in your summer teaching?

from the series: ​Tomorrow Today: Technology George Litterst, Editor Summer time is special. Family sched ules lose the routine that is imposed  by the school calendar, students float in and out of town, and everyone is in a different frame of mind. The circumstances that surround summer teaching challenge us to keep our students excited ...
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How do you use technology in the study of advanced literature?

Working with advanced students is challenging for many reasons, not the least of which is the issue of time management. As the students become more advanced, they tend. outwork simultaneously on both longer pieces and a greater number of pieces. For this reason, lessons must take very efficient use of the available time.  The last thing t...
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Three generations of teachers on teaching with technology

I  still remember my first two piano students. The time was the early 1970s. I was a junior at Vassar College, and my piano tcacher thought that it would be a good idea for me to do some teaching. Accordingly, I ended up with a couple of students from the community. One was 7 and the other was 70.   At that time, I had no formal trai...
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What have you done to improve your personal technology skills?

Back in the early 1990s, I had the opportunity to assist a number of teachers as they made their first computer purchase. In each case, the teacher was taking a big step and spending a lot of money in the process. I can remember nearly every one of those teachers telling me that they wanted to choose their computer wisely, because it was the only o...
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How do you use multimedia in your concerts and student recitals?

​Multimedia is  nothing more than the combination of two or more modalities of communication. Combine images with text, motion video with music, or ballet with sound effects, and you have created a multimedia piece. Unlike traditional recorded music, the live concert experience has always had a visual component to it. As members of the audienc...
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How did you get started with technology in your studio?

from the series: Tomorrow Today: Technology George Litterst, Editor Teacher or technologist? Most teachers using technology are teachers and musicians first, and users of technology second. It can be both impressive and intimidating to observe a teacher who has used technology for many years. Some of these teachers may have one or more compute...
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