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May/June 2018 First Looks: Apps for Teaching

SuperScore-Logo
A closer look at SuperScore A unique liquid display? Embedded performances? Interactive features for learning and performing? An amazing library of scores? Is it possible that all of these features are found in one free app? Yes, in an app called SuperScore. To say that George Litterst, developer of SuperScore, is a pioneer in the world of music te...
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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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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 in live performances?

You cannot play the late piano works of Beethoven on an early Cristofori pianoforte because there aren't  enough notes. You also cannot play the music of Chopin on a mid-eighteenth-century piano because it is too impractical to manipulate the dampers with a knee lever. Nor can you expect to play the works of Liszt, Rachmaninoff, or Prokofiev o...
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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 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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