Shana Kirk has been passionate about the combination of music, teaching, and technology since the early 1990s. As an undergrad at Lipscomb University, armed with a Yamaha PSR and a Mac Classic computer, she may have been the first freshman music theory student in history to turn in homework on floppy disk! As a graduate student at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music, she learned how to avoid extra accompanying rehearsals with the magic of the Yamaha Disklavier. She has been teaching, performing, and helping others with music technology ever since.
In addition to an active teaching and performing career, Shana participates in extensive music outreach. During 2000, she helped develop and operate the "What Makes Music?" discovery center for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. She also helped develop Yamaha's Say Yes to Music outreach initiative, performing exclusively on Yamaha Clavinova digital pianos in elementary schools across the US.
Currently, as a music education technology consultant, Shana works with industry leaders including Yamaha, TimeWarp Technologies, Keys to Imagination, and Piano Adventures, to guide music educators in 21st century teaching practices through workshops, webinars, and technical support.
Recognized as an expert in the technologies associated with independent music instruction, she has presented workshops and performances at events including MTNA National Conference, National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, College Music Society, Association for Technology in Music Instruction, World Piano Pedagogy Conference, The Royal Conservatory's Summer Summit, The Canadian Music Teachers' Association, and numerous regional and state events. As a writer, she frequently contributes music and music-technology based articles to such publications as Clavier Companion and American Music Teacher.
Here at DEN, Shana loves to discover all the new things that teachers and schools are doing with Disklavier, and is constantly experimenting at her home studio in Denver, CO.
Yamaha's My Music Recorder iOS app has been around for several years, providing a cute and handy way for students, teachers, and parents to keep a video record of practicing, as well as share achievements on YouTube. Now, a hidden feature will also allow Disklavier (E3 and Enspire only) users to create and play back VIDEO SYNC performances without the cumbersome tether of audio cables! Here's how it works:
1. Connect a MD-BT01 or UD-BT01 Bluetooth MIDI adapter to the MIDI jacks of your Disklavier. (For E3, don't forget to select the MIDI input/output you are using: MIDI or USB) 2. Launch the My Music Recorder App 3. Click the gear wheel icon to connect Bluetooth (you'll get a reminder if you do not already have Bluetooth enabled on your device)
Here's a tweet from our friends at Yamaha Canada to show how it works!
Composer, performer, and music theorist George E. Lewis recently joined Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran in a special performance celebrating the 35th anniversary of the MacArthur Fellows program. Lewis and Moran are both past MacArthur Fellows, named in 2002 and 2010, respectively. In discussing the work, Lewis detailed the setup of the one-of-a-kind performance, enthusiastically drawing on his 25-year history with the Disklavier, calling it a "reliable instrument, great instrument, great sound."
Later in the discussion, Lewis makes analogies between musical artificial intelligence and computer-controlled anti-lock brake systems or even the Mars Rover, driving the point that there are many parallels between musical interaction and the operations of the everyday world.
The work, essentially an improvised chamber piece for piano, trombone, and computer-controlled Disklavier, incorporates electronic elements, namely a degree of artificial intelligence, without any electronic sounds. The computer programming "listens" for musical elements via audio of the live players, then interprets them and interacts via the Disklavier.
In addition to creating the Voyager interactive music performance software used in this performance, George Lewis is the author of The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies, a two-volume work that examines the process of improvisation both in and out of the arts.
In a pinnacle event for Yamaha's Disklavier-based Remote Lesson technology, Maestro Byron Janis has conducted a long distance masterclass from Yamaha Artist Services in New York City, with students of the Moscow Conservatory. The event took place Sep. 28, 2016.
University of Hartford's The Hartt School has selected a Yamaha Disklavier CFX concert grand piano (DCFX) for its soon to be renovated Millard Auditorium. The award-winning reproducing piano will be permanently housed at Millard, one of the university's primary concert venues, to amplify student learning via master classes and distance learning.
The list of composers, arrangers, and multimedia artists using Disklavier in their work today is this century's A-list of innovators in music-making: David Rosemboom. Tod Machover. Steve Horowitz. Kyle Gann. Eve Egoyan. JB Floyd. Christopher Dobrian. Robert Black. Xiao Xiao. SO MANY others. With this list growing by the minute, we would like to carve some space here at the DEN to explore some of the many ways today's musical creators have put our favorite instrument to work, sometimes testing its limits.