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The Yamaha Disklavier Education Network

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Shana Kirk

Shana Kirk

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.

Most of our DEN discussions about composition involve how to make the Disklavier most accurately record or perform in special circumstances. Many composers like to use Disklavier to explore rhythms and speeds that are beyond human playability. We've dealt with MIDI ins and outs, prepared strings, algorhythmic mutations of playing, you name it. 

Composer Hans Tammen turns all of that exactitude on its head, exploring the sonic creations made possible by the LIMITS of the Disklavier's own mechanical elements. In Music for Choking Disklavier (2006, Clang) Tammen built projects in the authoring environment Max/MSP to tax the Disklavier BEYOND its limits of velocity and data. In some moments the volume is set too low to make the hammers actually strike strings, producing extended spans of muted rhythmic thumping. In others, data overload causes the Disklavier to "choke", punctuating spans of silence with clumps of note-data all at once. The result is an eerie soundscape with its own beauty and interest. Don't take our word for it, though--listen for yourself!

What's the most unusual thing you've ever done with a Disklavier? Let us know! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Posted by on in Disklavier Center Stage


Yamaha Artist Lisa Yui's 2014 DVD release Lisa Yui - 4 Beethoven Piano Sonatas: Performance and Commentary has earned critical acclaim worldwide, fast becoming a go-to resource for educators and pianists looking or insight into four of Beethoven's most highly regarded works. Traversing Op. 10 No. 2 In F Major, Op. 27 No. 2 in C-sharp Minor "Moonlight", Op. 53 in C Major "Waldstein", and Op. 57 in F Minor "Appassionata", the listener is guided through a detailed and engaging journey--a glimpse into the evolution of Beethoven's relationship with the piano.  

Believe it or not, an early DisklavierTV event was actually part of the inspiration for this collection, and this content continues to be available on-demand for DisklavierTV subscribers. If your Disklavier is set up to view DisklavierTV (see the setup instructions, HERE), you may see and hear Dr. Yui's performance and commentary on the Waldstein and Appasionata sonatas on your own piano! Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite DisklavierTV performance? Let us know --email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ! 





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Congratulations to the Sydney Conservatorium, the first institution in Australia to purchase a DCFX Disklavier Concert Grand! Yamaha Australia reports that Dr Robert Curry, Principal of the Conservatorium High School, travelled to Yamaha's factory in Japan earlier this year and chose the Disklavier for its many educational possibilties, including remote learning opportunities. The piano will be launched officially in late July featuring Stephanie McCallum (Associate Professor of Piano, Sydney Conservatorium of Music), and special guest recitals performed live from London and Seoul.

As our DEN map continues to expand, we would love to hear what is happening in YOUR corner of the globe! 
 
Last year's DEN Audition participants were able to choose from many new recording sites, including several locations abroad. This increase in participation and wider adoption of the technology has even caught the attention of mainstream press. Check out this article by FastCompany's Sean Captain, who recently interviewed DEN consultant George Litterst on the program (click to read the entire article at FastCompany):
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Inna Faliks thumbAdventuresome, dazzling pianist Inna Faliks is well known for defying traditional convention as a classical artist. Sure, her pedigree includes a stellar list of prizes, orchestral performances, and international acclaim. Of course, she's one of the most in-demand teachers in the US. But her restless, creative spirit has sent her in many unexpected directions as well: