As part of an ongoing effort to connect students and teachers worldwide, Yamaha has spent the last few years piloting a new feature of the Disklavier known as RemoteLesson. For about 5 years, this tool was limited to only a handful of teachers and performers as we experimented with best practices for successful online teaching. Now, several well-known Yamaha Artists have began experimenting with RemoteLesson to experience this technology, as well as to widen their reach to classical audiences and students worldwide. Why would a world-class pianists choose to teach a masterclass long distance? Turns out the reasons are as varied as the artists themselves.
To celebrate the installment of a DCFX Disklavier Concert Grand at Millersville University, Yamaha Artist Alex Kobrin gave a masterclass to a handful of pianists at the school. Part of the Lancaster International Piano Festival, hosted by Millersville University, students were able to perform for the renowned artist in the familiar surroundings of their home school (and on their own piano), while Kobrin was able to listen and give feedback from New York City.
In April, 2013, Chris Collins, director of the Detroit Jazz Festival, wanted to generate some excitement among local students for the 2013 festival, the largest free jazz festival in the world. So, he invited Grammy award winner Danilo Pérez to give a masterclass to some local jazz piano students. Unable to come in person, Yamaha arranged for Pérez, a Yamaha Artist, to make his appearance remotely from the Berklee School of Music in Boston.
Hosted by Wayne State University, where Collins is also on faculty, both Wayne State and University of Michigan students were able to play for Pérez and get his input on their performances. Wayne State student Daniel Meinecke couldn't believe his luck.
"I am amazed at the Disklavier's ability to transmit touch, feel and expression, and using it to learn from a true master was truly an honor. I felt as if he was sitting right next to me."
Prof. Collins was equally impressed:
"In addition to the powerful and intimate teaching/learning environment created with this technology, I was inspired by the ease with which diverse and distant communities were able to gather, share knowledge, and create great music."