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.
Here at the DEN, of course, we are no strangers to using our Disklaviers for long-distance teaching. Some of us even have distant students virtually pop in and out of our studios on a regular basis! So we were especially pleased to hear that such a revered artist has embraced the concept and made a literal and symbolic connection with one of the great conservatories of the world.
To provide Mr. Janis and the Moscow Conservatory students with the most authentic musical experience, the New York-to-Moscow connection used Yamaha's own Disklavier-based Remote Lesson protocol. Remote Lesson, developed by Yamaha, makes it possible to connect two, three, or even four Disklavier reproducing pianos via the Internet. When a teacher, performer, or student plays a Disklavier using this technology, each remotely connected Disklavier produces precisely the same key and pedal movements in real time. Further, when Disklavier PRO pianos are used, Remote Lesson provides an exclusive HIGH RESOLUTION connection, resulting in an experience that satisfies even the most discerning artists and pedagogues.
Byron Janis has been hailed as one of the world's greatest pianists, with a decorated career spanning at least seven decades. Beginning in 1960, Mr. Janis helped to establish lasting cultural ties between the United States and Russia, with three separate appearances in the former Soviet Union marking the historical re-opening of the U.S.A./U.S.S.R. cultural exchange. Beyond his cultural exchange with Russia, Mr. Janis was also the first American concert pianist to be invited to return to Cuba, following 40 years of embargo-restricted travel. It seemed especially fitting, then, that Mr. Janis was the first major artist to forge this unique 21st-century cultural connection.
"Through the stunning technology of Yamaha's Disklavier reproducing piano, the 75-year career and the artistry of Byron Janis continue to transcend international borders," said Yamaha Artist Services Director Bonnie Barrett, who provided the opening remarks along with Oksana Levko, Director of Yamaha Artist Services Moscow. "He reaffirms his legacy as a groundbreaking cultural ambassador and role model, inspiring a new generation of pianists with his unique insights and innate wisdom. Yamaha Artist Services New York, together with our colleagues in Moscow, were delighted to be part of this historic event."
Remote Lesson is available on Mark IV, E3 and Enspire Disklavier models to select institutions and artists. Please contact your Yamaha ISG representative for further information.
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.