Kinder HSPVA students participate in distance learning master piano class

Kinder HSPVA students participated in a groundbreaking remote piano master class last week with a famous musician —even though the artist was instructing the students from 1,500 miles away.

The students attended the class with world-renowned pianist, composer, and arranger Giorgi Mikadze, who taught the class through a live broadcast from New York City.

This technological feat was made possible with a pair of internet-connected Yamaha Disklavier “reproducing” pianos, part of the state-of-art technology included in the school’s new 2012 Bond school, which was one of the first in the nation to introduce this distance learning opportunity.

“I couldn’t have ever imagined playing on this type of piano,” ninth grade student Mei Dickinson said. She is one of the two students at the school to first experience using the technology.

“It was exhilarating. I felt a real sense of connection with Mr. Mikadze. It was like he was right next to me,” Dickinson said.

The technology the flagship piano offers allowed Mikadze to evaluate actual “live” performances by two students from Kinder HSPVA. As each student performed, Mikadze sat at the Disklavier in New York, intently watching the keys and pedals of the instrument recreate the students’ pieces in real time.

“I am so honored to participate in what I believe is the future of music education,” Mikadze said. “Remote Lesson eliminates geographic barriers to music classes and auditions and offers me the flexibility to instruct students even if I am thousands of miles away.”

With the technology, Kinder HSPVA can provide its faculty and students with the means to take part in remote piano lessons, performances, and master classes with other pianists from around the country and world — all without students having to go on trips or professional pianists having to travel to the school.

“We are excited to be at the forefront of utilizing new technology to teach students the art of piano,” Rodolfo Morales, Kinder HSPVA’s director of piano studies said.

Kinder HSPVA students and staff moved into their new five-story, 168,000-square-foot-building this past January. The school features a central 800-seat theater, a 200-seat black box theater, rehearsal rooms, an art gallery, and a recording studio.

The school also added a large complement of instruments to its inventory, including 12 new Yamaha pianos and Yamaha’s flagship Disklavier piano.

Follow @Build_HISD on Twitter for the latest updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.