Yamaha Digital Piano Lab at VanderCook to Offer Future Music Educators Mastery of Advanced Learning Technologies

CHICAGO (NOVEMBER 04, 2016) — VanderCook College of Music has selected an all-Yamaha digital piano lab for its newly renovated building on the campus of Illinois Institute of Technology (ITT). The lab, which features 10 Yamaha Arius digital pianos, provides music educators with an intuitive, flexible way to teach students using a wireless network of headphones and microphones.

Following installation in early September, Yamaha provided onsite training for music students and faculty members. The company also set up Apple® iPad interfaces that give instructors wireless control of their classrooms via the exclusive Yamaha LC4 Controller App, a first in music lab technology.

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Dr. Charles T. Menghini, president, professor of Music and director of bands at VanderCook understands that mastering the latest music education technologies while in school will help VanderCook graduates to maintain fluency throughout their careers as teachers.

“Yamaha has been supportive of music education for a very long time, and shares our devotion for creating more music makers,” says Dr. Menghini. “Our students love the feel and sound of the new Arius digital pianos, and the technology gives our teachers a better forum for individual assessment as each student develops. We believe teachers can’t do it alone, and it takes all of us – music educators, music dealers and the music industry – working together to make a difference. Yamaha has really helped us by providing state-of-the-art pianos for our students to learn, and their investment in music education will yield great dividends.”

The music lab includes ten Arius YDP-S52 instruments for students, a Clavinova CVP-709 teacher’s model digital piano, a LC4 Lab Controller and Wi-Fi kit. The Arius YDP line is the premier instrument in the Yamaha line of entry-level console digital pianos, and comes equipped with the sound of the Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand piano. It offers an authentic Graded Hammer acoustic piano playability and comfort; recording and playback capabilities; attractive wood cabinetry, and the signature piano craftsmanship for which Yamaha is renowned.

“In the new piano lab, students enjoy high-quality keyboards that, to a great degree, mimic a real piano action, and have a relatively vast dynamic range and touch response for a digital instrument,” says Dr. Ruti Abramovitch, professor of Piano and director of Honors Chambers Ensembles for VanderCook. “Each keyboard contains several voice options in addition to piano, which allow students to vary instrumentation to their liking. With this advanced technological piano system, they benefit from being able to work on their skills both individually – using their headphones – as well as collaborate with each other and perform in duets or groups.”

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The music lab is expandable to accommodate classes as large as 48 students, and offers multiple options for private practice, one-on-one instruction, small group study or full class ensemble performances. With the Wi-Fi kit, teachers may easily move around the classroom to provide hands-on instruction, and can control the lab with an iPad, make notes on student performance and attendance, and access their own iPad music library for classroom broadcast.

“While most schools have a music education major along with performance, music history and other majors, VanderCook’s graduates teach band, orchestra and choir in primarily middle and high schools,” says Dan Rodowicz, national sales manager, Institutional Solutions Group, Yamaha Corporation of America. “We wanted them to experience and become familiar with a very good quality keyboard action at a price that can make sense for music educators who must work within limited budgets. In addition, the Arius model has a very nice trimline design that is perfect for space requirements.”

Each year, VanderCook’s 125 undergraduate and 200 graduate students, 1,000 continuing education students and teachers, and more than 15,000 individuals who attend clinics, workshops and festivals at the school will use the lab. The College of Music previously acquired seven Yamaha NU1 upright pianos for their practice rooms and two Yamaha grand pianos for classrooms. VanderCook is currently engaged in a fundraising campaign to purchase a Yamaha CFIIIS concert grand piano to be placed in the Hermann Hall ballroom on the ITT campus.