Conferences, Technology

NCKP 2011 | (12) PEDxi sessions

If you’ve never heard of the TED talks, please take a moment to check out this link!  According to the “About” page on their website…

“TED is a non-profit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.  Since then its scope has become ever broader. The annual TED conferences, in Long Beach/Palm Springs and Edinburgh, bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less).”

Many of the TED talks are available for free viewing on their website and on YouTube.  The one I linked to above was sent to me by one of my adult students — and it is quite an interesting one that talks about the value of classical music.

The NCKP’s “PEDxi” sessions are inspired by the TED talks.  They are short 25-minute talks that are focused on keyboard pedagogy and technology.

  1. Who Would’ve Thought It Was Possible?  | Lori Frazer gave an inspiring session on how technology has allowed her to bring music and music making to serve the medical and wellness community, including seniors and individuals with special needs.  
  2. Mud Huts, MIDI, and Light Bulb Moments  |  Kristin Shoemaker shared her story about how the Internet has allowed her to erase the boundaries of her Minnesota-based piano studio.  Not only has she been give lessons to individuals in Africa, but she’s also been able to have her Minnesota students and her African students perform for each other on over the web!
  3. An International Piano Competition Is Now in Your Living Room | Alexander Braginsky is the Founding President and the Artistic Director of the Minnesota International Piano e-Competition.  He shared with us how the competition began and has evolved.  This competition utilizes technology to allow individuals to give their auditions at various centers around the world, and judges to hear their performances — acoustically — on a piano in another location!   They use Yamaha Disklaviers to record the performance information and sync it with a video so it can be watched too.
  4. And They Still Play Today!  | Pianist and software engineer and co-founder of Zenph Technologies, John Q. Walker talked about the process of converting old recordings and turning them into a data file that allows for real-time playback on a player piano.  What amazing technology!  We were fortunate to hear Glenn Gould play the first two movements of the Goldberg Variations — LIVE — on a Yamaha Disklavier!  It was incredible.
  5. The Pianist of the Net Generation | Pianist Mei-Ting Sun was the performer for Friday’s lunchtime recital, and also spoke to us beforehand about the challenges of being a pianist in the age of the Internet, Facebook, and Twitter.  It was fascinating to hear him speak of his travels to the hometowns of composers in Europe in search of a better understanding of their music.  These are all things you cannot learn in school!  It is all because of the advance of technology that we are able to easily so access information that would have been nearly impossible to find 20 years ago.
My notes above are brief, because — luckily for you — the NCKP recorded and streamed the PEDxi sessions live on the web, and they are still there for your viewing!  Click here to find their video on

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