12 items tagged "technology"

Results 1 - 12 of 12

A tour of the redesigned Clavier Companion

Category: ThePianoMag Blog
Created on Friday, 15 November 2013 19:36

the piano magazine cover

You may have received the November/December issue of Clavier Companion, and I hope you've been enjoying it. If you haven't seen it yet, I invite you to take a look at the digital edition by visiting our website at www.claviercompanion.com. Better yet, subscribe today so you don't miss another issue!

There are many changes in this new issue, and I wanted to take you through some of them to give you a behind–the–scenes look at what is different. Before I discuss what is new, however, I want to stress that one thing has remained the same: the quality content that is at the core of every issue. While some things have a new look, and there is some new organization, we remain dedicated to bringing you practical, interesting, and informative articles to improve your learning, teaching, and playing. Our mission has not changed, nor will it ever change.

Getting Started with Social Media: Does your Facebook page reflect your brand?

Category: ThePianoMag Blog
Created on Thursday, 09 May 2013 13:58

In 2012, the average attention span of a human was 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds in the year 2000. Even more disconcerting was the average attention span of a goldfish—9 seconds.

So here’s the challenge: If a potential student (or that student’s parent) stumbled upon your studio page on Facebook, would the images and content that individual sees reflect what your teaching is about? And even more than that, would that content make a favorable impression in just 8 seconds?

Here are some tips we consider as we continue developing our Facebook persona—

TED Talks

Category: ThePianoMag Blog
Created on Tuesday, 02 April 2013 20:09

A few years ago a colleague of mine introduced me to TED Talks. My guess is that many of you reading this blog are aware of this wonderful resource. Started in 1984, TED began as a “conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design” (http://www.ted.com/pages/about). Since then, the breadth of topics covered at these conferences has broadened, eventually leading to the current mission: Spreading ideas (http://www.ted.com/pages/about).

Speed Up Your Studio Website by Optimizing Your Images

Category: ThePianoMag Blog
Created on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 18:28

In the previous articles we talked about how to start building a website for your studio or for yourself as a professional musician.  We also spoke about the complicated issue of choosing a web hosting provider and what you can expect from different vendors.  A third, equally important issue is for webmasters to create pages that are user friendly and that load using a minimum of resources.  Although the majority of people today have access to high speed Internet you, as a webmaster, still have to pay for the bandwidth and storage space on your server.  Learning some simple ways to improve the speed and reduce bandwidth costs is a very good thing to know.

No one likes to wait on a slow web page so when creating your website it is important to make sure you optimize your pages to load as fast as possible.  With almost any hosting plan you will be limited by your available bandwidth, and one of the ways many people waste that bandwidth is by uploading images that are either too big or have not been downsampled.  

To fix the first problem always edit your images before inserting them into a web page.  Use an image editor to manually resize them to the same size they will appear in the document.  On most pages this is probably less than 600x600 pixels but can be any size you choose that will fit well with your page.

Putting Your Studio Website on the Web

Category: ThePianoMag Blog
Created on Tuesday, 05 March 2013 13:25

So you have decided to build a studio web site, you have a template in mind for it, and you know what kind of information you want to include.  The next step is to decide where to host it.  A web hosting company provides you with storage space on a computer that is constantly connected to the Internet.  You can find hundreds of free web hosting providers, but the majority of these services are often slow, provide limited capabilities, and will most likely insert advertising into your pages to help them cover their costs.  

The next tier of web hosting providers would be a website builder such as Squarespace or any of the hundreds of other companies that provide website building utilities.  With these companies, for a monthly fee of five dollars or more, you will receive a set amount of storage space and access to a set of templates that you can quickly fill in with information about your studio.  They are easy to use, and fairly economical.  The downside to using these kinds of services is that if you later find you want to move to a different host you may have to start over from scratch.  Always check before investing too much of your time to see if your newly created site can be easily moved if you decide to switch providers.

Building Your Website: Your Own Online Virtual Studio

Category: ThePianoMag Blog
Created on Friday, 15 February 2013 13:41

Creating and Updating Your Online Persona

We live in a time when it is almost expected that every business have a web site or online storefront to compliment their brick and mortar store.  The same goes for music educators.  Those musicians and private studios that do not have their own website are missing out on getting leads from potential students as well simply making it easier for people to find and request your services.  Think about it a second, when was the last time you actually used a phone book to find something?  The majority of people now go straight to Google or another search engine when they want to research something.  If someone searches for “piano lessons in River City” the only way you will wind up there is if you have a well designed and optimized website in place.  So what do you need to do to not only get your studio online but also make it as fast and user friendly as possible?  Here are some suggestions.


Connecting a MIDI Keyboard with an iPad or Other iOS Device

Category: ThePianoMag Blog
Created on Thursday, 10 January 2013 15:23

One of the most exciting things that you can do with an iPad is connect it to a MIDI keyboard and use it with interactive MIDI software. As the co-author of Home Concert Xtreme—a program available for Mac, PC, and iPad—I must confess that I am rather prejudiced in this regard!

In another blog installment, I’ll talk about some of the things that you can do when you connect your MIDI keyboard to an iPad. For now, I’ll focus on the mechanics of connecting the two. And, I’ll broaden the topic to include other iOS devices, such as the iPhone and iPod touch.

Although I’ll refer to MIDI keyboards throughout the article, the same information applies to other MIDI devices, such as MIDI drums, MIDI pads, and MIDI tone generators.

(For those unfamiliar with the term, iOS refers to the operating system of mobile computing devices made by Apple. Mobile devices from other manufacturers use other operating systems, such as Android. At the present time, iOS offers software developers the most advanced MIDI support, and few programmers have produced MIDI software for alternative mobile operating systems.)

The Real Reason You Should Be Using Technology in the Studio

Category: ThePianoMag Blog
Created on Thursday, 15 November 2012 17:16
Over the last few months, I've had numerous discussions with teachers about technology, how to effectively implement it in the studio, and how to seamlessly use a laptop, iPad, or the internet when teaching in new and interesting ways. 
There are so many music–related websites, apps, services, and products on the market these days that no one could possibly know about all of them. You can read many lists of technology resources in textbooks, articles, and blog posts, but none of them could ever grasp the sheer diversity of what is being produced today, and any such list is doomed to become obsolete after mere months.  
If the only reason you're using technology is to be using it for its own sake, to march ahead with the times and somehow take advantage of technology in order to become more "engaging" as a teacher, you're approaching technology from the wrong place.
What's the real reason to use technology? 

Getting Started with Social Media: 4 reasons to use it for your music business

Category: ThePianoMag Blog
Created on Friday, 26 October 2012 14:07

When I was working on my business degree, social media did not exist—AOL Instant Messenger was the latest craze, and there was a rumor that a device was on its way that would allow you to talk, surf the web, and organize your life all in one. Now, less than 10 years later, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have changed the way we connect to each other, which has in turn changed the way businesses market to consumers.

Why is this important for pianists and piano teachers? I think of social media as a 21st century version of word-of-mouth advertising, and if you can use it effectively, social media can be a powerful way to increase your audience, whether your audience includes prospective students, prospective participants for an upcoming pedagogy workshop, or an actual audience of concert-goers for your next recital.

Controlling Your Computer from an iPad

Category: ThePianoMag Blog
Created on Monday, 22 October 2012 14:20

Although there are many iPad apps that you might use in a classroom, there are probably just as many—if not many more—Mac or PC applications that facilitate your work as an instructor. Many modern classrooms are set up to project the teacher’s Mac or PC screen for the benefit of a class. Projection options include large flat screen monitors, projectors, and touchscreen display boards (such as Smart Board).

As discussed in my previous blog, there are ways in which you can take advantage of the connection between your computer and a large classroom display device to project your iPad’s screen wirelessly for the benefit of the class. This is achieved by using 3rd party software and Apple’s AirPlay technology to show the screen of your iPad (or other iOS device) on your computer screen. When your iPad becomes visible on your computer screen, it simultaneously becomes visible on the large display device that is viewed by your students.

What I am going to discuss today is the reverse of this situation: showing your Mac or PC screen on your iPad.

Mobile Apps for Group Instruction

Category: ThePianoMag Blog
Created on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 13:08

You probably already know that mobile computing devices—such as iPad, Kindle Fire, and other tablets and smart phones—offer a lot of functionality for the educator who teaches either individual lessons or groups of students. At this point in time, there are lots of educational apps available, from metronomes to flash cards, to full-blown MIDI programs.

I am starting this series by discussing mobile apps that can be used in a classroom or other group situations and expect to devote the next several blog installments to this topic. Eventually I’ll move on to individual lessons and public performance.

Which Mobile Device Should I Get for Group Instruction?

In a group situation, you will get the most functionality out of a large tablet. A large tablet has much more screen real estate than a smart phone or an iPod touch. For this reason, the apps are easier to use and tend to be more sophisticated.

Which tablet should you buy?


One student, one teacher, 1500 miles

Category: ThePianoMag Blog
Created on Wednesday, 05 September 2012 17:45

A year ago a former student of mine told me her son’s piano teacher had quit, and she was having a difficult time finding a suitable instructor for her son. When we talked the second time and she was not having any success finding a teacher, I asked her if she wanted me to teach him via Skype until she found another instructor (they live in the Midwest; I live in Southern California). I was curious to see how this format would work, and my hope was that I would no musical harm to her son.