Tag Archives: Indiana

Technology in Teaching – A Workshop for Piano Teachers

Ellen Gonzales from Roland Digital Pianos

Ellen Gonzales from Roland is a noted educator, clinician and technology specialist who travels around the Nation helping teachers and universities integrate technology into their studios and classrooms.

In our last blog, you learned about a new lineup of Roland Digital Pianos that use Bluetooth technology instead of WIFI because of it’s ease and increased reliability.  Now, due in part to this major technological change, educators are able to access an entire WORLD of musical learning apps to aid in learning.  These apps will help you attract new students, build enthusiasm for different types of music and help you better control your students’ at-home practice.  You won’t believe the difference they can make!

In this followup session, Ellen Gonzales from Roland will demonstrate a host of apps that help you hone in on specific challenges your students face.  You’ll learn about apps that include play-a-long material for better musicality, apps that can provide you with practice reports and help you see what is going on at home, and apps that can help your students develop a love for scales!  Better yet, it’s EASY and most of the apps are FREE!

Bring your tablet to Gist Piano Center Lexington on Wednesday, November 11, and you will learn everything you need to know about these new technologies and about how they can change your students’ lives.  FREE Sessions begin at 11am and 3pm.  Gist will service some light refreshments so you can enjoy learning!

Roland Digital Piano with Bluetooth

Roland’s new line of HP and LX digital pianos now feature Bluetooth technology, a hybrid action, modeled piano sound and a 10-Year Parts and Labor Warranty.

If you live in Louisville, bring your tablet to Gist Piano Center Louisville on Thursday,

November 12 and we’ll load you up with great information and PROVEN teaching tips!  This FREE session begins at 10am.  Enjoy some light refreshments with us afterwards!

We’re still getting cards and emails from teachers who attended our last event.  If you came last time, come again and learn even more.  If not, DO NOT MISS this life-changing workshop!  We’ll see you there!


Chocolate Party and Roland Announcement!

Open to the Public

Roland Digital PianoYou’re invited to join us for a MAJOR Music Industry announcement from Legendary Piano Builder, Roland Corporation.  A Roland representative will be onhand to announce how Roland is partnering with other industry legends, including Hal-Leonard, Alfred, Sheet Music Direct and more to change everything we know about the Piano Industry.  You won’t want to miss this historic event!

Chocolate PartyTo celebrate this announcement, Gist Piano Center and Roland are joining forces with famous Louisville-based chocolatier, Cellar Door Chocolates, who will setup a full chocolate buffet – FREE for event attendees!  Gist Piano Center will also offer champagne and sodas to age-appropriate guests throughout the evening.

Finally, Gist Piano Center will introduce the all-new FastTrack program and demonstrate some exciting new things coming to Kentucky this Fall!  Here are the dates and times:

  • Monday, October 12:  6-8pm (Louisville):  Roland Launch Event (Open to Public)
  • Tuesday, October 13:  10am-Noon (Lexington):  Piano Teacher’s Event with Roland
  • Tuesday, October 13:  6-8pm (Lexington):  Roland Launch Event (Open to Public)
  • Wednesday, October 14:  10am – Noon (Louisville):  Piano Teacher’s Event with Roland

Piano Teachers

Join us for an unforgettable session JUST for you on Tuesday, October 13 (10am – Noon) in Lexington and Wednesday, October 14 (10am – Noon) in Louisville.  Piano Educator, Clinician and Roland Education Consultant, Laura Zaruta, will be here to show you how this new announcement from Roland, Hal-Leonard, Alfred and Sheet Music Direct can change the way you teach!  You’ll learn about incredible new apps, exciting technologies, our new FastTrack program and more!  This meeting will thrill you to the core!  Don’t be left behind.  Make time to be here and see how “This changes EVERYTHING!”

Roland LX-7 Digital PianoAlso, bring your smart phone and tablet.  We’ll be suggesting a TON of new music apps that will make your life easier and we’ll even help you see how EASY some of this new stuff is to use!

RSVP to Heather Hamilton (for the Lexington meeting) or James Harding (for the Louisville one).


What is Audio?

Audio files are exactly what you think they might be:  a collection of sounds.  For example, if you purchase a CD at a local retail store and put that CD in your computer or car stereo, the CD player you are using will produce sound.  The files on that CD are audio files.

Audio and mp3
Uncompressed audio files are stored on CDs using a file format called “.wav” or “dot wave” and they are literally changing the musical landscape today.  Roland Digital Pianos can read these files, giving students a chance to play along with a full band accompaniment.  Not only is this much more fun than practicing alone, it also enhances listening skills, promotes even and regular tempo, and dramatically reduces the time it takes for you to learn a song.  Playing along with audio files can be a great reward piece for teachers.  “Practice hard and, when this song is ready, we’ll play it with a full band…”  (Roland Digital Pianos can also speed up, slow down or change the pitch of audio files – in case you’re playing with someone or you’re not ready to play it at full speed.)

Mp3 files, however, are compressed versions of audio files.  Most commonly associated with mp3 players (like the iPod), these files contain sound, but take up much less space than their “.wav” brothers.  Some models of Roland Digital Pianos also work with these files via a special “iPod” or “mp3” port.  Hook your iPod up and play with a full band.  You can still change both tempo and pitch with these files on your Roland.  The only thing you can’t do is save these files to a CD and play them in your car (unless your car stereo reads mp3s – and some do.)

Whichever file format you choose, make sure you find some fun play-a-long music to play.  All of the major lessons series (Alfred, Faber, Hal-Leonard, Bastien,  etc.) have companion audio files that you can purchase to play along with.  Why not give it a try?  Your playing skills will benefit tremendously from it… and you’ll probably have a ton of fun.

Ask Heather for advice on the best audio files for you.


What is MIDI?

Just like people, computers are capable of speaking to each other in different languages.  MIDI (short for Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is one of those languages.  …and, like all languages, MIDI has a number of different variations.

MIDI Isn’t Audio
In short, MIDI is “word processing” for music.  Consider the following analogy:  You live across town, but you want to say “Hello” to me.  So, using our common language, you type “Hello” in an email and send it to me.  I open my email and hold my ear up to it.  It doesn’t make any sound.  …but if I read it, interpret our common language and say “Hello,” I can hear what you wrote!  MIDI works the same way.  The first MIDI device is you.  The second is me.  The MIDI file is the email.  It doesn’t contain sound (just like the email didn’t), but it does contain the necessary instructions for me to make a sound.  My voice and yours won’t sound exactly the same, but it will be very close – and I can choose to speed up, slow down or raise/lower the pitch of my voice.

What MIDI Does
In short, MIDI allows certain electronic devices to communicate with each other.  Here are a few of the benefits:

  • It helps your computer play music
  • It allows performers to use one instrument to control a whole bunch of other instruments
  • It lets musicians create fantastic layered musical textures
  • It gives players the freedom to edit music and print out the results
  • It gives players the freedom to mute some parts and play along with others

Commonly used in video games, computer programs and digital music instruments, MIDI is a powerful and flexible language that helps musicians create, edit and enjoy music.  You’ve probably been using MIDI for years without knowing it.  Now, you can harness the power of MIDI to make your piano lessons even more fun.

For more information on MIDI files, Ask Heather!