A spectrum of musical genres is now at the fingertips of music students in the state-of-the-art Piano Lab at the University of Colorado Denver.
In summer 2011, Piano Lab Coordinator Irina Moreland, Ph.D., along with the enthusiastic support of the Music Entertainment Industry Studies Department, organized and led the MEIS Piano Lab Technology Project. The project, bolstered by the considerable skills of recording arts technicians Pete Buchwald and Tyler Soifer, was the outgrowth of an in-house assessment of student and market needs and expectations.
“Millenial piano students are extremely adept at using modern technology,” Moreland says. “Simply put, to garner and retain student interest, and to provide tools of use for their endeavors beyond MEIS, tools of significance today were needed.”
Upgrades included new Rolands, networked iMacs with instructor stations and software that enables each student’s creative limits for composition, recording, mixing and performance. “Integrated Textbook software has allowed students to explore different genres, from classical to jazz and rock ‘n’ roll to new age,” she says.
“Of special interest to our students is the use of the new tools for original composition, experimentation with Logic Pro rhythm libraries, and the ability to remix a plethora of original pieces to the individual student’s satisfaction,” she says. “These tools … will be a key discriminator in a very competitive market.”
The Piano Lab has opened possibilities for adding to or revising the present curriculum, such as including earlier approaches to improvisation, film scoring, digital recording technology, music calligraphy and contemporary/commercial music-based courses, such as commercial arranging for singer-songwriting.
Moreland says Piano Lab resources are attracting non-music majors, enhancing MEIS’s educational goals.
For more information about the CU Denver Piano Lab, contact Irina Moreland at [email protected] or call (303) 514-2603.
The College of Arts & Media at the University of Colorado Denver embraces the influences of modern trends on traditional art forms. Located on the CU Denver’s downtown campus, CAM is at the heart of Denver’s thriving, dynamic arts community. The college encourages its students to discover new artistic forms, explore creative applications of technology, and prepare themselves for careers in the current and emergent culture industry. CAM is one of 13 schools and colleges at CU Denver. The University offers more than 100 degrees and serves more than 28,000 students in Metro Denver and online. For additional news and information, please visit the online newsroom.
(Photo: Piano Lab Coordinator Irina Moreland helps a student during a recent class.)