Music Education Students Embrace iPad with All Ten Fingers
Seton Hill’s concert grand piano, which graces the stage of the Carol Ann Reichgut Concert Hall in Seton Hill University’s Performing Arts Center, is signed by Lang Lang, the world-renowned concert pianist. In April 2010, Lang Lang thrilled an audience at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, California, with a piano performance, on an iPad, of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee.”
In May 2010 Seton Hill became an All-Steinway School (one of only 116 schools and universities worldwide to attain this honor). During the celebration that accompanied the announcement of All-Steinway status, Curt Scheib, D.M.A., chair of the Division of Visual and Performing Arts, referenced Lang Lang’s recent use of the iPad, saying, “we are certainly eager to help students explore the use of that device to enhance their creativity and the process of learning.”
As it turned out, music majors represented some of the first students at Seton Hill to embrace the mobile technology not just for what it can do for them as students, but for what it can do for them in their future careers.
Four music education majors, David Emanuelson, Kellie Johnson, John Olearchick and Alvin Simpson, became so quickly familiar with the iPad resources available to musicians and music teachers that they made presentations on the topic at the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association 2011 spring conference and at Seton Hill’s June iTeach event (co-hosted by Apple for Pittsburgh-area educators).
In their popular presentations, the students provided an overview of how the mobile applications function, followed by instruction on how music teachers can use apps to assist with everything from teaching fingering to creating original recordings.
“Music education students, and music educators in general, can use these different applications to create more interesting and efficient lessons,” says Olearchick. “One of the best features of the iPad is that the teacher and student can have all of the necessary tools in one place. The only thing it does not do for us is play the instrument!”