The MusicPath Story
The technological challenge of the MusicPath project was to interconnect digital acoustic pianos in "real time" via high-speed networks, alongside existing high-end videoconferencing systems. The pedagogical challenge was to examine how such twinning of the delivery of MIDI with videoconferencing changes the delivery of music education, examination and performance.
Following extensive research writing innovative code for high-quality delivery of MIDI communication between music instruments, MusicPath achieved its first remote interconnection during the early summer of June 2003. Throughout the fall of 2003, Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and The Royal Conservatory of Toronto, started to engage into a series of successful Master Classes. More significantly, Marc Durand, internationally acclaimed pianist and pedagogue, started to give one-on-one lessons to Lucas Porter, a twelve-year-old student from rural Nova Scotia, who has now completed the highest level possible of Royal Conservatory Music exams. For these lessons, Lucas played the sophisticated Yamaha Disklavier at Acadia University which also moved, through its network interconnection, the keys and pedals of the Toronto piano only milliseconds later. Following that, Marc taught and played while Lucas listened and watched the keys at Acadia. By pairing this capability with high-quality videoconferencing, Lucas has said that the lessons seem as though he is in the same room with his teacher.
The success of the MusicPath project has been measured by its ability to enable traditional music teachers in the delivery of high-quality pedagogy via a digital medium. In addition, the project has also eliminated the geographical barrier of access to Master Artists by enabling higher quality music delivery to every deserving student over high-speed networks. This will result in re-defining new ways of learning in remote communities, relying on networked music transfer via the MIDI protocol. With a well-developed MIDI interconnection we have set up a unique pedagogical model connecting institutions and learners.