Yamaha Instruments, Gear Enrich Fullerton College Music Programs, Spur Enrollment

12/3/2010 [Pianos & Keyboards]

State-of-the-Art Keyboard Instruments and Music Production Gear Enhance Music Program, Spur Enrollment at California’s Oldest Community College

Dr. Monica Lee, Coordinator of Fullerton's Piano program, recently gave a presentation on "Long Distance Piano Instruction" at TED-X, with the help of two Internet-connected Yamaha Disklaviers.

BUENA PARK, Calif. — Thanks to a flourishing partnership with Yamaha Corporation of America, Fullerton College has enriched its music education offerings and spurred program enrollment with the addition of state-of-the-art technology.

Founded in 1913, Fullerton College is the oldest community college in continuous operation in California. Offering a comprehensive academic program of liberal arts transfer courses and vocational training, the school prides itself on preparing students for transfer as well as for the technology-driven workplace.

Like most public colleges in the U.S., Fullerton had experienced difficulty securing quality musical instruments and equipment in the current economic environment. Thanks to Yamaha however, Director of Music Technology Studies Markus Burger said the college now offers a more extensive array of music production software and gear than most public schools in the United States. "Yamaha has enabled the students to try out a variety of different equipment and technologies," he said.

This past September, Yamaha donated 24 speakers for use in the school's Music Production Department. "Yamaha has helped us stay current by giving us access to the most advanced tools in the industry," said Burger. "The relationship has been mutually very positive. We're committed to making sure students know that Yamaha is a source of extremely reliable products, as students are future instrument buyers."

According to Burger, the school's investment in music technology has paid other dividends. "We have tripled our enrollment in the music production program since we received Yamaha music production stations and a Disklavier piano," he said.

Singing the praises of the Disklavier high-tech performance reproducing piano, Burger notes, "Yamaha created a great sounding grand piano fitted with ground breaking technology. It's fantastic."

Citing the instrument's recording function as a major plus, Burger explains that the Disklavier was showcased in a remote teaching session demonstration at a recent TED-X (Technology Entertainment Design) music technology education conference at Fullerton College. "It was pretty amazing," notes Burger, who also gave a presentation on multimedia improvisation. "Yamaha's offerings are so technologically advanced that students can focus on the esthetic process of creating music."

Dr. Monica Lee, Coordinator of the School's Piano program, who recently performed on an AvantGrand N2 at TEDMED and gave a presentation on "Long Distance Piano Instruction" at TED-X, expressed the important contributions made by Yamaha. Yamaha was also instrumental in helping Dr. Lee enhance the offering of her Piano Teaching Certificate program. "We were looking for good practice pianos especially for our piano pedagogy students," explains Dr. Lee. "I wanted an instrument similar in quality to a grand, with great tone and feel." Calling on her longstanding relationship with Mike Bates of Yamaha's Institutional Solutions Group, Dr. Lee found the ideal solution: "He recommended the AvantGrand."

Powered by one-of-a-kind music technology, Yamaha's AvantGrand is a hybrid piano that not only digitally simulates the sound of a grand piano, but the physical experience of playing a fine grand piano, since it uses an actual grand piano action - all at the fraction of the cost of a traditional concert grand. Purchased with the help of a Career and Technical Education (CTE) grant, five AvantGrand pianos were placed in the Spring 2010, joining the school's Bosendorfer Imperial Piano, Disklavier and P22 uprights.

"When I first heard the AvantGrand, I could not stop playing it," recalls Dr. Lee. "The beginners love the look, the built-in metronome, and the advanced pianists marvel at the fact that it feels so much like an acoustic piano." Dr. Lee adds, "As a pianist, I am awestruck by the detail work and thought that go into creating each of the Yamaha instruments. These instruments are student friendly, performer friendly and educator friendly. What more can you ask for?"

"Yamaha's longstanding relationship with Fullerton College traces back several years," says Mike Bates, of Yamaha's Institutional Solutions Group. "We were pleased to sponsor the Piano Ensemble Festival at the College, and provide faculty tours of our Buena Park headquarters to learn about the latest technology. Our strong relationships enable us to provide customized solutions to educators."

According to Dr. Lee, "What I really appreciate as a teacher is that Yamaha stands behind educators. As a one of the leading colleges with transfer programs, it is imperative that a piano program such as ours offers the state-of-the-art equipment. Many of our students will become future teachers or are already teaching and will influence the next generation."

Yamaha has also found a gratifying partnership in its relationship with the College. "Fullerton College offers a great example of partnership in action," says Bob Heller, Only Yamaha can address an educational institution's musical needs across the entire spectrum of musical disciplines, whether it be a marching drum line, music recording and production or classical piano performance."

For more information, write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714) 522-9011; e-mail infostation@yamaha.com; or visit www.yamaha.com/press.

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