Sonic Mirror in the Music Room
Conductor Adrian Anantawan (“Mr. A”) is bringing the Dudamel Orchestra into the digital age. Surrounded by screens and gadgets, he is rehearsing them for their first public performance in a few weeks. He uses the technology to instill in them a greater level of musicianship and individual responsibility to their music.
Walking into the rehearsal space, one of the first things that catches the eye is a 47-inch flat-screen HDTV mounted to the wall facing the orchestra. Mr. A, using his iPad, AirPlay, 3.1 BOSE sound system, television monitor, and video camcorder has created a way to enhance the students’ learning though his use of technology. “I use the iPad to show the entire score on the TV, highlighting and zooming in to specific sections, giving the students access to the larger picture.”
“They are creating a sonic mirror,” Mr. A says. There is a bit of trepidation from the students when he says, “We’re rolling,” but he feels they become more responsible musicians when recording. This process provides instant feedback, allowing the students to take a step back and listen objectively to their performance.
In addition to watching their own performances, Mr. A plays recordings and YouTube videos of major symphony orchestras from all over the world, allowing the students to hear professional musicians performing the same pieces they are working on and apply what they hear right after they listen. Using the iPad and video camera, Mr. A is able to Skype in virtual guests. “They do love to play for people,” says Mr. A. “Instead of going to them, we are able to bring the outside world to us.”