Virtual music instruction could have big implications for higher ed.

Virtual music instruction could have big implications for higher education.

As online courses spike in popularity across the nation, students are finding that even the most traditional face-to-face courses offer virtual options that are just as thorough as in-person classes—and music instruction courses soon could follow suit.

This past spring, Louisiana State University (LSU) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) partnered for a remote piano teaching demonstration using technologically enhanced pianos from Yamaha.

During the demonstration, LSU connected a Yamaha Disklavier IV piano over the internet with another Disklavier at UCLA. The demonstration featured a mini-master class with LSU School of Music professor Michael Gurt teaching a UCLA piano student, UCLA visiting associate piano professor Jennifer Snow interacting with an LSU piano student, and LSU graduate students in piano pedagogy teaching a UCLA undergraduate student.

Such a program could have great implications for aspiring music students and professors alike.

“This has big potential for us at the university level. We’ve wanted to do this for a few years. I’m very intrigued by it,” said Pamela Pike, assistant professor of piano pedagogy at LSU. “Yamaha experts have demonstrated this long-distance teaching at professional conferences, [but] this is the first time that faculty at a university have engaged in this type of long-distance teaching.”


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