Broadband breeds music virtuoso in Minnesota?

Ok maybe broadband doesn’t breed a usic virtuoso, but it can help nurture them when access to some of the best music instructors in the state are just a suped up Skype call away via the MacPhail Center for Music.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently ran an article on the remote programs at the MacPhail Center…

Swider is part of an experiment that brings professional musicians from Minnesota’s oldest music school — the nonprofit MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis — to classrooms in rural Minnesota through real-time video instruction. Think video conferencing, but with excellent audio and visual capacities on a 40-inch screen.

Launched in 2011 to help cash-strapped rural school districts boost their music programs, it’s grown from a pilot project in one school to 17 school districts and 1,500 students. And the numbers keep growing.

The program is one of the first of its kind in the nation, said MacPhail President Paul Babcock. While a handful of the nation’s premier music schools for advanced students have tapped the technology, it’s never been available to ordinary — and often lower income — students in small-town bands and orchestras.

With the holidays approaching, music directors across the state are getting guest teachers to help prepare for their December concerts.

The Minnesota Broadband Task Force got a demonstration from the MacPhail Center in October 2012. (I’ve added it below too.) I was lucky enough to catch the instructor and student musicians in action on video. It is very fun to see and fun to see an application that is so simple in its elegance and proves the point that with broadband you can do more!

This entry was posted in Broadband Applications, education, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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