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Manhattan School of Music Case Study - Polycom

Manhattan School of Music: Distance Learning Brings Music Expertise Worldwide.

One of the world’s most esteemed music conservatories, Manhattan School of Music (MSM), which celebrates its hundredth anniversary in 2018-19, has more than 960 gifted undergraduate and graduate students hailing from more than 50 countries and almost every state. They come to MSM to study innovative curricula with the institution’s world-renowned artist-teacher faculty, who are members of the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and more.

Partnership with Gould Academy

Cellist Tommy Mesa is in Manhattan, but he has a music class in Maine to teach at 9:30am. He logs on via Polycom RealPresence Desktop with Music Mode™ and connects with students from Gould Academy. As Distance Learning Doctoral Music Fellow at MSM, Mesa has been teaching in a blended-learning style, a combination of in-person coaching and Polycom video conferencing. “I love being able to teach in person, but this system allows me to teach from outside the classroom or the studio with such clarity,” he says. Sure enough, over video, Mesa guides the students playing in Maine: “Chloe, use more bow.” Mesa indicates onscreen how much bow the student should be using. On the Maine side, Jim McLaughlin, Performing Arts Program Chair at Gould Academy, is in the room with his class. McLaughlin has partnered with Manhattan school of Music to bring private lessons and ensemble coaching to his students.

Student Mentoring: A Hallmark of MSM Distance Learning

“One of the unique aspects of MSM’s Distance Learning program is that we put this technology in the hands of our own students to educate and teach the next generation about how videoconferencing technology can help build a global arts community,” Orto says. “So, we let them create content that they deliver to classrooms and hospitals, community centers, senior centers, and libraries so that they can learn how to be tomorrow's educators, performers, and advocates for the arts.”

Ana Garcia, MSM Digital Scholar, incorporates dance, images, videos, and activities to make her lessons an interactive experience for her students. “Using this medium has made me reflect more on my teaching skills, to make it seem like the screen is no longer there. It feels like I am in the room with them, so this platform works perfectly for me.”

“This is a way to reach the world and to really have an impact on people's lives, especially in places where they don't have access to this kind of instruction or these kinds of performances,” says James Gandre, President of Manhattan School of Music. “To watch the students, the five-year-olds, get excited about something that they've never known anything about. Or to have senior citizens get involved in something they maybe knew a little bit about — but now know much more — is so powerful.” 

Written by Polycom


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